School no longer in operation
Gillam opened as an elementary school in 1963. In 1975 it became an annex to the Granite Mountain School, housing the kindergarten, 4-year-old program and Project AWARE. In 1979 it became a learning center for those special education students who had severe learning disabilities and could not function in a regular school environment. It closed at the end of the 1981-82 school year. The Gilliam site has been operated by the Watershed, a nonprofit social service agency, for the past several years and was deeded to the agency by the Little Rock School Disrict in September 2018. The school was named for Isaac Gillam Jr., the son of a slave who made a noticeable mark on education in Little Rock.
Isaac T. Gillam, Jr., was educated in the schools of Little Rock and at Howard University in Washington, D.C. He took graduate courses in educational administration at Yale University, the University of Chicago and the University of Cincinnati. Gillam began his educational career as principal of a high school in Ft. Smith. He later became principal at Gibbs High School in Little Rock, a position he held for over 50 years. He later taught at Shorter College in North Little Rock, a school that both his parents were instrumental in establishing.
Central Arkansas Library System, Butler Center, Arkansas Black History Online; 1973 article about the Isaac Gillam family. If you have information about a Little Rock school or photographs that you would like to contribute to this project (we will return photographs if requested), please contact us!
Updated March 2018