McVey Elementary School opened in 1964. It was constructed on a 14-acre site in the Newark development of Robscott Manor at a cost of $1,271,000. It served grades 1-6 and had 19 classrooms. McVey opened during the years of great population growth in the southern portion of the former Newark School District. During the first year, it was necessary to add five classrooms. Two years later, four more classrooms were added to provide space for a new kindergarten program. As the population continued to grow and new schools were opened, the attendance boundaries were changed several times. During these years, the school population fluctuated between 600 and 950 students.
Joseph M. McVey was born on August 21, 1882 in Cecil County, Maryland. He graduated from Elkton High School, the Tome Institute, and the University of Delaware. Mr. McVey attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard. From 1904 to 1908, he taught modern and ancient languages at Temple University. He taught mathematics and engineering at the University of Delaware from 1908 to 1912. Mr. McVey served as superintendent of schools in Cecil County from 1912 to 1916.
Captain Joseph M. McVey was a member of the First Regiment of the Maryland National Guard engaged in the Mexican Border Campaign. Upon his return he worked for the Hercules Power Company in New Jersey. He held the positions of plant supervisor, research engineer, finished products inspector, supervisor of safety and fire prevention, and manager of the development department. In 1940 he was placed in the personnel department to handle the problem of expanding the technical staff for war production. From 1945 to his retirement in 1949, his position was expanded to also hold the post of manager of the real estate division. In 1949 he accepted the position as merit system supervisor for the State of Delaware.
Mr. McVey was appointed to the Newark Special School District Board of Education in 1941. He became president of the Board in 1945, a position which he held until his death in 1959. Mr. McVey held the position of president of the University of Delaware Alumni Association, president of the Mutual Building and Loan Association, treasurer and trustee of the First Presbyterian Church, president of the Newark Lions Club, director of the Delaware Safety Council, and president of Hercules Men’s Club.