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Who was James H. Vernon?

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Our mission statement also reflects our dedication to the personal and social needs of our children. These needs are evidenced in character education, extensive "special" programs and curricula, and a highly effective support staff. Through individual and group support services we nurture each child in ways that are unique and focused.

We are proud of the excellent teaching staff at Vernon, not only because of their high level of training and expertise, but for their dedication to the success of each and every child. Teachers are very available for extra help, formal and informal conferences with parents, and they provide regular communication with the home.



Our school is named after James H. Vernon, a local resident of East Norwich. On Wednesday, September 7, 1955 the doors to the James H. Vernon School opened for the first time. It was a kindergarten to eighth grade school. James H. Vernon was born in East Norwich on August 31, 1873 in the home he would live in for his entire life. He died there in 1948 at the age of 75. Both Mr. Vernon’s father, Henry, and his grandfather, Jackson Vernon, were born in East Norwich. Mr. Vernon attended the local East Norwich school then located on North Hempstead Turnpike. He also attended Friends Academy for a short time traveling to Locust Valley on horseback.

Mr. Vernon was a farmer whose home was located across from the East Norwich Pond. He owned most of the land that is East Norwich. He was always active in local community affairs like organizing the first volunteer fire department at East Norwich and served as its first foreman in 1912. Mr. Vernon was elected to the Board of Trustees of East Norwich Schools in 1916 and he remained active for 26 years in that organization. The first twenty years of Mr. Vernon’s service was as chairman of the Board of Trustees. At one time, Mr. Vernon was the President of the Board of Trustees. Mr. Vernon was known by the name “Governor” to his friends.

Mr. Vernon had four daughters and one son. In the original dedication ceremony pamphlet, Mr. Vernon’s children were listed as Mrs. Thomas Reynolds, Mrs. Theodore Velsor and Mr. H. Eugene Vernon, all of East Norwich. Other children listed were Mrs. Burton Sage of Churchville, N.Y. and a Mrs. Ralph Green of Syosset, N.Y. His daughter, Mrs. Theodore Velsor, still lives nearby. Mr. Vernon’s only grandson died in an accident at the age of 19 ending the family name in the Vernon line.

Mr. Vernon donated the land for the school that now bears his name. Mr. Vernon would be proud of the legacy he established for the James H. Vernon School. Today the school continues to enjoy the support of many community volunteers, who help enhance our many programs. It is a warm school environment with dedicated professionals and staff members.