Who was Jennie Dean?

Jennie Dean Elementary School - A Legacy of Education and Empowerment

Jennie Dean Elementary School was named after the visionary founder, Jennie Serepta Dean. Born in Sudley Springs, Virginia, on April 15, 1848, Jennie Dean dedicated her life to shaping the educational landscape for African-American children.

In 1893, Dean's dream materialized as the Manassas Industrial School for Colored Youth. Despite challenges, the school thrived, serving 500 students. Boys learned trades like carpentry and welding, while girls honed skills in cooking and sewing. Jennie Dean's commitment endured until her passing in 1913.

In 1938, the institution transitioned into a regional high school, fostering education for African-American youth until 1959. In 1977, the City of Manassas established its public school system, later transforming Jennie Dean into a middle school. Thirteen years later, it emerged as an elementary school.

The Jennie Dean Memorial grounds located adjacent to Wellington Road serve as a historical landmark, echoing the legacy of an extraordinary woman who, born enslaved, became a beacon of education and empowerment.  Honoring the legacy of Miss Jennie Dean in the New Jennie Dean Elementary School is a critical consideration as we move forward with design. Dean’s vision will live on in the halls of New Jennie Dean Elementary School, inspiring generations to reach new heights.

“Pick out your peak and climb.”


   Jennie S. Dean

Jennie S. Dean