Folwell Middle School celebrates 78 years of Falcon pride, tradition, memories in Minneapolis


It was a night filled with laughs, smiles, and a few tears as students, parents, faculty, staff, and the community celebrated the past 78 years of Folwell Middle School in south Minneapolis Thursday night.

Attendees showed their school pride by wearing purple and white t-shirts that read “Farewell Folwell: 1932 – 2010.” Face painting, caricature drawings, student led school tours, a multicultural buffet, and student and community talent also provided entertainment.

Memories of Folwell

“As we were growing up, this was a community neighborhood and a community school. It’s sad to see this school go.” — Ethylmae (Ross) Ryan, class of 1945

“We used to walk to school in -25 below weather. We didn’t have school buses back then.” — Ken Swensen, class of 1949

“Once a falcon, always a falcon. I will always remember that.” — Stephi Bishop, 8th grade.

Hank Taxis has been the principal at Folwell for the past two years.

“I will miss working with a delightful staff; we have a dynamic group,” Taxis said. “I also love the adolescents; we have a wonderful group of students.”

Taxis also recognized six teachers and family liaison Sharon White with a plaque for their outstanding service and dedication to the students and families at Folwell. 

Folwell closed due to a decline in enrollment to fewer than 170 students in a building that can accommodate up to 800. Parents have the option of sending their children to Sanford Middle School, which is two miles east from Folwell. 

folwell facepainting

Kids get their faces painted as part of the Folwell Middle School celebration.


“More parents want the K through 8 option and middle schools are slowly fading away these days,” Taxis said. 

Taxis also added that Folwell has been slated to close over the last three years. 

“We will be retaining the building for potential future needs,” said Jackie Turner, director of student recruitment and community relations at Minneapolis Public Schools. “There are no other immediate needs for the building at this time.”

“Folwell is one of the grandest buildings I have ever worked in,” Taxis said. “It’s been a magnificent structure. It’s been home to over 17,000 students.”

Students’ last day of classes is June 8.