History

Bettie Forbes Williams
(September 1900 - April 1962)

Bettie F. WilliamsBettie Forbes Williams was born in September of 1900, in Princess Anne County. Her parents were farmers who grew vegetables, root crops and raised chickens. As a child, she showed the desire to help others, often giving away surplus crops to friends or neighbors in need.

After graduation from Virginia State College in Petersburg, Bettie returned home in 1922 to teach at Cross Roads School. It was a crowded little frame schoolhouse like others in the county.

Three years later she began teaching at Seatack School. By 1934, she was teaching at Union Kempsville School, located on the grounds of Union Baptist Church. In 1938, she began teaching at the new Princess Anne County Training School for black students as a history and English Instructor.

Bettie Forbes Williams became the second Supervisor of Negro Elementary Schools in 1946 after teaching in Princess Anne County for 24 years. She retired in 1961 due to poor health, and in October of that year the Princess Anne County School Board named and dedicated its newest school in her honor.

Throughout her career, Bettie F. Williams influenced and molded many lives. She gave students the knowledge and the desire to further their education and better themselves. Many local residents, both black and white, said she was never too busy to offer a hand. One of her fellow coworkers said, upon her passing on April 2, 1962, "How she has helped many! God will take care of her always."

Williams Elementary
Opening Date:  1961
First Principal: Louvenia Archer

Overview

BBFWettie F. Williams, opened in September 1961 with 26 classrooms, in Princess Anne County. The school housed pupils in grades one through six and served a large section of the county's population. It was named in honor of Mrs. Bettie Forbes Williams, one of Princess Anne County's most illustrious educators. After only two years of operation, a new wing consisting of eight classrooms and two rest rooms was completed. This addition was imperative due to the arrival of seventh grade pupils from an overcrowded Union Kempsville High.

 By 1962, Bettie F. Williams was no longer a predominately black school. It changed from housing grades one through seven to housing only sixth and seventh grades. Another reclassification in 1972 transformed Bettie F. Williams back to grades one through seven.

In July 2001, Bettie F. Williams Elementary School, now housing grades K - 5, became the second elementary school in Virginia Beach to begin a Year-Round School (YRS) program. The Year Round School (YRS) program lasted three years.

In 2007, Bettie F. Williams, Newtown, and Diamond Springs elementary schools combined in to form the “Bayside Tri-Campus.”  The purpose of creating the first-ever elementary Tri-Campus in Virginia Beach City Public Schools is to improve student achievement.