This is Part 3 of the series to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Elk Grove Unified School District. Read about our long-ago schools in my two October HHH columns. Today, we take a look at the schools of 1959 and what happened since then with our growth, leadership, and schools.
At the time of the unification of the schools in what is now Elk Grove Unified School District, there were seven distinct communities, each with their own leadership – Sloughhouse, Elk Grove, Pleasant Grove, Franklin, Florin, Dillard, and Sierra Enterprise. Each had one school, and we had Elk Grove Union High School.
Elk Grove and Florin districts each built a new school just prior to unification. Anna Kirchgater was built by the Elk Grove district, and it is still with us today. The Florin District built the original Isabelle Jackson, that is William Daylor today.
Lee School joined with Dillard right after unification. So we had seven communities with nine schools and Elk Grove Union High School. We had 3,000 students enrolled in those schools. That is what we looked like in 1959 with our total of 10 schools.
Today, 60 years later, we have 67 schools and 62,675 students enrolled in our schools. When we look back at the seven communities, this is the history of their schools:
Elk Grove – Murphy’s school, San Joaquin, Elk Grove (four sites and still there today), Jackson, Victory, Elk Grove Union High School, and Anna Kirchgater.
Sloughhouse – Miwok family schools, the first Rhoads School, Katesville, Live Oak, Cook’s Bar, Michigan Bar, Wilson, Stone House, the second Rhoads School, and Cosumnes River Elementary that is with us today.
Pleasant Grove – with us today, but Union, Excelsior, Reese, and Highland are gone. Highland was later annexed to Enterprise. Reese joined Pleasant Grove for about 20 years.
Franklin – still there and getting ready for a new site, the first Prairie School, Union, the first Carroll school (connected to Elk Grove at one time), and Point Pleasant.
Florin – with us today but we also had Florin East and Florin West, and the first Isabelle Jackson.
Dillard – still there, but we had Lee and Davis there.
Sierra Enterprise – Sierra and Enterprise schools joined to create what we have today.
What do we have in 2019 in each area?
Here they are:
Elk Grove – Elk Grove Elementary at its fourth site, James McKee Elementary, Elk Grove High School at its third location, Joseph Kerr Middle School, Jessie Baker School; and Ellen Feickert, Florence Markofer, and Edna Batey elementary schools.
Sloughhouse – Cosumnes River Elementary – no changes, just a larger school.
Franklin – Franklin, Carroll, Joseph Sims, Helen Carr Castello, Arlene Hein, Stone Lake, Marion Mix, and Elliott Ranch elementary schools, Franklin High School, Toby Johnson Middle School.
Pleasant Grove – Pleasant Grove Elementary at its long-ago site; Maeola Beitzel, Robert Fite, Arnold Adreani, and Arthur Butler elementary schools, Sheldon High School, T. R. Smedberg Middle School, Pleasant Grove High School, and Katherine Albiani Middle School.
Florin and north Elk Grove – Florin Elementary at its third site, James Rutter Middle School, William Daylor High School, Florin High School, Monterey Trail High School, Edward Harris Middle School, Calvine High School; and Samuel Kennedy, David Reese, Roy Herburger, Isabelle Jackson, Raymond Case, and Mary Tsukamoto elementary schools.
Dillard – Dillard Elementary, not far from its original site, but a new and large school. Sierra Enterprise, at its original site, Sunrise, Robert McGarvey.
We have two new areas that did not have schools in 1959, but they have many of them now. The Laguna area, both south and north of Elk Grove Boulevard is between Highway 99 and Franklin Boulevard, the Valley Hi area is in the northwest part of EGUSD. This was all farm land, but now it is houses, businesses and schools in 2019.
Laguna and Laguna Ridge areas –– Cosumnes Oaks High School, Elizabeth Pinkerton Middle School, Laguna Creek High School, and Harriet Eddy Middle School; and Zehnder Ranch, Foulks Ranch, Elitha Donner, and John Ehrhardt elementary schools.
Valley Hi area – Valley High School, Samuel Jackman Middle School; and Irene West, Barbara Comstock Morse, John Reith, Herman Leimbach, Charles Mack, Prairie, Union House elementary schools; Rio Cazadero and Las Flores high schools.
We have had only six superintendents in our 60-year history as a unified school district. This is who they were along with the schools that opened during their years: 1959 to 1968: George Kibby, nine schools; 1968 to 1983: Glenn Houde, six schools;1984 to 1995: Robert Trigg, 16 schools; 1995 to 2004: David Gordon, 16 schools; 2004 to 2014: Dr. Steve Ladd, eight schools; 2014 to present: Christopher Hoffman, three schools.
In addition to all the schools, the EGUSD has two large programs that reach out to families – the preschool and pre-kindergarten program and the adult education program. Both have been in place for many, many years.
We also had two other alternative schools that are gone – Pioneer and Omochumnes.
In 2019, EGUSD serves 62,675 students and is the fifth largest school district in California. There are 42 elementary schools, nine middle schools, nine high schools, four alternative schools, and three special schools for a total of 67 schools. And, plans continue for more schools in the very near future. Read more about our schools of the past in future HHH columns – and in my two History Happened Here books.
The story of our schools will be continued…
BOOKS BY ELIZABETH PINKERTON
History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold
History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools
We the People, a Story of Internment in America
All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 75 scholarships with each one $1,000 – make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624. Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books. Call me at (916) 685-0606 or email me at email@example.com. And, you can always purchase books at meetings of the EGUSD Board of Education and the city of Elk Grove. Look for me in the entry area of both places.