The history of schooling and Mt. Ulla dates back to the time before public schools were even organized. Members of the Mt. Ulla community sponsored private schools during the 1800’s including the Reverend A.Y. Lockeridge, who was also credited with giving Mt. Ulla it’s name.
On July 8, 1885, the Rowan County Board of Education was organized and the county was divided into five one teacher districts and Mt. Ulla was named one of those five districts. The school site was purchased by the county from Mr. Joel Freeze and Mrs. Clarissa Miller and thus began Mt. Ulla School.
Around the turn of the century, the community members petitioned the state legislature to establish a central high school in Mount Ulla and to fund one half of the school expenses and the community would fund the other half. This petition was considered to be a special act and it was granted. On October 22, 1901, a special committee for the central high school was appointed thus making Mt. Ulla the first rural high school in North Carolina receiving funds from the state.
The school opened in 1902 and was built on land purchased from Mrs. Josephine Sherrill. It consisted of two rooms with the larger room being used for the high school and the smaller room being used for the elementary grades. The walls in-between the rooms were packed with sawdust in order to make them sound proof. This school was discontinued in May 1906 due to the need for a larger high school.
The next school, a two story building, was built on Miller land about ½ mile west of Mt. Ulla. It consisted of four large rooms with big doors that separated the rooms. For assemblies, the doors were raised to provide an auditorium. This building burned in January 1925.
The school continued to meet on the second floor of Sherrill’s store until a gymnasium was constructed. Partitions were used to divide the gym into classrooms and school was held there until the spring of 1927. In the fall of 1927 a two story replacement school was built and for the first time school buses were used to transport children to and from school.
In 1935 smaller schools were closed and students were sent to the larger schools in the area. Mt. Ulla became the consolidated site for both elementary and high school students and continued as such until West Rowan High School was built and enrolled students for the first time in August 1959. In 1968 the seventh and eighth graders were transferred to West Rowan Junior High and Mt. Ulla School served students in grades K-6.
The current building was built in 1994 replacing the old building. The new school is located east of the old building which was demolished once the new building was complete. The new facility has spacious classrooms with sinks and storage closets. We have adequate space for support staff such as tutors to work with small groups of children. The media center is an open, cheerful place with movable bookshelves making it a versatile room. The multipurpose room serves as a gym and it also has a small stage.