History of Buck Lake Elementary
Buck Lake Elementary School HistoryBuck Lake Elementary opened in 1989 under the leadership of Principal Alice Caswell. Mrs. Caswell spent four years as Principal before going on to open Swift Creek Middle School. Hal Pitts became Principal in 1993, and was the school’s longest tenured Principal, serving our community for 13 years. The driveway at the front of the school and the Media Center bear his name. Claire Frick served as Principal for three years, followed by Eydie Tricquet, who was named Principal in 2008. Our current Principal, Billy Millard took over at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.Buck Lake is home to the “Bobcats”, a fitting mascot as Bobcats call many parts of Northwest Florida home. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “Bobcats are about twice the size of a domestic cat. They are generally tan to yellowish brown with dark brown or black streaks. The under parts are usually white with black spots and the insides of the legs are marked with black bars. The bobcat’s ears are pointed with short, black tufts while the tail is short and gives the appearance of being "bobbed." The young have mottled or spotted fur with more distinct facial marking than the adults. Bobcats live in deep forests, swamps and hammock land. Thick patches of saw palmettos and dense shrub thickets are important as den and resting sites for bobcats.” Our school colors are teal and black.
Buck Lake Elementary is set in a rapidly developing area in eastern Leon County, Florida. The Eastside Branch of the public library is located less than a mile from the school, and is built around Pedrick Pond, a popular walker’s destination. Located one and a half miles from our campus is the J.R. Alford Greenway. With over 800 acres of trails and spaces for hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding, the Greenway is a family friendly destination to enjoy the beauty that Tallahassee has to offer. New housing, shopping, and restaurants, are being built within two miles of the school and continue to make the area a desirable part of Tallahassee to raise a family.
We enjoy a campus with a rolling wooded landscape and a natural marsh on the northern property line, which provides a natural buffer between the school and cross streets. Our campus is considered an open neighborhood school which is used in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends by community organizations, youth groups, and the Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department for youth leagues.The first major renovations to the school facilities began in 2015. At that time the cafeteria was expanded to double its size, a turf field was added to the primary playground area, a new computer lab and science lab were added to Building 7, and a covered play area was added to the basketball courts, allowing Physical Education to take place rain or shine. The 2016 school year brings the opening of our new classroom wing, Building 11. This new construction will eliminate the need for many portables that have housed classes through the years.
Our school prides itself on the positive relationship that it has with the community. Most of our students come from middle class homes with working parents who take a great interest in their child’s education. This active partnership between home and school is essential to the success that our students have in the classroom and in the community. Our students have historically scored well-above the state average on all state testing including FCAT and FSA. Our faculty and staff is concerned with the whole child and works with our families to meet the specific needs of each individual learner regardless of ability.
With attention to frequent open communication and meaningful parent involvement, Buck Lake has continued to blossom as a “Red Carpet School”. The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) boasts a 20 to 30 thousand dollar budget that has most of its dollars earmarked for classroom enhancement and student learning. Parent newsletters, the PTO and principal’s newsletters, school websites, and student produced TV news broadcasts all keep the entire Buck Lake family well informed and connected. Mentors and volunteers stream through our doors to individually tutor children or provide assistance so learning can be “hands on” and more immediate for our students. Through the years, we have recorded ten thousand hours of volunteer time annually.
In 2001-2002 our school partnered with the FSU Fine Arts Museum to curate an exhibit on the North Florida Environment that served as a teaching tool for other schools in our district. This intense interest in art stemmed from a five year grant proposal which Buck Lake received funding for from the Annenberg Foundation in 1997. Transforming Education Through the Arts Challenge was embraced by our community of learners and with the support of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in Annenberg Grant money; teachers, parents and community leaders were involved in using the visual arts as a springboard for teaching all areas of the curricula. Whether it is the fine arts or performing arts, artistic aesthetics, criticism, and art history are still very integral parts of the Buck Lake curricula today.
Buck Lake Elementary has consistently earned an A grade since the state of Florida has started issuing school report cards. We recently received passing marks on a federal profile that evaluates schools to see that national standards are met so that “No Child is Left Behind.” Never resting on our laurels, Buck Lake Elementary administrators, faculty, support staff and community leaders are in constant search of strategies to enable our students to be more successful learners and to set them on the pathways to successful life-long learning.
To learn more about Buck Lake Elementary or to schedule a tour, please contact us at (850)488-6133.
Last Updated 6/29/16