El Paso High School

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El Paso High School
EP High School.jpg
El Paso High School
800 East Schuster Avenue
El Paso, Texas 79902

United States
Coordinates31°46′23″N 106°29′29″W / 31.77306°N 106.49139°W / 31.77306; -106.49139Coordinates: 31°46′23″N 106°29′29″W / 31.77306°N 106.49139°W / 31.77306; -106.49139
Motto"Pride of El Paso"
PrincipalMark Paz
Enrollment1,387 (2015-16)[1]
Color(s)Orange and Black         
MascotTiger (Tiberius)
Nickname"The Lady On The Hill"
Information(915) 236-2500
El Paso High School
El Paso High School is located in Texas
El Paso High School
El Paso High School
El Paso High School is located in the United States
El Paso High School
El Paso High School
Location1600 N. Virginia St.,
El Paso, Texas
Area9.5 acres (3.8 ha)
Built1916 (1916)
ArchitectTrost & Trost
Architectural styleClassical Revival
NRHP reference #80004103[2]
Added to NRHPNovember 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,[citation needed] 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.

El Paso High School (postcard, circa 1916)

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[edit]

On November 17, 1980, El Paso High officially became a historic landmark with the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

Feeder schools[edit]

  • Green Elementary School [3],
  • Lamar Elementary School [4],
  • Mesita Elementary School [5],
  • Moreno Elementary School [6],
  • Vilas Elementary School [7], and
  • Wiggs Middle School [8].

School publications[edit]

  • The Tatler (Newspaper)
  • The Spur (Yearbook)

Tiger athletics[edit]

El Paso High School and downtown El Paso, Texas, and Juarez beyond, view from Tom Lea Upper Park

El Paso High is known for its cross country, track and field, tennis, and volleyball programs. 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 Austin High School Panthers. 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 took back the "Claw" from rival Austin High School (El Paso, Texas) for the first time in also 10 years.

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 in track and field, many of whom have gone on to successful and championship careers at the NCAA level and beyond. In 2009/2010 the boys soccer team made it to the final four. The girls soccer team (2014–2018) has made the playoffs all four years, winning the last three 1-5A district titles; in 2015–2016 Lady Tigers soccer team made the regional semi-final in Wichita Falls, Texas. Other sports include: wrestling, basketball, baseball, softball, and swimming.

School fight song[edit]

For when we're on the field of battle -
Then for our colors we will fight,
The orange and black will always stand
For what we know is right.
And may you wave on high your banner, -
And may your spirit never die. -
And give a rousing Rah! Rah! Rah!
For old El Paso High!

Notable alumni[edit]

Glory Road[edit]

Several scenes from the 2006 film Glory Road starring Josh Lucas, Jon Voight, and Emily Deschanel were filmed on campus.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "EL PASO H S". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  2. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-30. Retrieved 2011-05-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Reynaldo Salazar obituary". El Paso Times. 2016-04-30. Retrieved 2016-05-13.
  6. ^ Gustavo Reveles Acosta (August 29, 2010). "Ruben Salazar killing left impact on Hispanics, journalism". El Paso Times. Archived from the original on January 10, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2010.

External links[edit]