Lowell Elementary celebrates 100 years

The year was 1913.

  • President Woodrow Wilson became the 28th president of the United States of America.
  • Civil rights activist Rosa Parks was born.
  • Ford Motor Co. unveiled the assembly line.
  • Cars lined up to test the world’s first gas station.
  • And Boise’s Lowell Elementary School opened.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning, when children, parents, patrons and dignitaries celebrated the  100th anniversary of the North End Boise school that has nurtured thousands of students over the years.

“This is a special day of remembrance,” said Boise School District Superintendent Dr. Don Coberly during a formal ceremony on the school’s front lawn. (Click here to watch video).

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter also addressed the crowd, as did outgoing principal Paula Bell. Nick Smith, who was in attendance, will take over as principal next fall.

Those who spoke shared fun facts and anecdotes about Boise and Lowell school.

  • The school was named after American poet James Russell Lowell.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt once visited Lowell.
  • Boise had about 17,500 residents 100 years ago.
  • Lowell was renovated in 2009-10 and was empty of students that school year.
  • When Lowell opened its doors in the fall of 1913, the school served first through fourth grades. Today, the school serves 330 students from kindergarten through sixth grade.  They come from 23 countries around the world, Bell said.

Lowell students read essays about what their school means to them. They highlighted friends, learning and teachers. One said: “I don’t have a favorite teacher because all of them are very nice.”



Jennifer Swindell

Jennifer Swindell

Managing editor and CEO Jennifer Swindell founded Idaho Education News in 2013. She has led the online news platform as it has grown in readership and engagement every year, reaching over one million pageviews in 2019. Jennifer has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. She also has served as a public information officer for Idaho schools and as a communication director at Boise State University. She can be reached at [email protected].

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