Douglas S. Freeman High School
Douglas S. Freeman High School is a Henrico County
Henrico County Public Schools
The Henrico County Public Schools system is a Virginia school division that operates as a functional and independent branch of the Henrico County, Virginia, county government, and administers public schools in the county. Henrico County Public Schools has five International Baccalaureate schools--J.R...

 high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

 located in western Henrico County, Virginia
Henrico County, Virginia
Henrico is a county located in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. As of 2010, Henrico was home to 306,935 people. It is located in the Richmond-Petersburg region and is a portion of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area...



The school is named for Douglas S. Freeman
Douglas S. Freeman
Douglas Southall Freeman was an American historian, biographer, newspaper editor, and author. He is best known for his multi-volume biographies of Robert E...

 (1886–1953), a Virginia author, newspaper editor, historian, and pioneering radio broadcaster. The school opened in 1954, slightly more than one year after Freeman's death.

The current principal of the school is Anne L. Poates. The school is part of the Henrico County Public Schools
Henrico County Public Schools
The Henrico County Public Schools system is a Virginia school division that operates as a functional and independent branch of the Henrico County, Virginia, county government, and administers public schools in the county. Henrico County Public Schools has five International Baccalaureate schools--J.R...


Center for Leadership, Government, and Global Economics

Henrico County runs a system in which each high school contains a specialty center, a separate but integrated entity within the school that function as magnet programs. The centers offer advanced courses to students who have clear interests and specific educational and/or career goals. Douglas Freeman High School's center is the Center for Leadership
Leadership has been described as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task". Other in-depth definitions of leadership have also emerged.-Theories:...

, Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

, and Global Economics
World economy
The world economy, or global economy, generally refers to the economy, which is based on economies of all of the world's countries, national economies. Also global economy can be seen as the economy of global society and national economies – as economies of local societies, making the global one....


The goals and objectives for the students of the Leadership Center, as it is commonly known, are as follows:
  • Immerse themselves in an interdisciplinary program founded in the social sciences and language arts culminating in an advanced studies diploma;
  • Explore conflicts between personal choice and community principles through literature, history, political science and economics;
  • Compare and contrast human principles throughout world history and cultures;
  • Observe and interact with leaders through partnerships, tailored programs and internships;
  • Actively engage in community service;
  • Develop formal communication skills necessary to excel in a technological society.

The Leadership Center is directed by Robert Peck. There are roughly 50 students in each grade, placing 200 or so students in the program on any given year. Selection for the Leadership Center is competitive and entails an intensive application process. The Center is a comprehensive four-year curriculum consisting of either two (11th and 12th grade) or three (9th and 10th grade) classes for each student. Additionally, each student is required to complete a minimum of 100 hours of documented community service
Community service
Community service is donated service or activity that is performed by someone or a group of people for the benefit of the public or its institutions....

 during their four years. Furthermore, each student must complete an intern
Internship is a system of onthejob training for white-collar jobs, similar to an apprenticeship. Interns are usually college or university students, but they can also be high school students or post graduate adults seeking skills for a new career. They may also be as young as middle school or in...

ship the summer before their senior year, or during the first semester of their senior year. However, many students choose to complete the internship during the summer due to the fact that a fall internship would require the student to leave school mid-day, sacrificing a full course load.


Freeman is a member of the Virginia High School League
Virginia High School League
The Virginia High School League is the arbiter of interscholastic competition among public high schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unlike similar organizations in many other states, private or religious schools are prohibited from joining. Non-public schools belong to other organizations,...

. It competes in the AAA Central Region
AAA Central Region
The Central Region is one of the four AAA regions in the Virginia High School League. It is made up of four districts: the AAA Capital District, the AAA Central District, the AAA Colonial District, and the AAA Dominion District...

 and AAA Colonial District
AAA Colonial District
The AAA Colonial District is a high school conference in the state of Virginia that includes schools in the Greater Richmond Region. AAA is the largest enrollment class of the Virginia High School League and also typically the most competitive level in Virginia high school sports.The Colonial...

. The school colors are blue
Blue is a colour, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 440–490 nm. It is considered one of the additive primary colours. On the HSV Colour Wheel, the complement of blue is yellow; that is, a colour corresponding to an equal...

 and gray. The teams are nicknamed the "Rebels." The colors and mascot were devised as a tribute to Freeman's extensive study of the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...


Virginia High School League AAA State Championship Teams

  • Boys Cross Country: 1969
  • Girls Cross Country: 1999
  • Football: 1967 (shared title with Annandale
    Annandale High School
    Annandale High School is an International Baccalaureate high school in Annandale, Virginia, United States. It is part of the Fairfax County Public Schools system....

     and Princess Anne
    Princess Anne High School
    Princess Anne High School is one of 11 high schools in the Virginia Beach City Public School System. Opened in 1954, it is the oldest remaining high school in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States...

  • Golf: 1963
  • Softball: 1980
  • Boys Tennis: 1982, 1985, 1989, 2001
  • Girls Tennis: 1983
  • Boys Outdoor Track: 1970
  • Girls Volleyball: 2005
  • Boys Basketball: 2011

Notable alumni

  • John Aboud
    John Aboud
    John Aboud III is an American writer and comedian. With Michael Colton, he is a regular commentator on Best Week Ever and other VH1 shows. From 2000 to 2003, the two ran Modern Humorist, an entertainment company based in Brooklyn, NY best known for its online magazine...

     -- Founder of Modern Humorist
    Modern Humorist
    Modern Humorist is a U.S.-based humor webzine founded in 2000 by John Aboud and Michael Colton , and managed by CEO Kate Barker. Its board of directors includes feature film producer Frank Marshall and comedian Jon Stewart.A competitor of the The Onion, Modern Humorist stopped publishing new...

    , and commentator on VH1's
    VH1 or Vh1 is an American cable television network based in New York City. Launched on January 1, 1985 in the old space of Turner Broadcasting's short-lived Cable Music Channel, the original purpose of the channel was to build on the success of MTV by playing music videos, but targeting a slightly...

     Best Week Ever
    Best Week Ever
    Best Week Ever is a weekly television program on the United States cable/satellite network VH1. It started airing in 2004 and was put on hiatus in the summer of 2009...

  • Kevin Aviance
    Kevin Aviance
    Kevin Aviance is an American female impressionist, Club/Dance musician, and fashion designer and nightclub personality. He is a very popular personality in New York City's gay scene and has performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He is a member of the House of Aviance, a local gay...

     -- Dance music artist and performer.
  • Bill Leverty
    Bill Leverty
    William G. Leverty II is an American guitarist, who is a founding and current member of the American rock band FireHouse. Leverty, along with vocalist C.J. Snare, was responsible for writing many of the band's hit songs including "Don't Treat Me Bad"...

     -- Guitarist for the American rock band Firehouse
  • Bernard Siegel
    Bernard Siegel
    Bernard Siegel is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Genetics Policy Institute based in Wellington, Florida. A graduate of the University of Miami undergraduate and law, he is an attorney and member of the Florida Bar since 1975...

    -- Founder and Executive Director of the Genetics Policy Institute
    Genetics Policy Institute
    The Genetics Policy Institute is a 501 nonprofit organization that educates the public and promotes supportive public policy for stem cell research and other forms of cutting-edge medicine....

  • Barty Smith
    Barty Smith
    Barton Elliott Smith is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He was a fullback for the National Football League.-High School:...

     -- Player for NFL's Green Bay Packers
    Green Bay Packers
    The Green Bay Packers are an American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League . The Packers are the current NFL champions...

     (1974–1981) and member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Class of 1999
  • Elliott Yamin
    Elliott Yamin
    Elliott Yamin , born Efraym Elliott Yamin, is an American singer known for his hit single "Wait for You" and placing third on the fifth season of American Idol....

    -- Third place finisher on the fifth season of the popular TV show American Idol
    American Idol
    American Idol, titled American Idol: The Search for a Superstar for the first season, is a reality television singing competition created by Simon Fuller and produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment...

    , Yamin was a student at Freeman High but never graduated


The official publications of the school honor Freeman's various jobs during his lifetime: The Commentator (school newspaper
Student newspaper
A student newspaper is a newspaper run by students of a university, high school, middle school, or other school. These papers traditionally cover local and, primarily, school or university news....

) reflects Freeman's work on WRVA radio during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, The Educator (school literary magazine
Literary magazine
A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. Literary magazines usually publish short stories, poetry and essays along with literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews and letters...

) reflects Freeman's work at the University of Richmond
University of Richmond
The University of Richmond is a selective, private, nonsectarian, liberal arts university located on the border of the city of Richmond and Henrico County, Virginia. The University of Richmond is a primarily undergraduate, residential university with approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate...

 and Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

, and The Historian (school yearbook
A yearbook, also known as an annual, is a book to record, highlight, and commemorate the past year of a school or a book published annually. Virtually all American, Australian and Canadian high schools, most colleges and many elementary and middle schools publish yearbooks...

) reflects Freeman's studies of various American history
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 topics, including his Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...

-winning literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...


In popular culture

James E. Ryan's book Five Miles Away, A World Apart: One City, Two Schools, and the Story of Educational Opportunity in Modern America explores the issue of economic school segregation by comparing Freeman to nearby Thomas Jefferson High School, located in the city of Richmond. Arguing for more freedom in school choice, Ryan cites findings that "high-poverty" schools (like Thomas Jefferson) consistently under-perform "low-poverty" schools (like Freeman) academically, regardless of the financial resources allocated to them. He concludes: "The truth is that separating the poor and politically powerless in their own schools and districts is antithetical to the idea of equal educational opportunity."

External links

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