An Important Message from Fairfax High School

June 18th, 2020


Dear Family Fairfax,


For those who have been at Fairfax High School for a long time, you know that the history of the mascot and name change is a long one, with the removal of Johnny Reb in 1985 by then Principal Harry Holsinger.  Johnny Reb, the original mascot, depicts an image of a confederate soldier.   Research will yield myriad results on the history of Johnny Reb, and how he came to be and what he represented; however, research is fairly restricted to a very narrow list with regards to the reasons the South had for secession, and the preservation of the institution of slavery is at the top. 


The history of the mascot change at Fairfax evolved from that removal of Johnny Reb to the Rebel Rouser to Rebel Pride.  Each iteration maintained some element of Rebel, and the most recent iteration, Rebel Pride, is a phrase frequently used in tribute to the Confederacy.  Though I believe the intention of our students who participated in the rebranding to Rebel Pride was not to glorify the Confederacy, I also understand that we do not have the luxury of rebranding in contradiction to what a long and well-established history already defines it to mean—and Rebel Pride has such a history.


At Fairfax, we pride ourselves on inclusivity, family, belongingness, respect, and integrity, and given the history of Rebel, it is time for a change:  Moving forward, Fairfax High School will no longer be the Rebel Pride; we will be known as the Fairfax Lions.   


Last September, I began working with our City of Fairfax and FCPS leadership on this team-name change, and over the coming school year, we will work together to remove the Rebel when it is fiscally responsible.  This past school year, new uniforms were purchased without the team name, and any centrally-school created items did not display Rebel.    There are other examples that were already in our capital improvements that I have used or planned to advantage this impending change. 


As we move forward, I hope that our entire community can feel whole, valued, appreciated, affirmed and supported as we rise together as the Fairfax Lions. 


I am proud to be a Fairfax Lion.


Erin Lenart

Proud Principal

Fairfax High School


With Participation Respect Integrity Determination Empathy,


Erin B. Lenart, Ed.D.

Principal, Fairfax High School


We are Fairfax…We are Family.