Cotton Boll Elementary School History
The Peoria Unified School District was created in 1889 with the opening of its first school. During the first few years, the school’s class size varied between 5 and 15 students full time. Today, the district has 29 elementary schools and 6 high schools with a student population approaching 40,000 students. The Peoria Unified School District is the fourth largest district in the state with the responsibility of servicing the educational growth of children in the cities of Peoria, Glendale, and some unincorporated areas of Maricopa County. It encompasses an area of over 100 square miles.
Cotton Boll Elementary is proud to be the 11th elementary school in the Peoria Unified School District. Our school was opened in 1984 and is currently responsible for the educational lives of over 900 students. When it opened, Cotton Boll was the southernmost and westernmost school in the district. It was surrounded by cotton fields and other agricultural areas. The school's fields are still watered by the irrigation canals that once served the surrounding farms. Originally, Cotton Boll served several square miles to the south of Grand Avenue. Since the school opened, housing developments have continued to spring up surrounding the school thus shrinking the attendance area to roughly two square miles. Thus far, five principals have had the opportunity to lead Cotton Boll School. The first principal who served Cotton Boll for nine years was Mr. Bob Heinle who set the building culture, hired the original staff and began many of the academic and extra-curricular traditions. Following Mr. Heinle was Dr. Beth Collins who also spent 9 years at the helm. She emphasized a rigorous curriculum, which included opportunities for participation not only in academics, but also music, art, science and other special organizations such as National Junior Honor Society, Student Council, the yearbook and video clubs. Following Dr. Collins was Ms. Linda Miller whose focus was on instructional techniques and student opportunities like the award winning Odyssey of the Mind Team. Ms. Miller was the principal for one year. Mr. David Snyder served Cotton Boll for 14 years in the areas of focus for success for all students, building relationships, technology as a tool, and the principals of democracy. Cotton Boll's current principal is Ms. Cathy Wallace, she is in her third year with Cotton Boll.