Kate Wickham Elementary
Kate Wickham Elementary School is located at 601 Oakdale Boulevard in Coralville on a 15 acre site. Portions of the site are wooded, with Muddy Creek flowing through the east boundary. The school opened on August, 25, 1997. Approximately 500 children currently attend Wickham School.
The facility houses four wings of classrooms around the centrally located media center. The centralized location of the media center provides access to resources to enhance the curriculum. A spacious multi-purpose room can be used by students, parents, staff, and the community for a variety of purposes such as a lunchroom, large classroom, meeting place, and community center. The gymnasium was built regulation sized to accommodate community and school activities.
A unique partnership between the City of Coralville and the Iowa City Community School District have provided extensive opportunities for the development and use of the building and grounds as a joint recreational and educational facility. Paved recreational trails link Wickham to surrounding neighborhoods and the park's regional trail network. Through this partnership with the City of Coralville, joint use of the building, playground and programs allows for Wickham Elementary to serve both as educational and recreational resource within the community.
Kate Wickham was born in Shirley, Southampton, England in 1869. Her family moved to Iowa City in 1873. She attended Iowa City High School and the University of Iowa, receiving her teaching degree in 1891. She taught for 9 years in Texas and two other Iowa communities, Traer and Rock Rapids, before returning to Iowa City.
Miss Wickham's teaching career in Iowa City began in 1902 when she took over her sister Bessie's first grade classroom at the old First Ward School. This facility was later named Henry Sabin Elementary, and is now the district's Central Administration Office at 509 S. Dubuque Street. In 1909, Miss Wickham transferred to the old Kirkwood Elementary to become the principal. She was the principal there until it closed for a one year period in 1921. The building is still standing at the corner of Dodge St. and Kirkwood Avenue. Because Kirkwood closed, Kate Wickham transferred to Longfellow Elementary and taught first grade for 18 more years until her retirement in 1939.
In 1954, The Kate Wickham Memorial Trust Fund was established as a continuing memorial to Kate Wickham and other teachers who are dedicated to educating students of the Iowa City Community Schools. The purpose of the fund is to provide scholarships for high school graduates who plan to pursue a teaching career. Memorial gifts can be given to honor a person for their dedication to education. Persons honored have their names added to the Kate Wickham Memorial Trust Fund plaques which are displayed at Kate Wickham Elementary. In the past 43 years, more than 550 persons have been honored for their dedication to education and approximately 250 students have received scholarships from the Scholarship Fund.
Kate Wickham died in 1955 at the age of 86, but her commitment to educating the children of Iowa City lives on through the Kate Wickham Scholarship Fund and now through Wickham Elementary.