The historic town of Occoquan, Virginia stands by the river that bears its name in Prince William County, Virginia, 25 minutes south of Washington, D.C.   The word Occoquan comes from the Dogue Indian language meaning "at the end of the water."  Occoquan School was named after the town in which it was established, just five minutes away from its present location. The original schoolhouse still stands in Occoquan on Commerce Street.
 
First established as a town school between 1867 and 1899, the school was built as a two room schoolhouse, with the lower grades on one side and the upper grades on the other.  The sidewalk in front of the school was marked with the letters L for lower and H for higher so there would be no confusion as to where the students needed to enter the building.  
 
Between 1901 and 1909 the school became a public school and in 1927 moved to its present location on Occoquan Road on 6 acres of land purchased by the county.  The cornerstone was laid on May 18, 1927, making it the oldest (still standing and in use) public school in Prince William County.  The new school, a two story building, contained 8 rooms: 6 classrooms, three for the elementary grades and three for high school, a laboratory and an auditorium with a stage and a library behind the stage.  
 
Ms. Elizabeth Vaughan was the first principal and a Latin I teacher.  The other two high school teachers were Alice Williams and John Kline.  Fannie Nunnick was the 6th and 7th grade teacher; Ercelle Savage Weedon was the 4th and 5th grade teacher, and grades 1-3 were taught by Florence Gossom Wayland.

Around the time of World War II (1943/44) a cannery was built next to the school.  It operated through the war years with many of the teachers that taught at Occoquan also working in the cannery during their off time.  This building, "B" as it is known today, was purchased by the county in 1953 and became the second addition to the Occoquan School campus.

 
In 1953 Gar-FieldHigh School opened to house the children from the 8th through 12th grades.  This building is now the Ferlazzo Building and no longer a school.  In the 1960's Fred Lynn Middle School was established and Occoquan became an elementary school.  

A cafeteria/multipurpose room was built as the third addition to the campus. The fourth and final building, the
 Kindergarten building, was then added to complete what is now Occoquan Elementary School.

Today, Occoquan Elementary is home to approximately 630 students and a faculty and staff of 65.  Occoquan Elementary School is dedicated to the service of the students in the community from Kindergarten through Fifth grade.

Occoquan School Song

 
Old Occoquan is down by the river.
Braves in green and gold.
Indian tribes in caves by the river,
Give us our name and courage bold.
How we love you Occoquan
How we love you Occoquan
Students and teachers   working together
Making it special Occoquan

 
Past Occoquan Principals

Ms. Elizabeth Vaughan
Mr. Caldwell
Mr. Ward Peters
Mr. Herbert Saunders
Mr. Jack Parr
Mr. Shepard Elmore
Mr. Charlie Ricks
Mr. Richard Gastley
Mr. Bruce Leiby - Bel-Air Elementary
Dr. Mike Drummond - Cedar Point Elementary
Mr. Todd Erickson - Elementary School Associate Superintendent
Mrs. Sandra Carrillo
Mr. Hamish Brewer

At Occoquan School we are proud of our unique history!

 
Special Thanks

Thank you Mrs. Nelly Curtis for providing a great deal of the valuable historical information that made this page possible.  Mrs. Curtis is a former teacher of Occoquan School.   She has a major in Home Economics.  Between the years of 1942 and 1953 she taught Biology, Chemistry and General Sciences at Occoquan.
Mrs. Curtis is a member of the Occoquan Historical Society.  We have consulted several sources to gather the information provided above.  If you find that this information is not quite correct, please e-mail your corrections to goredm@pwcs.edu.  Thank you for any information you may provide.