Madisonville Elementary School
The Little School That Grew...
In 1957, there sat a single building on the corner of C.S. Owens Road and Highway 1077. In 1959, along with another building on that site, a school was dedicated. This place of learning was named Rosenwald School and served kindergarten through eighth grades. Rosenwald served area families until 1967, at which time it was closed. While the buildings were vacant, area people reported sightings of cows wandering in and out of the buildings.
With the population growth that took place on the north and west sides of lake Ponchartrain, the St. Tammany Parish School Board reviewed a feasibility study during their 1977-1978 session for the purpose of reopening the Rosenwald School location. The School Board and community recognized the need to move Kindergarten through third grades to its own facility. Four additional classrooms were built on the Rosenwald site, and the school was rededicated in November of 1978 as Madisonville Elementary School. Leroy James was the principal. During that time, the school had one kindergarten class, two first grade classes, and two second grade classes. Third grade classes would soon follow. They also had part time speech, music, and P.E. classes.
As the need arose, during the next seven years, four classrooms were added to the original “main hallway”. This addition allowed room for a part-time librarian on campus. In 1986, Jean Emmert was named as the new principal. During her term as principal, a new cafeteria, a gym, and an entire wing (which housed the library) were added. In June of 1999, Mrs. Emmert retired and Lauren Spencer was named principal. Growth again prompted the need for an additional wing and a larger library, which were built in 2004. Soon after this addition a large administrative office, bus loop (fronting Highway 1077), teacher’s lounge, workroom, and additional offices were added. The 2005 move in date for this addition was postponed due to Hurricane Katrina. This mighty storm was also to bring another large migration of people to our area that would affect our school’s future. Bursting at the seams yet another time, population growth dictated the need for additional classrooms. During the 2008-2009 school session, cottage classrooms were opened on the other side of C.S. Owens Road, adding 14 additional classrooms, an office and additional parking.
Under the leadership of Superintendent W.L. “Trey” Folse, III, once again the St Tammany Parish School Board took the steps in completing a new addition to the community of Madisonville. With the 2010-2011 school year enrollment of Madisonville Elementary being approximately 850 students, a new school, serving children in second through fifth grades was dedicated to open in the 2011-2012 school year. The name chosen for this school was Joseph B. Lancaster Elementary, named after the first superintendent of St Tammany Parish Schools.
After helping our school transistion to a Pre-K through first grade school, Mrs Spencer retired in December of 2011 and Phyllis Stephens was named principal. As the needs of the community continued to change, the school board decided to move second grade back to Madisonville Elementary beginning the 2013-2014 school year to help alleviate the large growth of Lancaster Elementary.
From a little school with one building, Madisonville Elementary has grown!