Blue Ridge Elementary
Blue Ridge Elementary School opened its doors in 1939 to students in grades 1-8. At the time, it was called the Mt. Mission Graded School. Dorothy Conklyn was the principal when it opened. In 1940, the Board of Education voted to change the name to Blue Ridge Graded School. The original building was constructed on the 3.5 acre parcel of land purchased from the Thomas Ott family in 1938. In 1974, an adjoining 29 acres were purchased from the Elwood Dillow family for approximately $35,000. Since its opening, additions in 1957, 1969, 1976 (part of the $1.5 million bond levy passed by the voters of Jefferson County on February 14, 1974) and 1991 (part of the $18 million bond levy passed by the voters of Jefferson County on February 11, 1989) have increased the size of the building from 6,750 sq. ft. to 49,155 square feet. Kindergarten was added in 1972. With the conversion of junior high schools to middle schools in 2002, this school began serving students in grades K-5.
Blue Ridge Primary
In our mountain’s colonial history, the population was a bit more scarce than what we see today. During the outbreak of the Civil War, the area was mainly rugged and roads hard to travel. The first free mountain school seems to have been built during these turbulent times. Mannings School was built in 1857. The school still stands off Route 9 on a dirt road directly across from the entrance to Mission Road.
Sometime around 1923-28, the Board rented Mount Mission School to replace Manning School. It originally housed grades 1-8 before grades above the fourth grade were sent to Charles Town Graded School in 1934. That left so few students attending Mount Mission School that it was closed the following year.
Charles Town Middle
Home of the Panthers
Charles Town is located in Charles Town, the County Seat of Jefferson County. It is the largest Middle School in the County serving 6th to 8th Grades. It is guided by a great principal named Tim Sites. It is an inner city school but located at the outer edge of the city so there are still many kids coming by bus.
Harper’s Ferry Middle
Home of the Tigers
Actually located Bolivar, West Virginia, above Harper’s Ferry, this Middle School serves 6th to 8th Graders from towns around the Harper’s Ferry and Bakerton areas. One of the two largest Middle Schools in the County.
Home of the Cougars
Jefferson High School opened in 1972, consolidating Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, and Shepherdstown High Schools. As the only high school in the county, the former schools became Junior High Schools, and later Middle Schools. In 2008, Washington High School opened as the second high school serving Jefferson County. The school is named for the county it serves, not President Thomas Jefferson.
I believe the largest of the two High Schools in the County. Located in Shenandoah Junction it serves 9th to 12 Grade. It has everything you can expect for a High School. Most of the kids come by bus or car. It is very different from every other school in the County both from its academics to its disciplinary structure. I have yet to have a bad experience teaching here. Of special note is the Teacher’s Lounge in Section A. The Social Studies Department has its classrooms along with English in Section A. The teachers at JHS Social Studies are the most lively group I have ever met in the County. I strongly recommend that if you want to see a side of JHS other than the kids, make sure you plan on having lunch in the Section A Lounge.
North Jefferson Elementary
Martin Robinson Delany
Opportunity Learning Center (OLC)
The OLC is a special place located across the street from Wright Denny Elementary. This school is where residents of Vicky Douglas Juvenile go to transition back to Mainstream schools. I only substituted at this school one time which is average for most subs since there are very few teachers serving not so many students (fortunately).
Page Jackson Elementary
Home of the Pandas
Page-Jackson Elementary school was built in 1976. It is named after two former african-american educators in Jefferson County, Mr. Littleton Page and Mr. Philip Jackson. The current building was the first solar powered school in the surrounding area when it was built. The students of Page-Jackson primarily live in or in close proximity to, the county seat of Charles Town. Although mostly rural in nature, Charles Town has become a community richly populated with families who have lived in the area for many generations, as well as, families who have moved to the area more recently. The school community has quite a diverse mix, in terms of socioeconomic status, ranging from families struggling at the poverty level to make ends meet, to families comfortably well off financially. They also have a wide variety of multicultural backgrounds in our students. Page-Jackson Elementary serves 450 students in Kindergarten through Second grades. 55 staff with 6 homerooms classes of Kindergarten, First and Second grades; a half time Nurse, English is a Second language teacher, and Guidance Counselor. They have a full time Art teacher, Physical education teacher, Librarian, Speech teacher, and Music teacher.
Home of the Rockets
Ranson Elementary School opened in 1958 for students in grades one through five.
Additions to the school were made in 1969, 1975, 1984 and 1990. Kindergarten began
in 1975. In 2002, when the middle schools opened in Jefferson County, Ranson became a kindergarten through fifth grade school. Mr. Robert Sherman was the original principal of the school and Mrs. Debra Corbett has served as principal for over twenty years. Currently, Ranson is a Pre-Kindergarten through fifth grade school with approximately 380 students.
Ranson is a Title I School and has been honored as a National Title I School,
a West Virginia Title I School and a West Virginia School of Excellence.
Home of the Roadrunners
One of the oldest schools in the County and in the richest town in the County. Shepherdstown Elementary has a reputation as being a well behaved community since all of the kids come from Shepherdstown families. Since my kids went through K-5 at this school I am obviously prejudice. Only subbed once for 3rd grade early on in my sub career.
Home of the Cardinals
Having spend a lot of time recently I am really starting to like this school. It is under the leadership of Ms. Horn who was the Vice Principal for years. She only recently took over the lea and has quickly turned it around to a leading Middle School in the County. In recent years the School went through hard times with other principals who are no longer at the helm. SMS is fed by Shepherdstown Elementary and North Jefferson Elementary. If you read my notes on the two schools you will perhaps see why there can be hectic days when bringing kids together from such different backgrounds.
T.A. Lowery Elementary
Home of the Terriers
Known to insiders as “T.A.” this school has K-5. It houses the largest program for Autism, Learning Disabilities, Special Education and MMI (moderate mental impairment). There are also mainstream classes. I have had the pleasure of substitute teaching for all areas in the school. Always a pleasure to return. One other neat thing is the log cabin build by teachers in the back of the school used for special program. Located in Shenandoah Junction, T.A is within walking distance of a historic landmark village housing the oldest A-frame house in the USA having once had George Washington as a visitor.
The newer of the two high schools in the county. Located outside of Charles Town it has a large walker, car and bus community. The halls remind me of a small Pentagon in their design. I have only taught a few times . My favorite memory is that many of the kids come from Shannondale and they have the best salad bars of all the schools in the county. I heard my best Hillary joke from 11th graders at this school.
Home of the Mustangs
Wildwood was originally built to house the 9th Grade of Jefferson High School which is directly across the street. Once Washington High School was built, 9th grade went back to JHS and the school was converted into a Middle School serving 6th to 8th grades. Wildwood has a large community serving Shenandoah Junction and parts of Kearneysville and other areas around SJ. I have had the pleasure of teaching there on many occasions and would happily return. They have a very special group of kids. Of special recollection is teaching in the Learning Disabilities and Special Education classes. Good strong dedicated staff and leadership.
Wright Denny Intermediate
Home of the Bobcats
Located one block off the main street of Charles Town, West Virginia, Wright Denny Intermediate School serves approximately 430 students in grades three through five. Our building has been a community institution since 1929, serving as a high school, a junior high school, and an elementary school. Following major renovations in 1993, our facilities include a separate gymnasium, media center, computer lab, music room, art room, cafeteria, and a beautiful 475-seat auditorium in addition to twenty-five classrooms.
Our gracious, Greek-columned building is not only a historical landmark, but also a center of activity that we are proud to share with the community.
Under the leadership of principal Chris Walter, Wright Denny has a faculty of 25 regular and special education teachers, two instructional aides, and full time art, media, physical education, and music teachers. The school is also served by a counselor, a speech pathologist, a psychologist, a nurse, and a band instructor.
The majority of Wright Denny’s teachers have worked together for a number of years and offer a warm welcome to new staff members, thus forming a closely knit faculty who have comfortable professional relationships. This creates a mix of experience and renewal and enables the staff to undertake group projects and decision-making with a high degree of efficiency.
Remembering Wright Denny’s history, our staff deals confidently with present challenges, and looks forward to the future.