ALEXANDRIA, VA–The iconic, or perhaps rather infamous, T.C. Williams High School is finally getting a new name.
On November 23, 2020, the Alexandria City Public Schools School Board voted unanimously to change the name of T.C. Williams High School. On April 8, 2021, the new name was finally selected: Alexandria City High School.
Alexandria City High School will be representative of the welcoming and accepting society that is not only this high school, but all of Alexandria.
Throughout the voting process, there were nine semi-finalists for the new name of T.C. Williams High School:
Alexandria High School (the beloved city in which the school resides)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg High School (late Supreme Court Justice and women’s right advocate)
Chinquapin High School (the neighborhood in which the school resides)
Blois Hundley High School (integration advocate)
Petey Jones High School (former Titans employee and athlete)
King Street High School (the recognizable street on which the school sits)
Parker-Gray High School (the first high school in Alexandria to educate African Americans)
Arnold J. Thurmond High School (teacher, administrator, coach, and mentor in Arlington)
Titan Community High School (the iconic high school mascot)
The top selection was Alexandria High School, and the name Alexandria City High School was amended from that selection. The name Alexandria City High School will be officially implemented July 1, 2021.
Thomas Chambliss Williams was the Superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s. Despite his involvement with the Alexandria school system, Williams was a known and not-so-silent segregationist.
An order on May 17, 1954 called for ACPS to be desegregated. Williams resisted this order for five years. He also fired a black employee of Lyles-Crouch Elementary School, Blois Hundley (one of the semi-finalists), because she joined an NAACP-led lawsuit to integrate city schools. (wtop.com.alexandria)
The current ACPS Superintendent, Dr. Gregory Hutchings, said of the vast community and student input on the new name, “Your voice is power and this is an example of the power your voice can really have.”
“We really do want to start something new,” adds School Board Member Ramee Gentry.
Alexandria City High School will embody not only the true high school, but also the true Alexandria: a beautiful quilt of a community, an integration of diverse and historical fabric. With one of the most diverse student bodies in Northern Virginia, Alexandria City High School now both symbolizes that diversity and elicits pride for it, and will continue to do so for all of posterity.