Deep River Elementary School is located on an approximately 65-acre site in a rural area on Deep River Road, commonly known as Old US 1, ten miles northwest of Sanford. In 1924, a new school was opened in the Deep River Community. The first students came from several one and two-room schools in the surrounding area. The land on which the school was built was bought from Mrs. Mag Bridges, whose great-great-grandchildren attended Deep River School.
Mr. Roy Ledden was the first principal. The school included only grades one through seven until Mr. W. C. Harward became principal in 1929, at which time the eighth and ninth grades were added. In 1930 the tenth grade was added and in 1931, the eleventh year completed what was the first full high school curriculum in those days.
Deep River had its first graduation on April 29, 1932. The five graduates were Mr. J. T. Marks, Mayla Brown, Mrs. Pauline Cooper, Mrs. Clara Belle Farrell, and Mrs. Lona Luck. The entire high school curriculum was taught by Mr. Harward and Miss Frances Watson. The first elementary teachers were: Miss Ernestine Matthews, Mrs. Rex Kelly, Miss Zelma Wicker, who later became Mrs. Truby Proctor; Miss Flora Johnson, and Mrs. Foy O'Quinn.
Since the opening of Deep River, there have been 14 principals. In their order they were: Mr. Roy Ledden, Miss Nanie Leach of Sanford, Mr. Ben Brackett of Sanford, Mr. W. C. Harward, Mr. C. J. Crutchfield, Mr. W. C. Harward for a second time, Mr. I. J. Wicker, Mr. R. E. Morrison, Mr. G. H. Wood, Mr. N. A. Thompson, Dr. Russell A. Marion, Gary L. Moore, Mrs. Dianne D. Straub, and Amy T. Lundy, current principal.
In 1977, Lee County consolidated its high schools; Deep River School once again became an elementary (K-6) school. In 1992, Lee County Schools reorganized its grade configuration to elementary (K-5), middle school (6-8), and high school (9-12). Deep River Elementary School consists of grades kindergarten through fifth grade.
The summer of 1998 brought major changes to Deep River School. The old school, gym, and auditorium were demolished and were replaced by a new facility. Fifth-grade students and parents donated a brick monument that has a sculpture of the old Deep River School. They also placed a time capsule in front of the monument, which is to be opened in the year 2028.