Joyce Kilmer Middle School

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Coordinates: 38°54′9.44″N 77°13′29.55″W / 38.9026222°N 77.2248750°W / 38.9026222; -77.2248750

Joyce Kilmer Middle School
8100 Wolftrap Road
Vienna, Virginia, 22182
Type Public school
Motto "Dare To Excel"
Principal Ronald James
Enrollment 1500

Joyce Kilmer Middle School is a school in the Fairfax County Public Schools System in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, east of the city of Vienna. Kilmer serves grades 7-8. It was named after the journalist and poet Joyce Kilmer. Kilmer has a GT program for students who have been determined to be "Gifted and Talented." It is now called AAP, or "Advanced Academics Program."[1]

Feeder schools[edit]

This school feeds into Madison High School, George C. Marshall High School,[2] and Langley High School.


Kilmer's student body is 54.4% White, 25% Asian, 11.6% Hispanic, 5.5% Unspecified, and 3.5% black.[3]

Test scores[edit]

Kilmer is fully accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. The following chart is for the 2006-2007 school year.

SOL Test Percent Passing
Grade 7 English: Reading 94%
Grade 7 Math 73.2%
Grade 8 English: Reading 90.8%
Grade 8 Science 95.2%
Grade 8 English: Writing 94%
Grade 8 Math 86.2%


Music program[edit]

Kilmer is known for its music program.[citation needed] The school received the Blue Ribbon Award in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2016[5] which is given to schools whose top performing groups from orchestra, chorus and band all receive Superior ratings at Festival,[5] the highest rating possible. The Kilmer 2010 and 2014 Symphonic Bands played at the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) Conference in Norfolk, VA.


48% of the teachers have a bachelor's degrees, 52% have master's degrees. There is an average of about 19.5 students per teacher. There is a 97% attendance rate.

GT center conversion controversy[edit]

In 2006, Fairfax County Public Schools decided that many Gifted and Talented students from Kilmer would be moved to Luther Jackson Middle School due to overpopulation. This created a controversy among Vienna parents, concerned with transportation issues and split-feeder schools - meaning that students would be split up from their classmates from elementary and middle school. This decision attracted media attention from the Washington Post,[6] Fairfax Extra, The Connection and other local news. The School Board decided to open the new Luther Jackson GT Center in two stages. In its first year, only GT-eligible students in the base Luther Jackson district would attend, and Vienna students whose base middle school was Thoreau would attend the GT Center at Kilmer.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Zachary Adam Chesser, accused of aiding a foreign terrorist organization, attended Kilmer's GT program.[7]
  • Mike Hindert, the bassist from the New York band The Bravery.
  • Brent Runyon, author of The Burn Journals, doused his bathrobe in gasoline and lit himself on fire after having received a threat of expulsion from Kilmer's administration while he was in the eighth grade at the middle school.[8]
  • Barry Weeks, record producer and staff writer for Universal Music Group.


  1. ^ "Advanced Academic Programs". 
  2. ^ "FCPS - School Profiles - Kilmer MS". 
  3. ^ "School Profiles: Kilmer MS". Fairfax County Public Schools. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Kilmer MS School Profile
  5. ^ a b "Blue Ribbon Award". 
  6. ^ Mathews, Jay (16 November 2006). "An Exchange on a Possible Gifted and Talented Center". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Tara Bahrampour (July 24, 2010). "Terror suspect took his desire to belong to the extreme". Washington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Burnjournals".