School History: Primary Sources

Fairfax County School Board Minutes

December 16, 1959: By motion of Mr. Hudgins, seconded by Mr. Parsons and carried, schools were named as follows:

  1. Quander area – Intermediate Number 14 – William Cullen Bryant School
  2. Langley Forest area – Intermediate Number 2 – James Fenimore Cooper School
  3. Langhorne Acres – Elementary – Mantua School
  4. Vienna area – Elementary – Marshall Road School

Standard resolutions, as offered in Board minutes of November 24, 1959, covering lighting and supervision of construction requirements of the State (School Planning Manual) were adopted for the construction of the William Cullen Bryant, James Fenimore Cooper, and Ellen Glasgow Intermediate Schools, and the Mantua and Marshall Road Elementary Schools, by motion of Mr. Hudgins, seconded by Mr. Heriot, and carried.

April 4, 1961: Some mention was made of expediting construction of the James Fenimore Cooper Intermediate School in the Balls Hill area but no action was taken at this meeting. However, this, as well as Board of Supervisors’ urging that school construction be accelerated, did prompt determination that contract awards should be made as soon as plans are ready for a building, even if completion timetable of scheduled projects will need adjusting and larger block of bonds than first anticipated would have to be sold in the spring with resultant increased budget allocation for debt service to cover additional interest payments. The staff was requested to make determination of what projects can be completed within a given time and the funds necessary to cover the estimated costs, for deliberation of the Board.

June 21, 1961: [A $26 million school bond referendum was to be held on May 31, 1960]. With the information that the Board of Supervisors wanted to include in the proposed offering of school bonds with its contemplated sale of bonds, the Board, by motion of Mrs. Butler, seconded by Mr. Thomasian, and carried, adopted resolution as follows… This will provide funds for the construction of the George Marshall and Fort Hunt High Schools, and the Balls Hill Intermediate School, with balance for site purchases.

October 17, 1961: In connection with proposed expenditures, Mrs. Butler directed the Board’s attention to what she feels will be a traffic problem at the proposed Cooper Intermediate School, created by the congestion of approaches and exits to Capital Beltway and Georgetown Pike, and suggested remedies of another right-of-way with wall barrier. No cost estimated were worked up. Mr. Wooldridge was authorized to request alternate for this work in bidding on this project.

December 5, 1961: Mr. Wooldridge distributed copies of tabulations on bids submitted for site improvements at the J. F. Cooper Intermediate School (opened Nov. 29 at 7:30 P.M.). Alternate bids for various installations at the Cooper Intermediate School including access road, necessity for which was brought to the Board’s attention at its October 17 meeting, were explained by Mr. Wooldridge. Mrs. Butler moved acceptance of low bid of M. L. Whitlow Construction Company and award of contract to this firm for the construction of the J. F. Cooper Intermediate School in amount of $992,862, including alternates 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, 16 and 18. Mr. Ruhlen seconded the motion and it carried.

March 20, 1962:As a result of public hearings held on high school boundaries, the staff prepared for consideration and decision of the Board a memorandum setting out basic Board agreements as follows: J. F. Cooper Intermediate School will be in use in September. Also: Transfer assignments [for 1962-63], as follows, were approved, by motion of Mr. Futch, seconded by Mr. Clark, and carried, to facilitate school bus routing and scheduling in specific locations: Gloria Coates from Luther Jackson to Cooper Intermediate.

December 18, 1962: The consultant firm of Mills, Petticord and Mills has completed its inspections of the Longfellow, Cooper and Mark Twain Intermediate and Marshall Road and Herndon Elementary Schools and will submit a formal report shortly.

January 8, 1963: Mr. Newman reported that the firm of Mills, Petticord and Mills had submitted written analysis on their inspections of the Longfellow, Cooper and Mark Twain Intermediate and Marshall Road and Herndon Elementary Schools, reflecting that these school constructions give evidence of money well spent, full dollar value apparent, and that specifications were being followed.

October 8, 1964: The Chairman reported that decision had been reached to duplicate Cooper Intermediate School design for the proposed Sherwood Hall Intermediate School [Foster/Whitman].

March 15, 1965: Mr. Perlik moved that the proposed boundaries for the Cooper Intermediate School and Langley High Schools be moved back from the Loudoun County line to Miller Road and all children west of this road be assigned to the Herndon High and Intermediate Schools. Motion was seconded by Mr. Futch and carried.

September 9, 1965: By motion of Mr. Hudgins, seconded by Mr. Goldsmith and carried, the Board adopted resolution assuring adequate supervision of construction of the following projects: Cooper Intermediate School addition.

May 12, 1966: In the interim consideration was turned to request of the PTA that the Cooper Intermediate School library be air conditioned at no expense to the School Board. This installation would be contrary to current practices which permit only small air conditioning units in administrative suites of schools, maintenance of which are the responsibility of the school or PTA, except for the unusual situations in several schools where areas had to be air conditioned to comply with state regulations on ventilation. Mr. Skole, President of the Cooper PTA, was permitted to make a statement, in which he advised that probable cost of the units decided upon would be at least $6,000. The Board was not inclined to permit this wide deviation from current practice. However, several members made the point that this improvement which would certainly aid academic pursuits should be considered just as worthwhile as the installation of lights on an athletic field, even considering the fact that the latter is for the purpose of producing more revenue for the school. Mr. Perlik moved that the Cooper Intermediate School PTA work with the administrative staff on the design of an acceptable air conditioning system for the school library, and when agreement is reached authorization be given for installation at PTA expense under current regulations governing the maintenance of such installations in schools. Mr. Clark seconded the motion and it carried by vote of 4-3.

February 5, 1971: Public Comments: Mr. Ralph C. Smith, President, Cooper Intermediate School PTA, requested the Board reconsider that portion of the budget which reduced the number of assistant principals in certain intermediate schools from 2 to 1. Also suggested the following: Two assistant principals for each intermediate school at least until the present innovative programs are completed; dropping entirely the present 1,100 student enrollment criteria for administrative staffing; the $100,000.00 added payroll resulting from this action will reap real value for our students.

January 9, 1986: Mrs. Collier asked for an update on the most recent accident to a Cooper Intermediate School bus. Doris Torrice replied that the accident, which involved a school bus being hit by a private vehicle, had resulted in no injuries to students on the bus, but minor to serious injuries to teenage students in the car.

November 20, 1986: Resolution Naming the Cooper Library for Herman B. Lloyd. Mrs. Collier cited Mr. Lloyd's contributions not only to Cooper Intermediate School, but also to the entire school system as the first intermediate school principal in the system and as a strong instructional leader. She offered the resolution naming the library at Cooper for Mr. Lloyd.

WHEREAS, Herman B. Lloyd first joined Fairfax County Public Schools in 1958 as principal of Dunn Loring Elementary School and then served as principal of Parklawn [Intermediate] Elementary School from 1959 until 1960; and

WHEREAS, he served as principal of Ellen B. Glasgow Intermediate School from 1960 until 1970 and was the first intermediate school principal in Fairfax County; and

WHEREAS, he was principal of Cooper Intermediate School from 1970 until 1983; and

WHEREAS, he retired in December 1983 after twenty-eight years of distinguished service; and

WHEREAS, he displayed positive, innovative leadership in the school and the community; and

WHEREAS, he encouraged academic excellence and expected the highest standards of achievement from both staff and students; and

WHEREAS, he was always committed to the vital role of reading in all curriculum areas;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County School Board name the James Fenimore Cooper Intermediate School Library "The Herman B. Lloyd Library.”

Mrs. Collier moved, and Mrs. Korologos seconded, adoption of the resolution. The motion passed 10-0, with all members present and voting. Mrs. Collier and Mrs. Korologos presented framed copies of the resolution to Mr. Lloyd and his wife Alice, who were attending the meeting, and to Dwayne Harkleroad, principal, and Kathleen Woodward, PTA president, for Cooper Intermediate School.

May 26, 1988: The School Board awarded the contract for the renewal of Cooper Intermediate School to Golden Construction, Inc., in the amount of $4,119,000.

July 11, 1991: Resolution Naming the Cooper Intermediate School Gymnasium


WHEREAS, Cecil Hoosier first joined Fairfax County Public Schools in 1964 as a field custodian, became a building supervisor in 1965, and has served as building supervisor at James Fenimore Cooper Intermediate School from 1969 to the present; and

WHEREAS, he has retired in 1991 after 27 years of dedicated service, 22 of which were devoted to Cooper Intermediate School and the McLean community; and

WHEREAS, his loyalty to the school, his interest in helping students, and his pride in his work have been hallmarks of his years of service; and

WHEREAS, he has been honored for his outstanding service by being named Fairfax County Public Schools' Building Supervisor of the Year in both 1984 and 1989; and

WHEREAS, through almost three decades, thousands of students, hundreds of staff, and uncounted numbers of McLean residents have benefited from his commitment and expert assistance;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Fairfax County School Board name the gymnasium at James Fenimore Cooper Intermediate School "The Cecil Hoosier Gymnasium," in lasting and affectionate tribute to a valued staff member who has served the school system and the community well. Mrs. Field moved, and Mrs. McDowall seconded, adoption of the resolution. The motion passed 9-0.

The student representative asked that his support for the motion be entered in the record. Mr. Hoosier, who was accompanied by his wife and daughter, Cooper Principal Bernard Gross and Assistant Principal Bud Mayo, and several members of the school's staff, was presented a framed copy of the resolution and a banner to be hung in the gymnasium.

May 14, 1992: Cooper Intermediate School Research Project: A copy of a book, “Chords of Memory,” was displayed. The book was produced by Cooper Intermediate School students as part of their study through documentation and interviews of local historical events.

December 14, 1992: Recognition of FCPS Principal of the Year Nominees: Bernard F. Gross of Cooper Middle School.

November 15, 1994: Mr. Thao made reference to twelve Chinese Language classes which had been removed from Cooper Middle School without explanation; and said he would raise the issue at the Board’s next meeting.

December 1, 1994: Annual Facilities and Student Accommodation Plan: …the question how staff planned to respond to the problem of low enrollment at Cooper Middle School (Thao); the response Cooper Middle School underwent a boundary adjustment and enrolled students who were previously zoned to attend Herndon Middle School; that enrollment figures for Cooper Middle School were above the threshold level; and that the school was now at capacity (Johnson). Board Matters: Mr. Thao offered his congratulations to Dr. Spillane on his award. He added that he would raise the issue of the Taiwanese Language classes at Cooper Intermediate School for Board action at the meeting scheduled for December 15.

December 15, 1994: Cooper Middle School Community Use: Mr. Thao expressed his concern about the message which had been conveyed to the community and the children who were being educated in the Chinese Language classes at Cooper Middle School; he expressed appreciation to the Superintendent for his efforts to meet with the community ethnic group to reestablish a peaceful relationship; that some high ranking officials had not endorsed the concept of preparing FCPS students for a global economy; that intolerance and hostility had been accepted; that Dr. Spillane and the Board should assume responsibility for the decision of the school officials who demonstrated deficient leadership and management skills, and a lack of sensitivity; and that the Board and school system management should be aware of the situation. Dr. Jones remarked that the ability for Mr. Thao, Dr. Spillane and Mr. Mendelsohn to resolve the problem was very constructive; and that the situation had proved to be a learning experience. Superintendent Matters: Dr. Spillane made reference to the Chinese Language classes at Cooper Middle School, and said that it was School Board Policy that it was the position of the school system not to discriminate or be intolerant; that a communication problem had existed; and that discussions were ongoing. Mr. Mendelsolm thanked Dr. Spillane for his comments on the situation at Cooper Middle School, and said that there had been miscommunication.

December 19, 1994: Recognition of FCPS Principal of the Year Nominees: Bernard F. Gross of Cooper Middle School.


WHEREAS, the Fukuoka Prefecture and Fairfax County Public Schools have participated in the Regional Educational Exchange Program (REX), sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, since 1991; and

WHEREAS, Mr. Tomoharu Nakagawa, REX teacher at Cooper Middle School, has been assisting in the Japanese Partial-Immersion Program from August 1997 until February 1999; and

WHEREAS, he has provided to the Japanese Partial-Immersion program invaluable assistance in creating instructional materials, in teaching students, and in sharing aspects of Japanese culture both with the students participating in the partial-immersion program and with students in the regular program; and

WHEREAS, he has fostered and promoted positive relations between the United States and Japan in helping American students and their parents learn the Japanese language and about Japanese culture;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County School Board extends its highest commendation and deepest appreciation to Mr. Tomoharu Nakagawa for his contribution and dedicated service to the educational program at Cooper Middle School. Mrs. Strauss moved, and Mr. Gibson seconded, that the Board adopt the Resolution Honoring Tomoharu Nakagawa. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Nakagawa was presented with a copy of the resolution, and pictures were taken.

April 15, 1999: Mrs. Strauss passed around a heart monitor as an example of the amazing curriculum activity occurring at Cooper Middle School and said that it was a physical education project, but it was being used in math and science; that after performing various physical activities, the students recorded their own heart rates; that the students utilized technology to analyze their data using various math and science skills; that this was the fourth year that Cooper had been working on their model for middle school instruction—where instruction drives time, time does not drive instruction; that they were working toward having large blocks of time so that teams could provide the extension and remediation to ensure that core curriculum could be covered thoroughly for all students; that examples of projects included writing about literature, doing art and music projects, performing science activities related to germs and pollution, cooking things, and extending those concepts; that the multidimensional aspects of the learning activities used the SOL as the thread throughout all instruction; that she hoped this could work for all middle schools and that a number of middle schools had been visiting Cooper to see what they were doing and how the students were being engaged in learning; that the students were proud of what they were doing; and that Bonnie Lancaster, their core teacher, helped the academic and elective teachers to extend and expand the curriculum.

May 11, 2000: Spotlight on Learning: Dr. Domenech introduced Cooper Middle School resource teacher Linda Mills and recognized Arlene Randall, assistant principal at Cooper, who was in attendance. Ms. Mills explained that the Cooper Middle School staff had built an instructional program based on the talents each student brought to school; that students had used their talents in music, art, technology, and athletics, as well as the traditional areas of language arts and mathematics, to solve problems and create effective products in their core and elective subjects; and that the Cooper Product Fair held in May was a collection of student work that demonstrated critical and creative thinking skills and students’ interests and talents. A brief video featuring some of Ms. Mills’ students and their projects followed. Ms. Mills’ introduced Sean Duffy, seventh grade science teacher, and Stephanie Fedor, seventh grade English teacher, and four of their students, who passed out copies of their project books to members of the Board. Mr. Frye thanked Ms. Mills for her presentation and for sharing the project books with Board members and noted that the Talent Based Approach to Learning was an innovative program that made learning fun. Mrs. Strauss noted that she was very proud of the kind of learning instruction being conducted at Cooper; that she had spent some time at Cooper the previous year learning about the Talent Based Approach; that the Cooper program allowed middle school students to delve more deeply into the complicated content material in science, English, and history and provided the needed hands-on experience; that the program helped to stretch students and ensure that the content was learned well; that when visiting Cooper, she always saw students working on exciting projects; and that she hoped the Cooper students realized how much fun learning could be.

April 26, 2001: The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) had identified a need for a 1,500 seat middle school to relieve overcrowding at Cooper, Longfellow, Kilmer, Langston Hughes, and Herndon Middle Schools.

January 24, 2002: CIP discussion: …deleting the new Northwest County middle school and accommodating the growth in the Route 7 corridor with modular additions at Cooper, Longfellow, and Herndon Middle Schools had freed up $31 million to be used to accommodate children in other parts of the County.

April 24, 2003: Jane Strauss, Dranesville District: Comments: Cooper Middle School and Langley High School were excited about the inclusion of their additional classrooms in the proposed bond referendum.

May 8, 2003: Jane Strauss, Dranesville District: Comments: Very pleased that the upcoming bond referendum would include a number of projects in her district, particularly Cooper Middle and Langley High Schools.

February 9, 2006: 6.04 Award of Contract - Recommendation to award the contract(s) for site work and concrete slab for the eight-classroom modular building at Cooper Middle School, and the ten-classroom modular building at Churchill Road Elementary School, to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder(s), and authorize the Division Superintendent, or his designee, to execute the contract(s) on behalf of the School Board.

September 10, 2015: The Cooper Middle School cafeteria was named in honor of Shirley Miller. Ms. Miller’s family was presented with a framed copy of the resolution and her family, friends, and colleagues joined the Board for photographs.

Resolution Naming the Cafeteria at James Fenimore Cooper Middle School “The Shirley Miller Cafeteria.”

WHEREAS, Shirley Miller served Fairfax County Public Schools for over 50 years with excellence and dedication. Ms. Miller was thoroughly committed to maintaining exceptional levels of building cleanliness and was recognized for setting the highest of standards for her staff’s performance; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Miller began her career with Fairfax County Public Schools in 1955, and worked as a maid at the Willston Elementary School, one of the few positions available to her in that era of segregation. She also worked on the custodial staff at Stuart High School and as field custodian and school-based custodian at Falls Church and Marshall High Schools. After serving as the building supervisor at Twain Middle School, Ms. Miller retired from FCPS with 30 years of service; and

WHEREAS, After only four years of retirement Ms. Miller returned to Fairfax County Public Schools to work for five years as the building supervisor at Rocky Run Middle School before retiring for a second time. However, Ms. Miller’s strong desire to continue to work led her to return to FCPS a third time. First, as a roving building supervisor, and then as the building supervisor at Cooper Middle School until she passed away in January of 2014; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Miller was an exceptional professional and her work ethic, loyalty, and dedication served as an excellent example for all other custodial personnel. Ms. Miller had high expectations for the care and upkeep of Cooper Middle School and visitors often commented on well-maintained the school was and the welcoming nature it conveyed. Ms. Miller always supported the needs of the school’s students, staff, and parents with an incredible level of energy and enthusiasm; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Miller was frequently relied on to attend to many types of problems and situations including clearing the school property of snow and debris after severe storms, resolving plumbing and electrical issues, and planning after-school and community building usage. Whether it was during the school day or at night, Ms. Miller always put in the effort and the work that was required to meet the challenge at hand.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Fairfax County School Board, in recognition and appreciation of Shirley Miller’s dedicated service to Cooper Middle School and her valued contribution to Fairfax County Public Schools, hereby names the cafeteria at James Fenimore Cooper Middle School the Shirley Miller Cafeteria in her honor and memory.

Moved by Strauss, seconded by Moon, passed unanimously.

February 18, 2016: Opening of New Level IV Center at Cooper Middle School - Authorize the establishment of a new advanced academic center program (AAP) in fall 2016 at Cooper Middle School, and further recommend that in fall 2016 Cooper based rising 7th and 8th grade center-eligible students currently assigned to Kilmer and Longfellow have the option to attend the new Cooper MS center or their current center. In fall 2017 Cooper based rising 7th grade students currently assigned to Kilmer and Longfellow will be required to attend Cooper’s center. Rising 8th grade students in fall 2017 will have the option to attend Cooper or their current center. In fall 2018 Cooper based rising 7th and 8th grade center-eligible students will be required to attend the Cooper Level IV center. Motion passed unanimously.

Newspaper Articles

Fairfax Herald

March 27, 1970: School Vandalism Totals $107,000 in 6-Month Period. Vandalism at Fairfax County schools in the last six months of 1969 resulted in damage estimated at more than $107,000. A school administration report listed damage to buses and other vehicles at $6,745. Damage to high schools included: McLean, $2,000; Langley, $1,766; and George C. Marshall, $5,597. Intermediate schools: Cooper, $540 and Longfellow, $671.

The Washington Evening/Sunday Star

November 4, 1961, Page A-15: Proposals. Sealed Proposals for the construction of the James F. Cooper Intermediate School will be received by the Fairfax County School Board at the office of the Superintendent E. C. Funderburk in Fairfax County, Virginia, until Nov. 22, 1961. Documents are available at the office of Pickett, Siess and Hook, Architects, Falls Church, Virginia.

March 21, 1962, Page 1: Pupil ‘Togetherness’ to Keep New Fairfax School Closed. One brand-new high school will stand idle and two others will be scarcely half-filled while Fairfax County students squeeze into six crowded schools next fall. A new school attendance plan which would have virtually eliminated high school overcrowding was scrapped by the School Board last night to pacify disgruntled parents who prefer that their youngsters’ scholastic ties be preserved. To maintain the educational togetherness, it will be necessary to shuttle some students around to classes away from the high schools where they will be enrolled – but they still will be able to claim to have attended dear old such and such high. Under the attendance plan finally approved by the School Board, the new George Marshall High School at Tysons Corner will be locked the day it is finished this fall. But, McLean High less than three miles away will struggle along with an overload of 1,000 students. George Marshall High School is expected to be ready about Thanksgiving. Parents of students who attend the McLean High School had bitterly assailed plans to remove children from McLean and put them in Marshall. The board decided to leave the McLean district as it is, although that means the school will have 1,015 pupils more than its capacity. The decision means that 300 pupils will be shuttled to the Cooper Intermediate School in the morning for half-day sessions and another 300 in the afternoon. 

August 8, 1962, Page B-5: Citizens’ School Study Voted Again in Fairfax. Three other schools should be ready for students the first day of classes, September 4, Mr. Pope said. These are Woodson and Edison High Schools and Cooper Intermediate School.

September 2, 1962, Page 1: Schools to Set Record With 572,500 Pupils. School Opening Schedule. Tuesday for Fairfax County (Sept. 4) Enrollment 72,220, an increase of 6,720. The following is a list of the new public schools for the 1962-1963 session. All will open this month unless otherwise noted: (School, Cost, Classrooms) W. T. Woodson High, $3,242,818, 45 classrooms; George C. Marshall High (November), $2,721,432, 45 classrooms; Thomas A. Edison High, $2,603,800, 45 classrooms; James Fenimore Cooper Intermediate, $992,862, 27 classrooms; Green Acres Elementary, $411,000, 20 classrooms. Additions were completed at Herndon High School, Luther Jackson High School, and Mount Vernon High School. A few sessions of double shifts in some high schools are expected pending completion of new construction, but this is not anticipated to last more than two months at most. The teaching staff has been increased by 253.

January 22, 1966, Page 8: Buy A Weathervane, Mister? To learn about investments and stocks, four eighth-grade shop classes at Cooper Intermediate School formed a corporation to make and sell weathervanes. Some 200 stockholders bought shares at 25 cents. Then the boys turned into salesmen. The weathervanes were sold at a McLean shopping center for $1.50, and the corporation has 30 left. “Stock dropped to 22 cents a share,” says Mike Dimond, president. “And I had four shares. I learned a lot. I’ve made my last investment.”

The Washington Post

May 27, 1960, Page B-6: Secondary Students Face Jam if Bond Issue Fails. To meet the challenge posed by this skyrocketing enrollment, [Assistant Superintendent] Walker and his staff plan to use about $19 million of a proposed $26 million school bond issue to be voted on May 31 to build eight new schools and improve existing facilities. About $1.4 million is allocated for additions and improvements at Annandale, Falls Church, Herndon, and Luther Jackson high schools. Four new intermediate schools similar to the eight now under construction in the County are projected for the Balls Hill Road, Lee Forest, Pine Ridge, and Mount Vernon areas. These schools would house about 1,000 students each and cost a total of $5.55 million.

April 18, 1986, Page B-5: Fairfax Eyes $140 Million School Bond, 7 New Buildings, Renovations Planned. The proposed bond would go before a referendum on November 4. The district also plans to renovate six elementary schools – Washington Mill, Canterbury Woods, Stratford Landing, Hybla Valley, Mount Vernon Woods, and Springfield Estates, and two intermediate schools – Twain and Cooper.

October 9, 1986, Page VA B-11: Other Projects To Be Funded By Fairfax School Bond Issue. Renewals include: Canterbury Woods, Hybla Valley, Mount Vernon Woods, Springfield Estates, Stratford Landing, and Washington Mill elementary schools; Cooper and Twain intermediate schools; and Falls Church, Jefferson, Langley, and West Springfield high schools.