Lulu Walker Elementary School
This article was written in 1980 by Rob Serface, former PTA Historian.
Lulu Walker School was built in 1963 and dedicated to Mrs. Lulu Walker who had taught at L.M. Prince School for 16 years before retiring in 1959. Mrs. Walker received her teaching degree in 1909, taught for 44 years, and was then principal of a Phoenix school for 16 years before coming to Tucson.
The schools design was new and innovative, composed of small buildings called "learning centers", with each having three or four groups inside doing different things. A local psychologist who had visited the school, stated that this was a school designed for children. Some parents had doubts about the new program, but those doubts soon disappeared and now it is the most appealing feature of the school.
The first principal of the school was Evelyn Carswell, now a professor at the University of Arizona, and the enrollment in December 1964 was 320 pupils. Many visitors came to view the new school with its advanced team-teaching techniques during the first year. They came from 7 foreign countries, 24 states, and 21 cities in Arizona. It is reported that most of them were favorably impressed.
Some past students who have become renown are: Gina Gekas of Gekas-Nicholas Gallery, Danny Scordato, co-owner of Scordato's Restaurant (both located in Tucson), and Natalie Kohn who is now touring with the San Francisco Ballet Company. But the former teacher with the most interesting story is Armena Franks. Her brother, Jack Schmitt, was one of the astronauts to walk on the moon is now a Senator from New Mexico. There is a large wall hanging in the office showing him on the moon.
The present principal, Jim Paterson, reports the total enrollment of the school to be 542 pupils. There are no definite plans for expansion of the school, but the Riverside Terrace Project, tabled for a year, may change that. Until then, everyone is satisfied with the way things are. Sometime soon scrapbooks of the school when it first began will be on view in the library.
Many thanks to Mrs. Mary Eager, who had been at Walker School from the time it opened until this year when she retired, for telling me about the history of the school.
Walker PTA News October, 1980
Below are photos of a 1967 article about the innovations of Lulu Walker. We're missing some pages, though.