Newport News High School?!?


(June 7, 2007) - The Newport News School Board is seeking suggestions for naming the new middle and high school located at the former Briarfield Elementary School site at 5720 Briarfield Road. Any member of the community may submit suggestions for consideration by the School Board.

Suggestions may be submitted in writing to the Office of the Superintendent, 12465 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23606, on or before Friday, August 24, 2007, to be eligible for consideration.

A comment box for suggested names will also be available at the new middle and high school in the office through Friday, August 24.

Each proposal must include the suggested school name; the name, address and phone number of the person(s) submitting suggestion; and rationale for suggestion.

A report regarding the names suggested to date will be made to the School Board during the special meeting and work session on Wednesday, September 5, 2007.

A decision on the name of the new middle and high school is scheduled to be made by the School Board during the September 18, 2007 meeting.

For more information, the public is invited to call 591-4500.

..... Nevertheless, if I had but one wish, it would not be to attend this celebration, rather it would be that a new NNHS would rise up
on the Peninsula, and that it would be endowed with all the glory, traditions and achievements of the
Newport News High School
hat we knew; the one that has become a part of our very being.
Finally, I would submit to you that the people in this room tonight (at the 40-Year Reunion of the Class of 1964) have it within their power politically to make this dream a reality. Please think about it as you enjoy a wonderful evening of camaraderie and celebration. You are most certainly in my thoughts.....
We all loved our old NNHS, and I am sure that we wish it had never closed.  And I know that many people would like to be able to recreate that special feeling we had for NNHS by recycling the name on a new school.

However Ö and speaking only for myself Ö I would strongly oppose ever using that name again.

There was only ONE, and will only ever be ONE, Newport News High School. Merely placing that name above the door of a new structure will not bring it back. It will only serve to dilute the wonderful heritage, traditions and memories of that building at 3100 Huntington Avenue.  I would not look forward to the first drug arrests, the first gun and knife gang slayings, the first teacher/student sex scandal, the first Columbine-style massacre by a bullied student Ö all splashed across the front of the Daily Press and CNN, along with the name of our beloved Newport News High School.

No, I would rather keep those wonderful memories in my mind and heart and not worry about besmirching them with present day problems and immorality.

Of course, thatís just my opinion; I could be wrong.

- John Todd, President of the Class of 1964, of AK - 10/23/04 - Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 08/20/07
My name is Lisa Wilkins, and I got your e-mails off the Menchville High School Reunion Site...

I found this article hidden in the NNPS website...to name the new high school being built here in NN.  I attended NNHS in 1971, the last year it was a high school.  My brother, Mike Furr, graduated there in 1961.   This issue, to bring back the Typhoon heritage to NN, is so dear to my heart that I wanted to let you know of this....

Please read the article below, copied directly from the site, and write to the School Board.  This may be the last time we have a chance to resurrect NNHS!

Well, David, you could be wrong, you COULD be wrong, but I don't think so. I agree with you 100% - and you expressed it beautifully!  Thanks!
- Lisa Furr Wilkins ('71) - 08/20/07 - Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 08/20/07
I read what Dave and you said concerning having a new school named NNHS. However, If we donít support a new NNHS then our memories die with us and our year books, web site, collectibles become the trash pile of lost history . Future generations will not remember nor have a chance to hear about the tradition and goodness that was NNHS. Why not look at a new NNHS as an opportunity to mentor future generations about NNHS traditions and their heritage. This could become a mission of all the alumni classes and reunions through meeting with students at there games, rallies, etc. There are numerous ways to influence future classes.

 I understand Daveís concerns, but maybe there is a future for a new NNHS.

I never thought I would say this, but I have to agree with you and Dave Spriggs (64) about not reviving NNHS.  Many great classes have gone through the halls of the "One And Only NNHS", but our time has passed and I personally would like to keep the good memories as they are.

I hated to hear when NNHS was closed, but selfishly want things to remain as they are; GREAT MEMORIES!!

I realize this may not be an overly popular stand that you, Dave & I have taken, but that's my humble opinion.
- Charlie Phillips ('65) of TN - 08/22/07 - Butch Ragland ('63) of CO - 08/21/07
  I have to agree with you and Dave about naming the new high school NNHS.  In addition to the reasons he mentioned for not using NNHS, I am sure that there would be a tremendous counter proposal from the community to consider, at the same time, Huntington High School, among other schools that no longer exist (although the Huntington HS building is still being used as a middle school. It is a nice thought, but, like so many nice thoughts today, it is best, as you have said, to relegate them to the past and savor the memories.
   - Bill Campbell ('54) of VA - 08/21/07
  I give Dave Spriggs permission to speak for me anytime about a "New?" NNHS.  Very thoughtful, and a sweet idea, Lisa.  But 'NO' to clones of NNHS. And I agree with Carol on this 100%.  You see, the SPIRIT of NNHS is within all who went there and that is why our school so special.  It's not built of brick and mortar, but with a little of each of us that attended this school; it took all the generations that went there to make it what it was, and is, in our hearts and our memories.  Our wonderful school still stands in our hearts just as it was when we went there
  - "Dimples" a.k.a. Sepi Dinwiddie Prichard ('58) of NC - 08/22/07
  While I confess to wishing we could restore the magic that was NNHS, naming a new building NNHS just does not do it. I think Dave summed it up nicely and correctly.

All we need do it seems to me is look at the school conditions of today and ask ourselves if we would want any of the things going on now to be associated with the name NNHS. Itís a different time with a different generation. The only analogy that comes to mind is being in a coma for 26 years and waking up now! Imagine how lost you would feel. How could you be relevant since you were in a void for so long and so much had changed?

This is a very emotional subject and will be met with many differing opinions. But we did not always agree 40 years ago either; however, we have remained close and caring about NNHS, its alums, and its ďextendedĒ family. Above all, we have continued to care about each other. Thatís what being a Typhoon means to me. And, by the way, would a new NNHS also be called Typhoon? Yet another wrinkle to ponder.

I would dare say that our high school memories are as good as it gets. Iím very thankful to have them. While I could wear a pair of Nikeís and a Polo shirt and pretend it was Weejuns and Madras, it still would only be pretend. I, personally, do not want a pretend NNHS.

Sincere best wishes to all,
  - Joe Wingo, President of the Class of 1965, of NC - 08/23/07
Dear Superintendent Kilgore & Newport News School Board Members:
I recently received an email from someone interested in naming the new high school to be built on Briarfield Road.  Unfortunately, I am out of town and will not be able to meet the requirements for submitting a letter to the suggestion box.  I am a 1958 graduate of Newport News High School.  My home address and contact information is provided at the end of this message.
Please feel free to share these comments with Mr. Hicks, Mr. Ashby, and Superintendent Kilgore as I do not have their email addresses.
My suggestion for a name for the new high school is "Captain Newport High School".  I think this name would be a good way to incorporate the name of the city into the name of a city high school.
As you know, many Newport News High School alumni have been interested in reinstating the legacy of NNHS with a naming opportunity.  NNHS  alumni that I continue to interact with are dedicated and passionate about maintaining the legacy of NNHS.  However, there is no longer a consensus that naming a new school NNHS is the best way to continue that legacy.
I am including a cc to Lisa Wilkins, who attended NNHS in 1971, the last year of its existence.  It was Lisa who alerted me to the naming opportunity and I believe she also supports the "Captain Newport High School" idea.
I'm also sending a copy to Carol Buckley Harty, NNHS'65, who maintains a popular NNHS website.
Joseph W. Drewry
2402 Chesapeake Ave.
Hampton, VA 23661
  - Joe Drewry ('58) of VA - 08/23/07
As a 1964 graduate of Newport News High School along with my sister who graduated in 1971, we would like to suggest Captain Newport as the name for the new high school.  Please pass this on to the appropriate people, as I currently live in Oakron, VA and my sister lives in Winston Salem, NC.  
Jo Ann Stewart
Lynn Stewart Schroeder
  - Jo Ann Stewart ('64) of Northern VA - 08/24/07
  I like the idea of a school named Captain Newport High School or even Christopher Newport High School.
  - Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 08/25/07

(This page was created on 08/22/07.)

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