Dubar School History
A Country School Established in 1857, Supported by a Vibrant Community Committed to Academic and Artistic Excellence.
Dunbar is a beautiful elementary school in a picturesque setting, serving Kindergarten Through Fifth Grade with a strong emphasis in Art and Science. Dunbar is located in Glen Ellen, nestled in the foothills of Sonoma Mountain. The rural campus is sprinkled with oak trees and is surrounded by beautiful vineyards.
We are a school rich in history and tradition. Dunbar was established in 1857 on Dunbar Road just south of its present location.
Dunbar School was the first of a four-district public school system established by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in 1857. Miss Mary Linder was Dunbar's first teacher. She had an initial enrollment of 21 students and a budget of $500. Alex Dunbar provided the building for his five sons and other boys and girls from Kenwood to attend school.
In 1922, Dunbar joined with Glen Ellen, Strawberry, Enterprise, and Trinity Schools to become Dunbar Union School with Miss Hellman as principal. Miss Alice Griffin assumed her role a year later. Miss Griffin loved gardening and daffodils. Her fields are still visible in the spring along Warm Springs Road just West of Mortons.
During the 1920's residents endeavored to pass a bond to build a new school. After several attempts, the bond passed and a new school was built on our present site. It opened in 1930 with Miss Alice Griffith as principal. Through the years the school has been modernized and improved by community and district efforts.
Mr. Maxwell Cunninghame served, as Dunbar's principal for 32 years guiding Dunbar from a four-room school to a campus with 12 classrooms, a multipurpose room, and an administration wing. Larry Westlake, Jerald Tuller, Ken Limon, Rosemary Haver, Micaela Philpot, Bethany Wilson, Lauren Ekman, Leticia Cruz ,Claudia Berkman, Melanie Blake, and Jillian Beall served as principals before the selection of Dunbar's Interim Principal, Katie Hahn in 2021.
Today Dunbar has a student body of around 160. The small student body allows for a stronger community. The teachers know every student. Our school exists for our students and it is our vision to bring the entire learning community together to work toward excellence with care, communication, and collaboration.
The Dunbar community is a strong vibrant group of parents, staff, alumni, and Glen Ellen residence all committed to a positive educational experience for the students. The Dunbar community is a true treasure. Dunbar has a very active and involved parent body. The majority of the staff have been at Dunbar for over 15 years and there is a clear sense of pride and joy. Dunbar is their school and this is where they want to be. Dunbar alumni will always have fond memories of their wonderful years at this exceptional school. The town of Glen Ellen and Dunbar have a close and supportive relationship. Whether its Dunbar marching in the town parade or the Town Meeting taking place in the Dunbar auditorium.