Westville has had a fine system of education for many years. The oldest school in Westville was probably the original Newbold School. However, the first school building in Westville proper was located on School Street (later renamed New Street). It was on the property which is now the school yard of School #1.
The school was torn down and a new school was built in 1912. The new school was built on the corner facing High Street and the school yard was re-located on the site of the old school. Bricks from the school were used to build the houses in the 600 block on Delsea Drive.
Miss Edith Lippincott taught in the old school which was torn down and continued teaching in School #1 until she retired in 1957. She completed 52 years of teaching, 49 of which were in Westville.
Kindergarten classes were once held in a rear room in the Union Fire House. Miss Edith Willey began her career in Westville as the teacher of those kindergarten classes. She later transferred to School #1 where she remained as a teacher, then principal, and eventually as superintendent of the Westville Schools.
On the West side of the railroad stood Newbold School. Some statistics show that the school was built about 1885. Residents looked forward to hearing the school bell ring to call children to school twice daily. Many former students remember Mr. Fleetwood, Miss Abby Justice, and Mrs. Olive Newbern who were principal of the school.
Newbold School was torn down in 1966 after it had been empty for two years. Former students were sorry to see it destroyed. Memories are much harder to demolish than school buildings and residents who receive their education in Newbold regard the school with nostalgia.
One “former pupil” in an accountant to the Gateway News recalled with love and loyalty the early days at Newbold School. Among these recollection:
– gaining an appreciation of literature from teacher, Mrs. Newbern, who read a chapter a day from the Edgar Rice Burroughs classic, Tarzan of the Apes.
– selling lemonade and iced tea to workmen, during the summer when the new school was erected.
– Winter’s day sledding on school grounds to Martha’s Lake.
– Miss Abby’s Justice reading WE, Charles Lindberg’s account of early flying days and his historic flight to Paris.
– Cutting down a Christmas tree in the woods and trimming it with spare tinsel and balls from home.
School #3 was built in 1926 to accommodate the increase in population after World War I. Mrs. Ethel Mehorter was the first principal. The other faculty member in the new school were Miss Helen Timmis, Miss Hazel Kingston, and Miss Jane S. Francis.
Westville high school students attended either Woodbury or Gloucester High School until 1940. From 1940 to 1964, students attended only Woodbury High School. In 1964 Gateway Regional High School District was formed. This became necessary because Woodbury had informed its sending districts that it could no longer handle tuition students due to increase enrollment.
Gateway continues to expand having built the second wing in wing in 1966 and having a referendum in December 1976 to acquire adjacent land for future use.