Fort Daniel Elementary School
1725 Auburn Road; Dacula, GA 30019
Years Principal 1994–97 Ann Adams 1997–2002 Betty Dominy 2002–Dec. 2008 Carolyn Madsen Jan. 2009–Dec. 2018 Paul Willis Jan. 2019–Present Dr. Barbara M. Tucker
School Colors: Navy blue and white
School Mascot: Mountain Lion
Board of Education
Julie Duke - Chairman
Pat Mitchell - Vice Chairman
Joel C. Taylor, Jr.
Superintendent: George G. Thompson
Architect: Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart, & Associates, Inc.
Contractor: Salloum Const. Co., Inc.
Dedication Date: 1994
Fort Daniel Elementary School opened in August 1994 with 940 students. The school is located in the Hog Mountain community in northeastern Gwinnett County. Fort Daniel is situated on 21.17 acres of land in an area of new residential and commercial growth. The school was named for a military fort that stood nearby in the early 1800s as protection for white settlers against Indians along the frontier. The original fort was named for General Alan Daniel.
The school’s first principal was Ann Adams. Ms. Adams hired the initial staff and led the school through its first three years. Betty Dominy, the school’s assistant principal, became principal in 1997 and led the school through a growth period. In 1998, nine classrooms were added. And, by 1999, the school served 1,580 students, housing them in the building and in 28 portable classrooms.
The community was rezoned in 1999 when a new elementary school, Freeman’s Mill, opened nearby. The enrollment during the 1999–2000 school year was 1,053. By 2002–03 the enrollment had grown to 1,618, and the school had 29 portable classrooms. Carolyn Madsen became the principal that year. Rezoning of the Fort Daniel Elementary student population occurred again in 2003 when two new elementary schools, Ivy Creek and Duncan Creek, were built in the area. As a result, Fort Daniel began the 2003–04 year with 962 students and no portable units. As Gwinnett County has continued to grow, so has this school community. In 2005–06, Fort Daniel’s average enrollment was 1,207 and the school had 16 portable classrooms.
Upon Mrs. Madsen’s retirement in December 2008, Mr. Paul Willis became the fourth principal of Fort Daniel. As the 2008–09 school year came to a close, many of Fort Daniel’s students were rezoned to attend Freeman’s Mill Elementary School. Fort Daniel Elementary School now serves approximately 650 students per year. In January of 2019, Mr. Willis transitioned to the leadership role at Cooper Elementary.
Dr. Barbara Tucker became the leader of the school in 2019. She built on the strong foundation of leadership, academics, and strong community partnerships that had been established at the school. As a result, the school’s PTA continues to offer tremendous support to students and teachers. It provides cultural arts programs, plans fun family events, and supports our programs and activities with volunteers. In addition, the PTA generously donated funds to further enhance classroom technology and Fort Daniel’s playground.
The school is proud of its students’ academic achievement. Students extend their learning through afterschool extracurricular programs that allow students to explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) through activities like the Technology Club and the Robotics Club. Students also participate in Art Club, Physical Education Club, Music Club and Book Club. Student leadership opportunities also abound as students participate in Student Council and Safety Patrol Program.
Fort Daniel Elementary has grown to be an exciting school where children learn and enjoy what they do. Today the students enjoy some unique learning opportunities. Fort Daniel continues to focus on educational excellence to produce high achievement as evidenced by its students’ success.
The school’s link to the Mill Creek Cluster is strengthened through partnerships with local businesses and programs that encourage parental and community involvement. Although today’s school is far removed from the original 1800s fort it is named after, students had the opportunity in 2015 to participate in an archaeological dig at the 1813 Fort Daniel site, finding pottery pieces and nails dating to the late 1700s and early 1800s. This school community is proud of its history and focused on its future as it develops learners and leaders every day.