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History of Our School

Van Meter Elementary School was named after Miss Louise Van Meter, a pioneer in Los Gatos elementary education who taught first grade at University Avenue School from 1893 to 1928. An innovative first grade teacher, Miss Van Meter was instrumental in the opening of public kindergarten classes in Los Gatos Schools. For 35 years, "her realm was the sunny room in the southeast corner of the old grammar school", according to an article in the February 27, 1948 issue of the Los Gatos Times. Miss Van Meter mixed together a love of learning, beauty and song to make school a never-to-be-forgotten experience. At a time when most classrooms were austere and colorless and when young students were expected to sit for long periods of time at their cramped desks, Miss Van Meter's room was filled with color, art and plants. Her students helped take care of the canary and goldfish. They sang everyday, played singing games and on special occasions, invited their second grade neighbors into their classroom for an open house of songs and recitations. Miss Van Meter had an old-fashioned rocking chair in which she rocked and comforted her students when they felt lonely or frightened. When the new elementary school on Los Gatos Boulevard opened it's doors in 1949 to relieve the overcrowded conditions at University Avenue School, the new school was named after the much loved Miss Louise Van Meter, long considered the "mother of Los Gatos elementary education." If she were able to return to our classrooms today, we think Miss Van Meter would be proud of both our work and our play.