Mission & History
Galloway is the philosophically grounded, learner-focused independent school where students age three through grade 12 develop an abiding love for learning. Preparing students to live successfully as enlightened citizens in a changing world, our community embraces diversity, insists upon common decency, and fosters human dignity. Through innovation, enthusiasm, and high expectations, Galloway draws students joyfully into learning and cultivates the intrinsic curiosity and unrepeatable talents of each one.
The story of The Galloway School's birth is typical of Elliott Galloway's ability to turn a vision into a reality. Where there was a deserted, condemned building in Northwest Atlanta, Elliott saw a school; and with the help of the new and growing community, Elliott, along with his wife Kitty and good friend Ross Arnold, founded The Galloway School in 1969.
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the Korean War, Elliott taught at the Westminster Schools. "I became a teacher," he said, "because I wanted to make life more meaningful for children by helping them to become competent and self-motivated individuals." He later served as principal of Westminster middle school before becoming headmaster at Holy Innocents' in 1965.
In Elliott's dream, The Galloway School would be a radically different place where, instead of memorizing facts and formulas, students would learn to learn—about academics and about themselves:
Our goal is to help each of you to achieve a superior education, a reasoned understanding and acceptance of yourself, and the willingness, maturity and self-discipline to manage your own learning, now and throughout your life. We know that children will learn only if they want to learn,so what we do is pay attention and find that thing that gives them the desire to know.
He insisted that learning be challenging and joyful so that his students would want to seek it for the rest of their lives. He believed that learning took place through relationships, so he emphasized cooperative partnerships between students and teachers. In 1990, Elliott stepped down as the headmaster of The Galloway School, but until his death he retained a small office where he loved to sit and discuss ideas or lend books from his vast library. The school's leadership, faculty, students, and parents all continue Elliott Galloway's work, together building a place where education is not a means to prepare for life, but life itself and where growth and learning come from honoring oneself and others.
From 1911-1963 the Gresham Building, which is the original building on the Galloway campus, served as the Fulton County Almshouse for white residents. It housed mostly elderly men and women who had no money and nowhere else to live. The almshouse for African-Americans was down the street in what is now the Chastain Arts Center. Both buildings were considered part of The Fulton County Almshouse. The Gresham Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. To learn more about the building's history and the people who lived there, please take our virtual history tour or read about it from the perspective of former Head of School, Dr. Beth Farokhi.