Biglerville Elementary School History
History of Biglerville Elementary School
Biglerville’s children were educated over the years in a log and mud structure built in the late 1790’s, then in a brick and frame schoolroom constructed in 1859 on the site of the present high school, and then in a two-story brick building erected in 1917 to house both grade school and high school students. By the mid-1920’s, students went to school in the former Blocher’s Furniture Store. That was the Biglerville Elementary School at the time of the district jointure.
Plans were made to construct an eight room community school in Biglerville. In 1952, eight acres of land adjacent to the Biglerville High School site were purchased. Construction began in 1954 and the “new” Biglerville Elementary School opened on January 31, 1955.
Before long, overcrowding was a problem at Biglerville Elementary. Rented classroom space at the United Brethren Church (now Centenary Methodist) next door to the high school was a temporary solution. In 1961, an addition consisting of four classrooms, teachers’ room and curriculum room was begun, with occupancy taking place at the beginning of the 1962-63 school year.
In a short time, the school was again overcrowded. In 1966, two elementary classes were moved to high school basement rooms. The school board proceeded with another addition to Biglerville Elementary, which included the library, two classrooms, and a kindergarten classroom. This opened in 1969, the same year the district’s kindergarten program began.
During the 1980’s, overcrowding again became a problem at Biglerville Elementary. This was caused by several factors: the moving of all the district’s kindergarten classes to that building to make use of the new IBM “Writing to Read” computer center, an influx of more students to the area, and the need for more space for state mandated special needs programs.
Ground was broken in February 1993, for the current Biglerville Elementary School complex, located on an 88 acre site south of the borough. This building contained 24 classrooms. A Center for Environmental Studies, available to all district students and to the community, was established on the site through $58629.59 in grants from the Small Business Association and the Bureau of Forestry.
In 1999, Biglerville held its first full-day kindergarten classes. Reorganization of the district by grade level, beginning with the 2004-05 school year, prompted the need for additional classrooms. The addition of six classrooms, bathrooms, and storage room was completed for the 2006-07 school year. Biglerville Elementary currently houses kindergarten and grades 1-3 for the entire district, making the transition to grade level buildings complete as of the 2008-2009 school year. The building currently also houses two pre-k classrooms.
Biglerville Elementary School Principals:
M. Francis Coulson 1947-52
S. Ray Shetter 1952-55
C. William Settle 1955-67
Donald Bushey 1967-73
Ronald Ebbert 1973-89
Robert Dortenzo 1989-97
Eric Eshbach 1997-01
Karen Daugherty 2001-07
Kathleen Ciolino 2007-12
Denise Sharp 2012-14
Jamie Kerstetter 2014-Present
Jennifer Nelson 2018-Present