Robinson Secondary School

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James W. Robinson, Jr. Secondary School
Home of Champions
Address
5035 Sideburn Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22032
Coordinates38°49′01″N 77°18′11″W / 38.817°N 77.303°W / 38.817; -77.303Coordinates: 38°49′01″N 77°18′11″W / 38.817°N 77.303°W / 38.817; -77.303
Information
School typePublic, secondary school
Founded1971
School districtFairfax County Public Schools
PrincipalMatt Eline
Assistant principalsMichael Mukai
Staffapproximately 400
Grades7–12
Enrollment3,939  (2010-11)
Middle school1,243 (2010-11)
High school2,696 (2010-11)
LanguageEnglish
CampusSuburban
Color(s)Blue and gold          
MascotRams
Website
 
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James W. Robinson, Jr. Secondary School
Home of Champions
Address
5035 Sideburn Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22032
Coordinates38°49′01″N 77°18′11″W / 38.817°N 77.303°W / 38.817; -77.303Coordinates: 38°49′01″N 77°18′11″W / 38.817°N 77.303°W / 38.817; -77.303
Information
School typePublic, secondary school
Founded1971
School districtFairfax County Public Schools
PrincipalMatt Eline
Assistant principalsMichael Mukai
Staffapproximately 400
Grades7–12
Enrollment3,939  (2010-11)
Middle school1,243 (2010-11)
High school2,696 (2010-11)
LanguageEnglish
CampusSuburban
Color(s)Blue and gold          
MascotRams
Website

James W. Robinson, Jr. Secondary School, known as Robinson Secondary School, opened in 1971, is a public school in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Robinson is located in Fairfax, near George Mason University. The school is administered by the Fairfax County Public Schools. Robinson offers the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs and has over 4000 students in grades 7-12. It is currently the biggest school in Virginia. The school colors are blue and gold and the school mascot is a ram.

History[edit]

Robinson was named after Medal of Honor recipient James W. Robinson, Jr., the first resident of Virginia to be awarded the medal during the Vietnam War. Sergeant Robinson, age 25, was fatally wounded under heroic circumstances in South Vietnam in April 1966, while serving in the infantry in the U.S. Army.

Robinson Secondary School opened its doors in September 1971, taking its students from Fairfax, W.T. Woodson, Oakton, and West Springfield high schools. Robinson was the second of Fairfax County's "Secondary Schools," or "superschools," which housed grades 7-12. Robinson's chief rival to the east, Lake Braddock, which opened two years later in 1973, was the third of these schools from this era. The first was Hayfield, near Mount Vernon, which opened in 1968, and the most recent is South County in Lorton, which opened in 2005, taking its students from former Hayfield territory. South County has since reverted to high school status with the opening of South County Middle School near the school's athletic complex.

Demographics[edit]

For the 2011-2012 school year, Robinson's grade 9-12 student body was 59.11% White, 17.88% Asian, 13.31% Hispanic, 5.28% Black and 4.42% Other.[1] The grade 7-8 student body was 60.18% White, 14.30% Asian, 12.54% Hispanic, 7.54% Black and 5.44% Other.[2]

Administration[edit]

Robinson Secondary School, the largest school in the Commonwealth of Virginia, includes a middle school (grades 7-8) and a high school (grades 9-12). When the school opened, each sub school included two grades, with half the alphabet, and were numbered 1-6 (e.g. Sub School 1 was grades 7-8, last names A-K; Sub School 2 was grades 7-8, last names L-Z, etc.) Each grade is operated as a sub school, with its own administration. Currently, the 7th grade sub school principal is Shawn Spear, and the principal for the 8th grade sub school is Sharon Newcome. The sub schools are divided into five teams each: Jets, Champions, Comets, Eagles and Stars for 7th graders; Gold, Green, Blue, Purple, and Red for 8th graders. The purpose of the teams is to make the school feel smaller, and each team has a different set of teachers (though, some students have teachers from other teams). Dan Meier is the Principal of Robinson Secondary with Michael Mukai as his Assistant Principal. Meier came to Robinson in 2003, from Rocky Run Middle School where he was also head principal before which he was at Chantilly High School where he was a teacher and head football coach, winning a AAA Division 6 title in 1996 with the Chargers as well as two more state championships with West Potomac.

Layout[edit]

Although it has 9 acres (36,000 m2) of floorspace, the school's layout is relatively simple, as are most Fairfax County Schools. It consists of a main hallway that runs east-west and is over 1100 feet long, with three primary wings that extend to the north. Each wing has two floors, with each floor housing one of the six grades (each a "sub school" with about 700 students). Subschools are designated for each grade. (A wing- Subschool 7 upstairs, Subschool 8 downstairs. B Wing- Subschool 9 upstairs, Subschool 10 downstairs. C Wing- Subschool 11 upstairs, Subschool 12 downstairs.) Each sub school contains a locker area and administrative offices in the front, with the academic areas to the north. Exception: Subschool 10 is replaced by the library, the office is in a back hallway and there are less than 10 subschool classrooms.

Across the main hallway at the east end (across from grades 7-8), is another extensive two floored wing. This houses industrial arts, art, home economics, business, and foreign languages. Also along the main hallway are the two smaller hallways, Academic Hallway and High School Hallway that run perpendicular to the south of the main hallway, with classrooms and two large cafeterias on either side, which is directly south of grades 9-10. Music rooms are south of the cafeterias. Further west down the main hallway are the main administrative offices, across from grades 11-12.

At the west end of the main hallway, to the south, is the large gymnasium, the Harry M. Smith Field House, which has more than enough bleacher capacity to seat the entire student body. Three of the four sets of bleachers have full basketball courts underneath, the fourth is large enough, but is used for storage. There is a wrestling room, locker rooms, two weight rooms (one for highschool, one for middle school) and many storage rooms. On the south side of the field house are the athletic and P.E. locker rooms and athletics offices.

At the far west end of the main hallway is the octagonal Russell Theatre (formerly the "Little Theater", named for the school's second principal, Robert C. Russell), which hosts the numerous theatrical productions of Robinson's drama department as well as performances by the schools orchestras, choirs and bands. This northwest corner of the main hallway is the main entrance to the school. The outdoor athletic facilities are to the west.

After-school[edit]

In middle school, students can participate in Creative Writing Club, ESOL, Homework Club, Math Club, Science Club, Art Club, Drama Club, Animation Club, Service Learning Club, Cheerleading, Dance Team, Intramural Basketball, and other activities. Also offered to students is Arena Stage Voices of Now, a program where students can work with professional artists to develop acting skills in a form of experimental theater. After the workshops are complete, students may audition for an ensemble cast that will produce an original play to be performed on a select date at the Arena Stage in Washington DC. Another club offered to students is Theatre Sports, a program for competitive improvisational comedy. The club is taught by high school students who have been on the team in past years. In addition to clubs that have meetings consistently, there are also one-time events, such as school dances, presentations and plays. If students need extra help from any of their teachers, they may also stay after school. Late buses are offered to students so that they can get home after the school day is over. Late buses are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

High school students can participate in several other activities, many of which have a middle school equivalent. High school clubs include:

- Model United Nations (MUN)

-Speech and Debate

-Reader's Club

-Korean Club

-It's Academic! Quiz Bowl Team

-Random Acts of Kindness

-Robinson Christian Fellowship (Dunkin' Devotionals or simply "Devo's" AND Victory, which is after school)

-Muslim Student Association (MSA)

-Amnesty International

-Model Judiciary

-Junior Statesmen

-Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)

- Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)

Athletics[edit]

The mascot is a ram and the sports teams currently play in the AAA Concorde District and the AAA Northern Region of the Virginia High School League.

Football[edit]

The Robinson Rams Varsity Football Team is one of the sports teams at the school. The team plays at Coffey Stadium, and its helmet is currently similar to that of the St. Louis Rams of the NFL. The Rams regularly attract several thousand fans a game.

Head coaches[edit]

The Robinson varsity football team has had five head coaches in its history: Kurt Lindstrom (1972–74), Ed Henry (1975–82), Nick Hilgert (1983–96), Mark Bendorf (1997–June 2011) and Trey Taylor (2011-present).

Ed Henry, Robinson's second head coach, was the first to take the team to the postseason, in 1977 (state semifinals) and 1979. Henry was a head coach in Fairfax County for over 25 years (159-82-14, .651) and was inducted into the VHSL Hall of Fame in 1997. Before coming to Robinson in 1975, he led a strong program at Marshall (44-17-1, .718) for six seasons (and was portrayed by Tom Nowicki in the 2000 movie Remember the Titans). Before Marshall, Ed Henry was the head coach at Annandale for 9 years (60-22-6, .716), winning a state championship in 1965. He departed Robinson after 8 seasons (43-35-5, .559) following the 1982 season to become an assistant coach at the University of Virginia.

Nick Hilgert and Mark Bendorf were former assistant coaches at Robinson, promoted from within. Hilgert, a former captain in the Marines (with two tours in Vietnam in the 1960s), was an assistant under Ed Henry for a decade at both Marshall and Robinson, initially coaching the defensive backs. He was at Robinson for a total of 21 seasons (1976–96), the final 14 years as head coach (101-52, .660). Nick Hilgert was the first head coach to take Robinson to the state finals in football (1988); he retired from teaching and coaching in the spring of 1997.[3]

During Hilgert's tenure, Robinson produced its most famous player, running back Chris Warren (class of '85). Warren played for the NFL Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s. He rushed for over 7,600 yards (6,900 m) in the NFL, including 4 consecutive seasons over 1,000 yards (910 m) while with the Seahawks (1992–95). Chris Warren led the AFC in rushing in 1994 with 1,545 yards (1,413 m) in 333 attempts.

Mark Bendorf, was a former head coach at Chantilly before joining the Robinson staff as defensive coordinator under Hilgert. Bendorf was the first coach to lead the school to a state title in football, which he did in his first season of 1997, with a perfect 14-0 record. In total, he has led the team to three state title games, winning twice (1997 & 2001). Coach Bendorf also helped produce running back Mike Imoh who went on to start for Virginia Tech(2003–2006). Robinson's recent regular season records have been impressive, specifically in the 7 seasons of 1999-2005, when Robinson lost a total of 4 regular season games. Bendorf is a 1974 graduate of Marshall High School, where he played under head coach Ed Henry.[4]

Coach Trey Taylor took over the Rams in 2011. They finished the season with 4 wins and 7 losses, their worst record in years.

Track and field[edit]

1982 alumnus Robert Muzzio represented the United States in the decathlon at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. The men's Indoor Track & Field team won the District Title in 2009 while the Outdoor Track & Field team won district and regional team titles in 2006. In 1972 Dan Bonds set the Fairfax County Record for the Indoor 50 yard dash at 5.4.

Cross country[edit]

In addition to the state champion teams listed above, the teams also won regional championships in 1981, 1991, 1992, 2000, and 2002, and district titles in 1972, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1990, 1991, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

Swim and dive[edit]

The men's team has won seven consecutive state championships from 2003–2009 and has been one of the dominant swim teams in the state of Virginia. The women's team has also done exceptionally well, winning multiple district titles as well as achieving high rankings in the northern region and winning the 2009 state championship. The head coach during the first 3 years of State Champion success, and several years before this was Tracey Blaine, who is currently a Hayfield HS Administrator. After Ms. Blaine left for Hayfield Rich Gordon was appointed head coach. Gordon resigned from the position after the 2008 season. The Robinson Swim and Dive Coach for the 2009 season was Tom Koucheravy, who led the boys and girls to state titles. Tom resigned after the 2009 season. The new coach is Clayton Joiner, assisted by Kevin Nolan. In 2010, the girls won the state title and the boys, despite having lost numerous All-Mets, managed fourth place at states.

The swim and dive team has had multiple All-Met and All-Met honorable mention swimmers and divers as well as numerous automatic All-Americans.

In the 2012-2013 season, Men's Swim and Dive team won first place in States.

Tennis[edit]

The Robinson Rams Boys' tennis team has been the dominant team in Virginia's Northern Region for an extended time. The Rams have won district titles in 19 of the last 21 years, and have won 24 since the school opened in 1971. The tennis team has amassed 10 regional titles, and in 2006 was the state champion (the first from the Northern Region since 1994 and the first in school history). It repeated this feat in 2007 and 2008, winning the boys triple crown three years in a row by taking the state singles, doubles, and team titles. Since 1993, the tennis team has had a winning percentage of .900. In addition, between 2003 and 2012, the Rams won 100 consecutive district matches.

In 1997, Dick Dauphin, the school's first coach, was honored by the Washington Post with the All-Met Coach of the Year medal. He led the Boys' Team to the state finals in 1982 & 1983. His assistant as of 1993 and successor as head coach in 1998, Paul Fisher, also earned the All-Met honor in 2010. In February, 2007, as the coach of both the Boys' and Girls' Team, Fisher, was awarded the title National High School Tennis Coach of the Year by the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR). He has twice been selected Virginia High School Coach of the Year by the VHSCA and USTA/VA. Both Dauphin and Fisher were selected as district and/or regional coach of the year multiple times.

Outstanding Former Robinson players include (but not limited to): Peter McDonald--1974 State Singles Finalist; 1976 State Singles Champion Ramez Qamer--1996 State Singles Champion; 1997 State Singles & Doubles semifinalist (with Sam Brown); All Met 1996-1998. Paul Bristow--2002 State Singles Finalist; State Doubles Champion (with Trevor McNamara); All Met 2002 Mike Smith--2005 State Singles Semifinalist; 2005 & 2006 State Doubles Champions (with Drew Courtney) Drew Courtney--2006, 2007, 2008 State Singles Champion; 2005 & 2006 State Doubles Champion (with Mike Smith); 2007 & 2008 State Doubles Champion (with Stephen Hardy); All Met 2006-2008. Matt/Riley King--2005 State Doubles Finalists [5]

Lacrosse[edit]

In 2006 the Virginia High School League (VHSL), the sanctioning body for Virginia public high school athletics, recognized lacrosse as an interscholastic sport and established an official state championship tournament. From the 1970s through the 2004-2005 school year, lacrosse was played as a club sport by Virginia public high schools. From 1991 through 2005, the winner of the unofficial Northern Region tournament (Fairfax County, Arlington County, and the City of Alexandria public schools) was also recognized as the unofficial Virginia state champion even though other public high schools, primarily in the Charlottesville and Richmond areas, also played club lacrosse. Robinson won the unofficial Virginia state championship in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, and 2002. Robinson also won the first two official VHSL sanctioned state championships in 2006 and 2007. Robinson won Northern Region titles in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2007, and 2010; and district titles in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2010. Since obtaining varsity status in 1991 the Robinson boy's team has a team record of 214 wins, 49 losses and 1 tie.

The history of Lacrosse at Robinson dates to 1978 when Paul St. Germaine started the Robinson Lacrosse Club. The club team played in a league which included teams from Lake Braddock HS, St. Stevens HS, Bishop Ireton HS, the Braddock Road Boys Club and numerous teams from the Maryland suburbs. From 1982 to at least 1985 the club sport had both varsity and J.V. teams that competed in the Washington Area Lacrosse League against public and private schools, and some club teams, from Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

The current head coach of the Robinson boy's varsity team is Matt Curran; a 1991 Robinson graduate, and 1990-91 Robinson co-Athlete of the Year (football, lacrosse); who played Division I lacrosse at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Matt was an assistant coach with the boy's varsity team from 2006 through the 2010 season.

Soccer[edit]

Robinson Varsity Boys Soccer won the 2009 AAA Concorde District and the AAA Northern Region title. Beat Centreville High School 1-0 in District Final and Westfield High School 3-0 in Regional Final. They also won the AAA Region title in 2000.

During the 2009-2010 season Robinson Boys Varsity Soccer went on a 12 game shut-out streak.

Baseball[edit]

Under head coach Bob Menefee, the Rams won the state baseball championship in 1980 and were runners-up in 1978. The 1978 team was undefeated until a 2-1 loss in the state final at Parker Field in Richmond to hometown J.R. Tucker. The '78 Rams finished at 24-1 and had eight players that competed at the Division I level; five went on to play in the minor leagues.[6] Robinson was the state runner-up again in 2003.

Alumnus Javier López ('95) is a relief pitcher with the San Francisco Giants, Shawn Camp ('94) is a reliever with the Toronto Blue Jays, and Paul Clemens ('06) is a reliever with the Houston Astros.

Athletic venues[edit]

Coffey Stadium[edit]

Coffey Stadium is the main field for their football, soccer, track and field, and lacrosse teams. The total bleacher capacity is about 9,000 with about 500 grass seats. The stadium is named for Samuel J. Coffey, Robinson's first principal. He was a diminutive, friendly gentleman who stayed beyond his normal retirement to serve as the first principal of Robinson. Mr. Coffey was one of the key designers of Robinson (subschools, middle + high school, etc.), which is why he was selected as its first principal. He was quite popular with the students.

The natural grass field was replaced with synthetic FieldTurf in the summer of 2012.[7][8]

Robert Menefee Stadium[edit]

Robert Menefee Stadium is the Robinson baseball stadium. It is named after a former long-time Rams baseball coach, and features one of the few all-natural-grass infields in Fairfax County. The current capacity is about 1,000.

Smith Field House[edit]

The Henry M. Smith Field House is the home court to the basketball teams and the volleyball team. It is the primary student gym with four separate basketball courts. It is also sometimes used for indoor soccer games and roller hockey games too, and as part of normal physical education classes, and includes the wrestling room.

The field house also hosts the homecoming pep rally and carnival prior to the homecoming football game, when there are consistently overflowing crowds, once reported to hit about 8,500 spectators, double the school's student body. The site is often used by smaller area schools as the location for their high school graduation ceremonies.

LSD scandal[edit]

In 1991 Robinson was the center of an LSD trafficking scandal in which a drug ring sold more than 100,000 doses of LSD in the course of two years.[9] The ring was exposed when a 16 year old Robinson student shot and wounded a Fairfax police officer.[10] In the course of the investigation it was revealed that six Robinson and Lake Braddock graduates were receiving large quantities of the drug through the mail.[11] One of the men who was facing the harshest penalties faked a suicide and fled the area, only to be caught two years later in St. Louis and sentenced to 24 years in prison with no possibility of parole.[12][13]

2011 Pipe Burst[edit]

On December 12, 2011, an old pipe burst above classroom A117 in the eighth grade subschool. The incident damaged A Wing classrooms along with underground storage.

Incident[edit]

The pipe burst was estimated to have happened around 4:58 AM, but wasn't truly noted until 5:24 AM, when Spanish I Teacher Mr. Campana contacted Mr. Meier, saying that water was seeping into his classroom.

The pipe burst caused the school to shut off the power to the 8th grade sub school, where most of the flooding happened. It also forced teachers to move to different classrooms and cancel RAISE, temporarily, until lunchtime on December 15, 2011, when the pipe and water damage was fixed, after four days of switched classes.

Damaged Classrooms[edit]

This is a list of classrooms in both 7th and 8th grade sub schools either close-by or part of the damage left by the pipe burst.

8th Grade Subschool[edit]

This list is organized from most damaged to least damaged. (As of 15 December 2011) [14]

ClassroomTeacher*Damage LevelFixed?When Fixed
A117Mrs. Wasserman Heavy Damage
Green tickY
15 December 2011
A106 ??? Heavy Damage
Green tickY
15 December 2011
A108 ??? Heavy Damage
Green tickY
15 December 2011
A107Mr. Campana Heavy Damage
Green tickY
15 December 2011
A112 ??? Heavy Damage
Green tickY
14 December 2011
A104Ms. Wagiland Minor Damage
Green tickY
15 December 2011
A111Ms. Hession Minor Damage
Green tickY
15 December 2011
A110 ??? Minor Damage
Green tickY
14 December 2011
A109 ??? Minor Damage
Green tickY
15 December 2011
A105 ??? Minor Damage
Green tickY
13 December 2011
A123Ms. Hicok Flood Only
Green tickY
14 December 2011
A121Ms. Anderson Flood Only
Green tickY
14 December 2011
A119 ??? Flood Only
Green tickY
13 December 2011
A113Mr. Fones Flood Only
Green tickY
13 December 2011
A118Mrs. Swords Flood Only
Green tickY
13 December 2011
A114Mr. Walker Flood Only
Green tickY
12 December 2011
A120Ms. Lamb Flood Only
Green tickY
13 December 2011
A115Mr. Portare Flood Only
Green tickY
13 December 2011
A122 ??? Not AffectedNot Affected
A116Mrs. Mosteller Not AffectedNot Affected
A101-3Science Teachers Not AffectedNot Affected

* Teachers as of Pipe Burst

Storage Damage[edit]

The storage rooms also received some damage. On December 13, 2011, drenched packages were found in the storage room entrance. A watch belonging to Mrs. Wagiland was also found in the storage room drenched.

Notable Alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ FCPS - School Profiles - Robinson SS - High - Demographics
  2. ^ FCPS - School Profiles - Robinson SS - Middle - Demographics
  3. ^ Elizabeth City (NC) High School - Nick Hilgert - accessed 2009-10-02
  4. ^ The Washington Post - 2009-09 - accessed 2009-10-02
  5. ^ "Boys Tennis". Washington Post. May 31, 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  6. ^ community.digitalsports.com - Perfect Rams set high standard - 2002-05-14
  7. ^ Steve, Alic (May 7, 2012). "USA Football, FieldTurf award $450,000 in field-building grants". USA Football.com. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ Barton, Mary Ann (September 15, 2012). "Robinson unveils new synthetic turf field". Fairfax Station Patch. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  9. ^ "LSD Ring Alleged at Va. School" - The Washington Post
  10. ^ Heath, Thomas (1991-09-21). "3rd Man Pleads Guilty In Fairfax LSD Case; Defendant Admits He Sold Drug to Juveniles". 
  11. ^ Howe, Robert F. (1991-11-15). "1 Convicted, 1 Acquitted in Va. LSD Trial;Case Revealed Free-Flowing Drug Parties Among Middle-Class Suburban Teenagers". 
  12. ^ [ibid]
  13. ^ "Drug Ring Leader Who Faked Suicide Gets 24 Years". 1993-12-18. 
  14. ^ Robinson Secondary.
  15. ^ "Robinson Secondary School History". Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  16. ^ Buck, Joshua and Bolden, Jay. "NASA, Space Station Partners Announce Future Crew Members". Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  17. ^ "Head Lacrosse Coach Scott Urick and Associate AD Matt Rienzo Host Lacrosse Clinic at UDC Field". Retrieved 31 August 2013. 

External links[edit]