El Paso High School
|El Paso High School|
El Paso High School
"Pride of El Paso"
|800 E. Schuster Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79902
|Color(s)||Orange and Black|
|Nickname||"The Lady On The Hill"|
El Paso High Tigers 
El Paso High School
|Location||800 East Schuster Ave., El Paso, Texas|
|Area||9.5 acres (3.8 ha)|
|Architectural style||Classical Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||80004103|
|Added to NRHP||November 17, 1980|
El Paso High School is the oldest operating high school in El Paso, Texas and is part of the El Paso Independent School District. It serves the West-Central section of the city, roughly west of the Franklin Mountains and north of Interstate 10 to the vicinity of Executive Center Boulevard. It is fed by Wiggs Middle School, into which the three elementary schools in its feeder pattern, Lamar, Mesita, and Vilas, graduate.
"The Lady on the Hill," as El Paso High is nicknamed, sits on a mountainside at the foot of the Franklin Mountains overlooking the central portion of the city and its boundary with Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. It stands out prominently on the horizon commanding a view of the city. Built by the architectural firm of Trost & Trost, the Greco-Roman features of El Paso High made it a unique landmark in town. Construction for the school cost about $500,000.00. The inside of the school with its marble floors is as elegant as the outside. Inside the front entrance, the hallway that circles the rear of the large auditorium has coffered low ceilings and classical columns. The main corridor floor was of marble; the other hall floors were of quarter-sawed oak; and the classroom floors were made of hard maple. Most of the toilet and shower rooms were finished in tile, marble and porcelain.
The ground floor is below street level. The second floor is at street level, and its two perpendicular wings connect at a 45-degree angle with a heavily decorated Corinthian porch or pavilion. This overlooks Jones Stadium, named after the first Assistant Principal of the school, R. Randolph Jones. The stadium, seating 12,000, was one of the first major concrete stadiums built in the country. Semicircular steps lead up to the main entrance to the school built of concrete and tile. At the top of the steps are six terra cotta pillars supporting a pediment and entablature bearing the school's name.
On each side of the steps are brick and terra cotta-trimmed bases, holding cast-iron candelabra. Above the front doors a bronze tablet bears these words: "'A Cultivated Mind is the Genius of Democracy: It is the Only Dictator that Free Men Acknowledge and the Only Security that Free Men Desire' -- Mirabeau B. Lamar."
In 1922, Ku Klux Klan board members elected to change the school's name to honor its Texas hero, Sam Houston (President of the Republic of Texas and Governor of Texas). El Paso High became Sam Houston High School but was changed back after a year because of strong community protest. In February 1923, the Ku Klux Klan was defeated in the local polls and their presence in El Paso soon died out.
In May 1922, students only needed 16 units of credit to graduate, but by September that number had changed to 20. El Paso High offered the first music classes in the state and it was also the first to include a modern language, Spanish, in its course of study.
El Paso High School was also the first in the state to have a student military corps, organized by the district superintendent, Capt. Calvin W. Esterly, a retired Army officer who had graduated from West Point.
National Register of Historic Places
On November 17, 1980, El Paso High officially became a historic landmark with the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
- The Tatler (Newspaper)
- The Spur (Yearbook)
El Paso High is known for its Cross Country, Track & Field, Tennis team and Volleyball program. The Tiger Varsity Tennis Team made history on October 15, 2009 when they defeated the Burges High School (El Paso, Texas) Mustangs and became the first team in school history to win the UIL District 1-4A Team Tennis Championship in the fall. El Paso High has a fierce rivalry with the Burges High School Mustangs. The Cross Country programs, under the four decade tutelage of William Daniel McKillip, have won many team District, Regional and State Championships in Texas (5-A and 4-A), and claimed several honors in national rankings. The school has also churned out dozens of individual district, regional and state champions in Cross Country and Track & Field, many of whom have gone on to successful and championship careers at the NCAA level and beyond. In 2010 the El Paso High football team had their first winning season in 10 years at 7-3 under new Coach Robert Morales and taking back the "Claw" from old time rival Austin High School (El Paso, Texas) for the first time in also 10 years. In 2009/2010 the soccer team made it to the Final Four. Other sports include: Wrestling, Basketball, Baseball, Softball, and Swimming.
School Fight Song
For when we're on the field of battle -
And for our colors we will fight,
the orange and black will always stand for what we know is right.
So may you wave on high your banners, -
And may your spirit never die. -
And give a rousing Rah! Rah! Rah!
for old El Paso High!
- F. Murray Abraham - actor
- Cedric Bixler-Zavala - musician
- Paul Wilbur Klipsch - audio pioneer and engineer
- Tom Lea - painter
- Lupe Ontiveros - actress
- Beto O'Rourke - civic leader
- Jim Ward - musician
- Rubén Salazar - journalist
- Dick Savitt - tennis player ranked # 2 in the world
- Gerald "Jerry" Rubin - CEO of Helen of Troy, HELE NASDAQ
- Richard Crawford White - politician
- William D. Hawkins - United States Marine Corps officer, awarded the United States' highest military honor – the Medal of Honor
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- Gustavo Reveles Acosta (August 29, 2010). "Ruben Salazar killing left impact on Hispanics, journalism". El Paso Times. Retrieved September 3, 2010.
- El Paso Independent School District
- El Paso Community College Local History Project
- El Paso High School Foundation