Miss Nancy E. Grayson
“Miss Nannie”, as she was known to many of her pupils, was born in Fairfield, Adams County on December 14, 1860. She received her education in the Shippensburg Public School and graduated from high school in 1876. Miss Grayson graduated from Cumberland Valley Normal School, now Shippensburg University in the fall of 1877 with a degree in education. Because she was only 17, she had to wait a year to begin teaching. Miss Nancy Grayson was voted by her colleagues to be a Head Teacher in the Shippensburg Area School District from 1927-1930.
Miss Grayson retired in 1930 at the age of 70 after 53 years of teaching. However, she remained active in many organizations. Among her affiliations were the Chautauqua Reading Course, the Shippensburg Tuesday Club, Shippensburg Civic Club, American Red Cross, and war work activities. She was a member of the Shippensburg Presbyterian Church and Sunday school. The crowning honor in her long life came on November 10, 1960 when the Nancy Grayson Elementary School was named for her. Due to her health she could not attend the dedication, but she was present the year before on June 20, 1959 when the cornerstone was laid. Miss Nannie died on December 19, 1960 at 100 years of age and is buried in the Spring Hill Cemetery which sits next to the building that is named for her.
She taught primary children and was one of the first to break away from the alphabet method to teach children to read. Miss Nannie was known by many as a forward looking person in the field of education. Miss Grayson was one of the first to train student teachers from Shippensburg State College, now Shippensburg University. In December 1932, she was presented the Distinguished Service Medal of the Pennsylvania State Educational Association.
Growth of the Building
The Nancy Grayson Elementary School was dedicated in 1960. The building was constructed for about $410,000. That first year about 429 students attended school there.
Additions and renovations to the building enabled the school district to consolidate elementary schools for the 1986-1987 school year. The elementary schools of Orrstown, Leesburg, Mainsville, and Shippensburg were consolidated into the Nancy Grayson Elementary School. The consolidated school also included Kindergarten students from the SASD Regional Kindergarten. The school configuration was Kindergarten through Sixth Grade students.
Additional construction in 1995 due to increased enrollment added 2 classrooms to the building.
During the 2007-2008 school year, the building was completely renovated which included the addition of an office area and air conditioning throughout the entire building.
The school has had numerous grade alignments during the years. Prior to 1986, it was a First-Sixth Grade Building, then adding Kindergarten during the 1986-1987 school year. Sixth Grade was moved from the building to the Shippensburg Area Middle School for the 1998-1999 school year. The Fourth and Fifth Grades were moved to the Shippensburg Area Intermediate School when it opened in February 2007. Since that time, Nancy Grayson Elementary School has remained a Kindergarten-Third Grade school.