Jellico Elementary School is a Pre-K-8 school located in the heart of Jellico, on Sunset Trail. The current building opened it's doors in 1965 and continues to be a pulsing heartbeat of the community.
If you want to read a bit more about the history of schools in Jellico, check out this essay, written and researched by Jellico native Gail Douglas Garrett:
Reading and ‘Riting and ‘Rithmetic
A Story of Jellico’s Schools
Probably the oldest school in Jellico was the one associated with the Congregational Church founded by Reverend A.A. Meyers. Just when it started is not certain, but it was mentioned in an 1884 report to the American Missionary Association.
The Tannery Hollow School was another very early school in our area. When Methodism came to the Jellico Community, they held regular services beginning in 1886 in the old Tannery Hollow Schoolhouse in the south end of town. This building was located on the hill above the brick building which last housed the Cleveland Assembly Church of God. Also during this era many of the larger Coal Mining Companies operated schools for the children of their employees.
In 1896-97, the City of Jellico voted to issue School Bonds in the amount of $10,000.00 for a “City School” to be built on property conveyed by A.E. Mitchell et al to the City of Jellico ($900.00). This property located next to First Baptist Church on the corner of South Main and Logan would become the location of three of Jellico’s Schools. The first building looked like a Medieval Castle. This building quickly became outdated and overcrowded and so in 1913 the city again issued bonds totaling $30,000.00 for the construction of a new school.
The “castle” was torn down and a most impressive structure was built on the property.
Along about this same time frame, the County had decided that there should be a County High School at Jellico and on property donated by interested citizens such as Z.D. Baird the school was constructed where the Church of God Mountain Assembly now stands. Having recently completed construction of their new building, Jellico “City” High School refused to acknowledge the new County School and continued to serve all students at the Logan Street location. In the first few years of operation there was such hostility between the two schools that they were not allowed to compete against each other in Extra Curricular Activities, but by 1917 the County High School “won out” and the Logan Street building was used for elementary grades until it was destroyed by fire in 1931.
The second building which had been located next to First Baptist Church was replaced by a third building as an elementary school and although it was still referred to as the “City School” it was in fact now also operated by the County.
The County High School on Florence Avenue (current Church of God Mountain Assembly) served the students of Jellico until the end of the 1951-52 School year. Several new schools were built during this year, one being a new high school for Jellico in the Crouches Creek area of town. The building on Florence Avenue then became the Jellico Jr. High School and housed grades 6-7-8. During the Christmas Holidays of the 1961-62 School year, a heavy snow caused the building to partially collapse. It was condemned and the student body was parceled out to different locations to complete the school year. The eighth grade was assigned to the Newcomb School beginning with the 1962-63 School year.
The present elementary school located on Sunset Trail was opened to students in grades 1-7 on January 4, 1965. The eighth grade moved down from Newcomb the following Monday. A Desegregation Order was carried out at the Jellico Schools on February 5, 1965. Black students in our community, which had been attending school at what is now the Senior Citizen’s building located on the corner of Baker Street and Robbins Street joined the rest of the student body in the new building. The remainder of Campbell County Schools were integrated beginning with the 1965-66 School term. There had never been any facilities in Jellico for black students to attend high school, so until this time they were either bussed to LaFollette or traveled to Williamsburg to do so.
The Florence Avenue School property was sold to the Church of God in 1963 and the Logan Street School and property was sold to First Baptist Church in 1965. Part of the Logan Street School has been torn away but the auditorium section remains and is now a gym/social gathering area for the church.
Since the current elementary school opened there have been two additions to the building. One being a new library, kindergarten, preschool wing and an addition to the gymnasium area of the building. Kindergarten and Preschool have also been added since the building originally opened.
In May of 1995, ground was broken for the current Jellico High School building. The school opened for the 1996-97 School year with the Seniors arriving early on August 19, 1996 to be the first to enter the new facility.
There have been other schools throughout our community such as Newcomb, Wooldrige, Oswego and Crouches Creek that were over the years absorbed into the Jellico Schools of Campbell County.
Seven Day Adventist Health System took control of our local hospital in 1974. They opened a private Christian based school known as the Seven Day Adventist Church School/ Jellico Christian Academy. The school and their church were first located in the Adkins home. Miss Mildred Adkins who taught third grade at Jellico Elementary last lived in this house. The Adventist School opened in 1974 with four students and one teacher. This school currently operates from a new facility that was opened to students in 2000.
Jellico, as of 2021 has a public elementary school with grades PreK through 8, a public high school serving grades 9 through 12 and a private Christian based school serving the elementary grades.