About Our School
Newton M. Rountree Elementary School has been an anchor of the Rountree neighborhood since 1917. Originally a K-8 school, the building has had several additions, grade reconfigurations and enrollment fluctuations. Rountree is a fully authorized International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school.
It is important as we move into the 21st century, we do not forget our roots. The following is an excerpt from “A Tradition Respecting the Origin of the Rountree Family”. It was written in December of 1867 by Joseph Rountree, the founder of the first school in Greene County.“A good many years ago there was a male child in Yorkshire, England, found by a rich landlord on his estate, laid under a Rowan Tree (otherwise called a Mountain Ash), dressed in very rich clothing. He took compassion on the child and took the child home, raised it as if it had been his own child, and, not knowing its origin, he called it Rowan Tree, after the tree that he found it under. By some means the family has got to spelling their name ‘Rountree’ but that is not proper, for they took their name from the tree that the infant was found
Although Rountree school is named for Newton M. Rountree, his grandfather, Joseph Rountree, taught at the first school in Greene County. This school was built in 1831 and was made of logs. It was located south of Mt. Vernon Street and west of the Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks.
In September of 1916, a contract was awarded to W.H. Ipsen for $21,461 to build a four-room school with a basement to replace Pickwick School. The school board voted to name it for Newton M. Rountree. Mr. Rountree had served on the school board from 1884-1891.
Before the roof was added, it was decided in May of 1917 to add a second floor consisting of four additional rooms. The total square footage was 15,953. A 1917 newspaper article stated the total cost of the new school would be close to $60,000; although district data reports a cost of $30,182.
Several additions were made to Rountree in subsequent years. In 1930, two classrooms and the current office complex were added. Three more rooms were added in 1955. 1964 saw the construction of the multi-purpose room. A final addition was made to Rountree in 1992. This included the current kitchen, art room, library/media center and computer lab. Rountree is now over 34,000 square feet.