Celebrating Goodlettsville Elementary

Goodlettsville Elementary: "Every Person Counts…Every Moment Matters!"
Posted on 09/21/2021
Goodlettsville Elementary students in class

Goodlettsville Elementary School began serving the community in 1917, when it was called Goodlettsville School, which eventually became one of the oldest school buildings in the city. Back then, Goodlettsville School was a private institution that cost $1 to attend. Unfortunately, the original building caught fire, and, when it was rebuilt, it kept the same name. By that time, the price went up to $2 per student to attend.

The building we know as Goodlettsville Elementary today was completed in 1956 as a K-6th grade school.  Goodlettsville classroom with teacher

One of the most memorable parts of the school is the fish pond. It was installed in 1976 by Mr. Virgil Reese, a custodian at the school at that time. He wanted to instruct the students about the indigenous rocks of Tennessee. So, he collected rocks from all areas of the state and numbered and labeled them as he built the fish pond. From that point on, students were able to learn about the rocks from all over the state and identify them each time they came by the fish pond.

The beautiful koi fish pond that was later cared for by longtime volunteer and official expert on all things GES, Mr. James Oldham, has served as a meeting place for faculty and a source of fascination for students. Union Hill School, the alma mater of GES’s assistant principal, Alan Sipe, donated the playground that students use for recess and physical education.

Goodlettsville Elementary has always found support within the community and, in 1996, enough funds were raised by local churches and businesses to build Trojan Field, a track used for fun run fundraisers for nearly 30 years. 

Goodlettsville has proudly served the students and families of their community, and they are ecstatic to continue their 100-year legacy in their new school building, slated to open during the 2023-24 school year.   Goodlettsville Elementary's new building

Goodlettsville Elementary continuously brings their motto of “Every Person Counts…. Every Moment Matters!” into practice. The school supports focused outcomes for all students. This is accomplished by continuing to make Navigator calls to strengthen their relationships with families.

Goodlettsville also assists students and parents with literacy, numeracy, and attendance supports as well. The school has a strong focus on social-emotional learning, supported by the program Move This World and regular activities implemented school-wide to build social skills in every student. These supports assure that Every Student is Known. 

In recent years, GES has experienced a significant paradigm shift in their teaching practices. They are ensuring students first build safe, supportive relationships with the adults in the building to improve outcomes for all students. Teachers are more connected and in tune with their school’s vision than ever, and it is reflected in their teaching practices.

In 2019, GES was the Love Helps School Partner of the Year.

“Having an idea turns into a vision. That vision turns into action. Those actions turn into plans. Plans turn into change, and you can change a child’s life simply by the way you speak to him/her every day,” Principal Tracey Smallen-Gibson said. “Never let someone tell you your ideas can’t change the life of a child.”

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