About Our School
We, the faculty and staff of Epes Elementary school, know the importance of providing an exceptional educational program for our students. To do this we will develop and implement instructional comprehension and basic math skills. We will also keep in continuous communication with our parents to utilize their support in assisting in our mission. The total commitment of Epes staff and Epes parents will allow us to reach our goals for Epes children.
The Epes community will encourage and support our families while preparing our students to be life-long learners by providing a safe, positive environment, setting high expectations, and showing mutual respect.
Student's School Pledge
I will act in such a way that I wil be proud of myself and others will be proud of me too. I came to school to learn and I will learn. I will have a good day.
Just who was Horace Hardaway Epes, for whom Epes Elementary School is named? For that answer we have to go back more than 150 years, to Nottowa County, Virginia, where Epes was born in 1849. At 15 he enrolled at Virginia Military Institute, then located in Richmond. His education was interrupted when VMI was burned in 1864 by the Union Army. Later, the school reopened in Lexington, and Epes returned there and graduated in 1870.
He moved to Kentucky to be a professor at Linden College, and while there met and married Mary Ella Chilton of Talladega, Alabama. The two and their six children left Kentucky and moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where he became president of a private girls' school. Later he moved to Petersburg, Virginia, again to serve as president of a private school.
In 1894, Epes came to Newport News to be principal of the 28th Street School. When Newport News was incorporated as a city in 1896 and needed a public high school, classes were started in an upper floor of the new First National Bank building on 28th Street and Washington Avenue. High school classes were held at the bank for three years until the new Central School was built on 32nd Street. Epes supervised the first public high school classes as principal, in addition to his duties as principal of the 28th Street School. He retired in 1903, and died in 1912 at his home on 28th Street.