Stephen F. Austin High School (Austin, Texas)

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Stephen F. Austin High School
AustinHighSchoolAustin.JPG
Mens Agitat Molem
The Mind Moves the Masses / Mind Over Matter
Location
1715 West Cesar Chavez Street, Austin, Texas
Information
Type Public
Established 1881
School district Austin Independent School District
Principal Ms. Amy Taylor
Grades 9-12
Color(s) Maroon and White
Athletics conference UIL 25-AAAAA
Mascot Mr. Maroo
Team name Maroons
Information 512-414-2505
Website
Austin Community College Rio Grande Campus, formerly Austin High School and John T. Allan Junior High School (est. 1916.)[1]

Stephen F. Austin High School, or more commonly Austin High, is a public high school in Austin, Texas, of the Austin Independent School District. Founded in 1881, it is one of the oldest public high schools west of the Mississippi River, and was the first public high school in the state of Texas.

The campus is located near Downtown Austin along the Colorado River (Lady Bird Lake). The school, originally known simply as Austin High School, was renamed in 1953 after Stephen F. Austin, known as the "Father of Texas."[citation needed] Austin High School is one of eleven high schools in the Austin Independent School District.

Roughly 2,500 students attend the school in grades nine through twelve. The school's current building is the third built to house the school, following four 19th century locations in other buildings.[1] Austin High's official motto is Mens Agitat Molem (Latin: The Mind Moves the Masses) or, "Mind Over Matter." The official mascot of Austin High School is Mr. Maroo.

History[edit]

Austin High School opened in September 1881. Classes were held on the third floor of the West Austin School building at 11th Street and Rio Grande Street. Due to growth of the student population instruction was held at the First Baptist Church, the temporary State Capitol, and the Smith Opera House.[1] The first Austin High School campus, located at 9th Street and Trinity Street, opened in 1900. In 1925 John Allan Junior High School (est. 1916) moved from 1212 Rio Grande Street to 9th at Trinity, and Austin High School moved to 1212 Rio Grande Street.[2]

In 1956 the first seven African-American students began attending Austin High School as part of desegregation; a total of 13 black students attended white high schools in AISD at that time.[3]

In 1975 Austin High School moved to its current location (designed by Jay W. Barnes II). The first day of classes at the Cesar Chavez campus occurred on August 25, 1975.[2]

The Mr. Maroo Mascot was officially adopted by the Student Council in 1965-66.

Academics[edit]

Austin High was called a National Blue Ribbon School in 1982-83.[4]

Campus[edit]

The current campus is bounded by Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) on one side and a freeway on the other. Because of the school's relative isolation and the campus's relative newness, Amy Wells, author of Both Sides Now: The Story of School Desegregation’s Graduates, wrote that the school "has a somewhat suburban feel".[5]

Academic performance[edit]

As of the late 1970s the school was considered to be the best in its area, according to Wells. The school was known for having a university preparatory curriculum.[5]

Neighborhoods served[edit]

Downtown Austin, the Westcreek Neighborhood and the family apartment complexes of the University of Texas at Austin are zoned to Austin High School.[6][7]

Austin High School historically had a reputation as an elite school as it was associated with wealthy westside Austin neighborhoods.[8]

Student body[edit]

As of 2000 the school was 54% non-Hispanic White, 37% Hispanic and Latino, 8% black, and 2% Asian, reflecting the overall demographics of Austin. Austin High is the flagship high school of AISD, so the district gerrymandered its attendance zone to keep the school majority white while also maintaining racial and ethnic diversity.[9]

As of 1980 most of the White students originated from west Austin, including Terrytown. There were also middle class and poor students. Some black students originated from Clarksville, an area housing servants' quarters that, until school desegregation, was served by segregated black schools.[8] The school, by 1980, also accepted low and middle class white students from south of Lady Bird Lake, known as "river rats", as well as transfer students from East Austin, a heavily Hispanic and Latino section of South Austin, and a black section of northeast Austin.[10]

As of the late 1970s the school was 66% White, 19% Hispanic, and 15% African-American, making it one of the more racially balanced AISD schools; at the time there was less Hispanic representation and more White representation than the district average. In 1980 the federal court system forced AISD to begin desegregation busing.[11]

Athletics[edit]

Austin High School offers many different athletic programs for students: Football, Basketball, Tennis, Golf, Mountain Biking, Swimming, Baseball, Volleyball,[12] Soccer, Track and Field, Cross Country, and Lacrosse. The Austin High Football team has won one championship in the state of Texas, in 1942.[citation needed]

Fine arts[edit]

Austin High School also offers a wide array of Fine Arts to its students. The school's band is the largest group in the school, with over 200 students. The marching band performs at the football games during the autumn semester, while the four separate concert bands have performances throughout the spring semester. The Austin High Jazz Ensemble was one of 15 Jazz bands in the nation featured in the 2008 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival competition, hosted by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.[13] In 2009, Austin High scored better than the previous year yet didn't make the Essentially Ellington due to a returning finalist rule, establishing itself as one of the premier Jazz schools in the country.[according to whom?] The school offers an Orchestra class and Choir program which performs throughout the year. Also, students can participate in the Red Dragon Theater company at Austin high, that performs regularly throughout the year as well. The Red Dragon Players' production of "Dark of the Moon" won the 1989 UIL One-Act State Championship, Over the River and Through the Woods won in 2009, Over the Tavern won in 2011 and broke a state record by winning a second state championship in a row with their production of "King O'The Moon". The Austin High drill team, also known as the Red Jackets, performs at school football games, competes in dance contests, and puts on a show in the spring. The Red Jackets have received various awards for state and national competitions. Austin high also has three women's choirs (varsity, non-varsity, and freshmen choirs) and one of the areas largest men's choir.

Hall of Honor[edit]

Moved from the location next to the second floor administrative offices to a new location on the first floor east entrance =in 1996, the 'Hall of Honor' is a special room dedicated to honoring both the history of Austin High and alumni who have made significant contributions to society. Tours are available daily during school hours from officers of the Student Steering Committee. Once a year, Austin High holds 'Dedication Day', a day in which alumni and current students celebrate the dedication of the lakeside campus. On Dedication Day, alumni and faculty are inducted into the Hall of Honor. The inductees are selected by the Hall of Honor Steering Committee. In addition to honored alumni and faculty, 1% of the graduating class is inducted into Maroon Society. All students in the top 25% of the graduating class are automatically declared Maroon Society Semi-Finalists, although teachers can nominate deserving students. Ballots are sent to the faculty, asking them to rank Semi-Finalists in different categories. The Semi-Finalists with the top 5% rankings are declared Maroon Society Finalists. Another ballot is sent out to the faculty asking them to rate the Finalists. The identity of the students to be inducted is kept secret until Dedication Day.

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Austin High School Historical Marker Text". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  2. ^ a b "History". Austin High School. Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved January 12, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Five Decades of Social Change: A Timeline." Austin Public Library. Retrieved on June 6, 2016.
  4. ^ "Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Schools Recognized 1982-1983 Through 1999-2002" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 30, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Wells, Amy. Both Sides Now: The Story of School Desegregation’s Graduates. University of California Press, January 20, 2009. ISBN 0520942485, 9780520942486. p. 48.
  6. ^ "School Assignment by Residential Address." Austin Independent School District. Retrieved on October 2, 2011.
  7. ^ "APARTMENTS - DESCRIPTIONS & LOCATIONS." University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved on October 2, 2011. "Brackenridge Apartments (Learn More) 3501 Lake Austin Blvd. Austin, Texas 78703" and "Colorado Apartments (Learn More) 2501 Lake Austin Blvd. Austin, Texas 78703" and "Gateway Apartments (Learn More) 1618 West 6th Street Austin, Texas 78703"
  8. ^ a b Wells, Amy. Both Sides Now: The Story of School Desegregation’s Graduates. University of California Press, January 20, 2009. ISBN 0520942485, 9780520942486. p. 49.
  9. ^ Wells, Amy. Both Sides Now: The Story of School Desegregation’s Graduates. University of California Press, January 20, 2009. ISBN 0520942485, 9780520942486. p. 10.
  10. ^ Wells, Amy. Both Sides Now: The Story of School Desegregation’s Graduates. University of California Press, January 20, 2009. ISBN 0520942485, 9780520942486. p. 50.
  11. ^ Wells, Amy. Both Sides Now: The Story of School Desegregation’s Graduates. University of California Press, January 20, 2009. ISBN 0520942485, 9780520942486. p. 47-48.
  12. ^ "Austin High Home Page". Austin High Volleyball. Retrieved January 7, 2012. [dead link]
  13. ^ Moses, Drew (March 24, 2008). "Austin High jazz band to compete nationally". News 8 Austin. Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2008. 
  14. ^ "Bush used private school option". Associated Press. April 4, 2000. Archived from the original on May 23, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2006. 
  15. ^ "The Life and Legacy of Liz Carpenter". lbjlibrary.org. Archived from the original on March 28, 2010. Retrieved March 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ Gary Ott (May 28, 2005). "Pat Baskin, longtime Midland leader, dies". Midland Reporter-Telegram. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Meet the 112th". 111th.illumen.org. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b c http://ladymaroons.com/wherearetheynow.htm
  19. ^ Kreytak, Steven and Tony Plohteski. "Emotions raw after plea in West Campus murder case Archived 2016-02-13 at WebCite." Austin American-Statesman. Tuesday August 24, 2010. Retrieved on February 17, 2013.
  20. ^ http://www.statesman.com/news/sports/golf/austins-lundquist-to-call-his-26th-masters-for-c-1/nRrss/
  21. ^ Messer, Kate X (November 4, 2005). "Ben McKenzie on Uncle Robert". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved October 22, 2008. 
  22. ^ http://kxan.com/2014/06/27/nba-father-son-pair-host-youth-basketball-camp/
  23. ^ Michael Hoinski (July 10, 2014). "GTT". The New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  24. ^ Michael Hoinski (July 10, 2014). "GTT". The New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2016. 
  25. ^ http://www.homesicktexan.com/2006/11/homesick-texan-qa-julie-powell.html

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°16′26″N 97°45′59″W / 30.27389°N 97.76639°W / 30.27389; -97.76639