Emerick Elementary School in Purcellville opened in the fall of 1967. The new school replaced the Purcellville Grade School which is currently the Loudoun Valley Community Center. The teachers and students carried their books, desks and chairs across the street to their new school.
(Loudoun County history published by the county for public school use.)A personal account of the school move was emailed to us from Mr. Donald Nichols in June of 2004. He states:
"Emerick did not open in the fall of 1967 as stated [on website]. Instead, it opened in May 1967. It is true that some of the children carried their books over, but the desks were all moved by the janitor (there was only one), teachers, and the 6th and 7th grade boys (not girls) who got out of classes on several days to do this. The books of the younger children were also moved by these people.
The idea given for opening in May instead of in the fall was to "let the children get used to the new school before the next school year". I suspect the real reasons were to utilize the free labor of the older boys for the move and to figure out the problems with the new school so they could be fixed over the summer.
The reason I can tell you this with confidence is because I attended the old Purcellville Elementary School (now the community center) and was in the 3rd grade when the move to Emerick occurred. I remember carrying my books over to the new school. My third grade teacher (Miss Patterson -- who is still alive) had her own piano in the classroom and used to play it for us every day. Getting the piano moved over to Emerick was a BIG deal; I remember a bunch of boys and the janitor trying to get it out of the classroom and Miss Patterson being flustered over her piano possibly getting damaged.
FYI: Back in those days, there was no public kindergarten and Emerick had grades 1-7; Loudoun Valley had grades 8-12. I was in the last 7th grade class to attend Emerick and the first 8th grade class at Blue Ridge Middle school."
Emerick Elementary is named after Oscar L. Emerick who was the Superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools from 1917-1957. Oscar Emerick and his wife, Carrie, were long time residents of Purcellville. Mr. Emerick's first office was in his home until the School Board rented an office for him in Purcellville and later rented office space in Leesburg. Their home is still standing in Purcellville and is located on the Corner of Orchard Avenue and Main Street. Carrie Emerick is famous for being the first woman in Loudoun County to pay her poll tax and qualify to vote with the passage of the Women's Suffrage Amendment in 1920.
The Home of Oscar and Carrie Emerick .