Snellville Middle School
3155 Pate Road; Snellville, GA 30078
Years Principal 1969–1989 Reid Mullins 1989-2000 Dr. K. Michael Moody 2000–2003 William Tinkler 2003–2009 Linda Boyd 2009–Dec. 2010 Susan Downs Jan. 2011– Sept. 2012 Eric Thigpen Sept. 2012–Present Katise Taylor
School Colors: Blue and White
School Mascot: Comets
Snellville Middle School, located at 3155 East Pate Road in Snellville, was originally located on Main Street in Snellville and is steeped in history. The old stone school building had been built in 1922 of local granite donated by Ellen Snell Johnson and quarried at Baker’s Rock Quarry near Snellville. The school opened in 1923 and was called Snellville Consolidated High School.
Many conveniences were not available in 1922 when the school was built. Electricity did not come to Snellville until 1938. A generator in the basement provided the lighting for the school. The heating system was coal-burning, pot-bellied stoves in each classroom. Students were responsible for keeping the coal scuttles full from the coal pile located on the school’s grounds. The superintendent, teachers, and older boys built the fires on winter mornings.
For many years, high school boys served as bus drivers. There were no paved roads until 1936 when Highway 78 was paved from Stone Mountain to Snellville. In 1936, an article from the Gwinnett Journal stated that the Snellville community had accomplished much through the cooperative efforts of the people in the area. A granite canning plant was constructed on the school property and was designed to meet all the canning needs of each family in the community. At this time, the addition to the building-- a combination auditorium/gymnasium and four classrooms-- had just been completed under President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) program. The people working toward this project had donated a great deal of labor and materials.
In 1939, a drive was initiated to secure additional books for the school library. Under the leadership of Miss Wilie D. O’Kelly and W.C. Britt, and through publicity of the drive given by the Atlanta papers, a wealth of books were donated. The school then built a small residence near the canning plant in the early 1940s. This was first occupied by the agriculture teacher. In 1948, the school purchased some old army barracks, and one small residence and one duplex apartment were built. The rent from these houses provided some income for the school.
In the fall of 1957, Grayson High School and Snellville High School combined in a new location, forming South Gwinnett High School. After 35 years, the Snellville High School building was renovated and, along with a new brick addition, became Snellville Elementary School for students in grades one through eight led by principal Troy Thomason. For the first time, seventh and eighth grades were departmentalized and teaching specialized.
Growth was occurring rapidly in south Gwinnett County. A new elementary school was built in the Mountain Park area. It opened in 1967, drawing its entire enrollment from Snellville Elementary School. Students in this area could now attend school closer to their homes.
As growth continued in the Snellville area, it became apparent that another school was needed. In 1969, construction was completed on a new elementary school for grades one through five. In 1969–70, the “Old Stone School Building,” as it was affectionately called, was converted to the first middle school (grades six through eight) in Gwinnett County. When Snellville Middle School first opened in 1969, students came from W. C. Britt Elementary and the Mountain Park and Norris Lake areas.
During the 1973–74 school year, the old structure was torn down, and Snellville Middle School changed to its present location on Pate Road. The flaming five-pointed star is the emblem used for the Comets of Snellville Middle. The Comets name was derived from the Comets at South Gwinnett High School. The Snellville Middle School Comets have blue and white as their school colors.
Reid Mullins served as the first principal of Snellville Middle School, providing leadership at the school for 20 years. From its beginnings, Snellville Middle has benefitted from strong leadership. Following Mr. Mullins as principal were Dr. Michael Moody, William Tinkler, Linda Boyd, Susan Downs, Eric Thigpen, and Katise Taylor.
As Gwinnett County continued to grow, so did Snellville. As a result, renovations were made to the building. Additions were made to the school in 1975 when a new gym was built. 1989 and 1992 brought more classroom additions to the facility. In the summer of 2004, renovations were made enlarging Snellville Middle’s media center and cafeteria. The media center was enlarged to include two office areas, a new media production studio, and received 30 new computers and a security system. The cafeteria renovation allowed room for an additional 400 students. And in February of 2005, a new building opened at Snellville Middle School. The two-story building gave the school an additional 28 classrooms, 2 computer labs, 4 offices, a fitness room, and a new gym. The dedication of the building took place on March 31, 2005.
Growth in the Snellville area continued and in 2010 a new middle school— Grace Snell Middle School— opened to relieve Snellville Middle. Both schools serve students in the South Gwinnett Cluster with students from Britt and Norton elementary schools feeding into Snellville Middle.
As part of its work to prepare students for the future, Snellville Middle has hosted a number of academic showcases. Most recently, the school’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Night and Literacy Night showcased students’ accomplishments through experiments, robotics, poetry, and debate. The school also exposes students to the world of work through its Career Day community event.
In addition to preparing students academically for high school, Snellville Middle takes pride in its work to develop its students as leaders and contributing citizens. The school hosts a Junior Leadership Corps program that focuses on student leadership and service to others. Cadets complete thousands of hours of community service each year. Students also have the opportunity to give back to the community through participation in other clubs, performances at community and civic events, and through the school’s Relay for Life team. Snellville Middle continues to partner closely with its families and the community and was selected as a Georgia Family-Friendly Partnership Award finalist by the Georgia Department of Education in 2013. This award recognizes Title I schools that have gone above and beyond to create an environment where families and community members feel that they belong, and where they play an important role in supporting their school’s student success. In 2016, Snellville Middle received the Distinguished Middle School Breakout Award from the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals. The Breakout Schools Award recognizes Georgia Middle schools that are high achieving or dramatically improving student achievement. In September 2019, Snellville Middle School proudly celebrated its 50th year anniversary of serving the students and families in Snellville, Georgia.