History of Harbins Elementary School

  • Sketch of our school and its famous school bell Located approximately five miles southeast of Dacula on New Hope Road, Harbins Elementary became the third elementary school in the Dacula cluster when it opened its doors in August 1995. At that time, there were 525 students, and 57 faculty and staff members. The first year's theme was, " Taking Flight into a Future That's Bright ."  

    The school resides on 35 acres. The main building was 98,000 square feet, with the total facility totaling approximately 107,000 square feet. Harbins Elementary had 50 classroom spaces. A number of staff workrooms and storage areas could be found throughout the facility. The school also had two fully equipped art rooms and music rooms. The school colors were navy blue, burgundy, and hunter green. The mascot was the Hawk.

    Dr. Patty Heitmuller was the principal of Harbins when it opened. The philosophy of Harbins, according to Dr. Heitmuller, was grounded on the belief that each child has gifts and talents, and that it is the role of educators to nurture those gifts. Harbins was founded on unconditional love, mutual respect, and an unwavering belief that each child will learn and be successful.

    Dramatic changes occured in the fall of 2004. First, Alcova Elementary opened, taking in more than 650 of our students. The number of portable classrooms declined, but still we were over-capacity. At the same time, Dr. Cindy Truett was named principal of Harbins, and shared her commitment to serve the students and community. Construction began to add 26 classrooms, a new computer lab, and administrative offices. This construction added 44,000 square feet to the school. In addition, work was completed on renovations in the existing building, expanding the cafeteria and media center.

    In August 2009, Harbins joined the new Archer High School cluster. Harbins' students would attend McConnell Middle School and later Archer High School. Our school mascot changed to the tiger and our school colors became crimson red, grey (silver metallic), with black and white as official accent colors.

    Harbins has recently become known throughout the district and the state for its innovations in technology integration, STEM, and equity for all students. Harbins has hosted several visitation days for GCPS' eCLASS and BYOD initiatives, and continues to be an example of how to integrate technology effectively to engage students and help them perform at higher levels.