James E. Farmer Mission Statement

James E. Farmer Elementary School is committed to developing a lifetime love of learning by cultivating minds and igniting the imagination in a nurturing, child-centered environment.

About James E. Farmer

james e. farmerJames E. Farmer was a respected teacher, principal, supervisor, assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent in the Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) District. Farmer was born and raised in the Fern Creek area and graduated from Fern Creek High School. He began his teaching career in 1931 at Jefferson County's Primrose School.

In 1941, Farmer was appointed principal of the new Fern Creek Elementary School. The school was created through a consolidation of the area elementary schools—Primrose, Fairmount, Brentlinger, Seatonville, and Swamp College. He served the district as the supervisor of Intermediary Grades, supervisor of Curriculum, assistant superintendent, and associate superintendent. By the time he retired in July 1976, he was deputy superintendent.

As deputy superintendent, Farmer led an effort to buy thousands of books and to hire librarians for every county school. He was instrumental in the creation of educational television in classrooms, the creation of vocational schools, and the introduction of the middle school concept. He also helped establish the Advance Program for the gifted, a special education program for the deaf and speech-impaired, and an expanded public school athletic program. During the merger of county and city educational systems and court-ordered school desegregation, he worked tirelessly for a smooth transition, using his ability to unite people of divergent views.

Farmer was also an active member of the Fern Creek community. He led the effort to create the Fern Creek Fire Department in 1945. He worked to expand community services to include a library and helped establish the Fern Creek Community Association, becoming its first president in 1944.

His love of Fern Creek and his commitment to education are a legacy that enriches the community.

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Extracurricular Activities