Armstrong High School (Virginia)
|Armstrong High School|
|2300 Cool Lane
Richmond, Virginia 23223
|School type||Public high school|
|School district||Richmond Public Schools|
|Superintendent||Dr. Yvonne Brandon|
|Color(s)||Blue and Orange|
|Athletics conference||Virginia High School League
AAA Central Region
AAA Capital District
Known at first as the Richmond Colored Normal School, Armstrong was the first public school in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy, for African American students (see racial segregation). Founded in the early 1870s, the Colored Normal School was initially financed by the federal Freedmen's Bureau until it was made part of the Richmond city school system in 1876. The school's name was changed to Armstrong High School in a 1909 transition to a new building.
The school's namesake is former Union General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, a white commander of a U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) regiment during the American Civil War. General Armstrong later founded the Hampton Institute, a historically black college now known as Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia. Among General Armstrong's legacies in education is the fact that he was a principal mentor of Dr. Booker T. Washington.
Armstrong High School's location has changed three times since 1909, in 1923, 1951, and again in 2004. It is now in its fourth location.
In 1909, the school was established at First and Leigh Streets and named in honor of Union General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, founder of Hampton University. Armstrong moved to a new, larger facility in 1923 at the corner of Prentis and Leigh Streets (now the Adult Career Development Center), and then to a new location, 1611 North 31st Street, in 1951.
In 2004, Armstrong merged with nearby John F. Kennedy High School, continuing to use the Armstrong name, colors and mascot, despite using the much newer and air conditioned Kennedy building.
At the current location, Armstrong High School is one of only two of Richmond's public schools which are physically located slightly outside the corporate limits of the independent city in the East End. The Kennedy High School complex and Fairfield Court Elementary School were built in the 1960s on land in a small portion of Henrico County adjacent to Interstate 64 which was cut off from the rest of the county when the Interstate highway was built.
- Virginia Estelle Randolph, internationally recognized educator with Henrico County Public Schools
- Richmond City Council member A. Carl Prince, Baptist pastor, the first African American Baptist Minister to serve on the Richmond City Council, academic matriculation and continuing education, Virginia Union University, University of Oxford, Howard University School of Divinity
- William Ferguson Reid, Richmond physician (surgeon), civil rights activist, and member of the Virginia General Assembly.