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Meet Our Principal

Welcome to Kirkwood Elementary School, where Kirkwood Eagles S.O.A.R. by being safe, taking ownership, and being respectful. Our Kirkwood family is filled with dedicated teachers, a caring staff, supportive families and community, and a wonderful group of scholars.

Student agency is at the core of what we believe as an AVID Elementary: we nurture choice-ready scholars who can confidently navigate their futures. High expectations are paired with high support, and together we ensure that each child has a quality education, a safe learning environment, and a caring school community.

Renee Person, Principal

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Our School

About Kirkwood Elementary

Kirkwood Elementary, located at 1401 9th Street in Coralville, is a neighborhood school where students, staff, and parents make up our school family.

Dedicated in the fall of 1964, Kirkwood Elementary has grown and changed significantly through the years.

When Kirkwood was dedicated in 1964, the school was known as Coralville Kirkwood. It consisted of seven classrooms, seven staff members, a principal, and a clerk. It was during this year that a merger between the Iowa City and Coralville school districts took place.

As the student population grew, eight classrooms and a media center were added to the east side of the building in 1970.

Continuing to grow, a third addition was added onto the front of the building in 1987 with four classrooms, a conference room, a new hallway, and the iconic front entrance gazebo.

In 2006, a new gymnasium and three classrooms were added to the west side of the building.

A full building renovation and addition of four classrooms, a collaborative space, and a music wing was completed in 2020.

Today, Kirkwood has more than 24 classrooms and is home to approximately 270 students and 60 faculty and staff.

Samuel J. Kirkwood

Learn a little about the history of Kirkwood and its namesake!

Samuel Jordan Kirkwood was born December 20, 1813 in Maryland. At age 17, he began teaching school. He spent part of his youth in Washington, D.C., then moved to Ohio in 1835 and studied Law. There he became a well-known anti-slavery Democrat and was elected to several state offices.

In 1855, Kirkwood and his wife, Jane, moved to Iowa, living northwest of Iowa City. He operated a successful flouring-mill business in Coralville. He took interest in the newly founded Republican Party, determined to resist the aggressions of slavery. This reignited Kirkwood's political career

In 1859, Kirkwood was nominated for Iowa Governor. During a time when the nation was polarized over slavery, Kirkwood was clearly on the side of the militant abolitionists.
Kirkwood was a strong supporter of President Abraham Lincoln's policies during the American Civil War. He gained national attention for his extraordinary efforts to secure soldiers and supplies from Iowa for the Union Army.

After he left office in 1864, Kirkwood moved to a new house on what is now Kirkwood Avenue in Iowa City and practiced law. He served on the U.S. Senate from 1865-1867, was re-elected as Governor of Iowa from 1876-1877, and served in the U.S. Senate again from 1877-1881.

In 1881, Kirkwood resigned his Senate seat to become Secretary of the Interior under President James Garfield. He served as Interior Secretary until 1882.

Kirkwood died on September 1, 1894, in Iowa City and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.


front exterior of Kirkwood elementary