Award Year: 2018

W.J. Gurganus Elementary School

535 Highway 70 West
Havelock, NC, 28532-9435

(252) 444-5150

Ms. Debra Jean Hurst, Principal at time of Nomination

Title I School

Craven County Schools

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W J Gurganus Elementary School, united with families and the community, will prepare students to be lifelong learners in the 21st century through challenging, active and relevant learning experiences.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 16%
  • White: 58%
  • Hispanic: 15%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 3%
  • Two or more races: 7%
  • ELL: 2%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 41%
A Day In the Life of A Gator

A Day In the Life of A Gator

W.J. Gurganus Elementary School, home of the Gators, was established in 1992 in a military community that is home to Cherry Point Marine Air Corp Station. Many students are connected to the military through Active Duty and Civil Service personnel. Serving a large military population brings a wide variety of diversity and culture to our school. Using this diversity allows us to academically and culturally challenge our students. We strive to ensure that all students will feel successful regardless of their learning ability. A positive and nurturing culture allows students to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. Students participate in role model opportunities by acting as Safety Patrol, Student Ambassadors, and Peer Buddies.

Our community embraces Gurganus each year through volunteering daily, financially supporting fund-raisers, and sharing history and experiences with our students. Several family nights occur throughout the year such as a Math, Reading, and Science Night. Hands on activities are done on these nights, and "make-and-take" activities are created to help support learning at home. Our school is adopted each year by a squadron from Cherry Point. Service members are often seen tutoring students, acting as role models, and being a source of comfort for students with deployed parents.

The integration of technology in classrooms helps build upon the foundation needed for future success in middle and high school while preparing students with the competitive skills necessary for post-secondary education and the workforce. Gurganus Gators are well-adapted student leaders who will make positive impacts on society.