School History: 1966-1986

When the 1966-67 school year began on September 6, 1966, Reston area students were housed at Oak Grove Elementary School, a former all-black elementary school that had closed in 1965 when Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) racially integrated. In December, as construction of the new Reston Elementary School neared completion, the Fairfax County School Board officially named the building Lake Anne Elementary School. Lake Anne opened its doors for the first time on January 17, 1967 to approximately 300 students. The school's staff and volunteers had spent the previous weekend preparing the school, portions of which were still under construction.

Black and white aerial photograph of Lake Anne Elementary School taken in the late 1960s or early 1970s. It is winter because all the leaves have fallen off the trees. The four classroom houses are distinctly visible. There is a school bus parked in front of the building and several cars are parked in the two small parking lots.
Lake Anne Elementary School, Undated

Diversity and Dedication

In the spring of 1967, planning began for the dedication of Lake Anne. Senator Harry Byrd was chosen as the guest speaker by the School Board, but many in Reston considered this a poor choice because Senator Byrd strongly opposed racial integration of the public schools. Reston, from its inception, was a racially and economically diverse community—a welcoming community to people from all walks of life.

Principal Beatrice Ward is glad her student body includes both whites and Negroes, affluent and indigent, and she hopes as the community grows it will always have a wide range of backgrounds and abilities in its school. 

~John Egerton, Southern Education Report, November 1967.

Black and white yearbook page showing Mrs. Louden's fifth grade class. 24 children are pictured.
Mrs. Louden's 5th Grade Class in 1969-70. Reston's founders wanted to create a welcoming community that was racially and economically diverse, and that diversity has always been celebrated at Lake Anne Elementary School. 

The dedication ceremony was held on April 30, 1967. Participants also included the first SCA president, Reed Shuldiner, Reverend William Scurlock, PTA president Kent Drummond, and FCPS Superintendent Earl Funderburk.

Black and white photograph of Robert E. Simon taken during the dedication ceremony of Lake Anne Elementary School. His is standing at a podium, surrounded by three microphones. Five people are seated behind him, one woman, one young boy, and three older men. The man on the far right is Superintendent Earl Funderburk.
Robert E. Simon, the founder of Reston, also spoke at the dedication.

In May 1967, Lake Anne held its first book fair and the second PTA Board was elected. The first school year ended with 315 students enrolled in our school. During the summer break, in mid-July, Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady of the United States, visited Lake Anne and met with the Head Start children.

The Second Year

On September 5, 1967, 543 students and 19 teachers arrived for the start of Lake Anne Elementary School’s second year. This was an important year for our school, because it was the year our school staff became racially integrated. A special staff retreat was held at teacher Mary Jane Scurlock’s parents’ country home, so that the staff could get to know one another and build strong working relationships. In November, FCPS administrators began an extended evaluation of Lake Anne, studying the effectiveness of team teaching and the efficacy of adaptable and flexible classrooms. The results of this study would shape classroom design and teaching methodology in FCPS well into the 1970s, and had a direct impact on the design of the second Reston elementary school, Hunters Woods.

Black and white photograph of the front of Hunters Woods Elementary School taken in the early 1970s. The photographer is standing in the middle of Colts Neck Road looking up the hill toward the school. There are very few trees on the school grounds. A few small trees have been planted close to the main entrance.
Hunters Woods Elementary School, Circa 1970

In February 1968, parents were informed that due to anticipated overcrowding, Lake Anne's sixth graders would be housed at Herndon Intermediate School during the 1968-69 school year. Several factors contributed to this decision: the introduction of kindergarten in 1968-69, the rapid growth of the Reston community, and the lack of funding necessary to build new schools.

Black and white photograph, taken in 1974, showing two female students operating the school store.
Lake Anne’s School Store, staffed by students Kim Cummings and Kim Campbell.

On September 3, 1968, the first kindergarteners walked through the doors of Lake Anne. At the same time, our sixth graders lined up to board school buses bound for Herndon. At Herndon Intermediate, they were joined by sixth graders from Herndon Elementary, who had also been displaced due to overcrowding. A short time later, it became necessary to bus fifth graders from Lake Anne to Herndon as well. Herndon Elementary School's assistant principal, Margie W. Thompson, was put in charge of all the elementary-aged children housed at Herndon Intermediate. One year later, Thompson would become the principal of Lake Anne Elementary School.

Black and white photograph of Principal Margie Thompson and an unnamed male student from our 1969 to 1970 yearbook. They are standing on the sidewalk in front of Lake Anne Elementary School next to a school bus that is parked with its door open. The boy is holding a lunch box and has an armful of books and papers.
Principal Margie Thompson in 1969

Keeping Up With Growth

The sending of fifth and sixth graders to Herndon was the subject of a meeting held in October 1968 with William Hoofnagle, Reston's School Board representative, and Victor Lindquist, the FCPS Area III Administrator. Parents were upset over the arrangement, and they were told that it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with Reston's growth. At the meeting, Principal Ward stated that Lake Anne had a 29-1 pupil-teacher ratio, and that enrollment at Lake Anne had grown to 719 pupils. By February 1969, enrollment swelled to 780 pupils, which far exceeded the school’s capacity at that time, and three teachers had to be added to the staff.

Black and white yearbook portraits of students in Miss Stanton’s class. 48 children are pictured.
Miss Stanton’s 6th Grade Class in 1969-70.

In early April 1969, Principal Ward announced that she was leaving at the end of the school year. Her commute of 22 miles one way was getting to be too much, and she was given the opportunity to open a new school near Annandale, Camelot Elementary School.

Black and white, head-and-shoulders staff portrait of Principal Beatrice Ward taken during the summer of 1969.
Sadly, Mrs. Ward’s time at Camelot was very brief. She suffered a heart attack early in the school year and was unable to return.

Margaret W. "Margie" Thompson succeeded Ward as principal of Lake Anne Elementary School in 1969, and went on to lead our school for seven years.

Black and white photograph of Principal Margie Thompson from our 1970 to 1971 yearbook. She is seataed at her desk, looking up from a large stack of paperwork.
Principal Margie Thompson (1969-76)

Hunters Woods

In August 1969, it was announced that children from the Charter Oak, Golf Course Island, Forest Edge, and Hunters Woods communities would attend the new Hunters Woods Elementary School in September. Lake Anne started the 1969-70 school year with 579 students, and Hunters Woods with 612 students.

Black and white yearbook photograph of the Lake Anne's Safety Patrol and the teacher sponsor. 17 children are pictured, primarily girls, and they are all wearing the distinctive sash and belt given to patrols.
Lake Anne's Safety Patrol, 1969-70

Also in 1969, African-American residents of Reston formed Reston Black Focus, a group dedicated to celebrating and promoting a better understanding of African-American culture. In March 1970, Reston Black Focus held a six week, one-day-a-week series of educational meetings with Lake Anne staff to collaborate in creating ways to eliminate deficiencies in the curriculum related to African-American history and culture.

Black and white yearbook photograph of Lake Anne's SCA. Nine students are pictured, six girls and three boys.
Lake Anne's Student Cooperative Association, 1970-71. In September 1970, there were 600 children enrolled at Lake Anne Elementary School. That number fell to 555 children in September 1971 with the opening of Forest Edge Elementary School.

Teams R.E.S.T.O.N.

The people who designed Lake Anne Elementary School, did so with a new teaching methodology in mind—team teaching. In the beginning, primary-grade level teams were called P-I, P-II, and P-III, and older children were grouped in grades 4-6. In 1970, the team designations changed to letters (R, E, S, T, O, and N). In 1974, the team names were changed to types of sailing vessels (Sloops, Yawls, Runabouts, Skipjacks, Clippers, and Catamarans) in keeping with our school's nautical name. Students and staff picked the new team names, and the youngest children were called Team Mini-Fish.

Black and white photograph from our 1975 to 1976 yearbook showing some of the students grouped in Team Mini-Fish. 22 children and their teacher are pictured.
Team Mini-Fish, 1975-76

The Clippers were the "family team" for several years. At one time, there were children in grades 2-6 on this team. Since students spent many years on the same team, it was indeed a family affair. The teachers and parents came to know one another very well, and the students benefitted from the strong home-school connection.

Black and white photograph of the front exterior of Lake Anne Elementary School taken in 1972. A school bus is parked in front of the building.
Lake Anne Elementary School, 1972

Creative Expression

In January 1972, Bosley Crowther, representing a joint-council of the Lake Anne, Forest Edge, and Hunters Woods PTAs, told the School Board that a particular area of concern for the Reston community was the lack of special education programs for students with learning disabilities. At least 178 children with special needs had been identified in Reston, and the council advocated that facilities and personnel be made available in schools to shape and adapt programs for these children and not to segregate them in special and isolated facilities as was being done. A Learning Disabilities (LD) center opened at Lake Anne the following school year, and the students were educated in small groups which also functioned as a part of the larger teams.

Black and white photograph of a physical education class from our 1975 to 1976 yearbook. The students are lined up along the walls in a hallway cheering on two students who are racing each other crab-walking on sliding scooters.
During the early years at Lake Anne, our school did not have a gymnasium. Physical education teachers found creative ways to use classroom spaces, hallways, the foyer, and outdoor play areas for their lessons.

Lake Anne's principals have always encouraged community participation in our school, and our community ties have always been strong as a result. One well-remembered community event was the Artists and Craftsmen Workshop held in the fall of 1973. Every day for four weeks, potters, weavers, sculptors, and visual artists gave special lessons to Lake Anne students. Many of the extra-curricular and co-curricular clubs and activities that our students participate in today began in one form or another during our earliest years.

Black and white yearbook photograph of the Lake Anne Math Team. 22 students and their teacher sponsor are pictured.
Lake Anne's Math Team, 1977-78. This team competed in four intra-county math meets, and conducted an in-school meet for younger children.

During the 1970s, Lake Anne held annual talent shows, choral and band performances, and had a school newspaper. After school, students could learn a foreign language and participate in activities like the math club and drama club.

Black and white yearbook photograph of Gudula Dunn's German language class. The teacher and four students are pictured seated in a classroom.
In 1979, four teachers (Loy Bate, Gudula Dunn, Kathleen Dunn, and Laura Mye), taught French, German, and Spanish language classes at Lake Anne. Pictured is Gudula Dunn's German class.

Principals and Plesio

In January 1976, Margie Thompson was appointed principal of the new Terraset Elementary School, set to open during the 1976-77 school year. She was succeeded by George P. Coussoulos, who led Lake Anne for ten years from 1976 to 1986.

Two black and white photographs of Principal George Coussoulos.
In the photograph on the left, taken in 1981, Principal George Coussoulos is pictured with Emilie McDaniel and Juanita Cooper, the financial and educational secretaries. The photograph of him on the right comes from our 1983-84 yearbook.

During Coussoulos' time as principal, he instituted an activity period during the school day. Activities included carpentry, science, visual arts, a prose and poetry workshop, and television production.

Black and white yearbook photograph of a student operating a camera for a WLAS TV production.
WLAS TV began production in 1978. WLAS was an acronym for Wonderful Lake Anne School.

Our first mascot, Plesio, joined Lake Anne in 1977. Green and white were adopted as the school colors, and the sailboat became our symbol.

Illustration of Plesio, a plesiosaur dinosaur, sitting in a sailboat reading a book. Next to the illustration is a photograph of large Plesio parade float.

The First Renovation and Addition

During the late 1970s, overcrowding once again became a major concern at Lake Anne. Our enrollment in 1978 reached 684 students, and portable classroom trailers were brought in to serve as temporary classroom spaces.

Two black and white photographs of the trailers behind Lake Anne Elementary School. In the photograph on the left, taken in 1978, students and a teacher can be seen walking up the stairs into one of the classroom trailers. In the photograph on the right, taken in 1981, children are playing on the blacktop and the trailer is visible in the background.

In 1981, a School Bond referendum was held, and voter-approved funding in the amount of $1.58 million was allocated for improvements to our school. In January 1982, the architectural firm of Peck, Peck, and Associates, Inc., was assigned to the Lake Anne addition and renewal project.

Two black and white photographs showing the brand new gymnasium. On the left is an exterior photograph of the structure, and on the right is an interior photograph showing children playing with a large inflatable ball.
Construction began on March 4, 1983, adding twelve new classrooms, a music room, a new library with windows, and a gymnasium. Our gymnasium was the first in Fairfax County to have a carpeted floor. Physical education finally had a proper facility and we bid goodbye to the trailers.

The preceding history was adapted from a history of Lake Anne School written in 1983 by Linda A. Singer, our librarian at that time.