Principal Dr. Bernard opened Sutherland Elementary in August 1986. The school shared the Palm Harbor Elementary facility for one year; the children were on double sessions. When school started, 37 certified teachers welcomed 651 students. The majority of the student body and teaching staff in 1986 came from Ozona and Palm Harbor Elementary schools. Sutherland opened in the new facility in the Fall of 1987.
The students established an identity in the community by choosing the Seahawk as their mascot and red and white as their school colors. The school is named after the community in which it is located, Palm Harbor, which was originally named Sutherland.
The school was designed by Prindle Associates Inc., and was
built by Hawkins Construction Company. Sutherland shares
the same architectural plan with Cypress Woods Elementary
(opened in 1987) and Lake St. George Elementary.