Elementary school and story room dedicated to Supervisor and Mrs. Jenkins
Posted on 08/29/2019
Dr. Walts, Principal Coleman, Mrs. Jenkins, and Mrs. Lillie Jessie  cut the ribbon with large gold scissors at ribbon-cutting ceremony, surrounded by students, elected officials, and the Jenkins family.Wednesday, August 28, 2019, marked the dedication of the newest school in Prince William County, John D. Jenkins Elementary School. Named after the late Neabsco Supervisor, the school’s yellow jacket mascot harkens back to Supervisor Jenkins’ CB handle.

The beautiful, state-of-the-art school, designed by Moseley architects, is in the Occoquan District, serving students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted elected officials from the federal to the local level and school officials, as well as community members who celebrated the opening of the new school and the life of the beloved Supervisor Jenkins.

Principal Marlene Coleman hosted a reception in the school’s library, which is located next to the display cases featuring memorabilia and photos from Supervisor John D. Jenkins’ family.

In addition to the school carrying the Jenkins name, the school’s story room was also dedicated to Supervisor Jenkins’ wife, Ernestine Jenkins. Mrs. Jenkins attended the reception and ceremony and shared why she felt naming the school after her husband was so appropriate.

“John knew that education and values are very important to people’s success in all areas of their lives and so he was heavily involved not only in the school life of his children and grandchildren and the scouts that he mentored, but all of the children in our community. He rarely missed a special event such as an awards ceremony or graduation at schools across the county, and he was a staunch supporter of providing whatever our schools needed to continue to strive for excellence,” explained Mrs. Jenkins.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Walts, in line with everything said by Mrs. Jenkins, said, “John Jenkins was always at the center of positive moves.”

After Coleman announced the dedication of the Ernestine Jenkins Story Room, Mrs. Jenkins was invited back up to the podium, where she said that she “looks forward to visiting for story times and seeing the light in the children’s eyes as they experience the joys of reading.”

During the ceremony, speakers shared their experiences with the Jenkins family and spoke of their excitement for all the things that will happen at the new school.

School Board Chairman At-Large Babur B. Lateef, M.D., explained that, “while this building offers an outstanding learning environment, it is just bricks, mortar, and paint. The real magic happens because of the staff, students, and their families.”

Staff and students were also present during the ceremony. A special combined fourth and fifth grade choral ensemble of Jenkins Elementary students, under the direction of Sydney Johnson, performed two poignant songs: “There’s a Leader in Me” followed by, “We’re All in This Together.”

School Board Member Lillie Jessie (Occoquan), Board of County Supervisors Chairman At-Large, Corey Stewart, and Supervisor Ruth Anderson (Occoquan), also spoke at the ceremony.

Dignitaries who attended the reception and ceremony included Senator Jeremy McPike (29th District), Senator Scott Surovell (51st District), Delegate Hala Ayala (51st District), Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (31st District), Earnest Porta Jr. (Mayor of Occoquan), Derrick Wood (Mayor of Dumfries), School Board Vice Chairman Justin Wilk (Potomac District), William Deutsch (Coles District), Diane Raulston (Neabsco District), Alyson Satterwhite (Gainesville District), Loree Williams (Woodbridge District), Board of County Supervisor Vice Chairman Maureen Caddigan (Potomac District), Supervisor Victor Angry (Neabsco District), Supervisor Martin Nohe (Coles District), County Executive Christopher Martino, Clerk of the Court Jackie Smith, Prince William Commonwealth Attorney Paul Ebert, Gaston Araoz (Regional Representative for Senator Tim Kaine), and Marlon Dubuisson (Outreach Representative for Congressman Connolly).