History

  • John J. Wright Educational & Cultural Center is built on the original site of the first high school for black students in Spotsylvania County. The original building, Snell Training School, was founded in 1913, by the Spotsylvania Sunday School Union under the leadership of John J. Wright, a prominent county educator.

    In 1941, when the building was destroyed by fire, the Spotsylvania County School Board agreed to erect a new school and to pay the teachers' salaries. The Sunday School Union, in turn, donated to the county 20 acres of the original 158 acre tract and the fire insurance money for construction of a new school.

    In 1952, the John J. Wright Consolidated School was opened to all county black youth in grades 1-12. When Spotsylvania County Schools integrated in 1968, the school became John J. Wright School, housing the county's entire sixth-grade and seventh-grade enrollment.

    In 1978, with the closing of Spotsylvania Junior High School and the opening of Battlefield Intermediate School, the eighth grade was moved to the intermediate level.

    During 1981-82, while the John J. Wright building underwent extensive renovation, the school occupied the current Marshall Building across from the present day Spotsylvania Middle School. In the fall of 1982, John J. Wright School reopened with many added improvements, including central air conditioning, wall-to-wall carpet and a new kitchen and cafeteria.

    With the opening of Spotsylvania Intermediate School in the fall of 1982, John J. Wright Intermediate School began serving the predominantly southern portion of Spotsylvania County, with an approximate enrollment of 700 students in grades six, seven, and eight.
    On July 1, 1990, the name John J. Wright Intermediate School was officially changed to John J. Wright Middle School in keeping with the Commonwealth's restructuring plan for middle school education. During the previous years, the school made major adjustments in organization and instruction.

    In 1991-92, John J. Wright Middle School was recognized by the Virginia Department of Education for its outstanding middle school practices, including reading and public speaking, community involvement, rewards and recognition, and technology education. We are proud of our school's rich heritage and of its equally impressive responses to the needs of a changing community.

    During the summer of 1997, two areas of John J. Wright Middle School were dedicated to two long-term employees. The library was dedicated in honor of Dr. Sadie Coates Combs Johnson, a former teacher and librarian for thirty-one years. The athletic fields were dedicated in honor of William H. Poindexter, custodian of John J. Wright Middle School, a post he held for forty-two years. In April of the following spring, a ceremony was held to dedicate a sign, commissioned and funded by a joint P.T.O. and community endeavor, identifying the fields behind the school as the William H. Poindexter Athletic Fields.

    In 2001, the school board commissioned an architectural firm to propose a plan to renovate and expand JJW's facilities. Due to the cost of the needed improvements and the inability to purchase additional land to expand the athletic fields, the school board decided to build a replacement building for JJW to open in 2006, adjacent to Spotsylvania High School.

    In 2008, after extensive renovations and modernizations the doors reopened as the John J. Wright Educational and Cultural Center. Today, John J. Wright offers educational services to Spotsylvania County students from Pre-K thru 12th Grade.