Alexandria, VA

With the Alexandria School Board approving changing the names of two Alexandria schools, the question is what to call the school formerly known as T.C. Williams High School?

Several alternatives have been raised in online forums and in meetings. Some have suggested other local figures that could replace Thomas Chambliss Williams, including longtime former principal John Porter or Petey Jones, a member of the 1971 championship team and an employee at the school who died last year.

The specter of the 1971 championship and the 2000 Disney film Remember the Titans hangs over much of the renaming discussion, with one of the more popular replacement names being Boone-Yoast High School in honor of coaches Herman Boone and Bill Yoast — though others are equally quick to note that movies somewhat exaggerated Boone’s role in integrating the school.

Some have suggested keeping the iconic initials T.C. in the name as a way of both distancing from the original honoring of Williams while celebrating what the high school has come to stand for, though the solution is a halfway measure that could face further pushback from those who advocated for erasing T.C. Williams from the school’s name.

Rather than naming a school after a person, the school could also revert to a more generic name, like Alexandria High School, to avoid future debate or name changes.

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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