Favorite

Kennedy Alumni Leave Mark on Former School 

click to enlarge Vivian Tyree Coleman and Dennis Mallory are among the Kennedy alumni keeping school spirit alive.

Scott Elmquist

Vivian Tyree Coleman and Dennis Mallory are among the Kennedy alumni keeping school spirit alive.

For the last decade, graduates of an East End high school have watched the identity of their alma mater fade away. But they're taking steps to keep its legacy alive.

The Richmond School Board voted to consolidate Armstrong High School into its rival, John F. Kennedy, in 2004 — but keep the name Armstrong.

"Imagine all of a sudden your rival high school was shut down, and your school took their name," says Dennis Mallory, who graduated in 1974.

Mallory, who wants the school to revert to its old name, recalls watching Kennedy grow. "The year Kennedy was built, we were trying to [build] a football team," he says. "Armstrong beat us 66-zip. But we went on to win a football championship."

Last week he and other passionate alumni shared memories while watching a work crew install a granite slab near the school's entrance at 2300 Cool Lane, acknowledging its former identity. The JFK Alumni Reunion Committee raised $1,200 to pay for it.

"They took our school and didn't even say thank you," says Vivian Tyree Coleman, who graduated in '72. "I feel like I'm back home."

Alumni will hold a dedication ceremony Saturday at 3 p.m. — the weekend before the school opens its doors to a new year and its approximately 960 students.

School Board Chairman Don Coleman, a graduate of Armstrong's former building on 31st Street, says he hopes the event will encourage alumni to involve themselves in the district.

"I remember the rivalry, but also the camaraderie of the two East End high schools," he says. "I'm hoping it can be a rejuvenation of people being excited about the East End."

Favorite

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

  • Re: Kim Gray Wants to Hit the Pause Button on the Monument Avenue Commission

    • My take, as a white wacko liberal who lived in Richmond for 20 years: Monument…

    • on August 21, 2017
  • Re: Capping Carbon: What Does Dominion Think?

    • Dr Bude thank you for making me smile after many years of suffering from herpes…

    • on August 20, 2017
  • Re: The Brain-Makers

    • Hello everybody I have been a victim of herpes virus for the last four years…

    • on August 20, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in News and Features

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation