Woodbrook History

The WES History Project was an authentic fifth grade project-based learning experience provided by Ms. Richards, the Library Media Specialist, in the spring of 2009. On this page you may download a profile document that will give you some quick facts about our present school. For historical information, please review this page and download the individual Woodbrook staff interview clips found below. The 08-09 fifth graders conducted all research and interviews for this project.

Woodbrook School, named for the subdivision in which it is located, opened in the fall of 1966. There were three hundred forty-six students, twelve classroom teachers and a librarian. Charles H. Simmons was the first principal and served for two years. The school was built to relieve McIntire School of overcrowded conditions and to serve the subdivisions in the immediate area.

Woodbrook's Beginnings:

"Discussion about the need for a new elementary school on the north side of Charlottesville in Albemarle County began off an on by members of the Albemarle County School Board in 1963 and 1964. Early in 1965 there was some discussion of a fifteen acre site north of Rio Road called The Snyder Property being considered for what was at that time referred to as the Charlottesville District School.

At a February, 1965 School Board meeting, the Board rejected consideration of the Snyder Property and instead bought twelve acres located here in the Woodbrook Subdivision for $36,000.00. Later in the spring of 1965, there was discussion of construction of four schools--two middle schools and two elementary schools. One of which was referred to as the Charlottesville District School. the lack of specific information and motions made interpretation of when construction began on the four schools and which construction companies bid on the jobs although it was clear that construction was already on-going by then. The architectural firm of "Davis and McClintock" had been hired to design the schools. The headquarters for the firm was based in Harrisonburg, Virginia. On July 14, 1966, the School Board formally adopted the name of Woodbrook Elementary School for the Charlottesville District School Facility. Information from a brochure on Albemarle County Schools which I helped to develop in 1976 indicates the final cost of the Woodbrook building was $680,00.00. It was designed for about 480 students in Grades one through six.

At that time the chairman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors was Edgar N. Garnett, and the County Executive was Thomas Batchelor. The Chairman of the Albemarle County School Board was Walter B. Salley, and the Division Superintendent of Schools was Paul H. Cale."

Information For Woodbrook School Fifth Grade Students Obtained On April 14, 2009 By Thomas Hurlburt And His Former Secretary, Myra Lee Sandridge, From The Minute Books Of The Albemarle County School Board.

Thomas Hurlburt Remembers Woodbrook...

Principals Since 1966

Charles Simmons 1966-1968

Woodbrook's First Staff, Faculty, and Students







Charles Simmons Remembers Woodbrook...


David Lerch 1968-1970

John Biller 1970-1971

Fulton Marshall 1971-1974

Fulton Marshall Remembers Woodbrook...

Ronald Zimmerman 1974-1976

Woodbrook Teachers 1976

Sylvia Henderson 1976-1983

Implemented the first afterschool program and also helped to develop the first gifted and talented program in the Albemarle County Schools.

Book Character Day 1979 (Left to right, Sylvia Henderson, Carole Lear, Eileen Moyer)


Woodbrook Staff , 1983


Sylvia Henderson Remembers Woodbrook...


William Dudley Reeves 1983-1987



William Dudley Reeves Remembers Woodbrook.....


Keith Hammon 1987-2001

Keith Hammon Remembers Woodbrook...


Karen Marcus 2001-2005

Karen Marcus Remembers Woodbrook....


Luvelle Brown 2005-2006

Luvelle Brown Remembers Woodbrook....


William Sterrett 2006-Present

William Sterrett Shares Life At Woodbrook...


Carole Lear, Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher, 1976 - 2005

Carole Lear Remembers Woodbrook...


Eileen Moyer, School Secretary 1966-1987

Eileen Moyer Remembers Woodbrook...


Mary Underwood, School Secretary, 1987-2008

Mary Underwood Remembers Woodbrook...

Steve Gissendanner, 5th Grade Teacher, 2001-present

The Scientist Explains the Art & History of Woodbrook's Origami Club...


Renovations In 1997-1998, there were many changes and additions made to the original structure. The old library and workroom were converted into an Apple Computer Lab. A new state of the art library media center was constructed overlooking the courtyard.

The 3-5 classroom wing was added to the back hall and the Pre-K wing was added to the Primary classroom front hall. As a result of joining the back halls with the front halls an enclosed courtyard area was created and later named The Mary Underwood Courtyard in 2008 to honor Woodbrook's school secretary, Mary Underwood at her retirement of 30 years in the division.

Several content related murals have been painted on the walls of the cafeteria.



Grade Level Changes Since 1966

1966: Woodbrook had students in grades 1-6

1967: Woodbrook added Special Education classroom

1973: Kindergarten was added to Woodbrook

1975-1976: Woodbrook housed K-6

1977: Grade 6 moved to Jouett Middle School

2003: Bright Stars Preschool Program began at Woodbrook