The Willows State School first opened its doors to students on Tuesday, 28 January 1997. The school initially catered to pre-school and primary school aged students from Years 1-7. The school, set on approximately 6.5 hectares, opened with a double unit pre-school offering 100 places, an administration block, resource centre, 12 classrooms and a special education unit. Two covered areas, a tuckshop, various ancillary buildings, an oval and landscaping completed the picture. Two modular buildings (allowing an additional 4 classrooms) were also added to cater for the opening enrolment of approximately 400. The school was the first in the state to be fully funded for air conditioning and to have fibre optic cabling to each building to allow internet connectivity and networked learning activities. The original approximate cost of the school was $5.2 million.
The focus of the school at opening was 'Learning and teaching for the 21st century.'
The inaugural school principal was Mrs Carol Buchanan.
In 2022 The Willows State School will celebrate its 25th Anniversary. The original time capsule was buried on 13th August, 1997 and will be re-opened on 13th August 2022.
When the school opened in 1997 we did not have a school logo. The logo was developed following a competition which many students entered. The winning design was created by Phillip, a year 5 student. The design is based on a circle, the sun. The logo consists of the Ross River which flows through Thuringowa and Townsville from the mountains to the sea, The Pinnacles (a mountain range visible from the school), a Willow Tree (the tree of knowledge) and an Ibis (a bird we see frequently around the school).
An artist later further developed the original design to the one we have on our school uniforms today.