McAllen High School

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Coordinates: 26°13′35″N 98°14′18″W / 26.2265°N 98.2384°W / 26.2265; -98.2384

McAllen High School
2021 La Vista Avenue
McAllen, Texas
Type Public high school
Motto "In Unity our Spirit Grows"
Established 1909
School district McAllen Independent School District
Principal Albert Canales
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2200+
Campus Urban
Color(s) Purple and Gold         
Mascot Bulldog
Nickname McHi
Newspaper The Wheel
Yearbook El Espejo

McAllen High School is one of four high schools serving the McAllen, Texas area as a part of the McAllen Independent School District. It houses over 2200 students from grades 9-12. The school originally opened in 1909 and moved to its current location at 2021 La Vista Avenue in 1963. The school colors are purple and gold and the mascot is a bulldog. All athletic teams compete in the UIL District 30-6A.


McAllen High School began with a class of only 14 students in 1909, its first graduating class, consisting of only 4 students, received their diplomas in 1913. The first graduates were Hazel Archer, Gladys Hall, Francis Buck and Winnie Harding. Since then, McAllen High School has been a Valley leader in academic, athletic, and UIL activities. As the first high school, McHi has achieved and maintained its reputation as the "Flagship School" of the McAllen Independent School District. With the expansion of the City of McAllen, and the growth of student population, it became necessary to construct a new campus. As a result, McAllen High School was relocated to its present location in 1963.

Built to accommodate 2,000 students in grades 9 through 12, the new high school was occupied by 2,400 students in the fall of 1963. The new property was purchased with the vision for expansion on a 40-acre (160,000 m2) tract. Thus, McAllen High School evolved from an old air style, over-crowded school building to a modern air conditioned building supported by its own natural gas turbine generators.

Initially, although obsolete, the old campus was maintained for instructing "migrant students." By 1973, however, the "migrant student" population had grown to more than 1,000 and school board officials decided to mainstream migrant students. Accordingly, the old property was sold to the McAllen State Bank and in 1976, the original campus was torn down. Today, the grounds of the old high school and stadium feature an ultra-modern banking and office center.

In spite of its long and proud history within the Rio Grande Valley, McAllen High School administration officials and faculty recognize that challenges of the future require continual evaluation, instructional innovation, hard work, and high expectations for our students. This "winning" attitude will not only help to propel McAllen High School into the 21st Century, it will also best serve the interests and demands of our community.


The McHi Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs compete in the following sports:

  • Football
  • Volleyball
  • Cross-Country
  • Basketball
  • Wrestling
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Softball
  • Golf
  • Track & Field
  • Baseball
  • Marching Band

Notable alumni[edit]

  • 1938: John Noyce Millner, Pearl Harbor Survivor (U.S. Navy)
  • 1941: George Strohmeyer, Football All-American at Notre Dame
  • 1951: Johnny Economedes, Firefighter and Rescue worker; Edinburg's Johnny G. Economedes High School is named for him
  • 1956: Col. James Nicholas "Nikki" Rowe - Vietnam POW; James "Nikki" Rowe High School is named for him
  • 1957: Ted Uhlaender, Major League Baseball player and coach
  • 1960: Charles P. Nemfakos, Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Navy
  • 1963: Susan Elizabeth Norris (Moon), Best-selling Science Fiction Writer
  • 1965: Pete Benavides,United States Federal Judge
  • 1967: Scott J. Atlas, Chairman, American Bar Assoc. Litigation Section
  • 1972: Robert Roy Pool, Hollywood Screenwriter
  • 1972: Dan York, Motion Picture Producer & Writer
  • 1973: Catherine Hardwicke, Movie Director & Production Designer ( "The Nativity Story", "Thirteen", and "Twilight")
  • 1976: Michael E. Fossum, NASA Space Shuttle Astronaut; Fossum Middle School is named for him
  • 1977: Irene Hardwicke Olivieri, Artist (Painter)
  • 1978: David Cowgill, Motion Picture & Television Actor
  • 1978: Greg Perkes, Texas Court of Appeals Justice
  • 1981: Ian Naismith, Mutual Fund Manager, Portfolio Manager; Professional Musician
  • 1982: Bill Savarino, All-Star Minor League Baseball Player
  • 1983: Dr. Juan Eduardo Mejía, Provost/Academic Vice President (Higher Education)
  • 1984: Jose Angel "JoJo" Henrickson, Movie Director & Actor
  • 1985: Toby Nivens, Minor League Baseball Player with Mets & Twins
  • 1993: Sergio "Keko" Guerrero, Professional Baseball Player
  • 1993: Elizabeth Ramos, Professional Dancer
  • 1995: Max Decker, Television Actor
  • 1999: Rolando Cantu - NFL football player, Arizona Cardinals
  • 2001: Adrian Pena, Broadway Performer[1]

McHi Band[edit]

In the 60′s, under the direction of L.M. Snavely, the McHi band was selected as the Texas TMEA 4-A Honor Band.

During the 70′s, the McHi band continued a string of Sweepstakes Awards with Gary Zook[2] as head band director. McAllen High School split into two high schools in 1980 with Darrell Anderson becoming the head band director in 1981. Sweepstakes Awards continued starting in 1982 until a third high school opened in 1992 at which McHi band performed opening day at the World’s Fair in New Orleans in 1983, Texas State UIL Marching Contest, Area Marching Contest, Florida’s Disney World five times and won the New Orleans Ovation Band Festival in 2001.

The McHi Band is currently under the direction of Jason Dunn who has taught within the McAllen Independent School District since 2015[3]


External links[edit]