Chattahoochee Elementary School opened its doors to 502 students and a staff of 59 in the fall of 1989. Although enrollment was under projection, the students, parents and staff were excited and determined to make Gwinnett County’s youngest and smallest school one of the best.
Chattahoochee Elementary is located at 2930 Albion Farm Road in Duluth. Nearby flows the Chattahoochee River from which the school gets its name. Chattahoochee is Cherokee for marked or pictured rock or stone. The immediate area around the school and near the river was once inhabited by the Cherokee Indians.
After the Indians left Georgia on the Trail of Tears, the area became a part of the George Waters Plantation. Mr. Waters is best known for his effort to free his slaves long before the outbreak of the Civil War. According to court records of 1855, Mr. Waters freed his slaves in his will; however, the law at that time did not allow owners to emancipate their slaves. Therefore, the executors decided to send any willing slaves to Liberia, a move which the court approved. Unfortunately, 30 of the 37 emancipated slaves died in Liberia within a year due to the difference in climate, and the surviving seven eventually chose to return to Georgia, with the aid of Howell Cobb and Alexander H. Stephens, to resume plantation life.
Taking a cue from the Cherokee Indians, students at Chattahoochee adopted the school’s first mascot— the Chiefs— and the school colors of red, white, and blue. (The mascot later changed to reflect the purple and white wildcats associated with the Duluth Cluster.) The first class of students came primarily from Berkeley Lake Elementary and B. B. Harris Elementary; however, with the opening of school, students enrolled from other schools within the county, other systems within the state, other states, and other countries (two from Ireland and one from Russia).
Since opening, the school has continued to grow. Chattahoochee’s student population has grown to more than 1,400. A number of additions have helped the school to house its growing population. In 1999, the school benefited from a 30-classroom addition and in 2005 another 10 classrooms were added.
Chattahoochee Elementary proudly boasts a culturally diverse population. The school celebrates its different heritages, blending each unique history into one wonderful school community, rich in parental support and community resources. To further solidify that cohesiveness with the school community, the school aligned its mascot and colors with the other schools in the cluster. Chattahoochee Elementary School is proud to be the home of the Wildcats and home to great teaching and learning!