Martin High School (Laredo, Texas)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
|Raymond & Tirza Martin High School|
|Laredo, Texas, United States
|School district||Laredo Independent School District|
|Principal||Oscar Perez |
|Grades||9th - 12th|
|Color(s)||Red & White|
|Website||Martin High School|
Raymond & Tirza Martin High School, known as Martin High School, is a secondary institution of learning located in the Laredo Independent School District in Laredo, Texas, United States. Grades 9th through 12th are taught there. It serves students living in central Laredo. The school is adjacent to the Laredo Civic Center.
In 2007, Martin High School was cited by the Texas Education Agency in Austin, for having performed below U.S. academic standards. The institution trailed acceptable standards in reading and mathematics instruction and was given "Stage 3" sanctions. Martin is one of forty-seven schools in Texas in the "Stage 3" category. The school was informed in 2008 that if it does not improve its academic standing, it could be converted to a charter school, have its administrative staff replaced, or be taken over by the State of Texas.
In 2009, Laredo Independent School District officials said that efforts would be redoubled to teach English to a remaining group of students who continue to prefer Spanish in most conversations. "We need to speak as much English as possible," said Severita Sanchez, the LISD executive director of compliance and accountability. School officials blamed the weak foundation in English for poor performance on academic skills tests.
Laredo High School, the first public school in Laredo, was founded downtown in 1916 at the site of the present day La Posada Hotel. In 1937, Laredo High School was moved to San Bernardo Avenue and renamed Martin High School. It was the only public high school in Laredo from 1937 until 1964, when J. W. Nixon High School opened in The Heights neighborhood.
Martin High School is well known for its band, also acknowledged as "La Banda Del Animo." The most popular and energetic song played by this band is their "Fight Song". Martin High has several distinctions under its belt as their band was the first band invited from Laredo to perform at a Dallas Cowboys game and has been invited to perform at several parades around the state of Texas. Martin sports the only basketball team from Laredo ever to win a State Basketball Championship—in 1956. Several of the schools sayings are "The Pride of Laredo," and the most well-known is "Once A Tiger, Always A Tiger."
One of Martin High's most enduring teachers was Elizabeth Sorrell, who taught principally English in the Laredo Independent School District from 1931-1979. Thereafter, she launched a second career as the popular society columnist for the Laredo Morning Times.
Another faculty member, Esther Buckley (1948-2013), a 1963 graduate of Martin High School, taught for forty-two years for the Laredo Independent School District. Her last position was as an instructor at the Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Health Science Center, which functions as a magnet school within Martin High School. In 2010, she was a finalist for "Best in Texas" Education Award by H-E-B Foods. Buckley was a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1983 until 1992, an original appointee of U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan. Buckley was also a former chairman of the Republican Party in Webb County.
Martin High School has an award-winning Crime Stoppers program under the direction of Sandra Rocha. The director for the LISD Campus Crime Stoppers Program is Estela Quintanilla. The two are Martin High School graduates.
Martin's school colors are red and white.
MOTTO: Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger
The Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Health and Science Magnet School focuses on health and science education, with two career paths available. Dennis Cantu is a graduate, not of Martin High School but of J. W. Nixon High School, a practicing physician in Laredo, and a member of the Laredo Independent School Board.
- Ramon H. Dovalina (born 1943), Class of 1960 - former president of Laredo Community College
- Joe A. Guerra (1934-2010), Class of 1953 - Republican political activist; 20-year member of the Laredo City Council
- William N. "Billy" Hall, Jr. (1940-2002), Class of 1958 - member of the Texas House of Representatives, county treasurer, civic leader
- Oscar M. Laurel (1920-2001) - state representative, district attorney, member of the National Transportation Safety Board, executive director of the International Good Neighbor Council, firebrand Democratic orator
- Abraham Kazen (1919-1987) -- U.S. representative from 1967-1983
- Radcliffe Killam (1910-2007), Class of 1937 - oilman, businessman, rancher, landowner, philanthropist
- Juan L. Maldonado (born 1948), Class of 1967 - President of Laredo Community College
- J. C. "Pepe" Martin, Jr. (1913-1998), Class of 1930 - Mayor of Laredo, 1954-1978
- Alicia Dickerson Montemayor (1902-1989), Class of 1924 - Hispanic activist and community organizer
- Ezequiel D. Salinas (1908-2007) - state court judge and Hispanic rights activist
- Elizabeth Sorrell (1909-2007) - English teacher and journalist in Laredo
- Vidal M. Treviño (1929-2006) - educator, state representative, and Democratic power broker
- Danny Valdez - Webb County Judge since 2007; former justice of the peace
- Oscar J. Zuniga (1922-2007) - engineer who designed three Laredo neighborhoods
- Tricia Cortez, "Twelve fall short", Laredo Morning Times, September 5, 2007, p. 1
- Nick Georgiou, "Too Much Spanish: Martin High will focus on teaching English", Laredo Morning Times June 10, 2009, p. 1
- JJ Velasquez, "Minivan-truck crash leaves beloved educator dead", Laredo Morning Times, February 12, 2013, pp. 1, 12A
- "Esther Gonzalez-Arroyo Buckley (March 29, 1948 - FebruarY 11, 2013)", Laredo Morning Times, February 15, 2013, p. 10A