School - T V Elementary

Eighth St.
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The Tuscarora Valley Elementary School Building as it appeared in the Spring of 2009.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 5/8/11 - Image Year: 2009

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The Tuscarora Valley Elementary School was opened in 1958 for elementary students from the Borough of Port Royal as well as the neighboring townships of Turbett and Spruce Hill. It replaced the Port Royal Elementary School as well as the one room schools from the sending townships.

The building sits on 9.5 acres of land and the building occupies 12,500 square feet of space.

The school building was closed at the end of the Fall Semester in 2018 when the school district went through further consolidation. When students came back from winter break, they went to new classrooms at Juniata Elementary School in Mifflintown.

At the school's closing a total of 108 students were transferred to the consolidated school, including 20 kindergarteners, 14 first graders, 21 second graders, 17 third graders, 16 fourth graders and 16 fifth graders.

During the February 21, 2019 meeting of the Juniata County School Board, the Board approved the sale of the Tuscarora Valley Elementary School building and land in Port Royal to the highest bidder, the Juniata County Agricultural Society for the sum of $426,150. (The Agricultural Society owns the adjoining land that encompasses the Juniata County Fair Grounds.)


(Letter as published in "The View from the Mountain" by Carlen McClure in THE TIMES of Port Royal (15 May 2019).

In the fall of 1958, the new Port Royal elementary school had a delayed opening as construction was not completed in time to open that school year, I want to say it was October, 1958, when it opened. l'd heard that the one room schools out in the countryside were partly emptied of contents that summer of 1958, only to have to be re-stocked and open for a bit longer until the new school was ready in town.

I finished my 3rd grade year in the spring of 1958, in town at the two story, four room schoolhouse [located at the corner of 4th and Milford Streets] that was built in the 1880s. Because of the delay with the new school, l started fourth grade downtown, which in my case, was one of the few promotions l experienced in grade school, meaning my fourth grade class was upstairs (moving on up!) on the second floor, this after my first three years were spent downstairs in the bottom two classrooms.

My best subject in early school days was "PETS", hopefully becoming the teacher's, Miss Shover, who taught my mother (Isabel Anders Boyer) her first year of teaching, was my first and second grade teacher. At the end of my second grade year, Miss Shover retired (1957). Having me two years in a row, some said, may have caused her retirement, but I don't think so.

When the new school was ready, we students downtown helped move the school supplies up to the new building, I recall carrying items up through the fair grounds, books, supplies, etc., and helping get things ready. We were not, back then, unionized, nor were there lawsuits filed on our behalf by our parents.

There were three school buses bringing a bunch of new kids to town [from the one room country schools]. Two of those buses were regular size, the third a little shorter. That was Dave Esh's bus, and while shorter than the other two, had a (somewhat loud) muffler sound that we young boys thought was pretty neat.

I had Mrs. Homing for 4th grade, in from a one room schoolhouse. In 5th another wonderful former one room teacher, Mrs. Flood. In 6th, Mrs. Settlemyer taught our class in the morning, and then the principal, Mr. Beale, taught afternoon subjects.

The cafeteria, a whole new experience. My wonderful Water Street neighbor and friend, Margaret Wagner, was head cook. I know she gave me extra scoops of stuff, I know she did. Milk was in small glass containers, you could buy extra for 4 cents a bottle. Thursdays you could get chocolate milk, an extra one of those was 5 cents. Stacks of buttered bread awaited you at the end of the serving counter, no gloves necessary to grab whatever amount of bread you wanted. I want to say lunch was 25 cents.

Mr. Lee Kilmer was the janitor at one point, looking outside the windows, I remember thinking how lucky Mr. Kilmer was, cutting the grass on a riding lawnmower.

I also remember looking out the windows in 6th grade, near the end of my grade school years, spring of 1961, with concern. Here's the concern I had. The rumors spread that a habit the older high school boys did to the younger boys coming in for 7th grade, was to "dunk" our heads in the commode... What? Somehow, I gave this a lot of thought, as in how to avoid this high school experience. I could write I never used the high school restrooms in the first three years up there, but the truth was I actually figured out a way to not get dunked. If necessary, I'd wait until an older teacher went in, I'd quickly follow, I was done sooner, out sooner, and never got dunked. That was one of my most successful high school accomplishments.

John Leidy and I attended the 50th anniversary of the TVES's opening, this in early 2009. An enjoyable program, and all who walked in the first day of that school, back in 1958, were asked to stand up, guessing maybe around 20 or so of us did.

To this day, when I refer to the Tuscarora Valley Elementary School, l still call it the new grade school. 60 ain't that many years ago, is it?

Thomas A. Boyer

Photos & Additional Comments

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Contributed by rkohler3 on 5/4/14 - Image Year: 2007
EIGHTH STREET: an aerial view of Eighth Street between Cross Street to the south and the north boundary of the Juniata County Fairgrounds to the North as represented by Google Maps.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 11/25/18 - Image Year: 1954
Grades 5 & 6 1954: Top Row (l-r) W. Taylor, S. Metzgar, J. Rice, S. Hertzler, R. Groninger, D. Isenberg; 2nd Row: W. Showers, R. Powell, D. Long, Frank Beale (T), J. Gilson, C. Wert, E. Kepner, F. Hartman; 3rd Row: J. Boyer, M. Sheerer, H. Welshonse, R. Bergstresser, B. Miller, B. Burris; 4th Row: L. Benner, D. Swartz, P. Brouse, R. Jacobs, B. Milliken, S. Bashore, M. Summers, J. Henderson; 5th Row: B. Goodman, V. Settlemyer, S. Longenecker, G. Powell, M. Groce, M. Gilson, D. Lee (TIMES Photo)
Contributed by garthe on 5/8/11 - Image Year: 1957
Grades 1 & 2 1957-58 Evelyn Gilson is the Teacher. (Photo submitted by Garth Brackbill)
Contributed by garthe on 5/8/11 - Image Year: 1958
Grades 1 & 2 1958-59 Elmira McClure is the Teacher. (Photo submitted by Garth Brackbill)
Contributed by garthe on 5/8/11 - Image Year: 1958
Grades 2 & 3 1958-59 Reba Koons is the Teacher. (Photo submitted by Garth Brackbill)
Contributed by garthe on 5/8/11 - Image Year: 1960
Grades 4 1960-61 Sarah Flood is the Teacher. (Photo submitted by Garth Brackbill)
Contributed by garthe on 5/8/11 - Image Year: 1961
Grades 5 & 6 1961-62 Neil Gilson is the Teacher. (Photo submitted by Garth Brackbill)
Contributed by garthe on 5/8/11 - Image Year: 1962
Fifth Grade in 1962 (Photo submitted by Garth Brackbill)

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