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Our History

In 1929, Elizabeth Sage Hare, a woman of extraordinary vision and compassion, convinced a group of friends to join her in founding the Fountain Valley School of Colorado. They shared the belief that a boarding school dedicated to traditional standards of excellence and progressive ideals of individual dignity and creative promise would thrive in the great American West.

With the help of Colorado Springs entrepreneur and philanthropist Spencer Penrose, Hare convinced the School's first headmaster, Francis Mitchell Froelicher, to come West to start the School, and commissioned architect John Gaw Meem to use the Pueblo Revival Style architecture model for its design. The site chosen for the School was a large ranch, known as Lazy B Ranch, belonging to Jack Bradley, and the School's first building was Bradley's spectacular 1927 home designed by Addison Mizner. The house, known as Casa Serena and commonly referred to as the Hacienda, was surrounded by a polo field, stables and some small residences for ranch hands.

Hare purchased the Lazy B Ranch and all of its amenities for $150,000 in November of 1929. The School opened as a boarding school for boys in September of 1930. Original faculty members included F. Martin Brown, who taught science, Alexander S. Campbell (English), Roswell C. Josephs and Robert C. Langdon (mathematics), Ernest Kitson (music), C. Dwight Perry (French), and Boardman Robinson (art). Froelicher, a nationally recognized progressive educator, was the leader behind incorporating the environment into Fountain Valley's programs. FVS became co-educational in 1975.

Early funders, in addition to Hare, Penrose, and Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms, included Hagner Holme and Alfred Cowles. The School has had the following headmasters throughout its history: Froelicher served from 1930 to 1950 and was succeeded by Henry B. Poor (1951–1958), Lewis Perry Jr (1958–1978), Timothy Knox (1978–1987), Eric S. Waples (1987–1995), John E. Creeden (1995–2007), Craig W. Larimer Jr. '69 (2007-2013), William V. Webb (2013-2022), and Megan Harlan (2022–present).

formal dinner
ice hockey team photo
choir performance around piano
student being treated by nurse in the health clinic
throwing a baseball
tennis team photo
basketball team photo
football team photo
class photo
skiing photo
hockey team photo
performance on stage
group assembly
group photo
classroom discussion
group photo
group photo
science lab
wrestling team
horseback riders
group photo
teacher sitting at desk
teacher in front of chalk board
school play
snow picture in the Hacienda Courtyard
choir rehearsal around the piano
sitting in the snow
student preparing horse for riding
group photo
group photo in the snow
field hockey
class photo
teacher feeds dog a treat
band rehearsal
dance class
group portrait in front of the Chapel
Commencement processional
friends sitting around and laughing
students seated at Commencement
class photo
formal dinner party
outdoor swimming pool
school dance
Original FVS buildings