About Us

Eagle "Home of the Eagles"Eagle

School History

Rear Admiral Manley H. Simons, a former commander of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, conceived the concept of the Simonsdale community in 1939. The number of shipyard workers and the shortage of housing in the area precipitated his action. He constituted a commandant's housing advisory committee, which negotiated the purchase of a 143-acre tract that extended from the old Suffolk Boulevard (now Portsmouth Boulevard) to Olive Branch Cemetery.

In order to accommodate the Simonsdale community’s youth population who attended Westhaven School, the Norfolk County School Board constructed a school on a 24-acre site situated on Byers Avenue. In April 1946, the new facility opened with a 13 member faculty and a student body of 490. The school’s first complete year commenced with the 1946-47 academic session. By 1949, the School Board and the professional staff were planning to renovate the school facility so that it could accommodate the rapidly increasing number of schoolchildren. The School Board dedicated the new addition in 1952. The newly renovated plant provided certain amenities for 1,124 students: a library, an office suite, a multi-purpose room complete with a modern stainless steel kitchen, a clinic, a faculty lounge, and six additional classrooms.

During the sixties, instructional innovations in the area of technology found their way into the school’s educational program: audiovisual equipment, language masters, and recorders. Computer technology soon followed. In 1971, the school served the needs of primary students enrolled in first and second grades from three communities: Cavalier Manor, Park Manor, and Simonsdale. In order to meet the students’ instructional needs, the central administrative staff added seven kindergarten classes. At that time, the school’s student population exceeded 600. With enrollment of 725 students, the school presently serves the needs of youngsters from kindergarten to sixth grade. Simonsdale Elementary School is the division’s newest state of the art LEED certified green building.

Twelve administrators have provided strong leadership during the school’s 65 year history:

Miss Mary Frances Wright

1946-71

Mr. Bernard M. Mamlin

1971-72

Ms. Rebecca P. Davis

1972-79

Mrs. Venable Whitlow

1979-81

Ms. Adelaide Crute

1981-84

Mrs. Eunice G. Southhall

1984-89

Ms. Gloria Gowings

1989-91

Dr. Ethel R. Porter

1991-93

Mrs. Nancy S. Dunn

1993-96

Mr. William H. Slate

1996-2007

Mrs. Karen D. Clark

2007-10

Mrs. Darlene F. Bright

2010-2017

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