About the School

In 1869, one hundred Swiss families migrated to Grundy County, high atop the Cumberland Plateau.  They established a colony and named it Gruetli, meaning “a place of beginning.”  These citizens mapped out an area and set aside acreage to someday become the site of a school.  Around 1920, the community of Laager developed as a result of coal mining, and in 1980 the two communities incorporated to form Gruetli-Laager.  One hundred three years after the first Swiss families migrated to the mountains of the Cumberland Plateau, Swiss Memorial Elementary School was dedicated on April 8, 1972.  The last Saturday of July, the Grundy County Swiss Historical Society held the Swiss Colony Celebration at the Stoker-Stampfli Museum every year.


In 1972, with only two months remaining in the school year, classes were moved from Laager, Collins, and Mt. Vernon schools and consolidated to form Swiss Memorial Elementary. Joyce Hargis from Collins was the first principal, with the principals at the two other schools becoming her vice principals. The total enrollment from the consolidation of the three schools was 357 students. In 1979, a second six room building, now referred to as Building B, was constructed at the back of the original building to help with overcrowding.  In 2002, a third 5 room building now referred to as Building C, was constructed as part of an overall renovation of the entire campus.  


Swiss Memorial is an ADA compliant campus. We are a Pre-K-8th elementary school.  Every classroom has a Smart Panel and all 2nd-8th grade students have access to Chromebooks for daily use.  We are in the process of purchasing Interactive Tablets for our Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade students.  We have the 21st Century after school tutoring program from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. We have a full time nurse and Telemed services.  We have a guidance counselor that we share with North Elementary and we have a Physical Education teacher that we share with Palmer Elementary.  We also have a music teacher and an art teacher that we share with the other elementary schools in the district. 


Swiss Memorial’s goal is to provide a safe, secure, and happy learning environment for our students to reach their fullest potential, to one day become positive additions to society.  Our school staff members strive to build positive relationships with our students so that they always feel welcomed and loved. Swiss Memorial was designated as a Reward School in 2018-2019, which is the highest distinction for public schools in the state of Tennessee. 

Homework Hotline is open and provides free tutoring by phone for any Tennessee student. 

Call Monday - Thursday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
615-298-6636 or toll free 888-868-5777