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1/29/2021

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Feb. 1, 2021) – While the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum remains closed due to COVID-19 precautions, you can now enjoy a complete virtual video tour of the Museum from the comfort of your own home.

The Museum, located within the Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ Renaissance Academy, is a tribute to the first high school for African Americans in Virginia Beach. The virtual tour not only covers the history of this school, but also the history of African American education and achievements, both locally and nationally, across several centuries.

“The Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum is a beacon in the community,” said Margie Wilson Coefield, a 1962 graduate of Union Kempsville High School and retired Virginia Beach City Public Schools English teacher. “This virtual tour of the Museum will be an educational and historical journey for viewers because they will learn about the resilience of our African American ancestors and about us, the alumni of the school. You will be inspired by their legacy.”

Princess Anne County Training School, which began operations in 1938, was the first high school for African Americans in Princess Anne County, which is now the City of Virginia Beach. The school was a result of the African American community in the 1930s working together to raise money to build a school so their children could receive a proper education.

In 1962, the Princess Anne County Training School changed its name to Union Kempsville High School. After over 30 years of operation, Union Kempsville High School graduated its last class in 1969 due to the City-wide integration of schools.

Today the legacy of the school continues with the establishment of the Museum, which shares stories of family, community, sacrifice, and the importance of education. The Museum is operated by the Virginia Beach History Museums, which include the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum, Francis Land House, Lynnhaven House and Thoroughgood House. For the latest updates on the Virginia Beach History Museums, visit museumsvb.org or Virginia Beach History Museums on Facebook.

To learn more about the ongoing work of the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Alumni and Friends Association, which works to preserve the legacy of the school and the stories of those who made it possible, please visit their website.

ABOUT THE CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH CULTURAL AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT:

The Cultural Affairs Department engages residents and visitors through meaningful arts, heritage, and cultural experiences to connect and strengthen communities. The Department assists and directs the Virginia Beach Arts & Humanities Commission, coordinates the City's Public Art Program, oversees Virginia Beach History Museums, provides contract management for the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, serves as the liaison with Virginia MOCA and the ViBe Creative District, and serves as a resource to local arts and humanities organizations.

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News Releases: VBgov.com/News

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