Additional historical information about a school may be found on its school website. Visit the "About Us" section of a school's website to read more about its history.
Elementary Schools A-K
Opening Date: 1966
First Principal: Emily Parks
Interesting Facts: First elementary school in Virginia Beach built with a gymnasium.
Alanton Elementary was built to alleviate the overcrowding at John B. Dey Elementary. At that time, Alanton contained grades one through seven with an enrollment of 764 students. After completing seventh grade at Alanton, most of the students went directly to First Colonial High School as eighth-graders. It was built before the neighborhood of Baycliff, which currently surrounds the campus of the school.
Today, Alanton Elementary educates kindergarten through 5th grade. Since it was constructed in 1968, an addition was built to house an extended library-media center, computer lab, art room and 10 classrooms.
Opening Date: 1964
First Principal: John Prine
Interesting Facts: The name of Arrowhead Elementary was derived from the fact that during the excavation for the school, an Indian mound was found, in which many interesting artifacts were buried, including arrowheads.
The land for the site of Arrowhead Elementary was purchased in 1963 with the building opening in time for the 1964-1965 school year. The average student enrollment reached 952 children in grades one through seven. The following school year, 1965-1966, this 32-classroom school was 'bulging at the seams' and the enrollment rose to 1,136 students. In 1966-1967, to relieve the high enrollment, the sixth and seventh grade students were transferred to Kemps Landing Intermediate.
The school is located on a property totaling 22.9 acres. A ground breaking was held for the construction of a new school, June 23, 2003, and the new building opened in November 2004.
Opening Date: 1941
First Principal: Felix Williams
Interesting Facts: From a one room schoolhouse to a more modern facility, Bayside Elementary has been in existence for at least 74 years.
Bayside began as a log cabin school from 1911-1941 (also referred to as the Little Red School House) on the grounds of Haygood United Methodist Church. This school was headed by Reverend Joseph H. Hall, an ordained minister of the Methodist church and a pastor for several years. He was also a scholar, a schoolteacher, a talented carpenter and a politician. A wooden 'spankin' paddle was found in the wall when the old school building was torn down. The paddle showed the initials ”J.J.H” carved in Spencerian script and underlined with a flourish. The original owner of the paddle was Reverend J.J. Hall. In 1911, the school moved to the W.E. Biddle School, a wooden building located on Independence Boulevard near its intersection with Haygood Road. The school was named in honor of the prominent citizen who was instrumental in getting the school built.
The school was later renamed The Bayside School. At that time, the two teachers were Nettie Seymour and Agnes Hatchet.
In November 1941, the present Bayside Elementary opened at a cost of $65,000. The school served as an elementary educational center for the communities of East Ocean View, Little Creek, Diamond Springs, Lake Smith, Robbins Corner, Chesapeake Beach and Ocean Park. The original structure included seven classrooms, an auditorium and a cafeteria. In less than five years, five additional classrooms, at a cost of $100,000, were added to accommodate increased enrollment, and in 1948 one additional classroom was constructed. In 1952, ten classrooms, a library, an office and an expansion to the cafeteria were added.
In 1997, it was determined that renovations were no longer considered a solution for the problems of an aging facility. The building was demolished in 1999 with a ground breaking held August 2, 1999, for the new $8,885,900 school built on the original site.
The new Bayside Elementary opened in December 2000, with Janet Zitt as the first principal of the new facility. The building was dedicated May 18, 2001. It provides for a capacity of 725 students with facilities for art, music and physical education. A computer lab and a media center provide technology and support resources and services. All classrooms have data, telephone and cable lines for technology and access to a closed circuit television system.
Opening Date: 1986
First Principal: Gene Gregory
Interesting Facts: A special dedication program was held Dec. 15, 1986, for the students with the Honorable G. William Whitehurst, Congressman, as the guest speaker. A time capsule filled with memorabilia was buried in the front yard.
Birdneck Elementary was built on a 23.5 acre site secured from the Commonwealth of Virginia by the City of Virginia Beach and leased to the Virginia Beach School Board. Funding for the $7.2 million dollar school was approved by the School Board and City Council in 1981. Construction of the 137,250 square foot building began in March of 1985. The school, which houses 56 regular and 16 special classrooms in its two wings, opened to nearly 1,400 students Sept. 2, 1986. The architectural firm of Dills, Ainscough, and Duff designed the school; Conrad Brothers was the general contractor.
Opening Date: 1968
First Principal: Estell Davis
Interesting Facts: The renovated building is one of the most advanced elementary complexes in Virginia Beach. It was built with the most modern construction materials available for schools today.
Brookwood Elementary was constructed on 13 acres of land and opened in time for the 1967-1968 school year, housing grades one through seven. The school is bordered on the west side by a small canal that flows into the Lynnhaven Inlet and is adjacent to the largest shopping mall in Virginia Beach - Lynnhaven Mall.
A ground breaking was held for the construction of a new school June 5, 2006. The old building was demolished July 6, 2006, with classrooms and offices relocated behind Plaza Elementary in portable buildings for the duration of the project. The new building was dedicated May 7, 2008.
Opening Date: 1984
First Principal: George Chandler
Interesting Facts: Centerville was built on land that was once Brown Farm.
Centerville Elementary was built in 1984 and replaced the old Aragona Elementary. In 1988, student enrollment reached over 1,200 students and Centerville Elementary had 11 portable classrooms to accommodate the overcrowding until Tallwood Elementary was built in 1989.
Christopher Farms Elementary
Opening Date: 1997
First Principal: Don Clement
Interesting Facts: Christopher Farms Elementary contains the Spanish Partial Immersion Program. This program, launched in 2002, was designed to offer students a foreign language experience within the elementary school setting and give them more career options.
The school sits on property which was previously the horse farm known as Pleasant Acres Farm. There is a rumor that the farm was eventually purchased by a man named Christopher and thus the development became Christopher Farms. The school opened under the leadership of Don Clement and Debbie Bennett.
College Park Elementary
Opening Date: 1973
First Principal: Harold Revis
Interesting Facts: College Park Elementary stands on land that was formerly a cluster of dairy farms.
During the first years of operation, College Park Elementary housed grades kindergarten through seventh in an open classroom instructional setting. Following the opening of Brandon Junior High in 1978, seventh grade students were no longer taught at College Park. The open classroom format was disbanded in 1981 for a more traditional instructional arrangement.
The original building was funded through a city bond referendum for $978,000 with an additional $100,000 spent on equipment. The 49,900 square foot building was divided into 31 classrooms, five additional instructional areas and a cafeteria. In 1982, a gymnasium was added to the original building.
A ground breaking was held for the construction of a new school June 3, 2010, and was completed in Fall 2011.
Opening Date: 1905
First Principal: Clinton Woodhouse
Interesting Facts: Cooke Elementary celebrated their 100th Anniversary on November 4, 2006.
Willoughby T. Cooke Elementary had its beginning in the year 1904. In that year a canvass was taken to determine that there were thirty children who were of school age and a school was started in two attic rooms in the Driftwood Cottage located at 11th and 12th Street on the oceanfront. This first school was under the direction of Miss Laura R. Washington with Miss Adele O'Connor as her assistant. Miss Mary Townsend acted as a substitute. The school flourished under the direction of these ladies and proved to the Board of Supervisors that a public school for winter residents at the beach was a necessity.
In 1905, the public school became a reality for Virginia Beach. That year the school was housed in two rooms over the jail and the old Princess Anne Hotel was located within sight. During this time, Judge Keeling and Mr. Spence were among those who took an active interest in the school, and the first unit of the school was built. In March 1906, the town of Virginia Beach received its charter from the Virginia Assembly. Within months, the Town Council voted to fund a public school. In September 1913, students moved into a brand new, two-story brick building known as the Free Public School. The school building was located at 524 15th Street. It cost $14,000 and housed 125 students in grades one through seven.
In 1919, Mr. Willoughby T. Cooke became a member of the School Board and his years of interest and work in local education brought about the naming of the school in his honor. Mr. Cooke was a retired Norfolk businessman who was interested in children and their progress. Under his tenure the school added health education, a free lunch fund, drinking fountains, indoor plumbing and membership in the P.T.A. Because there was no lunchroom in the school building, neighborhood mothers took turns preparing a daily pot of soup and sandwiches that was delivered to the school by 7th grade students in the child’s wagon. An auditorium and small lunchroom were finally added in 1927. Electricity was installed in 1928. During the 1930s and 1940s some students rode an electric rail bus (known as the Green Hornet) to the 17th Street station and walked two blocks to Cooke School.
Additions were made to the building in 1946 and 1954. In 1962, all of the 1912 building was demolished and a new building begun. A new gymnasium was added in 1991. At the end of the 1997-1998 school year the “old” Cooke School was torn down (the gymnasium remained) and Cooke students moved to the old Linkhorn School building for the 1998-1999 school year. In 2000, the “new” Cooke opened at the same 15th Street site. The new building cost almost $9 million to build and houses 580 + students in grades K-5. This building is a state-of-the-art building that supports a curriculum that is fully integrated with technology. Participation in this project was extremely special for Cederquist Rodriguez Ripley Maddux, the Architectural Associates. Mr. John Maddux, Principal-in-Charge, attended Willoughby T. Cooke Elementary in the mid fifties and his mother, Mary Maddux, taught there for a number of years.
Today, Cooke Elementary has a memorial brick wall, made from the original school bricks, dons a picture of Mr. Willoughby T. Cooke, the school's namesake. Additionally, there are brass historical plaques and a time capsule.
Corporate Landing Elementary
Opening Date: 1993
First Principal: Bill Skaggs
Interesting Facts: In 2005, the school was named an NAYRE (The National Association for Year-Round Education) year round school of merit.
Corporate Landing Elementary opened its doors in 1993 with Bill Skaggs as the first principal. Corporate Landing remained a year-round school for seven years (2002-2009). The school services the regular population in addition to the hearing impaired. Corporate Landing has some of the few Special Ed Teachers on staff that specializes in hearing impairment.
Opening Date: 1954
First Principal: Bessie Bell
Interesting Facts: Robin Davenport, a previous principal, was a student at Creeds Elementary during the time his mother was the cafeteria manager.
Creeds Elementary is located in the rural southeastern section of Virginia Beach. The original Creeds building was built in 1848 in a section known as Blossom Hill. The second structure for Creeds Elementary was built in 1908 in Creeds, Virginia, approximately 5 miles south of the present building. The present building was constructed in 1939 at a cost of $80,000 and served as a high school for Princess Anne County until 1954 when it was converted to an elementary school.
As you walk through the hallways at the south end of the building, a history lesson awaits. Photos, dating back to 1940, of graduating classes line the walls. Generations of students have passed through the school, and children enjoy looking back at family members who once walked those corridors. Another interesting educational feature of the school is a map of the state of Virginia, painted on the wall near the media center.
The dedication of the first renovation of the school was held March 15, 1970. An air-conditioned primary wing was added to include four classrooms and a modern library in 1969. In 1999, a $6 million dollar modernization project began that tremendously transformed Creeds Elementary. This renovation added classrooms, art and music rooms, an administrative suite and media center. A public library adjoins the school media center, and a story room, conference room and computer lab are shared with the public library. The gym and all the original classrooms were also renovated.
Aug. 25, 1999, a partnership ceremony was held celebrating the beginning of a key partnership between Creeds Elementary and Pungo-Blackwater Library in the same facility. This renovation which includes a 'library-in-a-school' approach is a unique partnership not only in our region, but in the state as well. Former Principal Robin Davenport was instrumental in getting the project off the ground.
When the school is in session, the public library and the school media center hold separate operations - each with its own entrance and staff. Creeds Elementary students visit the public library during school hours and have full access to the collection. After school, both facilities are managed as one library by Virginia Beach Public Library staff.
Creeds Elementary serves as a model for what schools can become. In 2008, they received the Governor’s School of Excellence Award making them one of 89 schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia to achieve this honor. This is quite an accomplishment considering the fact that there are over 1800 schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Diamond Springs Elementary
Opening Date: 2007
First Principal: Shirann Lewis
Interesting Facts: Diamond Springs, Newtown and Bettie F. Williams elementary schools form the Bayside Tri-Campus.
Diamond Springs Elementary was built to alleviate over crowding at Newtown Road Elementary and Bettie F. Williams Elementary schools. Diamond Springs was built on a section of the former Williams Farm property which the City of Virginia Beach acquired. Kindergarten and first grade students were housed at Newtown and Bettie F. Williams until the completion of the building project.
A public park and a city street (Learning Circle) was built in conjunction with the new Newtown Elementary. The park and the street represent joint ventures with the City of Virginia Beach Departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works. The cost of the street project was approximately $3 million and the park cost approximately $2 million. The ground breaking was held on June 29, 2006, and the building was dedicated on June 4, 2008.
John B. Dey Elementary
Opening Date: 1956
First Principal: Joseph J. Owens Jr.
Interesting Facts: John B. Dey Elementary School received its name from a former Princess Anne County School Board Chairman who resided less than one mile from the school.
John B. Dey Elementary was built in September 1956. During the first year, however, it housed only grades five through seven to alleviate crowded conditions at Little Creek Elementary. The following year John B. Dey began to function as a complete elementary school including grades one through eight.
The school was contracted to be built in 1955 with a maximum capacity of 850 students the original school had. A self-contained sewer system, hot water (oil) heat, no air-conditioning and consisted of 48,585 square feet. It was designed without a physical education room. It had a 1,000 barrel bus refueling facility. Over 13 acres of land on Great Neck Road were purchased from the James Farm by the Princess Anne County School Board. On this site the school was constructed.
Increased population in the area made it necessary to construct an annex of ten rooms, a storage room and two restrooms in 1960. In 1963, the annex housed some eighth graders to help the crowded conditions in the neighboring secondary school.
With the Virginia Beach population expanding, in September 1972, two mobile classrooms were added to aid congestion. Two kindergarten classes were added 1973. The school gymnasium was completed and opened for the students during the 1978-1979 school year. The much anticipated air-conditioning was installed in the summer of 1986. An addition was added in 1995 that included seven classrooms, a new media center, art room, computer lab and updated office spaces.
The Story of John B. Dey
John B. Dey, who died at the age of 83, on December 10, 1957, was a truck farmer by vocation and lived in one of the most picturesque homes in Princess Anne County. The home was the Broad Bay Manor, which was built in 1640. Mr. Dey lived in the home at the time of his death. The 415 acre estate and the manor house and the life of the master of the manor presented the pleasant picture that can be summed up in phrase, “noblesse oblige.” The landed gentleman lived up to noble obligations.
He had a fine sense of loyalty to the community obligations he assumed and there were many. An example, and perhaps the outstanding one, was his 17-year chairmanship of the Princess Anne County School Board. He became chairman of that important board in 1940 and retired in June 1957, at which time he was honored by its members for his foresight and wisdom in planning for the county schools.
Mr. Dey was a member of the Princess Anne Board of Supervisors, the Norfolk City Council (during a period of residence in that city) and the State House of Delegates. He was a delegate to several state Democratic conventions and to the national Democratic convention in Houston in 1928 that nominated Alfred E. Smith for the presidency. He also served as a longtime director of the Tidewater Automobile Association.
Mr. Dey's unselfish devotion to community causes like the schools stood out most strongly. He was born in Princess Anne County, but was educated in the public schools of Norfolk County.
Opening Date: 1976
First Principal: C.M. Rawls
Fairfield Elementary was built in 1975, to serve the rapidly growing population of the Kempsville Borough. The school opened in 1976 with an enrollment of 900 students. The next year, enrollment increased to 1,230 students, which led to the transfer of all seventh grade students to another school. The school is currently home to about 530 students, in grades K-5.
Physically, Fairfield Elementary consists of one large building where two main hallways intersect at a cross between the lower and upper-grade corridors. The cafeteria also serves as an auditorium. The library media center and computer lab are two of the most frequently visited locations in the school. The entry foyer was refurbished at the beginning of the 1996-1997 academic year, with cheerful white wicker furniture donated by the Parent Teacher Association. The technology needed for Internet access was installed in all classrooms during the summer of 1996.
Opening Date: 1990
First Principal: John S. Kalocay
Interesting Facts: Glenwood was the largest elementary school in the state of Virginia with 1,600 students until New Castle Elementary was built in1999.
Glenwood Elementary opened in 1990 with John Kalocay as the first principal. The school colors (blue and orange) and mascot (the gator) are from the University of Florida. For the 1993-1994 school year, Glenwood had 10 adopt-a-school partners and surpassed their motto, “Together Everyone Achieves More.”
In 2006, the school began the Young Writers’ Celebration, where every student in the school (950-1000 students) published a hard bound book called a Bare Book which was displayed in the gym for the community, school staff and students to view and read.
Glenwood has taken part in recycling efforts for the Lynnhaven NOW project for the 2009-2010 school year. A time capsule is buried in the courtyard holding items that were of importance and trendy during the year the school opened.
Green Run Elementary
Opening Date: 1976
First Principal: Robert Pearsall
When the Green Run community was designed, an elementary school was planned on a 14-acre site at the center of the Green Run community, a unique circular design. The community grew very rapidly before the school could be built; therefore a student body was organized before the building was completed. The school became operational July 1, 1975, when a principal and secretary set up an office in a conference room at nearby Holland Elementary. Students were housed at Brookwood, Plaza, Holland and Windsor Oaks elementary schools until the new building was completed in 1976.
Opening Date: 1964
First Principal: Ruth Cole
Interesting Facts: Hermitage Elementary is the first "green” school to be constructed in Virginia Beach.
The original school opened its doors in November 1964, on 19 acres donated by the federal government. During this time, 970 students in 6th and 7th grade classes attended school in the unfinished building for the remainder of the term. In the fall of 1965, the completed building was opened to serve grades one through seven. In 1967, four special education classes were added.
Ground was broken for a new school June 10, 2003, and renovation was completed March 2004. Hermitage is regarded as a "green" school because the new structure contains many environmentally savvy amenities. The environmentally-sound building includes special filters installed in the heating and cooling system; different air flow requirements creating energy efficiency; building materials containing recyclable elements; higher insulation values to keep the building as warm as possible in the winter and cooler in the summer; a structural design that promotes an abundant flow of sunlight; the use of paints and floor adhesives with minimal odors; sinks and toilets with low water usage; and other components.
According to Tony Arnold, director of Facilities Planning and Construction, the reason why the division decided to rebuild Hermitage as a "green” school was to incorporate the nation's best resources to build an environmentally efficient school. The new $9.7 million structure opened with a capacity for 567 students and a building dedication was held November 15, 2005.
Opening Date: 1967
First Principal: Mrs. Edna "Ellie" Bates
Holland Elementary opened for the 1967-1968 school year, with an average enrollment of 797 children in grades one through seven. In 1973, Holland operated on a 45/15 schedule which was designed to help ease over crowding due to the new development of Green Run. Teachers taught for 45 school days, then had 3 weeks off and rotated all year. During that time, there was only one first grade class that had 35 students. In the following year, there were two first grade classes, which reduced the classroom size to about 18 children. The Accelerated Schools program was piloted at Holland Elementary. It was designed to enhance student performance and was discontinued after only a few years.
Indian Lakes Elementary
Opening Date: 1979
First Principal: Peggy Bryson
In the spring of 1977, the Virginia Beach School Board approved construction of a new school to house the increasing school population in the Kempsville area. The School Board voted unanimously to the name the elementary school, Indian Lakes Elementary, which was located in the Indian Lakes area of the city. The school would house students from the subdivisions of Indian Lakes, Lake Christopher and Brigadoon. During construction, students were bused to Old Donation Elementary for two school years:1977-1978 and 1978-1979. Indian Lakes Elementary officially opened September 4, 1979, and operated with a student population of 1,086 in grades one through six.
Opening Date: 1961
First Principal: Robert Stenzhorn
Interesting Facts: The first school on record in the Kempsville area was the Dickson Free School, built in 1794. In 1835, there was a Kempsville Academy (or Male and Female Seminary) which existed until the Civil War.
Kempsville was once an incorporated town. Prior to that, it was known as Kemps Landing, taking its name from a local storekeeper. The creek, part of the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River, was once a deep water landing, and goods for Mr. Kemp's store, as well as bricks and lumber, were unloaded there. It was also a shipping point for grain and other produce from surrounding areas. It is believed that the first skirmish of the American Revolution in Virginia was fought in Kempsville.
Kempsville became the county seat of Princess Anne County in 1775. The Court House was later used as a Baptist church. In the old part of the village there were two churches, Emmanuel Episcopal, which was once a part of the Old Donation Parish, and Kempsville Baptist church, organized in 1814. Pleasant Hall, built in 1797, is one of the area's most outstanding homes.
Kempsville Elementary was built in 1961. The school was renovated in August 2001, and completed in 2003.
Kempsville Meadows Elementary
Opening Date: 1959
First Principal: Josephine Charles
Kempsville Meadows Elementary was built on 15 acres of land donated by Mr. Albert Bonney. The school was designed by the architects, Pentecost, Wade, and McLellan and erected by Haycox Construction Company. The first principal, Mrs. Josephine Charles, opened the school in 1959 with a student enrollment of 810.
On July 3, 2001 a ground breaking ceremony was held for the construction of a new school. The building was dedicated on Aug. 21, 2002, and the new facility opened in September 2002.
King’s Grant Elementary
Opening Date: 1960
First Principal: Mildred Wilson
Interesting Facts: The original school was built in a record breaking time of 90 days.
King's Grant Elementary was built in 1960 by the Princess Anne County School Board. The school was built to house many of the students who had previously attended Oceana Elementary which was closed due to its proximity to the Oceana Naval Air Station. Mrs. Mildred Wilson was the first principal and served until 1961. The school district was divided and in September 1965, King’s Grant Elementary opened to students from the King’s Grant, Eastern Park and Chesopeian Colony neighborhoods. That same year, five sections of sixth grade students were transported to King’s Grant Elementary to relieve the overcrowded conditions in the Plaza area.
On Dec. 17, 1968, the original building burned; however, the new school was rebuilt and ready to go in 1969. The King's Grant community continued to grow over the years and a new addition was added to the school in 1997.
Opening Date: 1965
First Principal: Willard Pendleton
Interesting Facts: Kingston Elementary has received the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award twice: during the 1989-1990 and 1996-1997 school years.
Kingston Elementary was completed in the summer of 1965. The school was used to house the students of the new Windsor Woods area until the new Windsor Woods Elementary was completed. Approximately 675 students in grades one through seven were housed in the school.
Over the 1965 winter holidays, the Windsor Woods faculty and staff moved into the new Windsor Woods Elementary and the King's Grant students remained at Kingston Elementary for the remainder of the 1965-1966 school year.
In 1973, a kindergarten program was established at Kingston. Also, in 1990 a gymnasium was added followed by an addition in 1996.