J. G. Dyer Elementary School
1707 Hurricane Shoals Road; Dacula, GA 30019
Years Principal 1970–1979 Hugh May 1979–1984 Dr. Robert Clark 1984–1995 Larry Smith 1995–1998 Chris Emsley 1998–2003 Dr. Phil Epperson 2003–Sept. 2011 Donna Torbush Oct. 2011–Present Michael DiFilippo
School Colors: Black and Gold
School Mascot: Bear
Board of Education
Carole Boyce - Chairman
Daniel D. Seckinger - Vice Chairman
Dr. Mary Kay Murphy
Dr. Robert McClure
CEO/Superintendent: J. Alvin Wilbanks
Architect: Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Associates, Inc.
Contractor: Caroll Daniel Construction Company
Dedication Date: 2009
J. G. Dyer Elementary was constructed in Lawrenceville, Georgia, near Highway 316. The school was named in honor of Jewell Gerdeen Dyer. Mr. Dyer, who died in November of 1960, had served as principal of Suwanee High School and Grayson High School. He had served as assistant superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools for four years at the time of his death.
Dyer Elementary, which was funded by a bond referendum, was built during the 1970–71 school year to ease the overcrowded conditions at Lawrenceville Elementary. Until construction was complete, students in Grades 1 through 3 were housed in portable classrooms at Lawrenceville Elementary. Grades 4 through 6 were housed at an older school in downtown Lawrenceville. The J. G. Dyer Elementary building was opened to faculty and students in April of 1971.
Over a 20-year period, the student population at J. G. Dyer Elementary steadily increased due to surrounding growth. The school population was eased over the years by the opening of several nearby schools. In 1996, Dyer reached an enrollment of 1,200 students. The following year, K. E. Taylor Elementary School opened, relieving Dyer of half of its students. Dyer had an enrollment of approximately 700 students.
As the school population grew, so did the school’s facility. Ten classrooms were added to the original building in 1972. Eight classrooms were built in 1987, and an additional wing with 15 classrooms was added in the early 1990s. Also, at that time, remodeling projects updated the school with an expanded media center and kitchen, as well as improved art, music, and special education classrooms. In the summer of 1999, renovations improved the office space and converted larger classrooms to additional smaller areas for the growing number of special education and resource classes.
However, growth continued and it became clear that the time had come for changes to occur to Dyer Elementary. Originally located in what would become the Central Gwinnett Cluster, Dyer then was redistricted to the Dacula Cluster. In 2009, a replacement school opened for Dyer Elementary and students and staff moved from the facility on Hi- Hope Road to their new home on Hurricane Shoals Road. With the move, the school changed its colors from green and white to black and gold to show unity with the Mountain View Cluster which the school was now a part of. The school later changed its mascot from the dragon to the Mountain View Bear.
The school formally dedicated its new facility on October 25, 2009. Principal Donna Torbush welcomed students, parents, and community members as they celebrated their move to the new building.
Dyer Elementary offers its students a wide variety of curricular experiences. Over the years, the school has earned numerous recognitions including a national Let’s Move Active Schools Award for outstanding leadership in the areas of health and wellness, a spot on the Governor’s SHAPE Honor Roll, and recognition as a Fuel Up to Play 60 Touchdown School. In addition, the school’s chorus and percussion ensemble received an invitation to perform for President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter. Dyer also has been honored as a Taking Action Green & Healthy School in the Environmental Achievement Awards sponsored by Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful.
Technology is a basic for today’s learner and Dyer uses this teaching and learning tool to engage students. In addition to its use of eCLASS, the school provides enrichment to students through computer coding lessons and robotics programs.
For nearly 50 years Dyer Elementary has served the students of Gwinnett County. A key to its success has been its relationship with its families and the community. Dyer Elementary and the school’s PTA enriched its school community with various programs and events such as Bear Reader, Muffins with Moms, Donuts with Dads, Father-Daughter Dance, Brick Night, STEAM Night, Chorus and Instrument Club, Grandparents and Holiday Luncheons, and an author visit from Carmen Deedy. The PTA also provided financial support through various fundraisers, and purchased a shade structure for our playground area. In addition, Dyer’s students, staff, and community members have given generously to support many community service projects, including Relay For Life, United Way, Great Days of Service, the Carter Center, and our local school Care Team.