School History

Hybla Valley Elementary School opened during the 1964-65 school year. Our building was still under construction when schools opened in September, so the first Hybla Valley students attended other area schools on modified shifts until at least the end of November. Our first principal was Harriett G. Trites.

Black and white head-and-shoulders portrait of Principal Harriett Trites. The picture was printed in the 1970 to 1971 FCPS directory and has a hole punch on the side because the directory pages were bound in a small three-ring binder.
Principal Harriett G. Trites (1964-1971)

Hybla Valley Elementary School was designed by the architecture firm of Beery & Rio of Annandale in 1963, and was built by Earl K. Rosti, Inc., at a cost of $507,202. Designed to house 600 students, Hybla Valley had 20 classrooms and approximately 350 students in first through sixth grade during its first year.

Black and white photograph of the front of Hybla Valley Elementary School facing Lockheed Boulevard taken in the late 1960s. The front of the building looks relatively the same as it does today, except the cafeteria section has been expanded.
Hybla Valley Elementary School, Late 1960s


Hybla Valley Elementary School opened at a time when Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) was in the process of racially desegregating its schools. In 1965, almost every former all-African-American FCPS elementary school ceased operation (one notable exception is Louise Archer Elementary School in Vienna). These schools were located in predominantly African-American enclaves, necessitating the busing of students out of these neighborhoods to formerly all-white schools.

Black and white photograph of Drew-Smith Elementary School. The building is a single-story concrete structure with a brick veneer. It has much fewer classrooms and fewer amenities than the schools built for white children during this time period.
Drew-Smith Elementary School, an all-African-American school located at Gum Springs on Route 1, closed in 1965 and was converted into a special education center. Courtesy of the Virginia Room, Fairfax County Public Library.

In 1965, Hybla Valley absorbed students from Drew-Smith Elementary School, marking the beginnings of the ethnically and culturally diverse school community we treasure today.

Color class photograph taken in February 1968. Pictured are students in Mrs. Funk’s class and she is standing on the far right of the picture in the background. 20 children are pictured, an even mix of boys and girls. The girls are seated in the front row and are all wearing dresses or skirts with knee socks. The boys stand behind them, all wearing button down shirts. Most of the shirts are plaid. One girl stands in the very back row.
Hybla Valley Class Photograph, February 1968

Also during the 1965-66 school year, Hybla Valley housed students from Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School while their building was under construction. Mount Vernon Woods’ entire first and second grade classes, and some third through sixth grade classes, attended Hybla Valley on modified shifts until December 1965.

Color class photograph taken in the spring of 1970. Pictured are students in Mrs. Field’s second grade class and she is standing on the far right of the picture in the background. 23 children are pictured, and there are slightly more boys than girls. The girls are seated in the front row and are all wearing dresses or skirts with knee socks. The boys stand behind them in two rows. Some of the boys are wearing button down shirts, some wear plaid shirts, and others are wearing sweaters.
Hybla Valley Class Photograph, Spring 1970


Did you know that when Hybla Valley opened there were no kindergarteners in our school? A kindergarten program was piloted in several schools in 1967 and proved so successful that one year later FCPS implemented kindergarten county-wide. FCPS enrolled approximately 8,000 children in kindergarten in September 1968. Kindergarten was originally taught in two half-day shifts. Hybla Valley became an early adopter of full-day kindergarten during the 2003-04 school year, a decade before FCPS implemented the program county-wide.

Color 35 millimeter slide photograph, taken in the early 1980s, showing the front of Hybla Valley Elementary School. The section pictured is the cafeteria, main entrance doors, and library. The cafeteria has since been remodeled and expanded outward. The doors are painted a bright orange. A flagpole is visible in the foreground, and the name of the school is on the side of the building in black letters. A window-mounted air conditioning unit is visible in one of the library windows.
Hybla Valley Elementary School, Early 1980s

Renovations and Additions

When Hybla Valley Elementary School opened, our school did not have a gymnasium or music room, and the library was originally located in the front hallway across from the main office. Physical education and music were taught in an empty classroom until 1988, when the gymnasium and an adjacent music room were constructed.

Photograph of Hybla Valley’s gymnasium most likely taken in the 1990s. Approximately 34 children are seated on the carpeted floor. Most are wearing jackets as if they have just come inside or are preparing to go outside. Two basketball hoops and a chin-up bar are visible. The walls are white except for near the ceiling where they are painted in three shades of blue. A banner on the wall reads: Aim for the Stars!

By the late 1990s, the school age population in the Hybla Valley area was on the rise. In 1999, construction began on an addition of eight classrooms to our school, but even with the additional space overcrowding persisted. In 2000, FCPS officials informed the School Board that enrollment at Hybla Valley was projected to rise from 678 to 810 by the 2004-05 school year, so a 10-classroom modular building and additional trailers were brought in to relieve overcrowding.

Color aerial photograph of Hybla Valley Elementary School taken on August 31, 2009. The picture was taken from a helicopter hovering over Lockheed Boulevard. The new addition to the building is visible on the far right. It connects two formerly separate classrooms wings creating a courtyard in the center. Several modular classroom units and trailers are visible behind the school. There is almost as much classroom space outside the building as there is inside the building.
Hybla Valley Elementary School, August 31, 2009

The most recent additions to our school began construction in 2009 and 2014 respectively. During the 2009-10 addition, a two-story classroom wing was constructed. This addition included nine general education classrooms, one music classroom, one band and strings classroom, one art classroom, four English as a second language classrooms, four special education classrooms, and one speech classroom. The 2014 addition expanded the size of our cafeteria and kitchen. Watch these changes unfold in this animated series of aerial photographs courtesy of the Fairfax County Park Authority.

This series of aerial photographs shows Hybla Valley Elementary School from directly overhead in 2017, 2009, 2002, 1997, 1976, and 1937. In 2017, the two-story addition to our building is visible and several modular classrooms, trailers, and a basketball court can be seen behind the building. In 2009, the two-story wing and basketball court are gone, and there are more modular classrooms and trailers than in the 2017 photograph. In 2002, the playground has moved to a different location and there are fewer trailers behind the building. In 1997, the modular classrooms, most of the trailers, and the 8-classroom addition are gone. The playground is now on the west side of the building and cars can be seen parked on a basketball court that will later be turned into a parking lot. There are only 5 trailers outside the building. In 1976, the gymnasium and music room addition is gone. The building looks as it did when originally constructed, and is at least half the size of what it is today. The 1937 photograph is in black and white, and shows the school site when it was part of the airport property. Several buildings and trees are visible on what used to be farm fields.

What’s in a Name?

Did you know that our school was built on land that was once part of an airport? Learn about the origin of the name Hybla Valley and about the history of the Hybla Valley Airport in this video produced for Fairfax County Public Schools’ cable television channel Red Apple 21.

Fun Fact

In 2004, a new computer lab was built at our school. The lab was open to the community after school and on Saturdays, and approximately 200 students used the lab each week during non-school hours. The computer lab was made possible by a partnership between FCPS, the county government, and the non-profit foundation Win-Win Strategy.

Color photograph of four students taken in September 1985. The students are part of the Safety Patrol and are wearing bright orange sashes and belts. They are standing in front of our building, near the old cafeteria, and the name of our school is visible above them on the right.
Hybla Valley Safety Patrol, 1985

Looking Back, Moving Forward

In February 2014, the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate passed a joint resolution commending our school on its 50th anniversary. During that 50 year span, our school population grew from 350 to 935 students, but our core values and commitment to the success of our students remained the same. The true history of Hybla Valley is less about the building and more about the people.

Hybla Valley Elementary School was my home away from home. It was a family. Staff took care of the school and took care of the kids. It was a warm, community school.
~ Rosemary Moore, Instructional Assistant, 1986-2016

Today, Hybla Valley Elementary School works together with students, parents, and the community to create a positive learning environment in which all students can thrive. Programs like family nights, girl power, literacy collaborative, and a multitude of after-school programs, help students achieve greatness both inside and outside of the classroom. Our responsive classroom school model, technology integration into the curriculum, and our emphasis on literacy, hands-on experiences, and character education, are creating students who will become the positive, compassionate leaders of the next generation.

Our Principals

1964 – 1971: Harriett G. Trites
1971 – 1972: Lois P. Queen
1972 – 1979: Nellie B. Quander
1979 – 1989: Blanche P. Delaine
1989 – 1997: Michele Sims
1997 – 2003: Edward “Tommy” Thompson
2003 – 2007: James Dallas
2007 – Present: Lauren Sheehy