Celebrating Skip Grant!

By Lance Gartrell ’22


Skip Grant—coach, teacher, and role model—will forever be a name engraved in St. Albans history. Lift Every Voice: A Celebration of Black Lives, foreword by Oprah Winfrey and introduction by Nikole Hannah-Jones, highlights the achievements of Skip Grant, placing him alongside the company of impactful black individuals like Oprah Winfrey, Fred David Gray, Ruth Simmons, and many more. His accomplishments and efforts towards bringing about a more unified school in race and culture solidifies his mark on St. Albans, both influencing and inspiring future teachers and coaches to uphold a similar standard. 

Growing up in Washington D.C. during the civil rights era, Skip Grant was no stranger to the segregated communities. Many of the restaurants, schools, and stores he grew up around were subjected to a white-only presence. St. Albans was no different with a 99 percent white student population. Brooks Johnson, the first black teacher and coach at St. Albans, sought to change this statistic. He brought the statistic to Canon Martin, the headmaster at the time, who in-turn tasked Brooks Johnson with the job of lowering that statistic. Brooks created the Risk Program to fulfill his goal.

Upon his arrival in 1975, Skip Grant took the reins driving the Risk Program. His impact was unparalleled; many students in the program looked up to Skip Grant as a father figure, using his wisdom and knowledge as a guide for their unique academic or athletic journey. Skip Grant pushed the students in his program to overcome adversity and tough challenges, stating “Whatever the challenge may be, it is always a little bit more difficult for folks of color.” Due to his impact on the St. Albans community, the program was renamed to the Skip Grant Program to honor his achievements and influence. To read more about Skip Grant and others alike, Lift Every Voice is available for purchase here: https://www.mahoganybooks.com/9781950785810.

Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.