Parkview Elementary School

Newport News, VA

Image by Jean Lankes Toth (HHS - '72)
of VA - 02/02/05
 Thanks, Jean!
Image by Bill Lee
(WHS - '54)
of NC - 05/25/06
Thanks, Bill!
Image courtesy of Jean Lankes Toth (HHS - '72) of VA - 02/02/05
WOWZERONI!!!  Thanks, Jean!
Image - and painting - by Jean Lankes Toth (HHS - '72) of VA - 02/02/05
 Thanks, Jean!  What a beautiful job!

While living in Ferguson Park, I attended Parkview Elementary from
1953-1955 for 2nd and 3rd grades. My 2nd grade teacher was Mrs. Minnie
Massie, and my 3rd grade teacher was Mrs. Barnes.  While I don't remember
much about 2nd grade, my strongest recollections of 3rd grade were not
academics, but of making those big cubical Christmas candles.  The aroma
memory is so strong that, even today, when I smell candle paraffin, I am
immediately transported to that classroom. If the school still existed, I
could go to that very classroom and find the exact spot where my desk was
located.  In addition to the candles we also weaved potholders, using these
little metal looms and multi-colored yarns.  We were all so proud to take
them home and present them to our mothers.

I can't recall if it was in 2nd or 3rd grade, but the school staged a
Spring pageant of some sort, with costumes and dancing and such.  The
female part of "Spring" had already been cast.  When they went looking for
someone to play "Mr. Sun", somehow I got the part. I like to think that it
was due to my cherubic appearance and "sunny" disposition, but it is more
likely that I was the only boy who didn't run shrieking at the very idea of
standing in front of an auditorium full of beaming parents and of uttering
some inane soliloquy.

Had I known what was coming next, I, too, would have run shrieking.  My
mother had to construct this Mr. Sun costume to school specifications; it
was like bright yellow pajamas, which was bad enough, but also had this
enormous sombrero-like hat, also of blazing yellow.  In retrospect I must
have looked like some psychedelic Viet Cong. Well, "the show must go on,"
so with my entourage of Little Sunbeams, also in costume, I enter, stage
right, spread my arms in some Jovian gesture and say, "Come Little
Sunbeams, let us go and help Spring ..........."   And then, my show biz
career was over, just like that.

Epilogue:  I moved to Maryland in 1955 and returned to live in Newmarket in
1961.  Soon, I was to meet the Dempsey Sisters, Patty (NNHS '66) and Katie
(WHS '64), of whom I have spoken previously in this forum.  One day while
elementary school recollections were being shared, I let slip the story of
my 15 minutes of fame as Mr. Sun.  To my amazement, Katie let slip the
story of HER 15 minutes of fame as one of my "Little Sunbeams". 
What a glorious reunion that was.

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 07/11/03
Thanks, Dave!

Here is a photo of Parkview Elementary School for your website.


A former boss of mine went to the demolition site of this school about 20 years ago, and swiped a couple of the bricks. She then borrowed the attached photo from a Newport News public school office, and hired me to paint the school onto each brick as a little keepsake.

People saw my boss's Parkview bricks, and I was suddenly SWAMPED with "orders" to paint more bricks. It got kind of boring, but I probably did about 25 of them and made a little pocket change. I sure hope the bricks weren't covered with asbestos.

I tried my best to return this 8x10 B&W photo. I contacted various public school offices to get an address where I could mail it, but nobody seemed to care.... so I still have it. I did not attend Parkview, but it seems kind of sad that there is practically nothing about this school on the internet!!!

- Jean Lankes Toth (HHS - '72)
of VA - 02/02/05
WOW!  Thanks, Jean!


I was delighted - as was my wife (who attended Parkview Grammar School in grades 1-7) to read 'the rest of the story'
about the hand-painted brick. That's because another of our high school classmates (who also went to Parkview) gave her
one of those previous bricks several years ago. Neither one of us knew the story of it origin, but now - thanks to you - we do.

Actually, I went to Parkview for a short period of time, but was at Hilton for grades 3-7. Nevertheless, I always thought
Parkview was a classic building - and looked like what a grammar school should look like. What's there now is a sad substitute...

- Bill Lee (WHS - '54) of NC - 05/25/06
Thanks, Bill! Agreed........


Could you ask Bill Lee (Warwick HS - 54 - of NC,) who his wife is? He said she went to Parkview Elementary.
I would love to know if she had my mom for a 7th grade teacher. My mom's name was Mrs. Douglas.

- Jamey Douglas Bacon ('66) of VA - 06/09/06
 I didn't know your mama taught school, Jamey! Wouldn't that be cool if she taught Bill's wife?!?


My wife's maiden name was
Janie Leigh Slack, and although she was not in Mrs. Douglas' 7th grade class at Parkview (she was in Mrs. Ola Pressley's class); she does recall Jamey's mom. She says Mrs. Douglas was soft-spoken and
always had a sweet smile.

Here's a picture of Janie's sixth grade class at Parkview (circa 1947).
She is in the second row, fourth from the right.

- Bill Lee (WHS - '54) of NC - 06/10/06
What a treasure! Thanks, Bill!


Thanks to Bill Lee for the picture of his wife's class picture at Parkview and to Janie (
Leigh Slack Lee) for the nice things
that she said about my mom. My mom was always coming home from school with stories about her kids at Parkview.
She talked a lot about the Luckado's, Crickenberger's, Deese's and the Phaup's. She loved all of them dearly. 
I can't remember all of them, but, I have lots of pictures from 1947-1976. She took a few years off to be Principal
at a new school called Sedgefield, but her heart was at Parkview and later Carver. She taught two generations
of some families. She loved all the kids from the Newmarket area. I will try to figure out a way to send her picture.

My sister, Jeannie Douglas Adams, taught at Hilton, where my son and I went. My brother-in-law taught English
NNHS. His name is Dan Adams.

 They are both retired now. Jeannie from teaching in Danville, Va., Dan from flying commercial jets. They have two
children and three grandchildren. They spend most of there time on their enormous boat, going up the intercoastal waterway.

Thanks again Bill, I hope other people will write with their experiences from Parkview.

- Jamey Douglas Bacon ('66) of VA - 06/11/06
Thanks, Jamey!

April 1956 - Mrs. Padgett's Second Grade Class

Found this old picture recently and know there are some Typhoon alumni in it as well as myself. Identified as best I could after 55 years!!!!!

If you would be so kind as to post in your newsletter should be some great memories and even laughs for many. Anyone who can help identify others please feel free to respond. This was Parkview Elementary School and due to its location some of the students went to NNHS and others attended Warwick. 

Thank you so much and for all you do for the Typhoon Nation... 

- Tommy Jenkins ('66) of VA - 09/02/11
Thank you so much for this treasure, Tommy!

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