In the late 1950s, it was determined that Kenosha was in need of two more elementary schools, one to serve the south side area and one to serve the north. Vernon School first opened its doors in 1961 to serve Kenosha’s south side residents.
Vernon was built as a combined elementary and special education school. It was intended for the school to accommodate 500 elementary school students as well as to serve the special needs students of Kenosha. The building houses specialized facilities for occupational and physical therapy, a therapeutic pool, and classrooms designed for students with physical handicaps.
In April of 1962, Vernon and the north side Harvey Elementary School were dedicated “in the hope that here boys and girls will come from every quarter to share in all the intellectual, artistic and cultural riches of the world.”
The school was named in honor of Miss Jane Vernon. Devoting her life to education, Miss Vernon taught in Michigan and other parts of Wisconsin before coming to Kenosha to teach kindergarten in 1909. In 1917, she was appointed supervisor of the public school kindergartens. The primary grades were included in this position in 1936. She continued as supervisor until her retirement in 1946.
Principals have included Mr. Otto Steffensen, Mrs. Winogene Petersen, Mr. Stephen Relich, Mr. Richard Guttormsen, Mr. Robert Debelak, Mr. Peter Pingitore Sr., Mr. Brian Edwards, Ms. Jean Sher, Mrs. Patty Lockhart, and Ms. Alicia Hribal. Ms. Christine Geyer is the current principal.