Old Dixie Schoolhouse was built in 1864 and was formally established as
the Dixie School District. At that time it was one of the earliest
districts to be established in Marin County. Mrs. Josephine Leary Burke
was the last teacher at the school, which continued in operation until
1954. Mrs. Burke had been Superintendent, principal, and sole teacher
for 14 years and had 26 pupils at that time.
1954 marked the beginning of dramatic growth for the District. With
the rapid development of subdivisions and the sharp increase in
population, a school building program became imperative. Ten schools
were opened between 1955 and 1969; two were junior high schools and the
others were for grades K through 6. Enrollment figures climbed steadily
to a peak of 4,896 students in 1968/69.
A decline in enrollment started in 1969 and the District reached a
low of 1,014 students in 1985/86. This decline necessitated closing and
merging schools. As a result, Vallecito and Dixie schools were the only
K through 5 schools while Miller Creek Middle School served students in
grades 6 through 8.
Enrollment has been increasing steadily since then, and reached 1,905
students during the 1999/2000 school year. With this increase Mary E.
Silveira school was opened as a K through 5 school in 1990. Each school
has added classrooms to accommodate the increased space needs, and Dixie
School expanded its facilities by adding a multi-use room in 1997.
In 1993, Old Dixie Schoolhouse was declared a State Historical Site.
Take a minute to tour the new website dedicated to the Dixie SchoolHouse
The Larry Lyon Memorial Flagpole
The memory of the late Dr. Larry Lyon, former Dixie
School District Superintendent, was honored at a ceremony held at the
Old Dixie School House on January 21, 2000. The life and work of Dr.
Lyon, who passed away in 1999, were celebrated through the dedication of
a new flagpole, raising of new flags, and the unveiling of a memorial
plaque. Dr. Lyon's wife, Marin County Superintendent of Schools, Mary
Jane Burke, joined members of the Dixie community to commemorate Dr.
Lyon's passion for education, commitment to children, and love for the
Old Dixie School House.
Board Trustee Melanie Limacher unveiled the memorial
plaque bearing these words:
In honor of
Dr. Larry Lyon, Superintendent
Dixie School District
"A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child"