Carolina Beach Elementary

Home of the CB Sea Stars.



Carolina Beach Elementary Celebrates it's History


Plaque for Carolina Beach Elementary from the Federal Point Historical Society

Carolina Beach Elementary School is located in a
coastal community south of Wilmington, NC on
Carolina Beach. The school grounds cover the block
of land from Fourth to Fifth streets between Atlanta
Ave. and Clarendon Blvd. and is situated behind
Carolina Beach Lake.
Between 1916 and 1937, children attended a two-
room school on the boardwalk with approximately 30
In the fall of 1937, construction began on the original
school building. The architect/builder was W.A.
Simon. J.T. and Addie B. Thompson owned the
Dr. John T. Hoggard was the chairman of the Board
of Education and H.M. Roland was New Hanover
County Schools Superintendent.
The school opened in 1938 with Ms. Madge Woods
as principal and teacher of grades five and six. There
were about 55 students.
Carolina Beach Elementary School has been
renovated many times. The first renovation completed
in 1942 and another 1953 with three class rooms and
bathrooms added to each room. The auditorium was
doubled in size and a kitchen was added so students
could eat a hot lunch at school.
In October of 1954, Hurricane Hazel hit the area and
caused lots of damage to the island. Carolina Beach

Elementary School suffered only minor wind and
water damage.
As the island continued to grow, the 1971 version of
CBES was filled with students from first grade to sixth
The library was added in 1975 with a renovation that
added a kindergarten wing named after then principal,
Denning T. Buchter.
On the morning of September 21, 1982, lightning
struck the school’s roof on the Atlanta Ave. side of the
building and caught fire. Severe fire damage occurred
in the office, two classrooms and the library. For the
remainder of the year the office was located on the
stage in the cafeteria. Dr. Audrey Albrecht was the
school’s principal during this time.
Because of the damage from the fire, some of the
students went to school at Carolina Beach’s
Presbyterian Church which was located on Charlotte
New construction began in January of 1983. The
rebuilt section housed two classrooms, an office and
some small rooms for conferences.
After the fire, the students from the class of 1982-
1983 put together at time capsule to be opened 25
years in the future, 2008.

On May 3, 1984 a ceremony was held to celebrate
the newly constructed portion of the building.
Hurricane Diana made landfall on September 13,
1984 and destroyed one of the mobile classrooms on
campus. It was replaced a few weeks later.

In 1987, six classrooms were added. This is the
current 3-5 grade hall.
In the mid-nineties, a playground renovation took
place that included a large pirate ship.
Our most recent renovation was 2006-2007. Three
more classrooms were added and the main hall and
office area were moved. New landscaping, front porch
and new playground equipment was added.
While the construction and renovation were occurring,
our staff and students were relocated to a newly built
school off the island at Veteran’s Park. That school is
now Anderson Elementary. The principal during this
time was Vicki Hayes. After this renovation and we
returned to Carolina Beach, the principal was Cindy

In May of 2008, Carolina Beach School’s time capsule
from 1983 was opened after 25 years in the ground.
Items found inside included photo albums, an ET
figurine, and index cards with questions from

students. Questions included “Do you still wear
glasses?”, “Are school buses still around?” and “What
does Michael Jackson look like now?”
A new time capsule was created during the 2007 –
2008 school year and included Hanna Montana
memorabilia, Tech Deck toy skateboards, a
PlayStation 2, a DVD player, a Wii mote box, a
cordless phone, a cell phone, yearbook and lots of
questions about the future.
Our school is lucky to have had some incredible
parent artists. The paintings on the walls in the
building are by Rhonda Sparks and Deborah Salfer
and the painting in the cafeteria is by Brooks Pierce.
Some of the paintings on the school’s walls were
saved during the 2006 renovation. They were cut out
and preserved in the alcove near the front entrance.
The courtyard and outdoor learning areas are an
ongoing project at our school. The PTO’s garden
committee (2008), led by Yiffen Strickland, purchased
lighting, rain barrels, worm and composting bins,
plants and benches.
LifePoint Church donated picnic tables and has
helped paint and spruce up the area on many
occasions. Local realtors and community members
are so generous donating their time and resources to
plant and care for our outdoor classroom and our
school sign in the front of the building.

Carolina Beach Elementary School celebrated it’s 75 th
anniversary in 2013 with Cindy Wartel as principal.
Classes made posters and welcomed guests who
were former students at Carolina Beach Elementary
School. Citizenship Award winner from 1983, Billy
Marshall Walters or Marty, gave a speech about his
time at CBES and how much the school means to

In August of 2018, Carolina Beach Elementary School
welcomed a new principal, Deanna Leake. During her
tenure our school families endured powerful
Hurricane Dorian in September of 2019, and a
nationwide pandemic from the COVID 19 virus, 2020
to 2021.
Students were sent home in March of 2020 and did
not return to a regular school year with in-person full
day instruction until August of 2021.
Students and staff were required to wear masks or
face coverings each day and have a temperature
reading of 98.6 before entering school.
In August of 2023, Principal Leake was transferred to
Murray Middle School and Carolina Beach School
welcomed Jennifer Angel as our new Principal.


Historical Soc. president

Pat Bolander, President of the Federal Point 
Historic Preservation Society opened the ceremony. 

PTO president

PTO President, Ron Poythress
gave a moving speech on community spirit. 


Our students enjoyed taking a glimpse of the past. 


The Carolina Beach Elementary School chorus under the direction of Mrs. T. Garcia sang the school song. 


Former students and staff attended the ceremony. 

filming crew

Our camera staff was on hand to capture this
moment in history.