Dorothy Hamm Middle School is the newest school to inhabit 4100 Vacation Lane in Arlington. From 1951 – 1978, it housed Stratford Junior High School for students in grades 7 through 9. On Feb. 2, 1959, Stratford Junior High School became the first public school in the Commonwealth of Virginia to desegregate with the admission of four African-American students: Ronald Deskins, Michael Jones, Lance Newman, and Gloria Thompson. The event signified the end of “massive resistance” to desegregation in Virginia schools. Because of this distinction, the building is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register (2003) and the National Register of Historic Places (2004). It was also designated as a local Historic District by the Arlington County Board in 2016.
In the 2019-2020 school year, the building will re-open as Dorothy Hamm Middle School, serving students in grades 6-8. The name of the school honors an Arlington resident and activist who was one of the plaintiffs in the successful civil suit that was filed in May 1956 to desegregate Virginia schools. You can read more about Mrs. Hamm here.
You can view the video and photos from the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of desegregation of Stratford Jr. High School here: