A Leader in Me School

A Leader in Me School

Vision & History


We are honored to have such a distinguished leader, and local Fort Collins public servant as our namesake.  William Lopez graduated from Colorado A&M in 1950 with distinction, holding majors in history, sociology, economics, and a minor in Spanish.  He began his professional career the following year when he was hired as the first Mexican American educator in Poudre School District.  Citing his "unusual perception and understanding of children," the General Federation of Women's Club in 1958 awarded Bill an "Oscar" and recognized him as the nation's outstanding teacher with less than 10 years of experience.  In 1963, he was awarded the coveted Fort Collins Community Builder Award.  He culminated his teaching years developing a model foreign language program for the school district. 

To challenge himself further, Bill sought and was elected to the Fort Collins City Council, serving between 1968 and 1972.  This began a period of active involvement with local Hispanic groups in civic affairs.  In 1974, he was selected by the governor to serve as a Larimer County Commissioner.  While serving as chairman, he was intensively involved with the Larimer County Social Services and local recovery from the Big Thompson Flood.


Lopez Elementary is a Leader in Me community providing high quality educational opportunities for ALL. Together we create a safe and nurturing environment where:

  • knowledgeable and collaborative professionals focus on learning.

  • challenged, motivated and engaged students achieve to the best of their abilities.

  • an actively involved and informed community contributes to the on-going educational success of children.

PSD does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, age or disability in access or admission to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities. A lack of English speaking skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation.