A piece by Chris Suarez on RVA Open Source tells a bit of the history of Kennedy High School and Armstrong High School, and has the details on a historical marker planned to commemorate Kennedy HS:
Established in 1968, JFK opened as a state-of-the-art school facility for the East End’s various neighborhoods including – but not limited to – several housing projects. Located at 2300 Cool Lane, Kennedy was built within a mile of Armstrong High School.
“In my heart, it’s still the landmark high school in the city of Richmond.” said former Kennedy faculty member, Pernell Taylor, “I’ve been to a lot of high schools throughout Virginia and it ranks with the best. I’m so proud to have been a part of it.”
A former basketball, track and football coach and physical education teacher at JFK Kennedy for 30 years, Taylor says he was one of the original teachers offered a position at the new Kennedy school which included two gymnasiums, an auditorium with a balcony, a greenhouse and air conditioning (an unprecedented luxury at the time for most Richmond Public Schools).
“I think it’s critical we don’t lose this history,” said 7th District School Board Representative and Chairman Donald Coleman. “I know it’ll bring joy to a lot of people who believe they lost something. Kennedy is a significant part of Richmond history. It was part of a critical transition period for Richmond Public Schools and African-American people.”