Austin High School (El Paso, Texas)
|Stephen F. Austin High School|
|3500 Memphis Ave
El Paso, Texas 79930
|Principal||John F. Tanner|
|Color(s)||Brown & Gold|
Stephen F. Austin High School is a secondary school in El Paso, Texas, opened in 1930. It is part of the El Paso Independent School District. The school's mascot is a Golden Panther named "Henry." The school was designed by Texas contractor and architect Robert E. McKee. When the local school district ran out of money during the construction, McKee donated the remainder owed. Consequently, the school's football stadium is named in McKee's honor. The R.E. McKee Construction Company built the school and used a classic Spanish architecture. The structure is surmounted by a 103-foot tower. The classrooms had marble floors and the hallways are floored with terrazzo.
The school, located minutes from the Franklin Mountains, faces a large, white, block "A" letter painted on the mountain. AHS students traditionally "light" the "A" on every Friday night a home football game is played at R.E. McKee Stadium. The "A" lit by placing small cans, full of kerosene and sawdust, around the "A" and lighting them before kickoff. The burning "A" is visible from the home bleachers and AHS supporters chant "Hey, Hey, Look at the A" to signify its lighting.
The school has an actual, stuffed Golden Panther in the main lobby. The Panther is named "Elroy," after Austin High English and Creative Writing teacher and author Elroy Bode. Bode is a famed West Texas author and has published several books, including Home Country: An Elroy Bode Reader, Commonplace Mysteries, and This Favored Place: The Texas Hill Country. He also wrote In a Special Light which was published by Trinity University Press in 2006.
In 1998, Mr. Gary Mowad, a special agent for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and former Austin teacher, approached the Austin High School about donating a stuffed panther to display on campus. Elroy was hunted illegally, in Colorado by a hunter who unlawfully used a spotlight in pursuit of the panther. Consequently, Elroy was seized by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the hunter was sentenced to four years of prison time.
At the conclusion of the litigation in September 2002, the Panther was transported to El Paso and donated to the school through the Austin High School Alumni Association presented this spectacular animal to Austin High School. On January 7, 2004, the Panther was placed in the lobby where it can be viewed today.
- SSG James R. Patton, class of 2004, of the US Army's 3d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, who died on 18 April 2010 during his seventh deployment as a Ranger. Staff Sgt. Patton was killed in a helicopter crash on one of the most significant missions since the beginning of the Iraq War.
- Dr. Dan Acosta, Jr., first Hispanic Dean of the University of Cincinnati's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy.
- Col. Heidi V. Brown, took command of the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade July 12 at Fort Bliss, becoming the first woman to take the reins of an ADA brigade. Brown was also the first woman from El Paso, Texas, to graduate from West Point and the first woman to command a Patriot air defense battalion.
- Rufus Brown, class of 1999, played professional football for the Washington Redskins after playing at Florida State University under Bobby Bowden.
- Ronald D. Coleman, Democrat elected to the 98th United States Congress and served six terms in office before electing not to run for re-election to the 105th United States Congress.
- Peggy Elliot Goldwyn, television writer credited with writing episodes of 19 sitcoms during the 1960s and 1970s. Goldwyn wrote episodes of Happy Days, The Odd Couple, and The Doris Day Show, among others.
- Terry Manning, Music Producer, Engineer, composer, recording artist and inventor. Began in music with all-AHS member band "Terry Manning and The Wild Ones," playing local dances. After moving to Memphis, became well known in popular music.
- Tom Moore, cartoonist of the Archie Comic Books, also graduated from Austin High in 1946. Moore was also a cartoonist for Underdog and Mighty Mouse.
- Sandra Day O'Connor, Supreme Court Justice, graduated 6th in her class in 1946 and attended her 50th reunion. The school honored O'Connor by naming a magnet school located on the Austin campus the Sandra Day O'Connor Criminal Justice/Public Service Academy, in her honor.
- Jimmy Ortega, Hollywood stuntman who has appeared as a stuntman in over 120 motion pictures including Lakeview Terrace, G-Force, Ocean's 13, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Spider-Man 2. Ortega has also appeared, as an actor, in several films and television shows.
- Togo Railey and David Palacio, members of the 1965-66 Texas Western Miners men's basketball team that won the NCAA Championship against the University of Kentucky. The story behind the team inspired the 2006 motion picture Glory Road which starred actor Josh Lucas as Texas Western, and subsequently UTEP, head coach Don Haskins.
- Kenny Thomas, NBA player and All-American basketball player at the University of New Mexico. Thomas attended Austin High for three years before transferring and graduating from high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Thomas was the 22nd overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft and was selected by the Houston Rockets.
Come on you Panthers
Come on you Panthers
Fight Right Through that line
Take the ball clear down the field
A touchdown sure this time
Come on you Panthers
Come on you Panthers
Fight boys for your fame
Fight Panthers, Fight! Fight! Fight!
And win this game
- Stanley, Irene and Duffy Stanley. "MCKEE, ROBERT EUGENE, SR.". Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "Austin High School History". Austin High School Alumni Association. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- Laughman, Dick. "Panther Association, 1955/56 — How We Lit The "A"". Stephen F. Austin High School Class of 1956. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "Our Panther Mascot". Stephen F. Austin High School Class of 1956. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "USASOC Soldier killed in aircraft crash". US Army Special Operations Command. Archived from the original on 25 April 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2010.
- "Daniel Acosta". University of Cincinnati. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "Newest Unique Firsts for Military Women". Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "COLEMAN, Ronald D'Emory, (1941 – )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Library of Congress. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- Peggy Elliott at the Internet Movie Database
- Ramirez, Christina (19 May 2008). "'Archie' artist draws aaahs". El Paso Times. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- Washington Valdez, Diana (2 July 2005). "Hometown Stars — Sandra Day O'Connor". El Paso Times. Archived from the original on 25 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- "EPISD Schools: Austin High". Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- Jimmy Ortega at the Internet Movie Database
- "Glory Road Panthers". Panther News. Austin High School Alumni Association. April 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2010.
- Austin High School
- List of Austin High School's "Outstanding Ex's" as honored by the school's alumni association
- History of Austin High's Architecture Over Time