Opened in the fall of 2000, Audrey W. Garrett Elementary is one of 20 K-5 schools in the Alamance-Burlington School System. Our curriculum and instruction are based on the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
When you step into a Garrett classroom, you will experience teaching at its best! Through formal and informal assessment, our students' needs are determined and drive classroom instruction. In the course of a day, you will see reading, writing and vocabulary building through shared, guided, and independent activities, in addition to literacy centers. Math is also taught through the use of these same strategies as well as the hands-on exploration of concepts and problem solving using manipulatives.
Many extra-curricular opportunities are offered to our students such as, Odyssey of the Mind, Battle of the Books, Science Fair, Safety Patrol, Technology Club, Family Dances, Strings Instruction, Spelling Bee participation, and Writing Contests.
Come spend a day with the Garrett Gators and you will see what high expectations can mean in the life of a child!
3220 Old Hillsborough Road, Mebane, NC 27302
Fax: 919-304-5384Principal: Daniel HablaAssistant Principal: Cynthia N. O'Neal
Staff Garrett Elementary, or any Alamance-Burlington School, can be e-mailed using the following format:
first name_last firstname.lastname@example.orgYou can also use the Staff Directory listing under School Information, or the Teacher Webpages tab at the top of the website.
An Inside View…Hawfields Educational Complex
By Karen Carrouth, City-County Magazine, August 2000
Reprinted by permission
Alamance County’s newest educational facility opens later this month, making history as the county’s first combined elementary/middle school complex.
Hawfields Middle School and Audrey W. Garrett Elementary School, located in the Hawfields community, share a gymnasium in the center along with the offices, cafeteria and media center. The 210,000-square-foot-facility will house the elementary school on the west wing and the middle school on the east wing. Each school will have its own entrance and traffic patterns.
The purpose of building these two new schools is to relieve over-crowding in the eastern and southern attendance zones. In order to complete needed renovations at Woodlawn Middle school, principal Lynn Briggs and her staff and at least 793 students will be occupying the new middle school this first year.
We’re very fortunate to have this facility available which will allow quality instruction to continue uninterrupted and our students and staff will not have to work around construction,” Briggs said. She said that the question of identity should not be an issue as the Woodlawn students will occupy the Hawfields complex for one year.
“ We are Woodlawn Middle School and our students are very loyal. This is a temporary location for us while we await much-needed renovations at our school. The kids will adapt a lot quicker than we (the staff) do and they’ll be fine. The building does not make the school — the people do.”
Briggs said everyone was excited about moving into the new facility. “Moving itself is never a joy but it went smoothly,” she said.
Also awaiting students for the first day of school on August 16 is principal Mark Rumley at Garrett Elementary School. The capacity of the elementary school is 700 students although at press time, there were 575 students enrolled at the new school.
Rumley said he was looking forward to an exciting year.
“ It’s a wonderful place. The space is well-designed and it allows us to use creative methods of teaching. Everyone is positive and upbeat,” he said of the staff of 53, which include 36 teachers. The new school has pulled students from Alexander Wilson and South Mebane Elementary Schools, as well as transfers from other areas and families just moving in.
Combining the pre-K through fifth graders along wit the sixth through eight graders under one roof is a good idea, Rumley said, because of the economy of shared space. But the interaction between the students will always be controlled (so that a kindergartner will not be walking down the halls with an eighth grader.)
“ We can have some shared interaction such as in the cafeteria which has a moveable all for an assembly for all students. I also envision a tutorial program which could involve having the middle school students helping our students.”
Funding for the $24.5 million cost for the two schools came from a local school construction bond issue passed in November of 1997. The 80-acre tract of land, off Old Hillsborough Road and Highway 119 South, will feature practice fields as well as facilities for baseball, football, soccer, track, softball and tennis.
According to school planner Steve Taynton from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, there are probably some 50-60 complexes throughout the state which combine several grades under one roof. There are over 2,000 schools in the public school system in North Carolina. The majority of combinations are elementary and middle schools but a few systems have kindergarten through 12th grade housed in one facility. There are also other variations such as grades 4-8, preK-2nd grade or grades 3-6, depending on the populations and facilities available, he said.
“ The combined schools actually share few resources other than the kitchen and physical plant which heat and cool the building. There are issues to consider such as staggering dismissal times so that there will not be as many traffic tie-ups and making athletic fields available for the different age groups,” he said.
The completion of the new schools brings the total number of schools in the Alamance-Burlington School System up to 32, and the number will climb to 33 next year when Woodlawn Middle School students return to their renovated school. School spokesperson Becky Shoffner said there is already talk about adding another elementary and one high school in the future.
DedicationOur school is named in honor of Mrs. Audrey W. Garrett. Mrs. Garrett was a teacher for 45 years at Alexander Wilson Elementary School. Her family owned the land where Garrett Elementary was built. Choosing names for Alamance County’s two newest schools was not an easy task. But thanks to community input, the naming committee headed by Meg Scott Phipps settled on names which honor a retired teacher and a historical part of the county.
The new elementary school is called Audrey W. Garrett, in honor of a teacher with some 45 years of experience. Now a resident of Hawfields Presbyterian Home, Garrett spent most of her teaching career at Alexander Wilson Elementary School.
A petition with 1,000 names was presented as community support for naming the school after Garrett. Also, Garrett and her family formerly owned the 80 acres where the school is being built. The land was sold to the local school system prior to construction of the new schools.
The middle school is named after the community of Hawfields, which is located off Highway 119 south of Mebane.
Here is an interview with Mrs.Garrett.
90-year-old celebrates proposed school naming honor, birthday
By Joseph Cigna, Staff Writer, The Alamance News, 1/14/99
Reprinted with permission"I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to teach. I wouldn’t take anything in the world for my teaching experience,” says Audrey Garrett of her 44 years in the classroom.
In a room in the east wing of the Presbyterian Home of Hawfields sits a scrapbook that is filled with the photographs of children who were young long ago.
Some of the pages are more faded than others, the photos are browner, the paper dryer. Like the books, some of the memories in Mrs. Audrey Garrett’s mind have faded and become more distant. But photographs have a quality and a reality than can overcome age, and like the photos, now and then, Mrs. Garrett can recall glimpses into her past. She can sometimes recollect some of the young lives she helped shape.
“I just knew that I wanted to become a teacher.” Mrs. Garrett recalls about her early days as a teacher.
“I first taught school during the summer vacation at Elon College.” she says. “I wasn’t scared. I was very well prepared for my career [as a teacher] at Elon College.”
At a December 7 meeting, a special committee of the Alamance-Burlington school board recommended that the new elementary school now under construction in the Hawfields community, just down the road from the nursing home, would be named the Audrey Garrett Elementary School. The school is being built on property near Old Hillsborough Road and NC 119 that was formerly owned by Mrs. Garrett. The school board will consider the naming of the schools — Hawfields was proposed for the middle school — at its January 25 meeting.
“I can’t find any words to say how I feel.” Mrs. Garrett says as she sits in the over 100-year-old rocking chair that her grandfather gave to his oldest grandchild so very long ago.
“It’s the greatest honor that I’ve ever been bestowed. It’s a great honor.”
Mrs. Garrett can still give a visitor a pretty good estimate of how many young lives she has touched during her career as a teacher, though the numbers don’t tell he entire story.
“I fixed it at one time at between 4,000 to 5,000 children.” she says. A sleepy winter cottage scene in oils that she painted during her time as a student at Elon College hangs just inside the room’s door. There is another painting of yellow roses that was entered in the Alamance County Fair and won a special prize. Mrs. Garrett still likes to talk to visitors about her paintings.
Teaching is something that is still very close to Mrs. Garrett’s heart.
“I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to teach,” she says. “I wouldn’t take anything in the world for my teaching experience.”
Mrs. Garrett knows that things have changed quite a bit since she started her first teaching job in 1927. She also believes that some things never change. She has some advice to pass along to the next generation of young teachers.
“To put it in a few words,” she urges today’s young teachers. “Treat them like they were your own children.”
“Everywhere we go,” says her daughter-in-law Polly Garrett, “whether we’re shopping or anywhere we run into people she’s taught who come up to say hello.”
Vance Garrett and his wife Polly have traveled from Shreveport, Louisiana to help celebrate his mother’s 90th birthday. Mrs. Garrett was born on January 8, 1909.
Mrs. Garrett’s husband, Vance, Sr. died in January 1974 (Vance and Audrey Garrett were married on November 30, 1930 and were married for 43 years).
“We’re terribly pleased that they’re doing this for my mother.” Vance Garrett says.
Mrs. Garrett taught elementary school in Alamance County for over 44 years beginning in 1927 at Eureka Elementary School near Mount Hermon, and continuing at Alexandar Wilson Elementary School in 1937. A paycheck stub from November, 1943 reveals that Mrs. Garrett earned $127.48 net during one week.
Mrs. Garrett retired from teaching in 1971.
While most of the memories have faded, there are specific memories that remain clear.
During most of her 44 years in Alamance County schools, Mrs. Garrett taught first grade. She still recalls the semester when she was needed by another class.
“Mr. George Robbins [principal at the school from 1927-1960, Mrs. Betsy Robbins taught at the school during the same period] came into my first grade class and announced to my students that they should pack all their belongings and follow him. He told me he’d be right back. He came back with my new second grade class.”
A plaque that hangs on the wall near her bed is a particularly treasured memento from one of her former students. The plaque is a Civitan Club “Citizen of the Year” award that was presented to her by former North Carolina Governor Robert Scott.
“I taught Robert in the first grade,” she recalls. “He was a wonderful boy.”
“She’s taught several of his [Scott’s] children,” Polly says.
Some of the oil and watercolor paintings that Mrs. Garrett has made over the years decorate the walls of her room. There are pictures of roses of different colors, a delicate pair of cardinals sitting on a branch of cherry blossoms, sunflowers, the lighthouse at Ocracoke and a wooden covered bridge that used to stand somewhere in southern Alamance County.
“My granddaddy and I would ride over that bridge with his horse and carriage,” she recalls.
VISION STATEMENT: Our vision is to create a safe learning environment where caring adults provide rigorous instruction designed to meet the diverse needs of our learners.
MISSION STATEMENT: Garrett Elementary School’s mission is to build a collaborative culture focused on challenging and engaging work for our students. Our teachers and staff support the academic and personal development of each child in order to prepare them for a successful future in a competitive and changing world