Benefield Elementary School
1221 Old Norcross Road; Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Years Principal 1982–1988 Allen Bower 1988–1994 Ann Adams 1994–2000 Larry Smith 2000–2005 Barbara Hopkins 2005–2010 Ronald Boyd 2010–2015 Dr. Melissa Walker 2015–Present Shonda Stevens
School Colors: Navy Blue, Gray, and Green
School Mascot: Titans
Board of Education
Louise Radloff - Chairman
Carole Boyce - Vice Chairman
Dr. Robert McClure
Dr. Mary Kay Murphy
Daniel D. Seckinger
CEO/Superintendent: J. Alvin Wilbanks
Architect: Lindsay, Pope, Brayfield & Associates,
Contractor: H Construction Company
Dedication Date: 2008
Benefield Elementary School is named for J.W. Benefield, former Gwinnett School Superintendent of Schools. Mr. Benefield served in that capacity from 1967 to 1977. He was born in the Dacula-Harbins area and graduated from the University of Georgia. He began his 26-year career in education in 1950 as an agriculture teacher at Bethesda High School and Central Gwinnett High School. In 1977, he was named “Outstanding School Superintendent of the Year” by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders. He is a member of the Gwinnett County Association of Educators’ Hall of Fame.
Benefield Elementary School has undergone many changes through the years. It’s seen changes in location, principals, mascots, school colors, and clusters. But one thing remains the same – the faculty and staff’s constant commitment to excellence.
Benefield Elementary School had its start in 1982 next to Oakland Center at 970 McElvaney Lane in Lawrenceville. It opened to relieve growth in areas served by Lawrenceville Elementary, Gwin Oaks Elementary, Dyer Elementary, Bethesda Elementary, and B.B. Harris Elementary. During the late 1980s (1987–88), Benefield had the distinction of being the largest elementary school in Georgia with 1,450 students. In fact, lack of space caused our 5th-grade “Buccaneers” to be housed at Richards Middle School during that school year.
In August of 2007, Oakland School moved from the McElvaney Lane address in Lawrenceville, which it shared with Benefield students, to a new location. This gave Benefield Elementary students and staff additional space until a replacement elementary school was completed for the 2008–09 school year.
In 2008, Benefield Elementary relocated to its current location of 1221 Old Norcross Road in Lawrenceville. When Benefield Elementary opened, the Reading Recovery training site was moved from Oakland School to the new Benefield Elementary School. The training site has two full-size classrooms and a one-way observation glass. Over the past 25 years, Reading Recovery has trained over 350 teachers to impact more than 17,000 students.
Benefield has received numerous academic honors over the years, including being named a Distinguished Title I School and receiving High Progress High Rewards status for the high performance of students on state assessments. Benefield’s school counseling program also has twice been designated Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) through the American School Counselor Association.
Benefield’s mascot was changed in 2001 from the Buccaneer to a Lighthouse. The school colors were also changed from light and dark blue to red, white, and blue to coordinate with other schools in the Berkmar cluster.
Benefield joined the Discovery Cluster in the 2015–16 school year, joining the new Discovery High School, Richards Middle School, Alford Elementary School, Baggett Elementary School, and Cedar Hill Elementary. In becoming a part of the new cluster, Benefield underwent its third mascot and color change in its history. Benefield’s mascot is the Titan with school colors of grey, navy blue, and green.
Because of its ever-growing student population, Benefield, for the 2021-22 school year, will be the newest Gwinnett County public school building with a new addition. The expansion project will add 15 more classrooms and an additional Reading Recovery site to the school’s campus.