Herndon Elementary Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Herndon Elementary Celebrates 60th Anniversary

Celebrating 60 years of BEElonging.

Herndon Elementary School (HES) held its 60th Anniversary Celebration (1961-2021) on Sunday, April 24. The outdoor party featured two colossal inflatable slides, music, games, food, a Hershey's ice cream truck, and free cupcakes and t-shirts for every student, teacher, and staff member at the school.

“It was a wonderful day to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Herndon Elementary School with  students , staff and community,” said Scott Brabrand, superintendent of Fairfax County Public Schools. “Some of the parents I saw were my former students at Herndon High almost 30 years ago. This is a testament to the strong roots of connection that remain in the entire Herndon community all these years. A special thanks to Principal Hunstad and the PTA for inviting me to share this special day with them.” 

Also there was Dranesville School Board Member Elaine Tholen, Regional Superintendent Douglas Tyson, Mayor Sheila Olem and Councilmembers Pradip Dhakal and Sean Regan.

"I was so happy to see the large community turnout to celebrate 60 years of learning," said Tholen. "I was also happy to be there to recognize all of the outdoor learning efforts at the school and the monetary support of FCFT and the HES PTA for that work."

On Sept. 5, 1961, the school, which had at that time a capacity of 600 pupils, received its first students. According to school history, pupils could purchase a lunch for 25 cents and milk for 3 cents. Since then, the structure has undergone numerous extensions and renovations as it battled overcrowding. According to a January 2001 report to the school board, Herndon Elementary had 15 classroom trailers.

During the 60th Anniversary Celebration, the PTA gave the school a $25,000 check to fund an enclosed student play space for the Head Start and special education programs. Proceeds from the PTA's spring fundraiser and a grant from the Town of Herndon made the donation possible.

Later that evening, Candace Hunstad, principal, said, "Today was special. This community is so supportive of our students and wonderful staff. We continue to strive for excellence as we lay the foundation for every student to become a global thinker and leader. We want to thank Mayor Olem, the Herndon Town Council, our amazing PTA, and Dr. Brabrand for their unwavering support of our students."