A Smyrna-area elementary school that has nearly tripled in size since it first opened 50 years ago will begin its golden anniversary celebration next month.
Teasley Elementary School, which serves Vinings residents, first opened in 1963. It is now split between two campuses – one at the original site on Spring Hill Road and the other on Brown Road as the school undergoes a 20-classroom facelift and expansions to the gymnasium and cafeteria.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating 50 great years at Teasley,” said Principal Leslie Mansfield. “We look forward to welcoming staff, students and community members past and present as they join us in our celebration. This is an exciting time for Teasley as we anticipate the upcoming renovation and addition to our campus. Teasley remains ‘The Best Little School in Georgia’…50 years strong!”
Next month, the school will celebrate its 50th anniversary with an invite-only gala for Teasley alums, teachers, students, parents and local VIP’s on Oct. 13 between 3 and 5 p.m.
Teasley parent and Parent-Teacher Association member Jill McCurry has been working with fellow parents since August to prepare for the celebration and serves on the 50th anniversary committee. All three of her children have attended or continue to attend Teasley.
“It’ll be a good chance to view the school before all the new construction starts,” she said.
McCurry, who has been a parent at the school since 2007, also encourages alumni, parents and students to submit photos for the celebration by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The program includes food and a reception, musical performances by Teasley’s first-grade music students and another school group, the Treble Tones, guided school tours and student art displays. Special guests will include Susan Kendal, author of “Images of America: Vinings,” and Area Assistant Superintendent Dale Gaddis.
For Teasley alumna and parent Elizabeth McRae, the celebration is a semblance of their family coming full circle in the Teasley community.
“It’s just a unique situation,” she said. “It’s a really special feeling that they are going to a school that I attended.”
McRae, 45, went to Teasley in kindergarten through fifth grade in the mid-to-late 1970s. Her parents, Mary Ann and Dell Sikes, still live in the Smyrna area and her children are now second- and fourth-graders there.
Reflecting back on changes at the school, McRae said Teasley has grown a lot but still remains a small community school.
“I feel like the teachers still have the same heart and warmth that they did 30 years ago,” she said. “They have done a great job of that at Teasley, having that feeling of every child matters and that you’re going to be loved and challenged.”
Teasley was named after Fitzhugh Lee Elementary School’s first principal, Roy A. Teasley, and served students in first through eighth grades.
In 1966, there were 277 students at Teasley with one teacher per grade level. Today, the school has 735 students with a total staff of 101, including administrators, counselors, specialists, clerical assistants and food service employees.
In 1977, students in sixth through eighth grades were relocated to nearby schools and in 1978, kindergarten was added to Teasley.
Over the years, Teasley has undergone several transformations, including three additions to meet the needs of a growing student body.
Teasley had renovations in 2002-03 and will undergo another $13 million-plus expansion in the next two years with a 20-classroom addition and increased sizes in the administrative offices, the cafeteria, a new gymnasium and various electrical and mechanical upgrades.