The Pulse

Lejeune High alums win fight to keep school’s name from changing

By: - September 26, 2019 4:00 pm
[perfectpullquote align=”left” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I think Walter B. Jones would be happy with the decision. I believe he deserves to be honored, so I hope a fitting federal building will be named in his memory.”

— Lisa Beaver, a 1986 Lejeune High graduate who teachers at the school [/perfectpullquote]

Alumni of Lejeune High School are reporting the school’s name will remain the same.

U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who represents parts of San Mateo County and San Francisco, had filed an amendment to the national defense bill to rename the high school in honor of the late North Carolina congressman Walter B. Jones, who died in February.

Ric Logg, who attended the school from 1978-81, posted on his Facebook page Thursday that Lejeune High School Principal Eric Steimel was notified that the effort to rename the school was not included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“The name of our school will remain as Lejeune High School!” Logg wrote.

Lejeune High alums, Marines and others vigorously opposed renaming the school.

“I am very excited that the process — Lejeune alumni and students letter writing, contacting State Representatives, State senators around the country, appealing to Base Commands and local politicians, attending town halls, signing petitions, as well as appealing to the media — was successful and we are still Lejeune High School,” said Lisa Beaver, a 1986 graduate who teachers at the school. “I think Walter B. Jones would be happy with the decision. I believe he deserves to be honored, so I hope a fitting federal building will be named in his memory.”

A staffer in the office of Todd Curkendall, Camp Lejeune’s community superintendent, said the news that the school’s name will remain Lejeune High School is accurate.

Lejeune High School

The staffer said any further comment must come through the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), which oversees schools on military bases.

DoDEA staffers had not returned Policy Watch calls by Thursday afternoon.

Speier and Jones, the longtime Republican lawmaker from Eastern North Carolina, were colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee. Jones often visited Lejeune High, a school of roughly 500 military dependents, to meet with students.

The school was founded in 1944 as Camp Lejeune High School but was renamed Lejeune High School in 1990.

The base and the high school are named in honor of Lt. Gen. John Archer Lejeune. Lejeune is widely considered the greatest Marine to ever wear the uniform.

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Greg Childress
Greg Childress

Education Reporter Greg Childress covers all aspects of public education in North Carolina, including debates over school funding, curricula, privatization, and teacher pay and licensing.