School History

John M. Asbell

John M. Asbell Elementary School first opened its doors for the 1962-63school year. It is housed in a single-story brick building located at 1500 North Sang Avenue in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Our school is located on the property previously occupied by the Asbell family.

John M. Asbell was born December 8, 1879, in Shoals, Indiana. He received the L.L. degree from Johnson Bible College in Kimberly Heights,Tennessee. He moved to Fayetteville from Alva, Oklahoma, in 1924. He was the pastor of First Christian Church from 1924-1934. During his years in the ministry, he also served as pastor of First Christian Church in Springdale, the Christian Churches of Baldwin and West Fork, and the Union Church of Baptist Ford. He was a lifetime member of the Fayetteville Rotary Club.

Mr. Asbell died on February 2, 1962 in El Dorado, Arkansas, where he lived with his daughter, Miss Maeda Asbell. Earlier that week, the Fayetteville School Board had voted to name the district's newest elementary school after him.

Additional Construction

Asbell has had several additions built since it first opened as a building with 12 classrooms, a library, and a cafeteria.

In 1967, the south wing was built. It housed six classrooms in one large open space room with air conditioning and gold carpet. This was the first open space classroom in the state of Arkansas. In 1982, walls were added to create six traditional classrooms.

The Asbell gym was built in 1969 as a joint venture between the City of Fayetteville and the Fayetteville School District. It was the first elementary school gym in our city. The gym is used during the school day by Asbell. The gym is used by the community at night and on weekends.

The Asbell Library was enlarged in 1971, doubling the space for our library media program.

Another major enlargement of Asbell occurred in 1986. Six more classrooms, a music room, a conference room and two closets were added. The office area was also enlarged.

Asbell now has a total of 23 regular classrooms, a music room, three smaller classrooms, three office rooms, a cafeteria and a library. Small rooms house our Reading Recovery program and our teacher work room.

During the summer of 2003, new windows and cabinets were installed in our original twelve classrooms.

During the 2008-2009 School year, Asbell went through another renovation. New offices were built for the attendance clerk, administrative assistant, nurse, and principal. Two new workrooms were built, security cameras were installed, and a secure front entrance was created. The entire gym was also renovated.

A new playground (purchased by the PTA) was installed in the spring of 2009. Asbell continues to grow inside and out. If you haven't been by in a few years, stop by to see the wonderful changes.


Asbell had 240 students in its first year. We now have about 403 students. We serve students in pre-kindergarten through the fourth grade.


Six people have been the principal of Asbell.

Emily Marti was principal for fifteen years, from the school's opening in 1962 until 1977.

Dolores Bartizal was principal for four years, from 1977 - 1981.

A. J. Lyman was principal for four years, from 1981 - 1985.

Georgia Carroll was principal for the 1985-1986 school year.

Jim Paul was the principal for eighteen years, from 1986 - 2004.

LaTayna Greene served as principal from 2004 - 2012.

Tracy Bratton became our current principal in 2012.