About Our School

Phil Schoo
Phil Schoo

Welcome to Schoo Middle School.

As the newest middle school at Lincoln Public Schools, Schoo opens its doors in the fall of 2009 with promise and purpose.

I believe the dedicated and talented Schoo staff will add to the brightest and the best in our school district. Our students are fortunate for this incredible opportunity.

Serving as the namesake of this school is a privilege and a joy, the most significant honor in my 42 years working as a public school educator.

Why is this school named after me?  I served as superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools for 19 years, an accomplishment that makes me very proud.  I must attribute much of my success – and the honor of this school’s name – to the many people with whom I worked:  the LPS teachers, administrators and support staff, the Lincoln Board of Education, and my many close friends and colleagues throughout the country.

This tribute is particularly meaningful to me because I have always had a special connection and interest in middle school students.  I served as both a middle school teacher and principal.  My doctoral work studied the achievement, attitudes, and social behavior of students in middle schools.

The middle school years are a unique and thrilling stage. Adolescents are in a perpetual state of flux, constantly flowing and changing.  Young people at this age can master all kinds of physical and mental challenges, do amazing bicycle wheelies, write heart-felt poetry, and triumph in spelling bees and math exams. However, they are just beginning to live–with so many experiences waiting in their future.

I believe Schoo Middle School is a place where educators will recognize the energy and curiosity in their students, finding just the right balance between nurturing and independence.  They will help students shape their lives, discover their passions, make a positive difference in the world.

Schoo Middle School completes a vision I believe we began when I was superintendent at Lincoln Public Schools and has been well nurtured since I retired:  a vision to provide good schools and quality public education, from east to west, and from the far south to the far northern edges of our community.

We educate all of our students at Lincoln Public Schools.  And we educate them well.

Schoo will also be special in unique ways.  I have long believed in the power of a school’s  community connections, and this middle school will be a wonderful collaboration with the Lincoln YMCA – the first such partnership in Nebraska.

I am also excited Schoo will be one of LPS’s centers for English Language Learner students.  I am a firm believer in the power of diversity, a strength of a school and a school community.

My original impetus to become an educator happened on the streets of Harlem during the 1960s when I lived in New York City as part of a church project.  I tutored children, served as a baseball coach, and introduced inner city kids to the world beyond their neighborhood.

That experience gave me a sense of vision, purpose and mission, teaching me a crucial lesson in life-that education can make a huge difference in a child’s life.  At that moment I knew I wanted to be a public school educator.

At Schoo Middle School we hope to give our students their own sense of vision, purpose and mission.