As with the growth of any community, there was a need for a school in the small village of Cooleemee. The officials of Erwin Cotton Mills granted the privilege of using one of the newly constructed four-room residences on Main Street for this purpose. Miss Sadie Tatum, daughter of S.J.. Tatum, was the first teacher. She taught four months a year at a salary of $25.00 a month.
The first school began approximately in 1903. The school on Main Street was moved by 1906 to a two story wooden frame building on Watt Street. The building contained eight rooms and was the Cooleemee School.
The building of schools was usually financed by the people and the county. However, Cooleemee School was unique in that it was built by the Erwin Cotton Mills Company. The county in turn rented the building until the1920's.
In 1922 the consolidation of several small schools in the area necessitated the building of a new facility which was constructed of brick. The old Watt Street school still served grades one through three. The school term was lengthened to eight months, and by 1924 buses were being used to transport students.
Mr. Samuel M. Holton was principal from 1922-1927 at which time Mr. W.T.. Moore became principal until 1929. E.W. Fort served as administrator for one year from 1929 to 1930. The following principals served: E.W. Junker (1930-1938), George E. Smith (1939-1943), G.R. Madison (1943-1946), V.G. Prim (1946-1980), Vernon Thompson (1980-1993), Jeff Albarty (1993-2000), Bill Campbell (2001-present)
In the 1930's eight new classrooms were built in a separate structure. In 1948 a Davie County school bond issue made it possible to construct the following additional facilities at Cooleemee School: a physical education building and gymnasium seating 1,000, a cafeteria, seating 50, an industrial arts shop, a home economics department, and a library. In the fall of 1956, the four high schools in the county were consolidated, leaving Cooleemee as an elementary school.
Integration proceedings began in 1966 and were completed by the school year 1967-1968. The high school students moved to the newly constructed Davie County Consolidated High School.
In 1972 a new facility was built which included teaching suites, a spacious media center, administrative unit, conference room, sick room and work area.
In 1974 three more suites were added and the old 1922 building was torn down.
In the fall of 1980 two junior high schools were opened. Seventh , eight ,and ninth year students from this school district now attended South Davie Junior High School in Mocksville.
At the present time Cooleemee School houses kindergarten through fifth grade classes, over 450 students and 70 faculty and staff members.
The above accounts were taken from old newspaper articles and from information contained in The History of Davie County by James W. Wall published in 1969 by the Davie County Historical Association.
Rosenwald Plaque Unveiled 9-22-12