Mount Vernon High School (Virginia)

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For other schools named "Mount Vernon High School", see Mount Vernon High School.
Mount Vernon High School
Mount Vernon High School is located in Northern Virginia
Mount Vernon High School
Mount Vernon High School
Mount Vernon High School is located in Virginia
Mount Vernon High School
Mount Vernon High School
Mount Vernon High School is located in the US
Mount Vernon High School
Mount Vernon High School
8515 Old Mount Vernon Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22309
United States
Coordinates 38°43′37″N 77°5′30″W / 38.72694°N 77.09167°W / 38.72694; -77.09167Coordinates: 38°43′37″N 77°5′30″W / 38.72694°N 77.09167°W / 38.72694; -77.09167
School type Public, high school
Motto Esse Non Videri
(To be, not to seem to be)
Founded 1939, 1974 (relocated)[1]
School district Fairfax County Public Schools
Principal Anthony Terrell
Staff 245
Grades 9 – 12
Enrollment 1,918 (2015)
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Maroon and grey         
Nickname Majors
Newspaper EmVeHi
Feeder schools Walt Whitman Middle School
Rival schools
Athletic conferences
Mount Vernon High School building

Mount Vernon High School is a public high school in the Fairfax County Public Schools system located in Mount Vernon, Virginia.


Originally constructed to take the place of the Lee-Jackson High School, Mount Vernon High school first opened in November 1939.[2][3] With the opening of the school, Lee-Jackson principal G. Claude Cox moved to Mount Vernon, becoming the school's first principal, and Lee-Jackson became an elementary school.[4]

In 1945, Principal Cox resigned to become principal of Wythe High School in Wytheville, Virginia, and Lee-Jackson principal Melvin B. Landes moved to Mount Vernon to begin a nearly thirty-year tenure there.[4][5]

The school's current location was built in 1961 as Walt Whitman Intermediate School. In 1973, Mount Vernon and Whitman swapped facilities, and the former intermediate school was enlarged to serve its new role as a high school. The original Mount Vernon High School continued to operate as the Walt Whitman Intermediate School until 1985, when Whitman was moved to the former Stephen Foster Intermediate School.[6]

Also in 1973, Principal Melvin Landes retired, and Thomas G. Hyer took over as Principal.[5]

Following the departure of Eric Brent to become principal at Forest Park High School in Woodbridge, Nardos King became the principal of MVHS in 2006.[7]

After nine years as principal, Nardos King resigned in 2015 to take a position as Assistant Superintendent of High Schools with the Baltimore County Public Schools system. Assistant Principal Esther Manns became the interim principal of MVHS in September 2015.[8] In February 2016, Rocky Run Middle School Principal Dr. Anthony S. Terrell was announced as the principal of Mount Vernon High School, beginning in March.

The original Mount Vernon High School is still standing on Richmond Highway, now a school for Islamic students, the Islamic Saudi Academy, which moved to the facility in 1989.[9] This school closed in 2016.

Academic achievement[edit]

Students with individual needs are accommodated through special education programs, including English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) program, and advanced placement and International Baccalaureate programs. Mount Vernon is an accredited, high school.[10] The average SAT score in 2013 for Mount Vernon was a 1417 (479 in Critical Reading, 474 in Math, and 464 in Writing).[11]


For the 2014-15 school year, Mount Vernon High School's student body was 37.80% Hispanic, 29.56% Black, 20.91% White, 6.36% Asian and 5.37% Other.[12]

School nickname[edit]

The school takes its name from George Washington's estate, Mount Vernon, and is located a mile and a half from the historic site. The nickname is a reference to George Washington and his "beloved" half-brother, Lawrence Washington, who both served as Adjunct of Virginia Colony. This position came with the rank of "Major" and included a distinctive red uniform. The school colors are maroon and gray.


School athletic programs feature fall, winter and spring sports, including cheerleading, cross country, field hockey, football, golf, volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, baseball, crew, lacrosse, softball, soccer, tennis, track and intramural sports.

In Mount Vernon's history, it has garnered five AAA State Championship titles. They won their first title in 1979, in basketball, their second in 1983, for football, their third in 2008 for the swim & dive team, and a fourth in 2013, for soccer, as well as one[when?] for wrestling.


Mount Vernon's "Little Theater," officially named "The Andrew Lee Pauley Theater," was dedicated to an English and Drama teacher who retired from the school in 1986. The Little Theater can hold a capacity of more than 500 students.

It is home to many plays, school events, and speeches. Notable events include "Mr. Mount Vernon" and "Miss Personality," model shows that are held annually.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ Bohn, Michael (2005-10-17). "Keeping the Past Alive: A Brief History of the Mount Vernon District". Mount Vernon Gazette. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  2. ^ "Fairfax Delays Opening of White Schools: Incompletion of Buildings Is Given As Reason for Lag". The Washington Post. 31 August 1939. Retrieved 9 September 2015 – via Proquest. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ "Fairfax Board Accepts School Material Bids". The Washington Post. 8 November 1939. Retrieved 9 September 2015 – via Proquest. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ a b "G.C. Cox Resigns As Mount Vernon School Principal". The Washington Post. 23 August 1945. Retrieved 10 September 2015 – via Proquest. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ a b "Melvin Bowman Landes, Alexandria Principal". The Washington Post. 24 August 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2015. This reference incorrectly states that Landes was principal of Lee-Jackson Elementary School in Mathews, Virginia. Landes was principal of Lee-Jackson Elementary in Alexandria.
  6. ^ Mansfield, Virginia (4 August 1988). "Saudi Academy To Fund Fairfax School Face Lift". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 September 2015 – via Proquest. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ "High School's New Head Has A Familiar Face". The Connection. 9 August 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  8. ^ "Mount Vernon Brief: Esther Manns Named Interim Principal at MVHS". The Connection. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Downey, Kirstin (22 May 2008). "Board Extends Saudi School's Lease". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "VA - DoE Mount Vernon High School Report Card". Virginia Department of Education. Retrieved 10 October 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  11. ^ "FCPS - High School SAT Scores" (PDF). Fairfax County Public Schools. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "FCPS – School Profiles – Mount Vernon HS – Student Membership Demographics and Supplemental Programs (as of June for each school year)". Fairfax County Public Schools. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Mount Vernon High School - Surveyor Yearbook (Alexandria, VA) - Class of 1970". Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Player Inductees Bios: Gary Etherington". Wirginia-DC Soccer Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  15. ^ Photo Gallery: Tony Perkins!
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Bowl Championship Series - Cunningham, Ed
  18. ^ Shipley, Amy (September 17, 2009). "Swimming for Redemption". Washington Post. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ Boswell, Thomas (October 11, 1987). "Hammaker Not Indestructible, Just Unsinkable". Washington Post. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 1, 2014. 
  20. ^ Hardin, Tom (July 17, 2008). "A community mirror: The first 100 years". Southside Sentinel. Retrieved April 1, 2014.