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Arcado History

About Arcado

Official School Mascot: Astros
Unofficial School Mascot: Pandas
School Colors: Royal Blue and Gold
School Motto: “Where the Keys to Learning Come to Life“


Norma Jean Murphy (1981–1993)
Linda Anderson (1993–2004)
Joe Ahrens (2004–2010)
Penny Palmer Young (2010–2021)
Dr. Paula Thompson (2022-Present)



School History

Oak Tree

In the late 1970s, the population in Gwinnett County was booming. Due to the rapid growth in the Lilburn area, a 1979 Gwinnett County bond referendum funded the construction of Arcado Elementary as a ‘relief’ school.

In February of 1980, Willie and Mae Moon sold a 15-acre tract of their farm to the school system. The school, which was nestled in a pastoral setting overlooking pasture and cornfields, was completed in August of 1981. Mr. and Mrs. Moon had only two requests:

The big oak tree be left standing, and A fence separate the children from the cow pasture adjoining the land.

Once filled with cows and cornfields, the pastures, are now filled with houses. However, the Moon’s requests have been honored: A fence still separates the school from the original pasture land, and the big oak tree still provides shade for students.

The Name

Arcado’s name was taken from the name of the road that leads to the school. When the road was first graded and paved, it was named for three Gwinnett County commissioners who were serving at that time: Weldon Archer, O. D. Cain, and Paul Dover. The first two letters from each last name were combined to form the name Arcado.


Arcado Elementary School opened its doors to learning in August 1981. More than thirty years later our school continues to work toward its mission to provide an environment where each student can reach their full academic potential.

Currently, Arcado Elementary School is the home school to 1,000 students. Our student enrollment continues to grow as Arcado is the “school of choice” for new families moving to the Lilburn area. We also have parents who attended Arcado when they were in elementary school that have moved back to the area specifically for their own children to attend Arcado.