A one-room building with a single teacher for eight grades marked the beginning of Pine Level School in 1911. The enrollment at that time was twenty-five pupils. The present day site was occupied in 1914. During the next ten years, changes were made. In 1924-25, a new building, a sixty thousand dollar plant that was Pine Level’s finest high school was built. There were no graduates that year.
By 1928, the school had increased its faculty to two high school and eight elementary teachers, but still there was no graduating class. Prior to 1932, students from the Pine Level area were graduated from either the Smithfield or Selma high schools.
In 1932, Pine Level proudly presented diplomas to the nine members of the graduating class. At this time, there were four high school teachers….From 1932-1945, few records for the school were retained because of the Depression…and World War II….In 1947, the Pine Needle, the high school’s yearbook, was first published.
Pine Level School continued to expand…and…a new elementary building containing four classrooms, a teachers’ lounge, a school cafeteria, and a home economics room was constructed. In 1956, two new classrooms were added to the new elementary building. The old high school building was torn down and work was begun on a new agricultural building to replace it. That building and two more elementary classrooms were completed in December 1957.
In 1960, due to the steady increase in the number of students in high school, another new wing was added to the home economics room and cafeteria. This new wing contain[ed] a high school library and science room. The county bought the community building in 1961 and remodeled it. This included new dressing rooms and a new heating system. This was used as a gym. By 1965, the graduating class had grown to thirty-three with a total enrollment of one hundred fifty-five students. For thirty-three years, Pine Level High School shone in this community.
In the fall of 1965, Pine Level High School with other local schools consolidated into the new North Johnston High School. At that time, Pine Level High School became Pine Level School serving students in the Pine Level area for grades one through eight. Later, Kindergarten was added.
In 1987, the four feeder schools (Kenly, Glendale, Micro, and Pine Level) consolidated to form North Johnston Middle School (grades six through eight). They were housed in the Glendale Elementary building while the Micro School was torn down and a new building was constructed on that site. They moved into that new building in 1989. Students from the Micro and Pine Level areas in grades Kindergarten through fifth were housed in Pine Level and students from both areas (as well as Kenly and Glendale) for grades six through eight were in Micro. At the time of this consolidation, our school’s name changed to Micro-Pine Level Elementary.
In the mid-1990s, Johnston County Schools began an intensive building program across the district. Pine Level has been the recipient from that building program over the years. In 1999, the three-story building was torn down. A new school was built from the old elementary and high school buildings across North Fitzgerald Street to North Herring Street along West Blanche Street. This project included a renovated office area, new Media Center, computer lab, art room, stage/gym, large restrooms, and an additional fifteen classrooms.
The Pine Level and Micro areas continued to grow and in 2002, additional restrooms were added along with ten more classrooms. Later, a small tract of land was also purchased behind the previous three-story building for additional parking. Micro-Pine Level Elementary became tightly wedged in the rectangle formed by North Capps, West Blanche, North Herring, and West Pine Streets as the school community continued to grow.
In 2006, another bond referendum allowed for the remodeling of the Cafeteria and original elementary classrooms. A full-sized kitchen was built the length of the existing dining room which allowed for an expansion of seating. In 2011, an additional land purchase was made along the east side of North Fitzgerald Street directly behind the current property for future expansion.
On Election Day 2013, Johnston County citizens approved another bond referendum which was used to build a new North Johnston Middle School on Oil Company Road in Micro. The old North Johnston Middle School campus was renovated to become an elementary school again. These new facilities helped reduce overcrowding at the current Micro-Pine Level campus.
On April 5, 2016, the Johnston County Schools’ Board of Education received a Resolution from the Town of Pine Level along with a letter from the school’s advisory council and voted unanimously to rename Micro-Pine Level Elementary School to Pine Level Elementary School and the mascot changed from the Bobcats to the Green Hornets. On July 1, 2016, the school returned to its roots by once again becoming known as the Pine Level Green Hornets.
After much research and communication with local area residents, it was discovered that there had never been an official mascot design. To keep with the heritage of the Green Hornet, but also update it for the future, an official mascot was designed and debuted with the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.
First Graduating Class Principals in Pine Level
Inez Crumpler J.T. Jerome 1932 - ?
Edward Lee Pilkington Mr. Little Exact dates unknown
Margaret Holt Earle Funderbuck Exact dates unknown
S. G. Rae Mr. Boyette ? - 1945
J.E. Parker Rena King** 1945 - 1949
Millie Lee Strickland I.C. Mozingo 1949 - 1965
Edna J. Peedin Robert B. Price 1965 - 1966
Ethel Thompson C.B. Brantley** 1966 - 1987
Chester Wilkins* Mike Walters 1987 - 1990
*original diploma is on display in school Jack Temple 1990 - 1991
Callie Peele 1991 - 1996
Gary Ridout 1996 - 2001
Freddie Carroll 2001
Kim Wellons 2001 - 2006
Angie Jacobs 2006 - 2010
Allen Sasser 2010 - present
**portrait on display in Media Center