At its founding in 1954, the district merged the many schools serving Elizabethtown Borough, Mount Joy Township and West Donegal Township into a single unified district known as the Elizabethtown Area School District. Neighboring Conoy Township joined the newly incorporated district in 1955. A 22-member board of directors and a supervising principal governed the district in its early years. Dr. Galen C. Kilhefner was the district’s first supervising principal.
To accommodate the new district and its growing population, the EASD began acquiring land in the mid-1950s to build new school facilities. Dr. Troy Thompson donated 25 acres of land along East High Street. The school district would later purchase an adjoining 20 acres of land from Dr. Thompson. By 1957, three elementary schools had been erected across the community - Fairview, Mill Road and Rheems - as well as a new junior-senior high school serving students in grades 7-12 built on the East High Street property.
The first graduating class of the new high school consisted of 115 students in 1958. The fifties also saw the introduction of interscholastic sports to the district. Male sports included football, basketball, baseball and wrestling while females competed in field hockey and tennis. Captivating the community during the decade was the 1957-1958 undefeated, untied football team.
By the early sixties, student enrollment at the junior-senior high school had nearly doubled and now totaled more than 1,200 students. Another milestone occurred during the decade when the district appointed Mr. Phillip Daubert as its first-ever superintendent in 1967. Mr. Daubert would serve the district as its superintendent until his retirement in1987.
As the community moved into the seventies, the need to expand its facilities again was at the forefront. In 1975, a new middle school was built onto the existing junior-senior high school. Upon its completion, the district’s elementary schools served students in grades K-5, the middle school served students in grades 6-8 and the high school served students in grades 9-12. The seventies not only saw growth in enrollment and school facilities, but also the addition of many new athletic programs. The district offered eighteen interscholastic sports and had its first state championship team - the 1974 field hockey team - that was coached by the legendary Jane Hoover.
As the seventies came to an end, total enrollment in the district exceeded 3,000 students. Over the first quarter century, the district had evolved to have five elementary schools, a middle school and a high school serving the community’s students. Success in interscholastic sports continued in the eighties. The field hockey team claimed the district III title, the football team captured a section title and the baseball team won both county and district championships. By the end of the decade, the district offered twenty sports programs – basketball (boys and girls), cheerleading, cross country (boys and girls), field hockey, football, golf (boys), rifle (boys), soccer (boys), softball, swimming (boys and girls), tennis (boys and girls), track and field (boys and girls), volleyball (girls) and wrestling.
The nineties can be classified as a decade of growth both in student enrollment and building projects. By the close of the decade, the total student population approached 4,000 students. Graduating classes hovered around 250 students. The district also saw some of its largest class sizes, with the middle school bursting at the seams with enrollment totaling nearly 1,000 students. To accommodate the student population, the district renovated the secondary school complex and added a sizable addition. The district also renovated all five of its elementary schools.
Present day Elizabethtown Area School District serves around 4,000 students. The district has five elementary schools (Bainbridge, Bear Creek School, East High Street, Mill Road and Rheems) and a secondary school complex comprised of the middle school (grades 7-8) and a high school (grades 9-12). Construction on a new school building - Bear Creek School - began in 2009. Upon its opening in the fall of 2012, the Bear Creek School served students district-wide in grades 4-6. In the spring of 2012, a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion project to East High Street Elementary was completed bringing school capacity to over 550 students. Coinciding with the opening of Bear Creek School and improvements to East High Street Elementary, the Elizabethtown Area School District Board of School Directors approved the second phase of its redistricting plan for the four primary elementary schools in May 2012. The approval completed a two-year process of redrawing new school attendance boundaries.
In the Fall of 2013, a multimillion dollar project to improve the district campus was completed. The construction project included the addition of a new parking lot; an upgraded Jane Hoover Field to include artificial turf, lighting and increased seating; an improved Thompson Field entrance; and the new Shaw Foundation Tennis Courts. A significant portion of the funds needed to pay for the projects was raised through private donations through the Elizabethtown Area Education Foundation's Investing in Our Children, Our Community, Our Future Capital Campaign. Jane Hoover Field now served as the home field for not only field hockey but also boys/girls soccer and boys/girls lacrosse.
Looking into the future, the district has developed a long-range plan to renovate all of its facilities in order to expand suitable instruction space at its schools.
- Dr. Michele M. Balliet August 2011 - present
- Dr. Amy Hodges Slamp March 2008 - July 2011
- Dr. Timothy J. Quinn July 2007 - February 2008
- Dr. Allan L. Thrush November 1996 - June 2007
- Dr. Marilyn L. Baker* July 1996 - November 1996
- Dr. Dale G. Williams July 1993 - June 1996
- Dr. Robert N. Kratz January 1988 - June 1993
- Mr. Phillip H. Daubert July 1967 - December 1987