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 West.
With the help of Colorado Springs entrepreneur and philanthropist Spencer Penrose, she 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 Adison Mizner. The house was known as Casa Serena and was surrounded by a polo field, stables and some small residences for ranch hands.
Hare purchased the Lazy B and all of its amenities for $150,000 in November 1929. The school opened as a boarding school for boys in September 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), Boardman Robinson (art), and Froelicher himself, who taught history. FVS became coeducational in 1975.
Early funders, in addition to Hare and Penrose, included Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms, Lucile Alsop, Hagner Holme, and Alfred Cowles. The school has had only eight headmasters in its 85-year 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 current Head of School, Megan Harlan.