Gironde School Building / Landmark in Tales of Justice | World Anvil

Gironde School

Purpose / Function

The Gironde School for Gifted and Special Needs Students (usually shortened to “the Gironde School”) is a fully accredited independent boarding school whose main campus is located on a private estate north of the Metropolis, PA city limits. It is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and by extension the United States Department of Education. A satellite campus, teaching approximately 25 students, exists in Brooklyn, NY.


The main campus is accredited to serve up to 80 students but typically enrolls around 50.


Dr. Jean-Claude Gironde's family has flirted on and off with the business of running a private school since they first established themselves in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. Dr. Gironde decided to seriously invest in it after he suffered a severely debilitating injury and needed a new career. He converted his family’s white elephant of an old home into a fairly modern boarding school about 18 years ago, at first specializing in college-track and collegiate education as a satellite campus of Metropolis City Community Colleges. Over the course of the next few years, "Professor" Gironde hired a few idealistic young adults with new teaching degrees and passionate ideas about education, and started putting together a customized curriculum geared more toward teaching minors. By August of 1999, everything was in place for the current form of the school; as of October in that year, classes were in session for resident students from age 6 upward.


A high minority percentage of the students at the school, though not all, come from wealthy families. Dr. Gironde personally interviews every candidate and their families; he decides whether to accept a student only if he believes that his school can provide educational support that the student cannot receive anywhere else. Some people see this policy as a new form of elitism; others, especially among the well-to-do, say he specializes in students with special handicaps, and he certainly does have good results but he is not on the level of an “Aviary Prep”, now is he!


To which Dr. Gironde only smiles, and continues as he pleases.




Most of the students are metahumans of some sort, though (again) not all are. The goal of the school is to provide these children with the childhood most of their teachers were not able to have: safe, generally happy, and well-prepared to handle any and all situations that they may encounter as adults. They will graduate knowing how to write a term paper, conduct a science experiment, create art, and figure a math problem, yes; but also they will know how to:


  • interpret mass media,
  • maintain a personal car,
  • provide first aid,
  • interpret a legal document,
  • navigate in a strange place,
  • conduct themselves in several social settings,
  • recognize a confidence job or a scam,
  • cook satisfying food from whatever is at hand in a kitchen,
  • mend their own clothes,
  • ask for help in two other languages than their native language,
  • run security on an infected computer,
  • defend themselves and one another in a fight long enough to run away,
  • and research a political position.


They will see all people as part of a single metahuman scale, with no significant separator between those who have measurable metahuman abilities and those who (as of current knowledge) do not.


Many of his graduates go on to work for some branch of Phoenix Industries as their first formal employment — in fact, most of the staff and teachers at the NYC branch of the Gironde Institute for Gifted and Special Needs Students are graduates of the original Metropolis location.


Main Campus Layout

  1. Main building: Western section and Eastern section are two full stories above ground plus finished attics. Center section is three full stories above ground, plus unfinished attic which houses the machine room for the elevator toward the western area, the HVAC system toward the eastern area, repeaters for the wireless internet, and certain security equipment for the campus.

    Most rooms in the center section are classrooms. On the middle floor near the western stairwell is the Washroom, a set of ten pod-style shower cubicles. All other bathrooms in student-accessible areas of the building are toilet-and-sink single occupant rooms only. The ground floor of the middle section includes a large Common Room where students can spend their free time, with a few gaming systems for different age groups and several art tables. (Students who prefer quiet instead go to the School Library.)
    Western section: Headmaster Gironde's former private suite in the original manor, on the ground floor of the western section near the juncture with the center section, got converted into the School Library. In the event of inclement weather or other troubles, the Library doubles as the emergency shelter. It is near the Dining Hall, the staff kitchen, stairs which lead down to the pantry and laundry areas of the first sublevel, and {Doctor/Headmaster/CEO, depending on which hat he's wearing at that hour} Gironde's office. Second story and finished attic are dormitory space for students, with older students in the small-but-more-private rooms of the finished attic.
    Eastern section: The ground floor of the eastern section contains offices for the school's general practitioner doctor, the school counselor, and site security. The middle floor, once full of bedroom suites for visitors to the Gironde family, has been converted into studio or single bedroom staff apartments. The "finished attic" floor of the eastern section contains two staff apartments with two bedrooms each. All staff apartments having windows on the east wall also have a small balcony.
  2. Private Residence: Dr. Tafey Anne Sinjin-Gironde, Mirabelle Sinjin, and Headmaster and family scion Jean-Claude Gironde reside in the two-story house within the boundaries of the moat but just outside the main building.

  3. Rear grounds: Gardens, tennis court, other gymnasium/training/recreational areas. Don Blake technically has a small "office" here as the sports doctor, in one corner of the insulated storage shed in the trees. He is seldom to be found there! Look for him out with the students if a game is in progress, or over in the main building keeping a casual watch in the Common Room, or down in the Lakeroom.

  4. Groundskeeper Utility Shed. (Actually a security building, with larger underground spaces.)

  5. Garage. A few Gironde generations ago, this was a stable. It has been repurposed and remodeled several times.

  6. Machine shop.

  7. Greenhouse. Bubba Jordan often sleeps here. The zigzag walkway is above the pumphouse and filtration system for the pond/moat system.

  8. Lakehouse. This is basically a free-standing, screened-in porch, located over the pond, with a couple of daybeds and a minifridge among the furniture. It functions as a staff lounge during the warmer months of the year. The furniture here gets stored in the Garage in late November or early December as the average daytime temperature drops close to freezing.

  9. Security outposts. These are pleasant looking boxes about the size of an old-fashioned doghouse, but obviously equipped with monitoring and communications equipment. Any hostile group surveying the grounds will note these and attack from the north instead.

  10. Gate houses. They look like cute little towers. They can withstand being rammed by Thunderstrike, so should shrug off most vehicles. They are staffed on days when more than two visitors are expected.

  11. Private residences. These four buildings are homes for staff members who need more privacy than the main building's staff apartments allow, while still allowing staff members to live on-campus.

  12. Horticultural classroom and laboratories that should not be kept too close to the residences.


Not shown:

  • Underground levels and tunnels connect some buildings, house "Special Projects" facilities.

  • Gironde property extends into forested land to north and east, and the short distance westward to the nearest country highway. Several miles eastward, an old electrical station atop a ridge hides the worst-case-scenario emergency shelter for the Gironde School, accessible through "Special Projects" tunnel, plus a concealed aircraft hangar.

  • Note: No landing area is provided for aircraft on the grounds, not even VTOL or rotarycraft. There used to be one in the eastern field near Building 4. That was determined to be a security hazard.


History of the Gironde family home


The Gironde School was originally the Gironde family manor house, built in the latter half of the 1800s as a shelter and retreat from national politics. Since the first permanent structure on the Gironde family's land was built, there has been some sort of classroom or tutors' library in this building more often than not.

During the 20th century, the number of people resident in the house gradually decreased. After several rounds of renovations to keep up with new technology, in the 1950s Jean-Pierre Gironde converted large sections of his family home into a small, private academy for postdoctorate students.

The "Gironde Institute" closed down with Jean-Pierre's death in the mid 1980s. The building was mostly dormant for several years.

Jean-Claude retired from his primary career after a crippling accident in 1989. Over the course of 1990, major renovations were made to all buildings on the property, including the old outbuildings, to improve accessibility access and to make physical security easier to manage.

The most recent major renovation to the entire Gironde property took place around 2002. Dr. Jean-Claude Gironde moved out of the main building; he now resides in the two story building that used to be a guest house. The manor building itself is now fully a boarding school, and a third of the staff moved out to the former outbuildings which have been converted over the last 50 years into cottages.

Staff, Main Campus:

  • Dr. Jean-Claude Gironde, proprietor, principal or headmaster, psychiatrist, and employer. He lives in a smaller house to the west of the main building, within the rectangular moat. His wife (Dr. Tafey Ann Sinjin-Gironde) and adult stepdaughter (Mirabelle Sinjin) live with him.

  • Dr. Steven Reynolds is the primary on-campus doctor. His younger sister, Cindy, is enrolled as a student.

  • Phillip Paxton is not actually supposed to be on staff. It merely happens that sometimes Blackjack sweeps into a classroom when a substitute teacher was needed (and not properly arranged!). Also during the week-long breaks when most of the student body are away, he might decide to cook one of his more involved recipes for whatever students remain. His eight-year-old son, Grayson, is enrolled as a student.

  • Jarissa Paxton was the Student Counselor until a little over 2 years ago, when she and Mirabelle Sinjin were kidnapped by a highly skilled villain team. When rescued, Feral could hear, and she could make simple vocal sounds (usually involuntarily but she needed surgery before she could speak. She required a few months of recovery before she could ask Dr. Reynolds to put her on his schedule. Even now, her speech is somewhat hobbled, but Dr. Blake thinks the physical therapy is going well.

  • Jerry Clasby (( Moleculon )) is in the same post-secondary classes as Tina and some of the same classes as Thomas; he teaches science to the younger grades. He has his own chemistry lab in the sub-basement. He has curly honey-gold hair. Never watch CSI with him, he’ll rant for hours about the bad science. Bill Nye is his hero, and he agreed to watch Numb3rs because Bill did a couple of guest stints on the program. He tells girls he’s trying to impress about his stamp collection. His older sister, Claire, is married to Paul, who is trying to gradually teach Jerry how to be himself without automatically being a nerd.

  • Tina Grewal (( Shadowstar )) is a post-secondary student, occasionally helps run the technology classes for the kids, and has more economic sense than the rest of her colleagues put together. She’s all-but-married to Thomas. She is Hindustani-American. She has the mutant ability to phase through solid objects. She thought this was really cool when she first developed it during puberty — “just like Kitty Pryde!” — until she also discovered that she could shoot energy beams out of her eyes. Then she spent two years having frequent migraines that would cause her to accidentally fall out of her bedroom and into the basement. She is very good with multichannel data systems.

  • Thomas Jordan (( Silverwing )) is a post-secondary student who teaches electronics (engineering, design, maintenance, electric theory, and one session per quarter on Things Other Teachers Wish I Would Not Do (Often Leading To Explosions). He is a superspeedster mutate who has had the mutant power to manipulate electromagnetic fields since he was at least twelve. He has a “son” named Bubba, who is a very large mutated daisy with the mental age of seven or eight. Thomas, Tina, and Bubba live in one of the small houses on the southeastern corner of the campus.

  • Sleet (real name unknown) is the primary math instructor at the main campus. He is a slender man in his late twenties, with tawny hair, olive skin, and bluish-gray eyes. No trace of his original, pre-villain identity has ever been found; just in case there is a problem awaiting him out there somewhere, he tends to avoid the rare visiting parent.

  • Don Blake is the First Aid and Practical Biology instructor, with a less official side of Sports Med/backup doctor when Steven is busy. Unusual but not unique among the staff, he keeps an apartment off-campus but spends most of his waking hours at the school. He worked in Metropolis for a long time as an EMT. His ambulance was destroyed before Captain America could quite get there; while he’s rebuilding his savings and repairing his salvaged equipment, he’s now working at the School as a specialized instructor, plus emergency medical support for students and staff.

  • Jack Monroe (( Nomad )) is the official Campus Security. He has a ten-year-old daughter named Gypsum Monroe (nicknamed “Bucky” to her current preteen frustration) enrolled as a student.


Staff, NYC Satellite Campus:

  • Paul McKinney (( Vigilante )) is the headmaster at the NYC branch. He spent decades working as a mercenary with decided bias against Communist governments or organizations. He’s not very patient with what he considers “perfectly capable people busy feeling sorry for themselves” but he’s an excellent tactician. Rumor has it that he won Diamond X’s heart on a highly classified mission against the Red Skull’s alliance when he glanced over a room full of glowering minions, looked at Claire, and asked what flavor of ice cream sundae he should be getting her at the Fourth Reich Commissary down the hall while she cleaned this room out.

  • Claire McKinney (( Diamond X )) is the chemistry instructor at the NYC branch. She was never a student at the Gironde Institute or an employee of Phoenix Industries; she arranged to have her baby brother (Jerry) enrolled when she realized he was a mutant and needed a more adaptive learning environment. She’s trained as a helicopter pilot but never bothered learn much about fixed-wing craft. She also has a knack for knowing the relevant weapon laws for almost any nation where a mercenary might want to chase down a minion of the Hammer Empire.

  • Robert Ridderhoff (( Mime )) is the liberal arts teacher at the NYC branch. He was a mercenary until the 1996 Summer Olympics, which went pretty badly for his career. As part of his plea-bargain, he wound up doing some work for Dr. Gironde, and that led to joining Wyldfire. A villain not-so-surgically removed the part of Robert’s personality that dealt well with violence. Mime has power mimicry abilities, but he’s really not up for superhero or supervillain action any more. Robert prefers to be called “Robert” but is comfortable when people like Jerry and Sleet call him “Bert”. He is not so okay with “Bertie”.


Frequently Adventuring Students:

The students are not supposed to go adventuring. Not all of them believe that. (See also: Young Justice

  • Grayson Paxton, age 8, is the son of Phillip and Jarissa Paxton. He is a catboy, complete with ears, whiskers, tail, and indigo-spotted fur coat. He speaks French, English, and the "gesture code” visual language (see Rissa or Thomas for more info) interchangeably, and has since his earliest days. He started teleporting very short distances shortly after his seventh birthday. He sincerely plans to be a Space Pirate Captain as his educational major. He calls Thomas and Tina “Uncle Thomas” and “Tante Tina” and treats them as extended parents; his attitude toward Bubba is usually brotherly, though it bothers him a little that Bubba used to be the older brother and is now the younger. He also calls Dr. Gironde “Grand-père” and has done so (apparently at his mother’s instigation) since he was almost two years old. He’s not so sure what to do with Dr. Tafey so (for a few years now) he follows the adults’ lead.

  • Bubba Jordan, age 6, is the “son” of Thomas Jordan. He was originally more developmentally human-standard between his early days as a daisy fertilized with concentrated “Steel Breath” (an early mutagenic street drug) but he was badly hurt by a supervillain attack that changed his physical form and his mental/emotional capacities. Bubba spent many years at "age six"; he is now, developmentally, about "age eight" but no one knows if that will continue for any length of time. Bubba looks like what Groot would look like if Groot were a clematis, with a solid green long-limbed body, vine-like fingers, and “hair” that is a lot of long green vines in “twist braid” style, dotted by daisy flowers in (usually) white or yellow. Bubba has Big Bird’s autograph as his prized possession. Bubba works very hard to Always Follow The Rules; if he’s having a tantrum or meltdown, it’s probably because he did not understand how to fit a situation into The Rules.

  • Gypsum “Bucky” Monroe, age 10, is almost certainly a mutant, possibly of the Invulnerability variety. She wants to be President of the United States. Or Prime Minister of Canada. Either is fine.

  • Jeremy Ballard, age 15, has the “blend in” variation of the Chameleon power. He’s one of the “Three Investigators” who’ve since founded the Young Justice supergroup. Jeremy’s family are wealthy Bostonites who don’t cope well; the butler, Thomas Johnson, has a better relationship with the kid, but Jeremy’s still best off at the Gironde School.

  • Susie Dolfin, age 15, is a telekinet and blueprint-drawing genius. She’s one of the “Three Investigators” who’ve since founded the Young Justice supergroup.

  • Brian Tanner, age 15, is a pyrokineticist with an unfortunate propensity for trying to tank way beyond his actual capacity to handle combat. He’s one of the “Three Investigators” who’ve since founded the Young Justice supergroup. At this rate, he’s going to keep putting himself in exponentially more dangerous situations without forethought until it gets one of his rescuers very badly injured, because he’s convinced that he and his buddies can handle everything life can throw at them.

  • Raymond Killingsworth, age 16, has a problem with never thinking ahead, and therefore tripping into trouble. He’s considered a “jock” and a ringleader of a “jock” clique. He got in a LOT of trouble when staff found out he’d been sneaking out of the house, going to a downtown nightclub called “The Cave”, and consorting with the kind of people who would use chemical-based hypnosis methods.

  • Cindy Reynolds, age 16, is tired of people trying to abduct her. Or do things to her older brother, Steven. She is Very Dramatically Goth right now, and willing to consider going Full Supervillain and taking over the world if that will keep them safe. Steven seems to have things in hand so far, though, so maybe she will {dramatic pause!} await developments. (Cindy is not really cut out to be a villain, at least, not the way her life is right now. It’s tough as a teenager to really believe that things are going to continue getting better.) Note: Cindy really has no idea how to deal with this whole “mother” situation! She had more or less gotten used to being an orphan. Now maybe their father really is alive? and traveling through time or alternate realities or something?

  • Amy Prinz, age 10, is thinking about going the inventor-gadgeteer route. This was a little more common of a career on the alternate Earth where she was born, what with Kryptonian science curriculums in the average public school and so forth. The trick was to find your niche in a wide world full of inventors, and then study everything that might tangentially relate to it. Her dad’s a professional driver, so the expectation was that she would specialize in some sort of vehicular engineering. Amy has decided that she is only 10 and that is way too early to be determining the narrow channel for the rest of her life. She does, however, have the top score in every driving or flying game on campus, including Mario Kart and Rodea the Sky Soldier, and has had the top scores since about 3 months after she arrived on this Earth.

Articles under Gironde School


Author's Notes

Eventually those student writeups will be significantly reduced, as members of Young Justice will get their own pages.

Please Login in order to comment!