Our History

The Lamplighter School is an independent, co-educational day school for students in Pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade founded in 1953 in a farmhouse on Churchill Way in North Dallas by Natalie Murray and Marieta "Sandy" Swain, the founders. Natalie and Sandy envisioned a school that would celebrate children and encourage a path of lifelong learning. There were just twenty-three students and two teachers the first year, and classes were offered only in kindergarten and first grade. Other classes and grade levels were added over the years to meet the demand in Dallas for an outstanding educational program, leading to an enrollment of 400+ by the mid-60s.

Lamplighter’s motto has always been, "A student is not a vessel to be filled, but a lamp to be lighted." This idea still rings true today. Classrooms and outdoor education areas are filled with hands-on exploration as children work together to make learning fun. Lamplighter’s teachers believe that children are naturally curious, creative, and eager. They encourage learning through exploration, promote cooperation rather than competition, and have high expectations for the pursuit of academic excellence. In every activity, students are encouraged to develop self-discipline, to accept failure without the loss of self-esteem, and to respect others.

From 1953 to the present, Lamplighter has experienced a rich history of program development, campus enhancements, and established traditions. Here are some of the key milestones in the School's history:

1953 - The Lamplighter School founded by Natalie Murray and Sandy Swain

1968 - Lamplighter Mother's Club founded, known today as the Lamplighter Parents' Association (LPA)

1969 - Inwood Road campus opens; Carnival tradition begins

1970 - Lamplighter Layers founded and incorporated in the state of Texas

1978 - LOGO Pilot project sponsored by MIT and Texas Instruments launches with 50 computers

1979 - First issue of LampPost is published

1988 - Fine Arts Wing and Erik Jonsson Media Center open

1989 - Dooley Author Series established

1991 - Senior Opera debuts

1995 - Cook Gym opens

2001 - Dolores Evans Speaker Series established

2003 - Lamplighter Alumni Association establishes the Spirit Award

2004 - International Night launches

2008 - Lamplighter Green Team is formed

2010 - Lamplighter purchases its 12-acre property from The Hockaday School

2011 - Young Alumni Car Wash established; Parent Perks Series launches

2012 - LPA names the LPA Farm with a gift of $1,000,000; Klyde Warren Auditorium named

2017 - LPA names the new barn, with a gift commitment of $1,500,000

2018 - Eastin Family names Innovation Lab


  • The Lamplighter School
  • 11611 Inwood Road
  • Dallas, Texas 75229
  • T: 214-369-9201
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