Dr. William H. Councill Elementary School was opened in 1898, and now serves approximately 400 Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students.
The original school site was at the corner of 20th Street and Ave l (now Avenue P) in Ensley. Having a rich and vibrant history is one of the strong assets of Councill School. Established in one of the most culturally rich areas of greater Birmingham, the school was a part of the Ensley District before the small municipality was annexed into the City of Birmingham. At that time, the school was called Davis School. From 1898-1903, Davis School had two principals, Mr. H. A. Knox and Mr. D. Taylor.
In 1909, under the leadership of Superintendent John H. Phillips, Davis School was renamed after Dr. William H. Councill, the founder and first President of Alabama A & M University in Normal, Alabama. A former slave, William H. Councill dedicated himself to education and the advancement of education among the freed slaves and slave – descendent populations. As a motto for his institution, Dr. Councill chose “Those who enter here enter to learn and go forth to serve!” In the memory of this prominent American, this school was dedicated.
Past principals include: Mr. C. Davis, Mr. H. A. Knox, Mr. D. Taylor, Mr. W.R. Woods, Mr. P.D. Jackson, Mr. Leroy Butler, Mr. R.C. Sheehy, Mr. B.N. Cephus, Mr. Charles Warren, Mrs. Gwendolyn Goodwin and Dr. Constance Neely.
Throughout the years, William H. Councill Elementary has maintained a strong and viable Alumni Association. Graduates, who are interested in becoming an active member, should call the school for more information.