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|J.O. Johnson High School|
|6201 Pueblo Drive
Huntsville, Alabama, Madison 35810
|Motto||Sum Quae Credo
("I am what I believe I am.")
|Opened||1972-73 school year|
|School district||Huntsville City Schools|
|Principal||Eric T. Jones|
|Campus||Suburban (42 acres)|
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold|
|Athletics||AHSAA Class 5A|
|Sports||Basketball, Football, Cheer, Dance, Soccer, Baseball, Softball, and Volleyball|
|Accreditation||Southern Association of Colleges and Schools|
|Website||JOJ Official Website|
James Oliver Johnson High School, more commonly referred to as J.O. Johnson High School or J.O.J., is a public high school located in the northwest area of Huntsville, Alabama. The school serves grades 9 through 12. It is home to an International Education Magnet Program, and the school also features a Marine JROTC program.
The school was named for former Huntsville educator James Oliver Johnson, and served as a Brigadier General in the United States Army. Johnson commanded one of the first all black combat battalion in WW II, leading to the integration and racial diversity of the US Army. Johnson lead men who constructed airplane infrastructure on the ground in North Africa and Mediterranean region, for Army Air Forces including the Tuskegee Airmen.
True to the legacy of its namesake, JO Johnson is the first new High School in Huntsville, Alabama built as a racially integrated high school. Black and White Students had no strife, and became the model High School throughout the state shortly after the Civil Rights era.
The road actually leading to the campus, Cecil Fain Drive, is named after another long term educator. J.O.J. opened in 1972 at 6201 Pueblo Drive, Huntsville, Alabama, to ease the overcrowding of Lee High School and to meet the needs of an area of Huntsville that had just begun to grow in population. Its primary feeder schools are the Academy for Science and Foreign Language, Edward H. White Middle School, and Davis Hills Middle School.
In August 2012, the Huntsville City Schools announced plans to build a new school, and retain the name JO Johnson.
In 2013 it was announced the school would receive a new building, but retain its name in 2016. The latest statement is that the Johnson name will not transfer to the new school (unlike the 4 other High Schools rebuilt over the years) The school name will close and be changed to Mae Jemison High School and for the middle school that will share the campus, Ronald McNair Junior High School. These school names are named after the NASA Astronaut Mae Jemison who had no connection to the community, and only connection to Alabama is being born in Decatur, AL but permanently leaving for Chicago at age 3.
A protest, against the decision and misinformation of the name change has ripped the community, and was the subject of a peaceful protest of over 500 people in 2013; the largest civil rights protest in the history of Huntsville, AL. The protest was lead by the students and alumni, plus the elected officials who represents the JO Johnson community.
Johnson High rival, Lee High School, is named after the Lee Highway which ran in front of the original school location. When the new building was constructed on Meridian Street, the Huntsville City School system attempted to rename it, and in fact actually removed the name "Lee High School" from the building after it had been installed which resulted in a large protest from alumni at a city school board meeting as well as a huge letter writing and social media campaign. The result was that Lee High was allowed to keep its name.
Lee High School was opened as a middle school in the late 1950s and was located on Forrest Circle until it moved across the railroad tracks to Meridian Street for the 2012-2013 school year.
JO Johnson other rival, also retained its name and confederate symbols, albeit Johnson High a school opened on the principles of diversity is forced to change its name. Butler High School was closed in 2015. However, its mascot was the racist Colonel Rebel character, the same as the one recently abandoned by the University of Mississippi due to its overt racist nod to the colonial south. Butler High was opened as a school only for whites students, and never abandoned its pageantry of confederate mascots and symbols which included a massive confederate flag on its gymnasium wall.
||This article's list of alumni may not follow Wikipedia's verifiability or notability policies. (December 2013)|
Journalism and Media Personalities
|Kym Richardson Thurman||1988||Newsanchor for Mobile, Alabama NBC-affiliate LOCAL 15|
|Harrell T. Wells||2003||Screenplay Writer and Journalist|
Film, Theater, and Television
|Reginald "Reg" E. Cathey||1976||The Wire (1998), Se7en (1995), The Machinist (2004) and American Psycho (2000)|
|DeRon "Hollywood" Shepherd||1996||Drumline: A New Beat (2014), Faith Evans "You Get's No Love (2001), The Parkers TV Series (2001-2002)|
|Sharon Johnson Coleman||1977||United States District Judge (United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois)|
United States Armed Forces
|Charles Kenneth Carodine||1977||Rear Admiral United States Navy Reserve|
|Bobby Cattage||1976||NBA player, Utah Jazz and New Jersey Nets|
|Donnie Humphrey||1979||NFL player, Green Bay Packers|
|James Mundie||1981||NCAA player, Mississippi State, UAH,HUNTSVILLE ALABAMA ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME Inductee 2012.|
|Joey Kent||1992||NFL player, Tennessee Oilers/Titans, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings|
|Chris Martin||1979||NFL player, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Rams|
|Rashad Moore||1998||NFL player, Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Atlanta Falcons|
|James Willis||1990||NFL player, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks; XFL player, Birmingham Thunderbolts|
|Janet Emerson Bashen||1975||Inventor of LinkLine (Inventor)|
- Laura Hall (D - District 19), former Biology teacher, member of the Alabama House of Representatives
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