1302 Buckhannon Pike
Nutter Fort, WV 26301
The History of Nutter Fort Elementary
Nutter Fort School - First in Technology and Best in Education
written by Ron Poole (former principal for 26 years)
Nutter Fort School opened for business in 1960. It was a consolidation of smaller community schools in the area. At that time there were many small two or three room schools housing grades 1 – 6. They were small elementary schools located close to practically every small neighborhood and village, which allowed students to walk to school in most cases. This new facility did away with many of those buildings in an effort to create a central educational center to provide a more uniform education for all the students.
Now, this building was equipped with all the modern housing and technology including central heating, tile floors, and florescent lighting in the ceilings (as opposed to wood floors, globe lights and in some cases potbellied stoves). No, there was no air conditioning, but the Pittsburgh Plate Glass plant created a darkened window to reflect the heat of late spring and early fall days. Those windows served their purpose for more than thirty years. Of course, they didn’t actually cool the rooms, but at least it cut down on the glare of the sun. There were also modern chalkboards and even a primitive intercom system for the principal to communicate with the staff and students.
The first principal was Bunner Palmer who served for about 12 years. He was followed by Bill Moore who had a one year tenure, and Phil Brown who was the instructional leader for 7 years. Ron Poole was number four. He was principal for 26 years. He served part of that time at “little” Nutter Fort, but became principal at Nutter Fort Intermediate after consolidation. Other NFI principals include Cathy Fisher who held the position for one year, Rick San Julian for two years, followed by JoDee Decker, who presently occupies the chair. Al Gorrell, Frank Marino, Ron Poole, and Doug Robbins were administrators beginning in 1993 when the larger NFS was opened.
But, back to the building history – The original building had twelve classrooms. There were no Title One or special assistance programs in 1960, so there was adequate space for the curricular offerings. In the 1970s these new programs began to appear, so faculty lounges and other small rooms had to be used.
There was a modern kitchen (now the Intermediate art room) and an adjacent all-purpose room (now the gym) which was used for PE classes, a lunchroom, and even square dancing (Principal Bunner Palmer was big on square dancing). This room featured tables that folded into the wall when not in use, making the room available for activities such as plays and programs presented on the stage (another innovative idea for the new facility). Nutter Fort School served the community and surrounding areas well for more than thirty years. It was a great place to get a good education. It had the quaintness of a small school, but offered top quality resources for a very effective learning environment.
The small school atmosphere changed dramatically in the early 1990s when another new concept became a reality. A consolidation was on the way than would dwarf any seen in the state of WV. This new building would house 1300+ students with a variety of learning centers and curriculums all in one place. The expansion would create two separate learning centers: Nutter Fort Primary (K-2) and Nutter Fort Intermediate (3-5). Most of the Clarksburg schools including Broadway Elementary, Alta Vista, Morgan, Summit Park, and Linden were brought together under one roof. This school required four administrators, more than 100 teachers, 8 custodians, 12 cooks and a large number of aids and volunteers.
Through a lot of hard work, adjustment, concession, and sometimes, turbulent situations, the faculties, staffs, parents and students made this new facility operate just as smoothly as the little Nutter Fort School that opened in 1960.
Nutter Fort School is still among the top educational facilities in the state. And it even has air conditioning!