Skip To Content

Our History

Mabelle Burrell, for whom this school was named, loved teaching. After graduating from Wheelock College in 1908, she taught in the Beachmont section of Revere. Following the traditions of her time when she married Charles Burrell, she gave up teaching to be a wife and mother to her three daughters and one son.

Her interest in education did not end. The family moved to Foxborough where Mabelle was elected to four terms on the School Committee. It was as a member of the school committee that she found her way back to the classroom. A substitute teacher was needed at the Pratt School in East Foxborough in 1945. She agreed to fill in “for a little while”; the “little while” turned into many years as a devoted teacher. Later she finished out her formal teaching career as principal of the Pratt School. But her teaching days were not over. Instead, she chose to become a substitute teacher, a job she held well into her 80's.

With the closing of the Pratt School and the opening of a new elementary school in 1968, it was decided to name the Burrell School after the woman who had devoted so many years to the Foxborough Schools. Even after she retired from substitute teaching, she never lost touch with the school and celebrated many of her birthdays including her 100th at the school named for her.

Perhaps what sums up her teaching style best are the words she spoke to a reporter when she turned 96. “You have to live with the kids, be part of the activities to get results.”

Mabelle Burrell died November 27, 1987 at the age of 102. At the time, she was survived by four children. Her son Charles Burrell and daughters Connie Sycafoose, Thelma Fernald and Barbara Brainard have since past away.