Native American Legacy

Native American Legacy in Denver Public Schools

All schools in DPS rest on the ancestral homelands of the Cheyanne, Arapahoe and Ute Nations, and the community acknowledges this with respect. But one school holds a special honor, it is named after the first Native American principal in our district.

In 2006, a new ECE-8th grade school opened its doors in Northeast Denver. The school’s namesake, 30-year DPS educator and principal, Farrell B. Howell (Tee-da-dee-kucksWar Cry), was no stranger to education.

What he loved most about teaching, his wife Beverly reflected, were the kids. “It was all about the kids. He was a principal during the school year and taught swim lessons to little kids during the summer.”

“I think what was most important to my father was to see that kids of color had a chance to succeed. We live in a society where Whites have the advantage, and the best in-road for a person of color is education,” his daughter, Sara Howell (Tsu Piluzu – Short Woman).

“After Farrell retired from DPS, he was involved in the Denver Indian Center. He was a board member and spent time and energy to ensure the center had resources to provide services to our Native community. Because of his dedication to the community, the gym was named the Farrell Howell Gym,” said Denver Indian Center Board Chair, Rose McGuire.

“He was a successful Indian, and education gave him that success,” said Sara. 

“Plus…he had a terrific sense of humor,” Beverly added, her voice lifting. “He would’ve gotten a real charge out of all of this.”