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Monday, June 11, 2018

Donors support Justice High School

The design for the new gym floor features the Justice High School Wolves.
A one-day fundraising effort to help Fairfax County Public Schools cover the costs associated with the renaming of JEB Stuart High School to Justice High School yielded $11,589 in donations from 105 people.

The name change will take effect for the start of the 2018-19 school year. A dedication ceremony will take place after the start of the school year.

The goal of the “Day of Giving” on June 5 was to attract as many donors as possible in a single day. Stuart Principal Penny Gros; school board members Sandy Evans and Ryan McElveen; and Stuart alumni Julianne Moore, the Oscar-winning actress, and Hollywood producer Bruce Cohen spread the word about the fundraising campaign via Twitter.

So far, the Stuart community has raised nearly $88,000. FCPS estimates the total cost of the name change is just over $428,000. That includes signage, equipment, student uniforms, and other changes to the building. Students selected the Wolves as the new mascot for Justice High School to replace the Stuart Raiders.

When the school board voted to change the school’s name to Justice High School, it called for FCPS staff “to create a mechanism for private funding, with the expectation that private funding will pay for a substantial portion of the costs.” The board did not specify an amount or percentage of the costs that should come from private donations.

A group Stuart parents and other community members has been spearheading the fundraising drive. According to Debbie Ratliff, a Stuart parent, 276 people had made a donation as of the end of April, with the average amount $250 per individual. The vast majority of donors did not ask that their donation be designated to a particular purpose.

Contributions to the name change fund can be made through the FCPS donor portal.

In related matters, a group of Stuart alumni who wanted to keep their school’s name is planning a photo opportunity next weekend. Alumni and friends are encouraged to gather at the school June 16, any time between 1 and 4 p.m., for pictures while the Stuart name is still on the building.

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