Skip to main content

Campus History

Jessup Elementary opened on Sept. 5, 1958, and is named in honor of the late Charles D. Jessup, who served as a judge and the school district’s attorney from 1942-1957. Voters approved the funding to build the school in a 1955 bond issue.

Charles D. Jessup Elementary opened its doors on September 5, 1958, with Jack McCarroll as the first principal. Prior to its opening, the land for the school was used by the Pasadena High School agricultural department for the planting of grain and corn. In 1963, Roy Burkhead became principal. For a time, Jessup Elementary housed students from Meador Elementary, as well. Jessup students were in class from 7:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. and Meador students went to school from 12:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. The double sessions were supposed to last six weeks, however, they lasted until January 1964. In 1964, Stuchbery Elementary used Jessup's building for emergency quarters until their new building was completed. At this time, Jessup Elementary was so crowded that all of the fifth-grade students were bussed to Beverly Hills Intermediate. In 1973, construction began in front of the school to put in storm sewers and widen the street. At the same time, the parking lot and library were enlarged and a new gymnasium was built. In 1976,  an oak tree was planted by the PTA to honor Mrs. Kreigs, a teacher at Jessup.

In 1998, several additions and renovations were completed for the school including 15 additional classrooms, a front office, and a library. A time capsule was placed near the cornerstone of the school during its construction. During school renovations in 1999, the capsule was opened. In the capsule, a resolution from the Board of Trustees wrote in 1957 shared their admiration for Jessup saying he was a man with “sterling character, devotion to duty, steady energy and personal skill.” Retired Pasadena Superintendent V.W. Miller shared his thoughts about future generations passing through the school’s doors in the same 1957 Board resolution. “The future of our country lies in the hands of the children who occupy this school and others like it,” he said.

During the 2005-2006 school year,  Morris Fifth Grade Center, now called Morris Middle School, opened and Jessup stopped serving fifth-grade students. That same year, families displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita relocated into the area and enrollment increased to around 1,250 students. Every available space was used to create classrooms, including the teacher workroom and areas within the library. It was common for classrooms to contain around 30 students and there was a mobile computer lab in the parking lot. In the years following, Bush and Hancock's Elementary were built to relieve crowding at the campus. In the summer of 2015, the cafeteria and kitchen were renovated. Two years later in 2017, a SPARK park was added. A year later, Jessup celebrated its 60th birthday. Jessup currently has 18 portable buildings to help manage their enrollment.

List of Principals

  • Jack McCarroll 1958-1963
  • Roy Birkhead 1963-1968
  • Doris Locke 1968-1976
  • Lillian Carson 1976-1982
  • Doris Rusicano 1982-1989
  • Rick Karlen 1989-2003
  • Emily Simancas 2003-2015
  • Ryan Pavone 2015-present