Mason students “ecstatic…proud…frustrated” at name change decision

Anna Tarter, Managing Editor

On Tuesday, the Falls Church City School Board voted unanimously to rename George Mason High school and Thomas Jefferson Elementary school. For more information about the decision, click here. Here’s how some Mason students reacted:

CC Meade is pictured sitting outside on a chair
(Photo courtesy of CC Meade)

“I was ecstatic…the new building provides a perfect opportunity to reevaluate who we are as a community and our values. We have a lot more work to do in Falls Church in terms of achieving a welcoming and equitable community, but this is most definitely a step in the right direction.”

CC Meade, senior





Senior Jack Calabrese is pictured wearing formal attire
(Photo courtesy of Jack Calabrese)

“I am perfectly fine with the name change because I understand the racist history behind George Mason. That being said, I am very frustrated that the School Board completely disregarded the public opinion in this matter. This is not the way local governments should run regardless of the issue at hand.”

Jack Calabrese, senior





Junior Pariss Quaintance is pictured in her cheer uniform in front of the bleachers
(Photo courtesy of Pariss Quaintance)

“[George Mason], as a person, owned and abused people. He recognized it was wrong but cared more about money than a human being. Founding fathers like John Adams…who opposed slavery and didn’t have slaves are people who saw the wrong and didn’t participate in the activity. George Mason is an important person who should be taught in schools…The way our country is moving forward, having these men being idolized when they did horrible things to people is just not what we should tolerate.”

Pariss Quaintance, junior



Junior Maia Tartaglino sits with the sunset in the background
(Photo courtesy of Maia Tartaglino)

“Personally, I did not think the name should have been changed. Yes, George Mason did own slaves, but he inherited them and worked to try to provide the best life for them [given the time period]. I feel as if we should not try to erase history and instead, show that we have created a positive and welcoming community for all people. At the same time, of course, I can’t speak for the Black community, so it is not my place to speak on how it feels to have my school named after someone who had once owned slaves.”

Maia Tartaglino, junior



(Photo courtesy of Matthew Bloss-Baum)

“I was really excited…it shows us as a community can learn and grow. That is so important in a small community and I am very proud of Mason taking that step…There is no Mason affiliation with the new school yet so we can get a fresh start.”

– Matthew Bloss-Baum, sophomore





Photo of Junior Matteo Chiappetta
(Photo courtesy of Matteo Chiappetta)

“When I was first asked…I chose to not have an opinion since I wasn’t personally affected. But after seeing our students’ reaction, I’ve noticed that many of them don’t understand why the change was made.  I think it’s necessary to not only change the name of the school but also to make sure our school system’s curriculum is changed to educate our students better on these topics.”

Matteo Chiappetta, junior




Dominik poses with his cats
(Photo courtesy of Dominik Krotzer)

“I think the name change was an important move for Falls Church to make as standards for political correctness are raised over time…While these two individuals did heavily impact the creation of our democracy, we should not praise them as heroes. Naming the school after them, in my mind, is glorifying them. This is why I think the name change was a good move.”

Dominik Krotzer, senior