The history of Swift Creek Elementary School, which started as an African-American school during segregated times, and the surrounding community is one of many transitions, traditions, pride for the past and continued hope for the future. The school itself dates back over eighty years and has served as a boarding school, high-school, K-12 school, K-5 school, and now serves Pre-K, and 3rd– 5th-grade students in the district.
According to the Excerpts from the Swift Creek Story, members of the community had to travel out of the area to attend high school and college. The Nash County Sunday School Convention bought seventeen acres of land and in 1909 a building consisting of eight rooms and living quarters were constructed, and years later destroyed by a fire. At this time The Sunday School Convention worked with the county to rebuild the school. When the school was dedicated, in 1949-1950, it housed first grade through twelfth-grade African-American students. At this time the Swift Creek area was predominantly African-American and remains that way today. The goal of W. Frank Wright was to organize community development programs in the area to focus on overall community improvement. In 1958 three other surrounding schools combined with Swift Creek, and an additional wing, including more classrooms, the auditorium, and the library was constructed. In 1961 the third and final building was added to the seventeen-acre campus along with the gymnasium in 1967. In 1970 the last high school class graduated from SCES. The following year SCES was home to kindergarten through eighth-grade students and lost the upper two grade levels in the year 1972. SCES remained an elementary school, housing kindergarten through fifth grade until the fall of 2007. At this time, Nash County chose to combine students at Swift Creek and Red Oak Elementary in order to utilize both campuses to their fullest potential. Today, SCES houses a total of three-hundred thirty-four third through fifth-grade students, with an additional Pre-K class as well as an EC Pre-K, including Hispanic, African-American, white, and Arabic students. Students in grades kindergarten through second attend Red Oak Elementary. Throughout the history of SCES, beginning as a school that housed over twelve-hundred students to the home of the third through fifth-grade elementary students now, there is a rich history that remains preserved to this day. The people in the surrounding community feel a great deal of pride in the school, as well as the students and staff who are a part of it.
Swift Creek Elementary School is located in Whitakers, North Carolina, approximately seven miles from the town of Red Oak. It is one of seventeen elementary schools and was ranked third in academic performance for the 2008-2009 school year and is considered a Triple Crown winner that year for meeting high growth, AYP, and expected growth on EOG testing. SCES is set in the rural northern area of Nash County and can be difficult to locate without specific directions.