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Balboa Elementary School

Our records indicate that these images were taken at Balboa Elementary School. Please help us add to these photograph’s metadata.2003.036.009.002_0001

2003.036.009.001_0001If you can help us, please share your information in the comments section!


  • Jennifer Annis Marquardt

    The elementary school was a two-story square building that had an open central courtyard. The first photo is from the courtyard looking towards the front door (you can see the bell in the background) and the bottom photo is from the front door looking in. The bell was not there during my time in the mid 1960s. I remember having bomb raid practices where we sat in the open hall, under the white arches, cross-legged and our arms over our heads. Part of reason for this location might have been that all the classrooms had one wall of windows looking to the outside of the school. When we held these practices I remember thinking, as a sixth grader, that the location wouldn’t help us if we were bombed with an atom bomb. The building is currently (2013) used by the Guardia and not open to the public.

    • David Pileggi

      Jennifer, as you went to Balboa elementary in the 60s do you remember a sixth grade teacher by the name of Kathy Bannister?

  • Robert Dryja

    I attended Balboa Elementary School for six years from 1952 through 1958. Kindergarten, first and second grade classes were on the first floor. Third and fourth grade classes were on the second floor and fifth and six grade classes were on the third floor. The principal’s office was on the first floor just as you entered through the main entrance. The library was on the third floor.

    The school did not have air conditioning and so all windows were kept open. The windows of the library were ideal for launching paper airplanes out and over one of the three playgrounds that surrounded the school. I remember being impressed by how far the airplanes could glide and then startled when I realized how many paper airplanes were laying all over on the playground. We were trying to design paper airplanes that would glide a long distance– not make a mess.

    Each floor had walkways that were inside the building and circled the central courtyard. Two mature mahogany trees grew on side of the courtyard and reached the third floor level. Two “chocolate” bean trees grew on the other side. They did not grow as tall as the mahogany trees but grew large bean pods on their trunks.

    The annual Christmas carol concert was held in the courtyard. We children sat or stood in rows on side. Parents could watch and listen from the other side or stood along the walkways for the second and third floors. The seed pods of mahogany trees were shaped so that they would twirl in the wind and be carried some distance. A seed pod came twirling down and landed gentling on the top of head of one student during practice for a concert. This resulted in much laughter from us.

  • John C Bradley

    Hello, Robert Dryja! I attended second and third grade here 1953-1955, then switched to Fort Kobbe elementary school for the fourth grade. You might have been one or two grades behind me. I remember the art teacher rolling out a long strip of paper on that courtyard walkway and we student all learning fingerpainting on it. I also missed the bus home my first day there because I didn’t know which one to get on. I ended up standing around the Goethels memorial across the street for what seemed like a long time to me, all alone. Then I set off in the direction that I thought the home we had rented in Panama was. My dad found me along the way and said I was headed in the right direction. I suspect my mother was freaked out.

  • Enrique Gerena

    This was one of the best schools I ever attended. I remember one teacher. Her name was Mrs. Rudolph. She was very beautiful and kind. I was only in 4th grade and she has stayed with me all of these years.

  • Lou

    Two of our sons attended Balboa Elementary School from 1990-1993. I remember being surprised there wasn’t milk offered at lunchtime, so, I started a milk program. Small cartons of milk would arrive in crates every morning and the students would distribute to the classrooms. If I remember right, all students brought their packed lunch. I also asked the Navy Seabees to build wooden picnic tables for use outdoors, which they did enthusiastically! I loved this school.

  • David Latham

    I attended The Balboa Elementary School from 1954 through 1958. I know the building is still there, but not as a school anymore. I’ll be visiting Panama soon, and I’d at least like to know what the address is for that building. While there are lots of pictures proving to me that it is indeed the school I attended, I cannot seem to stumble across an address (street address) of where it was, or where that building is today. I’d really appreciate it if someone would send me that address.

    Dave Latham ( My dad was stationed at Albrook AFB)

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