Return to Headlines

A Dedication as Unique as Its Mission


Loudoun County Public Schools dedicated its 18
th high school, William Obediah Robey, the school division’s alternative high school, on Friday, May 27.

Housed at Park View High School during the 2021-22 school year, Robey will move to Dominion High School for the next school year. As Superintendent Dr. Scott Ziegler noted during the dedication ceremony in Park View’s auditorium, a fixed physical location is not what Robey is about.  

“This is not a traditional dedication, because this is not a traditional high school. William Obediah Robey High School is an idea, not a place. The idea for this school is to design an alternative education program for students whose education may have been altered by external circumstances and challenges. Meeting these challenges means building relationships – relationships that go beyond the traditional school schedule, beyond the traditional school curriculum and beyond a traditional school building.”     

Robey’s inaugural principal, Dr. Jeanene Sims, reflected on her school’s unique mission, staff and student body.

“We’re the lucky ones who are blessed to work with an amazing group of young adults who have endured, sacrificed, struggled, and yet persevered. They are the most adaptive students with whom I’ve worked. Robey is born from a zealous desire by the Loudoun County School Board and Loudoun County Public Schools to create an alternative school that offers a different approach to learning and teaching. With the help of daring, tenacious staff and a courageous student body who decided to take a chance on us, this new, non-traditional concept, the concept of Robey, was born. While William Obediah Robey is a high school in almost every regard, we are unique in so many ways. Robey, unlike other high schools in LCPS, is not a school defined by brick and mortar, walls or a physical space. Robey transcends the physical school building concept to where the sole purpose is meeting the needs of students who face incredible odds and obstacles every day to achieve educational success. Robey students value education. They show up daily and give their best – even after working eight hours on a job or parenting their children. They seize this opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their family.”

School Board Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles District) said he hoped Robey’s current students would spread the word about the opportunities the new school offers. He cited the school’s mascot in his remarks.

“The lynx is a cool mascot, but it is its homonym that is more meaningful. Robey students are the links back to the communities you came from. You signify hope to all those who would thrive in an alternative educational environment. Through you, I hope students are hearing about the fabulous assistance awaiting those who only need to stretch out their hand for help.”

Sterling District School Board member Brenda Sheridan noted that Robey is the result of a plan seven years in the making. She praised the initial student body “who took a chance on the opportunity to succeed; to trust that this path to Robey would be right for you. You are a legacy, the first of many. Your hard work and dedication define what it means to be a Robey Lynx.

“We all know it is not walls that define a school, but the people inside.”

Executive Principal Kirk Dolson, a former Park View principal, worked for years to bring an alternative school into existence. “All I can say is that dreams really do come true… Dreams of earning a high school diploma must no longer be deferred in Loudoun County Public Schools… Many students who are strong, ambitious, determined and motivated need something different to achieve their dreams.”

Gisela Galdamez Bonilla, speaking on behalf of the student body, noted that Robey’s students come – not only from other schools – but other countries. She praised Robey’s staff for teaching students “to make decisions that will lead us to be the strongest version of ourselves. Every day we prove to them and to ourselves that they believe in us and we believe in ourselves. Thank you to all the teachers, counselors and social workers and our principal for all their support this year.”

Instead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Robey staged a ribbon-joining; entwining the school colors of Broad Run, Dominion, Freedom, Heritage, Lightridge, Park View, Potomac Falls and Tuscarora high schools, all of which contributed students to the inaugural student body. 

The dedication was attended by Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Koran T. Saines (Sterling District); Supervisor Sylvia R. Glass (Broad Run District); School Board member Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian District); Deputy Superintendent Dr. Ashley Ellis; Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services Dr. Asia Jones; Director of High School Education Nereida Gonzalez-Sales; Dominion High School Principal Dr. John Brewer; Freedom High School Principal Neelum Chaudry; Heritage High School Principal Jeff Adam; and Sterling Middle School Principal Colleen O’Neill.





Published June 3, 2022