About James Hurst


About Our School

 

Yes, we are FULLY ACCREDITED!!  

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 Our School's History...

James Hurst Elementary School is located in Cradock, which is the second Portsmouth neighborhood to be listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register. James Hurst was originally built in 1942 during World War II. When the school opened, it was considered quite a showplace! The school was built on a fifteen acre heavily wooded site, which enhanced the attractiveness of the building.

The school was built hurriedly due to the fast growing student population brought about by the heavy influx of workers coming to Portsmouth to work in the Navy Yard. In the rush to complete the much needed school, the foundation area was not cleared of stumps. Dampness and termites took their toll on the building and by the 1970's it had deteriorated to a degree that necessitated replacement. Only the attractive Cupola and its weather vane survive today. They sit on a brick base in front of the new building.

On January 2, 1979 school opened in the new James Hurst building, which is located on the site of the old building, 18 Dahlgren Avenue in Cradock. While under construction during the 1977-78 school term, James Hurst was housed at Cavalier Manor and Brighton schools. James Hurst is the second school in the state of Virginia to utilize federal assistance in order to install a solar component to its heating and water system. From January until June of 1979, James Hurst housed approximately 643 K-3 pupils. Beginning in September 1979, James Hurst housed K-4 pupils raising the enrollment to 763. Today, James Hurst has an enrollment of over 750 students in grades K through 6.

Garfield Shafer, Jr. was the school's principal from 1942-1954. Albert F. Peterson, who retired in 1975, was with James Hurst Elementary School for 29 years. He started as a teacher in 1946, was named assistant principal three years later (continuing with his teaching), and in 1954 was appointed principal. On his retirement, April 15, 1975, Mrs. Doris Ward was named principal of James Hurst. Mrs. Ward served as principal until her retirement in 1983. William Wiseman was appointed principal in June, 1983. Mr. James Victory arrived at James Hurst to assume the role of principal in 1990, where he would remain until 1993. After Mr. Victory's departure, Mr. Ellsworth became principal from 1993-2002. Mrs. Evelyn Whitley was principal from 2002 - 2016. Mr. Morris Barrco was principal from 2016 - 2018. Mrs. LaKesia Jolley-Foster came to James Hurst in March  2019 as Principal.