The Alva History

Captain Peter Nelson, the founder of Alva, named the community after this small white flower. The flowers were blooming all along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River and they reminded him of the flowers which grew in his native Denmark.

Alva Under Reconstruction (1884)

Captain Peter Nelson donated the land for the first school. In 1888 the school façade was slatted. Doors, windows and cisterns were added.

Alva’s first teacher was Miss Maggie Verdier, “a young lady of fine culture and high quality as a teacher and instructor”. (February 27, 1886, press)

Alva a School and a Church (1893)

The South Alva School also served as the community’s church. The school was located on the south side of the Caloosahatchee River. Alva’s first certified teacher was Lizzie Hibble, who was hired by the Board of Public Instruction in October of 1887. According to the November 24th, 1892 edition of the Press: “The teacher seems cheerful, but rather tired some days”.

Alva in 1897

As more families moved into the area, a second school was completed by the fall of 1901 on the north side of the river. Following the closing of the South Alva School, this school was known as the Consolidated School, with students from both sides of the river in attendance. The distinguished feature of this school was the bell tower. A set of wooden steps, called a stepping block, was constructed to enable the students to dismount from their horse-drawn carriages. The Consolidated School was a three-room schoolhouse.

The Second Alva High (1904)

This school was known as the second Consolidated School. It was located on the same site as the first Alva School. It was located on the same site as the first Alva School, where Alva Middle is today. The school was for grades 7-10.

One of the 1911 graduates was J. Collin English who later became a teacher and Superintendent in Lee County. According to Mrs. Alice English, local historian:

“To the Alva School went the honor of having the first woman college graduate in Lee County, Mary Stebbins.“

When the school opened it welcomed sixty students. The first two graduates were Flora English and Philip Barney in 1908.

Principal: Mrs. Naomi Mann

Alva High being Built Higher (1914)

“The high school was built on the same land as the Consolidated School for the cost of $25,000. Bonds were sold to build a brick school. The bricks came from sand from the English homestead and were made by men in the community. The citizens of Alva assessed themselves to provide money for the school rather than wait for the Board of Public Instruction to prepare a referendum; the school contained an auditorium, library and six classrooms. The school bell rang every morning. The schoolyard was fenced to keep cattle out.

When the school first opened on August 31, 1914, 100 students attended. The old school became the “teacher age”, a place for the principal to live. This PTA was the first in Lee County.

First Principals: R.L. Stiles, followed by U.P. Davis

Alva High Burning Down (1927)

The Alva High School is now the Alva Middle School. It was the smallest school in the state for 46 years. In 1928, the “Teacher age” burned. Irby Clay was one of the first graduates of the school an later became Principal of Bayshore Elementary. The high school had an active 4-H Club, boy scouts and basketball team, in 1972, Alva High School was phased out and students were sent to Riverdale High School.

Principal: Mr. Charles A, Nixon

Alva High in Blue and Gold (1960)

Establishing the School Colors and Symbol

With the support of the Booster Club, faculty, alumni

And students, a new football field was built. The Booster Club procured lights for night games and the county recreation department furnished bleachers. There was a new gymnasium built during this time period as well.

After 1962, the school colors were blue and gold. The school symbol was the winged cowboy boot.

Alva Elementary Goes Up (1974)

During 1974, the one story building that served as part of Alva Elementary School was added. The building housed the school office and kindergarten through third grade. The 1914 Alva High School Building was used to serve the fourth and fifth grades.

The cafeteria and media center were enlarged for both elementary and middle schools.

Principal: Mr. David Barber (elementary School)

Mr. Charles Watson (Middle School)

Alva Elementary In 1996!!!

The campus was remodeled and renovated in 1996. The elementary school was housed in portable classrooms. It was an everyday occurrence to see construction vehicles soon turned into creative lessons for the students. Upon completion of this year long project the historic building was restored to maintain its original character.

Principal: Dr. Callie Lawrence (Elementary school)

Mr. Stephen Hutnik (Middle school)

ALVA Elementary and Middle School in 2000

An endeavor that officially began in 1987 was celebrated by; ALVA elementary and ALVA middle school when ALVA consolidated schools were officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Principal: Mrs. Callie Lawrence (Elementary School)

Mr. Stephen Hutnik (Middle School)

The Alva School (2013)

In 2012, the lee county schools announced the merge of Alva Elementary and Middle to pursue the efforts to elevate learning standards.

The New Alva School Features:

  • SMART Board interactive whiteboards in every classroom
  • SMART Response interactive student response systems
  • 4 Computer Labs
  • Digital Photography Design Lab
  • 4 Mobile Laptop Labs
  • Student computers in each classroom
  • Classroom Audio Enhancement (Epson AP-60 w/ mic pendant)
  • State of the art Television Studio
  • 1 Band/Chorus rooms with enhanced acoustics and soundproof practice room
  • Auditorium with stage, updated sound system and theater-style lighting

Principal: Mrs. Lynn Edward

The Alva School (Present)

Welcome Mr. Dale Houchin as our new Principal

2017 Highlights:

  • We are proud to announce that The Alva School earned a B grade
  • Awarded the PBIS Silver Level

The Alva School New Features:

  • Smart Technology in every classroom
  • Digital Design Lab
  • Digital Photography Lab
  • CIW Certification Lab
  • Chromebook 1:1 for all students
  • AgriScience Classroom
  • Advance Robotics Classroom
  • 3D Printing Technology
  • NewTek Technology Video Production
  • Renovated Auditorium with enhanced seating and sound system
  • Renovated Gym with a unique undercarriage system that provides optimum shock absorption, vertical deformation, and ball rebound