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  Mission Statement  

 Our Mission

Guiding, Reaching, and Supporting all students to be their best!


Our Vision

    • Guiding all students to be their very best.
    • Reaching all children, families, and stakeholders to build a successful community.
    • Supporting a safe learning environment where all students feel safe to take intellectual risks.

  About The School  

History of the School

  Education has been important to the Andersonville community since the first school was established in 1830 on land donated by descendants of the community's founding family.  In 1873, the first school was replaced by Big Valley Academy, a grade school financed by the sale of shares of stock to the citizens of Andersonville.  The Academy served the community until Andersonville Institute replaced it in 1898.

     Prior to 1900, education in rural East Tennessee was limited to grade school.  Few high schools existed and there were not any located in this area.  Seeing a need for higher education, the Clinton Baptist Association bought Big Valley Academy, renaming it Andersonville Institute. They expanded the curriculum to include high school.  In addition to the large two-story school building, Andersonville Institute had two nearby dormitories, one for women and one for men.  While most of the grade school students lived locally, the high school boarded a majority of their students.  Clinton Hall, the men's dormitory, still stands as a private residence across the road from the school.

     In 1923, ownership of the school was taken over by the Anderson County School Board and renamed Andersonville High and Elementary School.  The school became Andersonville Elementary in 1938 when the high school students moved to the newly built Norris High School in nearby Norris.  In 1958, the old school was demolished and a new school was built in its place.  Since then the school has seen many renovations consisting of additional classrooms, gymnasium, and cafeteria areas.  Regardless of the outward appearance the school still serves the Andersonville Community over one hundred and eighty years after the first school was built.

History of the Bell

 The bell first shows up in old photographs of Andersonville Institute.  The bell sat atop a two  story clapboard, church like building.  The bell served the school and the community.  The ringing of the bell drew the students to school and also served as a way to draw the community together if an emergency or announcement needed to be made.  When the old school was torn down a more modern style two story brick building was built in its place.  In this brick building the bell had a prominent and tempting location at the top of the stairs.  More than one student was subjected to punishment for ringing the bell.  As time passed, the building no longer served high school students who attended Norris High School. When the school became out of date and had fallen into disrepair, the county decided to replace the two story building. A more modern one story elementary school was constructed.  While the new school was being built the students were divided between the fire hall, Glen Alpine School, and Belmont School.  After three years it reopened as Andersonville Elementary School. The bell was not prominently placed in the new school and was soon forgotten as a cornerstone of the school and community. 

I grew up in Andersonville and attended Andersonville Elementary as a child.  My next door neighbors, Mrs. Bonnie Irwin Carden and Ms. Winnie Irwin, would tell me stories of what life was like when they were little girls.  Both ladies attended Andersonville Institute.  Mrs. Bonnie would tell me that as a student they had to walk to the well for water.  If you were lucky a boy you liked was asked to go with you.  She told me that if the teacher knew you were sweet on the boy she wouldn't pick him and that you had to trick her into thinking you didn't like the boy.  She also told me about the bell.   When asked about the present location of the bell, Mrs. Bonnie did not know. Curiosity led me to ask Mr. Ball, the principal of Andersonville in the late 80's, if he knew the location of the bell.  Mr. York, the janitor, put an end to the mystery of the missing bell by locating it behind the boiler in the janitor's area.  I remember the day.  It was a fun and heavy find.  Mr. Ball had the bell placed by the front entrance in a flower garden.  Renovation to Andersonville found the bell a new and once again prominent home at the entrance to Andersonville Elementary School.  To me the bell represents a link to the history of our community and how a school house played a role in educating our community -Emily Wallace Haverkamp  AES teacher