augusta free press news

Sign communicates to community, tells history

Item by Chris Graham

A project initiated by students, teachers and parents in the J.P. Burley Middle School community to design and place a new sign, plaque and garden on the school grounds has come to fruition.

Students at the Albemarle County middle school, supervised by art teacher Jenny Dean, designed the plaque, which honors Jackson P. Burley, a noted educational, civic and religious leader in the Albemarle African-American community. The school opened on land donated by Burley in 1051 as a joint Charlottesville-Albemarle high school for African-American students. It served in that role until 1967, when schools in both the city and county were desegregated. The school reopened as a middle school in 1973.

The seventh-grade science class at Burley, led by teacher Julia Weed, designed and installed the garden.

The school PTO received a $4,500 grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation to go toward the project costs.

augusta free press
augusta free press