School History

Anthony T. Lane Elementary School opened its doors to students for the first time on September 5, 1995. Our first principal was Helene Brower. Approximately 715 children were enrolled at Lane during our first year.

Color photograph taken from inside the main entrance at Lane Elementary. Principal Brower is standing in the doorway greeting a student. Her parents stand behind her, smiling broadly. More children and parents are visible in the background outside. Principal Brower holds a stack of papers in one hand, and has handed the girl a piece of paper.
Principal Brower greets students on opening day in 1995. Back then, there was carpet everywhere – the hallways, the classrooms, even the gym!

From the Ground Up

Exterior view of the future site of Lane Elementary School taken on March 11, 1994 prior to groundbreaking. The land is a park with small clusters of trees. There are dirt trails and a dirt driveway running through the property. A picnic table is set on a concrete pad amidst a small cluster of trees at center. A church and other buildings are pictured in the far distance on the opposite side of Beulah Street. The trees have all shed their leaves and lie dormant after the winter.
March 11, 1994

The Lane school grounds were just fields and parkland until the County broke ground for the new building in the spring of 1994. A few original structures nearby remain today. Do you recognize the church in the background? It's still there on Beulah Street. The small houses have since been replaced by newer, larger ones.

Exterior view of the future site of Lane Elementary School taken on March 11, 1994 prior to groundbreaking. The landscape is a grassy field. The grass is brown after having being dormant during the winter. A small building and sign are visible in the distance.
March 11, 1994

The land that Lane sits on was once part of Beulah Park, the park and fields that still sit to the north of the school (near the back parking lot). The brown park sign on the right and the small brick building that houses restrooms are still on site.

Black and white exterior view of Lane Elementary School during construction taken on May 31, 1994. The foundation outline has been excavated and is being prepped with rebar for the pouring of the concrete footers. Construction workers stand near the trenches. A drafting table and surveying equipment are visible in the mid-ground, and the houses of Abbottsbury Row are visible in the far distance.
May 31, 1994

The official groundbreaking for the new Kingstowne Elementary School (our school’s original name during planning) took place in the spring of 1994.

Exterior view of Lane Elementary School during construction taken on July 3, 1994. The concrete footers are in place and the cinderblock walls are beginning to go up. The houses of Abbottsbury Row are visible in the far distance.
July 3, 1994

Lane was built was to accommodate the many children who moved into the dozens of new Kingstowne housing developments that had sprung up in the early 1990s, including Abbottsbury Row, pictured in the background of this photograph.

Composite of two photographs showing the playground space at Lane Elementary School. At top is a photograph of the playground from June 2018. Children are climbing on the structure. Below is an exterior of Lane Elementary School during construction taken on November 4, 1994. The photograph was taken on the future spot of the playground. In the distance, the school’s cinderblock walls and roof are in place, but the exterior brick work has yet to begin. The steel framing for an entrance is in place.

It’s hard to imagine the backyard of Lane without the playground, but in the fall of 1994, every student’s favorite spot was little more than rocky dirt, grasses, and scrubby plants.

Exterior view of Lane Elementary School during construction taken on January 4, 1995. The photograph was taken from Beulah Street looking northeast toward the school. The brick façade is in place, but the main entrance still has bare steel framing above it. Scaffolding can be seen in the distance on the opposite side of the building. The school grounds are still bare earth, and large concrete pipes are lined up in a row on the right side of the photograph.
January 4, 1995

The courtyard near the Bus Loop has come a long way – from dirt and gravel to a beautiful garden and outdoor classroom space.

Exterior view of Lane Elementary School during construction taken on February 3, 1995. The brick façade is in place around the building. Scaffolding is in place over one of the entrances. The grounds are bare earth, with dirt piled in large heaps.
February 3, 1995

Lane Elementary School was modeled after the design used for Centreville Elementary School, and was built by the Gassman Corporation at a cost of $7.5 million.

Interior view during construction showing the Pod open classroom space taken on June 1, 1995. The room looks largely complete, with furniture and wall furnishings in place. The floor is not yet carpeted and the tile is visibly dirty with footprints from the construction workers’ boots.
June 1, 1995

There were once two open Pods on each floor for flexible classroom space. Over the years, they’ve been enclosed to make actual classrooms and offices.

What’s in a Name?

Have you ever wondered how Lane Elementary got its name? Some people believe it’s named for a road, as in a lane, but it’s located on Beulah Street and Kingstowne Commons Drive. No, the “Lane” doesn’t come from a physical feature; it comes from an important man in the history of the Fairfax County Public Schools – Anthony T. Lane. Learn about the life and legacy of Anthony Lane in this video produced for Fairfax County Public Schools’ cable television channel Red Apple 21.   

Color photograph of Anthony Lane standing in a hallway at Lane Elementary on opening day. He is speaking with a group of nine students. FCPS Red Apple 21 news crew cameramen are in the background.

Anthony Lane visited our school on the day it opened, and he was greeted with great enthusiasm in every classroom.

Color photograph of the main entrance to Lane Elementary School. The picture was taken in June 2018.

The address sign above our entryway, that looks like it's etched in stone, was hung part way through the 1995-96 school year. This is actually the second sign made for our building.

The stone entrance sign is positioned on the ground in front of the school’s main entrance. Anthony Lane is standing next to it, smiling for the camera. Ladders can be seen in the background, and a heavy duty strap or rope is attached around the center of the sign, ready to hoist it into the air.

Pictured standing next to the first sign is our namesake, Anthony Lane. The first sign cracked when it was being hung and had to be replaced.

The Dedication

Lane Elementary School opened in September 1995, but it wasn’t until the spring of 1996 that our school was officially dedicated, on April 17, 1996 to be exact.

Two color photographs, one above the other, taken on the day of dedication. The top photograph shows the school sign in front of the building. It is a large, brick bordered sign with a white placard in the center. The sign gives the name of the school and the date of dedication. Adults can be seen milling about in the background. Beneath this photograph is another picture from the dedication. In the background, the school chorus stands on risers. They are clapping their hands. In the mid-ground a group of students is holding up a large blue flag or banner. The banner has the words Anthony T. Lane Elementary printed on it in white, and a picture of a lion’s head, in brown or gold, in the center. A large crowd is pictured in the foreground watching the festivities.
Dedication Day, April 17, 1996

Our Principals

Helene Brower (1995-2004)

When Lane opened its doors in September 1995, it had a very special lady at the helm as principal – Mrs. Helene Brower. Principal Brower dedicated herself to building an amazing school from the ground up. She set the tone for our school in small and large ways, such as picking the color of the building tiles, and recruiting and hiring the school’s staff. Through her years leading the Lane Lion Pride, Mrs. Brower touched the lives of many children and adults alike. She literally started the Lane legacy and coined our first motto: "Leading with Pride." Mrs. Brower retired from Fairfax County Public Schools in 2004. She now lives in Florida.

Color portrait of Principal Brower from our 1995 to 1996 yearbook. She is pictured at her desk where she is working on a computer.

Suzie Montgomery (2004-2009)

When Mrs. Brower retired, she left the Lane Lion Pride in the capable hands of a new leader, Suzie Montgomery. Mrs. Montgomery served in the top job at Lane until February 2009, when she moved to Lorton to open a new elementary school, Laurel Hill Elementary. During her tenure at Lane, she supported students, staff, and the community in many endeavors, but above all in keeping the love of learning going strong.

Color portrait of Principal Montgomery from our 2005 to 2006 yearbook. She is pictured standing behind a group of approximately 11 students. Everyone pictured is smiling broadly at the camera.

Jay Nocco (2009-2012)

When Mrs. Montgomery left in 2009, leadership of the pride moved to Jay Nocco. During his relatively brief three-year run, he had a big impact on students, staff, and the community. His legacy includes our school motto, "Communicate, Collaborate, Care." Mr. Nocco is now principal at Lynbrook Elementary.

Color head-and-shoulders staff portrait of Principal Nocco.

Eleanor Contreras (2012-2019)

Mrs. Contreras joined the staff of Lane Elementary School in 2012. After her departure, Assistant Principal Nikki Steptoe-Coleman served briefly as interim principal until our current principal, Christine Prahl, was appointed in August 2019.

Color head-and-shoulders staff portrait of Principal Contreras.

Growing, Changing, and Going Strong

The true history of Lane Elementary School is found in our students and school staff. Though time has changed the appearance of our classrooms, our technology, and some teaching methods, our commitment to providing a quality education for children remains the same. Together, we are creating students who will become the positive, compassionate leaders of the next generation.

Photographs of the covers of three Lane Elementary School yearbooks. On the left is the cover of our very first yearbook from 1995 to 1996. It is a simple gold and white illustration with star shapes set against a gold to white gradient background. In the center is a photograph of the cover of our 2001 to 2002 yearbook. It is a student-drawn illustration of a smiling lion set against the background of an American flag. There is a small drawing of the school behind the lion, and the lion is surrounded by white and blue paw prints. The words Lane Lions are lettered in blue and white at the top. The 2015 to 2016 cover is on the far right of the collage. It is also a student-drawn illustration of a lion, set against a blue and white vertical-striped background. The words Communicate, Collaborate, Care, are at the top in green text. The words Celebrating 20 Years are in blue set inside a yellow star positioned above and to the left of the lion. The word Lane is written in all capital letters, colored yellow and green.
Lane Yearbooks Covers, 1995-96, 2001-02, and 2015-16