Marshall Road Elementary School opened on September 5, 1961. Robert F. Jarecke was our school’s first principal, serving from 1961 through 1965. He was succeeded in February 1965 by Ralph C. Voight, a former 5th and 6th grade teacher and assistant principal at North Springfield Elementary. During those early years, Marshall Road had 600 students, 21 classroom teachers, and one librarian. When our school opened in 1961, students were excited to find that the cafeteria served hot lunches daily - a service that was somewhat unique even during that era in Fairfax County schools. During the summer months, our school library was open to local children twice a week for recreational and refresher reading. The first meeting of our P.T.A. was held on September 13, 1961.
The Baby Boom
Marshall Road Elementary School opened during the post-World War II period known as the baby boom. In September 1960, there were 59,870 children enrolled in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS). By December 1967, that number would climb to 107,000. During this time period, the United States Congress appropriated financial aid to school districts impacted by the growth of the federal government workforce. The construction of Marshall Road was partially funded by a Federal Impact Grant, and partially by school bonds. Our school originally had 20 classrooms. It was designed by the architecture firm of Pickett & Siess, and built by the Eugene N. Hooper Company at a cost of $408,150.
When Marshall Road opened, public schools in Virginia were segregated by race. Marshall Road was built to serve the rapidly expanding white suburban communities near Vienna. At that time, the few African-American children living in our area were bused to Louise Archer Elementary School, then an all-African-American school in Vienna. In September 1965, all public schools in Fairfax County racially integrated, marking the beginnings of the ethnically and culturally diverse Marshall Road school community we know today.