Granby Elementary School is located in a quiet multi-ethnic neighborhood with an array of well-kept dwellings with wooded lots and neatly landscaped yards. It was originally named for its proximity to Granby High School. In 1944, elementary school classes began in the high school with grades 1-7. There were 321 students served by a faculty of 10 teachers. Miss Lily was the acting principal, although her official title was of Assistant Principal-in-Charge of the Elementary Grades. She worked in that capacity for four years and served as Granby Elementary’s principal until her retirement in June 1965.
In 1944, the Granby PTA was formed with 52 charter members; Mrs. Charles E. Milteer served as the president. The present Granby Elementary School opened in September 1948. It was built on 9 acres of land owned by the City of Norfolk. It was the first elementary school constructed in Norfolk after World War II. The Architect was Vernon Moore. The exterior is of brick construction with interior tile walls. The total cost of the building, equipment, improvements and landscaping was $757,425.63. In 1950, eight additional rooms were built and the lunchroom was enlarged at a cost of $171,667.86. In 1952, the pupil membership had increased to almost 1300 in a school built to accommodate 900 pupils. Grades 1-3 were put on a part-time schedule. During this time, Mrs. Rachel Patten Edwards became the first unassigned teacher at the school. Later, Mrs. Mable Walker Adams, who had been a primary teacher at Granby Elementary, became an unassigned teacher. She was a faculty member during the years 1951-1954.
In July 1965, Mrs. Adams returned to become Granby’s second principal. She remained in that capacity for six years, leaving to become a Coordinator for the Norfolk City Schools. In 1969, the City Recreation Bureau authorized the construction of a Recreation Center as an additional wing to Granby Elementary School. It was opened for use in October 1969. It is presently used as a gymnasium during school hours. In 1971, Mrs. Carolyn Umphlett became Granby Elementary’s third principal. She remained in that position until 1983. It was also in 1971 that Granby was paired with J.E.B. Stuart serving grades 3-6.
Mrs. Delores Wilson was the fourth principal at Granby from 1983-1986. She supervised the relocation of the Media Center from Room 200 to the present location during the summer of 1985. Rachel Wilson served as the assistant principal during this period. Mr. Joseph Thain was appointed principal in 1986, which was the same year that cross-town busing ended. Granby began to serve grades K-5 and J.E.B. Stuart became the gifted center. During Mr. Thain’s tenure, several assistant principals served Granby. Former assistants have included Rachel Wilson, Carolyn Goode, Barbara Higgins, Jackie Parker, Joan Brown and Barbara Laws.
Several improvements were made during Mr. Thains’s administration. Four permanent classrooms were added in the summer of 1986, and two were added in 1989. The school office suite was renovated in 1987 to better serve the school. The first on site parking lot was paved in 1991, and the school roof was replaced in 1992. Our climate control system was installed during the summer of 1993. Granby made a leap to the age of technology as the building was wired for the Internet on Saturday, April 19, 1997. This project was done with volunteer labor and materials, and the pioneers of Bell Atlantic leading the way.
Dr. N. George Boothby, Jr. was appointed principal in July 1999. Barbara Jenkins served as his assistant from 1999-2001. Maritsa Alger was appointed assistant principal in July of 2001 and remained until June of 2004. Sheila Holas was appointed assistant principal in July of 2004 and remained until July of 2006. Ms. Kristen Nichols then became our new assistant principal and served in this capacity until she was appointed Principal of Chesterfield Elementary in 2011. Dr. N. George Boothby, Jr. retired from Norfolk Public Schools in June of 2007. Mr. Vincent Darby was appointed Principal in July of 2007. Mr. Darby served as Principal until 2012.
Mr. Rohan Cumberbatch-Smith was appointed to Granby Elementary in July 2012 and served in that capacity for two years. Under the leadership of Mr. Cumberbatch-Smith, principal and Kathy Verhappen, assistant principal Granby Elementary went from being Accredited with warning in Mathematics to Fully Accredited during the 2013-2014 school year. Mr. Rohan Cumberbatch-Smith was reassigned as the Principal of Jacox Elementary in July 2014.
Our current principal Mrs. Kathy Verhappen was promoted from assistant principal in July of 2014. Mrs. Kathy Verhappen has served as the assistant principal at Granby Elementary since July 2010. The Granby community is very excited to have Mrs. Verhappen as our new principal. She has a long standing history with Granby Elementary, as a former teacher, a Granby parent and a member of the Granby community. Mr. Fischi became our new Assistant Principal on August 1, 2014.
If you would like to take a tour of Granby Elementary, contact Kathy Verhappen at email@example.com