History of Tunstall Middle

The Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors and School Board began to earnestly study the deficiencies of the county middle school program in 1999. During the spring of 2000, seven public forums were conducted throughout the county to gain input from parents, teachers, and concerned citizens. A plan to allow for improved educational opportunities was developed. In July of 2000, the Board of Supervisors voted to request a referendum on the Pittsylvania County Middle School Capital Improvements Program. The initiative would fund the construction of four new middle schools (one in each high school attendance zone), and the closing of Dan River, Blairs and Gretna Middle Schools and Chatham Elementary School. In addition, Central Middle and Brosville Middle Schools would be converted into elementary schools. The $40.3 million referendum passed on the November 7, 2000 ballot.

Brosville High and Whitmell High Schools were combined in 1964 to form Tunstall High School. Brosville Elementary and Whitmell Elementary continued to operate. Whitmell Elementary was closed in the early 1990's when Twin Springs Elementary School was opened. Tunstall Middle School will serve 6th, 7th and 8th grade students who attended Stony Mill, Twin Springs, and Brosville Elementary Schools.

The architectural firm of Moseley, Harris & McClintock designed the new middle school plant. Land for the school was purchased from Mr. W. Hoyt Gerrells and adjoins the Tunstall High School site. John W. Daniel Construction of the Daniel Group was awarded the construction job at an approximate cost of $10 million. Daniel had also constructed Tunstall High School in 1964.

Whitmell P. Tunstall is the namesake for the new middle school, the student attendance area, and the local voting district. Mr. Tunstall was a member of the House of Delegates and VA Senate in the 1840's' and is given credit for the establishment of the first railroad route to Danville from Richmond. This forward thinking approach continues even today with the Pittsylvania County local government and school leaders striving to provide the best educational activities and environment for county students.

Work began on the Tunstall Middle School site in January, 2002. Construction of the building continued at a hectic pace for the next 20 months. The new facility was released to the Pittsylvania County School Board in the summer of 2003. Next, was the job of moving in furniture, filing cabinets, and students' desks. Teaching materials and textbooks had to be transferred from other sites. Computers had to be installed and networked throughout the classrooms, offices, and labs. Library books arrived to fill the media center. Bulletin boards were decorated for the arrival of the students. Landscaping of the school site began and will continue for the foreseeable future.

Mrs. Rebecca Stevens was selected as the first Principal of TMS. Mrs. Carolyn Harris was appointed Assistant Principal. The faculty and staff were reassigned from various other county schools. During the spring and summer of 2003, many planning and organizational meetings were held. Students, community citizens, parents, and teachers planned and implemented strategies to ensure a smooth transition for the students into a great new learning environment.

Mrs. Rebecca Stevens retired in June, 2012, and Mrs. Deborah Stowe was selected as the second Principal of TMS. Mrs. Beth Oliver was appointed Assistant Principal. 

Deborah Stowe retired in June of 2018, and Kirsten Harper was appointed as the principal.  Ms. Kenya Gravely is currently the assistant principal.


‚ÄčTunstall Middle School under construction