Humble Independent School District

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Humble Independent School District is a school district located in Humble, Texas, USA. It serves the city of Humble, small portions of the city of Houston (including the community of Kingwood), and portions of unincorporated Harris County (including the communities of Atascocita and Fall Creek[1]). As of fall 2016, the district serves over 41,000 students.[2] And as of June 2016, Humble ISD is led by Dr. Elizabeth Cenalia-Fagen after Dr. Guy M. Sconzo's retirement. Humble ISD currently has five high schools and one magnet high school.

The district's flagship high school, Humble High School, opened in 1918. It later moved to a new building, Charles Bender High School in 1929, and eventually to its current location on Wilson Road, as Humble High School, in 1965. In 1979, Humble ISD opened Kingwood High School in the northern part of the district. Quest High School, the district's magnet high school of choice, opened in 1995 in the Community Learning Center.

In recent years, Humble ISD has become one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas. Humble High School's population grew to over 3000 students,[citation needed] which led to the opening of Atascocita High School in 2006. AHS was designed with smaller learning communities, in which students take their core classes in one of eight houses located at the school. After the opening of AHS, Humble and Kingwood High Schools were renovated and installed with smaller learning communities. In 2007, the district opened Kingwood Park High School at the former Kingwood ninth grade campus. Continued growth in the southern part of the district has led to Humble ISD building Summer Creek High School, which opened in 2009.

Humble ISD also has seven middle schools and 25 elementary schools.

The district recently built the eco-friendly Atascocita Springs Elementary School in Eagle Springs, and Woodcreek Middle School near Summer Creek High School. Both campuses opened in August 2010.

Turner Stadium, the district's largest stadium shared by the all five high schools, was renovated for the 2012 AAU Junior Olympics.

In 2010, the school district was rated "recognized" by the Texas Education Agency.[3]


Early Residents: The Humble area was originally part of Austin's Colony, established in the 1820s. The earliest land grant in the area was given to colony member David Harris in 1824. Harris's land was on the east side of the district, where the McKay Bridge now crosses Lake Houston. One of the earliest settlers in this area was Joseph Dunman, another colony member. Dunman was the rider who carried Col. William Travis's letter (a plea for reinforcements) from the Alamo to the town of Liberty in early 1836. After Texas gained independence from Mexico, Dunman was awarded with a land grant in Harris County. For his land, Dunman chose a place at the West Fork of the San Jacinto River, on the north side of present-day Humble.

Another early settler to the area was a Civil War veteran from Louisiana named Pleasant Smith Humble. Pleasant Humble purchased part of the land originally owned by Joseph Dunman, and settled near the banks of the San Jacinto River. He took over operation of a ferry that had been in operation since the 1850s, and also ran a grocery store.

Over the next few years, more families moved into this northeastern part of Harris County. In 1873, just a few years after the conclusion of the Civil War, the earliest known school in the area was opened by Joseph W. Dunman (1824–1903), son of early settler Joseph Dunman. The school was called Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse, and was used as a polling place by the local citizens. It was located on the Atascocita Road, just north of the present-day location of River Pines Elementary School. It was a privately owned school, and its students were children of wealthier families in the area who could afford to pay for their children to be taught reading, math and classic literature. At the time, Texas had an ineffective public education system, and most children in Texas did not receive an education.

Growth of the Community: In 1875, Paul Bremond secured a contract to build a railroad from Houston to Louisiana. As the tracks were built through the woods of East Texas, sawmills opened along the train's right-of-way. Many sawmill communities developed and thrived along the railroad, including some in the Humble area. By April 1877, 28 miles of track of the Houston East & West Texas Railway had been laid from Houston to New Caney. As the railway neared completion, to generate funds, Bremond ran daily entertainment excursions for the citizens of Houston. In 1878, one popular excursion ran 19 miles from Houston to San Jacinto Springs, located on the north side of the San Jacinto River near present-day Hamblen Road. At San Jacinto Springs, Bremond's company provided dancing, fishing and swimming. These excursions introduced Houston residents to the natural beauty of this part of Harris County.

In 1876, the Texas legislature passed an updated constitution which increased the availability of schooling to more children across the state. The Constitution of 1876 resulted in the creation of more school communities across Harris County (a school community is akin to a small school district). The closest school community to the Humble area was established on the west side of the railroad tracks on December 22, 1876. Harris County School Community No. 13, the Durdin School Community, had only one school, the Higgs School. The Higgs School was located on present-day Lee Road near FM 1960. Pleasant Humble was on the school board for the Durdin School Community. Strangely, residents in the area did not organize a school community around Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse on the east side of the railroad tracks. It continued to operate from 1876 to 1883 as a private school.

The first town-like community to develop in the area centered around the Lord and Noble sawmill on the east side of the railroad tracks. By 1882, Lord, Texas was an established community, consisting of four sawmills, livestock business, and a post office. The Higgs School was the closest school to this community.

The Dunman School Community was finally organized on the east side of the railroad tracks in 1883. Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse was the only school in that school community, and it reported a student population of 13 in 1883.

Harris County Common School Districts: In 1884, Texas passed the Common School Law, which provided for a system of county schools to be established across the state. All of Harris County was divided into county school districts, each with at least one school and a local school board. The law mandated separate schools for white students and colored students. It also mandated the teaching of writing, reading in English, penmanship, arithmetic, English grammar, modern geography, composition, and other subjects. The law established a taxation system to pay for the public schools, thereby providing a free education to all students living in each district (although there were still racial issues). The Common School Law of 1884 was the beginning of the current education system still in use in Texas.

The area on the east side of the railroad tracks was established as Harris County Common School District No. 28 (Dunman's School District). The district boundary was similar to today's boundary for Humble ISD. Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse was the only school in the district. By 1886, the district had opened Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse No. 2 for colored students. This was a progressive step, since fewer than half of the Harris County school districts offered an education to colored students.

The area on the west side of the railroad tracks, where the Higgs School was located, became Common School District No. 29. In 1935, District No. 29 became the Aldine Independent School District.

Lord, Texas was not able to survive as a town. In February 1886, its post officewas closed. Pleasant Humble took over responsibility for the mail. Local legend states that mail carriers from other towns were instructed to "deliver to Humble," meaning Pleasant Humble. Through continued use of this phrase, "Humble" eventually became the name of the town. Whether the story is true or not, when the application was made to have a post office established in his town in August 1886, the official name of the town listed on the application was "Humble, Texas."

Two School Districts: As the community of Humble began to thrive around the railroad tracks, the residents wanted a school located closer to the town (Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse was located in the center of the district, far from the new community). In 1888, the residents petitioned to have District No. 28 split into two districts. The northern section remained as District No. 28 (Humble), and the southern section became the new District No. 35 (Dunman). Joe Dunman's Schoolhouse ended up in District No. 35, and was renamed as the Dunman's Prairie School. The new West River School was built for District No. 28, on land donated by William Humble (son of Pleasant Humble). The West River School was located at the corner of Isaacks Road and Old Humble Road, where the Humble Cemetery is now located. The school for colored students was renamed to the Narrow Gauge School. In 1896, District No. 28 had a student population of 62 (27 at the West River School, 35 at the Narrow Gauge School), while District No. 35 had a student population of 41 at the Dunman's Prairie School.

Each district (28 and 35) had its own 3-member school board, but starting in 1888, the school districts were also supervised by the Superintendent of Harris County Schools. Henry Ben Cline was the first county school superintendent, serving from 1888 to 1893, and then serving again from 1902 to 1904. The job of the county school superintendent was to ensure school districts hired qualified teachers, to ensure that school board members followed state and county mandates, to distribute taxpayer funds to the districts, and to ensure that funds were spent and accounted for properly. Other county superintendents would hold this position over the years, including B.L. James, L.L. Pugh and Joe Lyle.

On November 9, 1889, the local sawmill was purchased by Charles Bender. He also purchased thousands of acre of timberland in the area. As a result, he owned nearly all of the land where the new Humble community was based. The town continued to thrive as a sawmill town. Bender made two attempts to officially establish a town. On September 21, 1903, he laid out streets and lots and the town of Humble, Texas was officially established. However, the local residents didn't purchase the lots or support the structure of the new town.

In March 6, 1903, Joseph W. Dunman died. At the end of the school year, District No. 35 closed the Dunman's Prairie school (which was on Dunman's land) and built a new wooden schoolhouse further south on Atascocita Road. It was named the Singleton School in honor of Reed Singleton, an early member of the school board and a local election judge. This school was located where the Waste Management Atascocita Landfill now stands.

Charles Bender tried again to establish the town in 1904. By this time, several companies were drilling wells in Humble in an attempt to discover oil there. Bender laid out a new plat for the town and filed it on late October 22, 1904. The town of Humble was now recognized as an official town within Harris County. This area is primarily where the old historic downtown Humble is still located.

The Humble Oil Boom: In November 1904, oil was discovered in Humble. This led to a drastic increase in the population of the town as oil field workers descended from across the state and the nation. The small, sleepy sawmill town of about 100 families increased to over 10,000 residents over the course of just a few weeks. The largest influx of people went to work at the Echols Ridge, the location of the successful oil wells. By 1907, the Echols Ridge was renamed Moonshine Hill, in honor of the first company to strike oil in Humble, the Moonshine Company.

Student enrollment at the West River School (District No. 28) doubled in 1904-1905, from 32 to 68. A second teacher, Lillian Busch, was hired to help Mr. H. Snell teach students. In the summer of 1905, a second building was added to the West River School. The following year, 1905-1906, the student population more than tripled, to 217. A third building, and another teacher, were added in 1906. The school had a library with forty volumes.

The student population at the Narrow Gauge School (District No. 28) also increased, from 26 in 1903-1904 to 52 in 1904-1905. After that, the population remained more or less stable at about 50 each year. Ida Green, Virgie Ruth Scott, and P.M. Flowers were the school's teachers. The name of the school was eventually changed to the Pleasant Grove School.

The Singleton School (District No. 35) also experienced an increase in student enrollment, from 14 in 1904-1905 to 28 in 1905-1906. During this time, with wealth in the town increasing, residents of both districts voted to voluntarily increase their property tax to increase the quality of the schools.

All of these schools were listed as Intermediate Schools. At that time, this was a school that educated students in grades 1-7. Seventh grade was typically the highest grade most students would accomplish, which is the root of the popular phrase "he only has a seventh grade education." After this point, most students would end their schooling to begin jobs or help their families on their farms. Students had to pass a county examination to continue their schooling into high school (grades 8-11).

Growth of the Districts: In 1909, due to overcrowding, a new school was built to replace the wooden West River School. The Humble School Board had a two-story, six-classroom schoolhouse built on Higgins Street. The county paid the estate of Charles Bender $450 for the land, and a $10,000 schoolhouse bond was passed by the citizens to pay for the building's construction. It was called the Humble School. It housed grades 1-7, plus two years of high school study (grades 8 and 9). Daniel Henry Womack (1867–1957) was hired as the district's first superintendent, and also served as principal of the Humble School.

Humble petitioned to have their school listed as a county high school, which would allow it to offer a full 4-year high school course of study to students in District No. 28 and those in neighboring districts. The petition was granted, and grades 10 and 11 were added in 1911. The first students to graduate high school in Humble were twins, Edith and Ethel Inmann in May 1911. 12th grade would not be added to the Texas school curriculum until 1941. The old buildings of the West River Schools were sold, and the land was eventually sold to the Humble Cemetery Association, which used it to expand the cemetery.

A new school was also built in 1909 to replace the Narrow Gauge School for colored students. Land was purchased on the west side of the town, just over the railroad tracks. The school was never given an official name, but was simply known as the Colored School. All African-American students in the district attended this school up through 1947, when the school burned down. After this, all colored student were transferred next door to Aldine ISD, where a new school would eventually be built in Bordersville.

District No. 35 also built a new school at Moonshine Hill in 1909. The land was donated by the Producers Oil Company in the Moonshine Heights area. A two-room wooden schoolhouse was built, and called the Woodward School. A dispute erupted between the two school districts almost immediately over the location of the school. District No. 28 contended that the school had been built within their attendance zone. The question was finally settled by the Harris County Commissioners Court in 1914. They determined that the Woodward School was built within the boundary of District No. 28. The commissioner's court gave the school to District No. 28, including the students and the teachers.

John Franklin Crawford was hired as District No. 28's second superintendent in 1911. Crawford was instrumental in the growth of the district over the next eight years. He also served as principal of the Humble School from 1911 to 1914. In 1915, continued increases in enrollment caused overcrowding at the Humble School. The citizens passed a $10,000 schoolhouse bond to expand to the school to more than twice its original size. 1915 was also the first year that Texas initiated compulsory attendance for all students in the state.

In 1917, District No. 28 began work on construction of a new school. The district passed a $37,000 schoolhouse bond and hired architect Oscar F. Holcombe to build a new high school building, and also for a new masonry building to replace the wooden Woodward School (a few years later, Oscar Holcombe quit his construction business and became mayor of Houston). The new high school opened in the Fall of 1918, and was called Humble High School. It was built on the lot next to the Humble School (renamed in 1918 as the Humble Grammar School). Sometime in 1923 the street between the two schools was filled in and it became a single, two-block lot of land. The district would retain ownership of this land until 2011. Humble High School opened on Higgins Street in September 1918 with Ms. Frances R. Hyde as the first principal. The building had an auditorium, a superintendent's office, a principal's office, and a home economics room. "Impossible is Un-American" became the motto of the school, and was printed on every page of the 1918-1919 yearbook.

By 1917, it was clear that District No. 35 was not going to survive, due to low enrollment. The Harris County Superintendent of Schools worked on a plan to combine District No. 35 with District No. 28. At the same time, the County Superintendent worked out funding to build a new brick Singleton school for District No. 35.

Consolidation and Independence: In the summer of 1918, District No. 35 and District No. 28 were combined into a new district, District No. 50, which consisted of: 1) the new Humble High School on Higgins Street 2) Humble Grammar School on Higgins Street 3) the new Woodward School at Moonshine Hill (now referred to as the Hill School) 4) the new brick Singleton School on Atascocita Road 5) The Colored School at Bordersville

A few months later, on February 19, 1919, a Special Act of the 36th Texas Legislature transformed Common School District No. 50 into the Humble Independent School District. By becoming an independent school district, the Humble schools were no longer governed by the superintendent of Harris County Schools. The school board became the sole governing body of the school district. However, an error in the creation of the district caused a problem. The act creating the school district neglected to include language for the district to collect taxes directly. Humble ISD still had to rely on Harris County for taxation of property. This error was corrected a few years later, when on May 14, 1923 the legislature "re-authorized" Humble ISD.

Surviving the Next Few Decades: The population of the town fluctuated over the next few decades. The combination of men going off to World War I, and families moving off to new oil towns, slowly diminished the student population. The district still provided a great education for students. In 1921, a new primary school was opened on Avenue F, across the street from the Humble Grammar School.

Most of the early sports activities at Humble High School started in the late teens and 1920s, including football, baseball, basketball, girls' basketball, girls' volleyball, and tennis. An auto mechanics programs existed from 1924 to 1927.

In December 1926, Humble High School was received as a member of the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. Only one other high school in Harris County and comparatively few in the state had received this affiliation.

In 1926, the Singleton School was closed due to low enrollment.

A fire in the early hours of January 26, 1929 resulted in the total loss of the Humble Grammar School. The citizens and school board authorized a $140,000 schoolhouse bond to pay for the construction of a new junior-senior high school building. The school board hired architect Harry D. Payne to build a slightly smaller version of his recent construction, Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown. The school was christened Charles Bender High School, in honor of Charles Bender and the past support of his family. When this opened for the 1930-1931 school year, it was one of the most advanced schools in the county since it had a built-in cafeteria and gymnasium. At that time the 1918 Humble High School building was renamed as Humble Elementary School.

Due to housing shortages, construction began on a teacher's cottage on Avenue D, across the street from Humble Elementary. By the time the cottage was completed, there was no longer a housing shortage and it became the superintendent's home. The first tenant was Humble ISD Superintendent A. G. Mosley, who was charged $30 rent per month.


The Hill School (aka Woodward School) was closed in 1932 due to low enrollment.

From 1932 to 1947, all white students in the district were educated at Humble Elementary and Charles Bender High School on Higgins Street, while all African-American students were educated at the Colored School at Bordersville.

Dr. Floyd H. Burton becomes Superintendent of Humble ISD in 1942.

The district purchased a large tract of land on Charles Street in 1938. This land became the location of the Humble Football Stadium in 1946. A new Humble Elementary School building was opened on Charles Street in 1948, next to the Humble Football Stadium. This was the location of Humble Elementary until a new campus was built behind Deerbrook Mall in 1999.

The 1950s and Beyond: By the beginning of the 1950s, Humble ISD was in danger of being dissolved and merged with another district due to low enrollment. Fortunately, it was about this time that a shift took place in the population in and around Houston. During the 1950s, families started to leave the city of Houston and took up residence in the suburbs, including Humble. This sudden increase in population saved Humble ISD from being dissolved. The growth also resulted in some changes to Charles Bender High School. The old 1918 Humble High School building, which was being used as an elementary/junior high, was demolished to allow for a new cafeteria, band hall, and gymnasium to be added to Charles Bender High School.

Another Humble ISD school was added for the 1959-1960 school year. The Lakeland School opened in the Lakeland subdivision off Isaacks Road for grades 4 through 7. Students in grades 1-3 attended Humble Elementary on Charles Street. By the next year the school was renamed as Lakeland Elementary.

A continuous growth of enrollment resulted in another new school being opened in 1965, a new Humble High School on Wilson Road, at a cost of $1.2 million. Charles Bender High School was still used as a junior high school for a brief time. From that point on, growth has never slowed, and new schools have been constructed at a rapid rate.

Humble ISD's North Belt Elementary opened in the southern part of the district in 1968. A year later, the Houston Intercontinental Airport opened on the east side of Humble in 1969 (later renamed as George Bush Intercontinental Airport). This resulted in more business development in and around Humble.

For the 1968-1969 school year, Curriculum Coordinator Bill Woods introduced a new staff development initiative. Students were released one hour early on six days during the year to allow faculty to participate in professional development. This system of holding staff development during regular school hours is still practiced by Humble ISD today.

A Kindergarten program was first piloted in Humble ISD during the 1969-1970 school-year. Two half-day Kindergarten sessions of 25 students each were held from 8:30-11:30 AM and from 12:20-3:30 PM. Parents were charged $15 per month for tuition for the program. Neither transportation nor lunches were provided.

In 1970, development began on a new master-planned community in the northern part of the district, called Kingwood. The first village opened in 1971. The first Humble ISD school built in Kingwood was Foster Elementary, which opened in 1971. Humble had grown from 3 schools in 1947 to 6 schools in 1971.

Circa 1996, prior to the City of Houston annexing Kingwood, 2,600 people lived in both the City of Houston and within Humble ISD.[5]

In the years leading up to the 21st century, Humble ISD continued its steady growth rate. With the development of Kingwood and Atascocita, Humble ISD expanded its physical presence and curricular and extracurricular offerings. With the opening of Kingwood High School, Humble ISD was a two comprehensive high-school district, and it remained that way until 2006, when Atascocita High School opened its doors. Quest High School, a magnet school of choice, opened in 1995, and evolved into Quest Early College High School in 2010-2011. Humble ISD has grown to a population of over 35,000 students (as of 2010-2011), and offers six comprehensive high schools, as well as Quest. HHS is now an International Baccalaureate Diploma school, and students can select from a myriad of courses to follow their interests and talents. Humble ISD has been listed as one of the 25 fastest growing districts in the state, and boasts outstanding honors in athletics, scholastic endeavors, and the arts.[6][page needed]

As of 2017 it is one of the school districts in the state with the highest growth rates.[7]


High schools[edit]

High schools in Humble ISD
School Atascocita Humble Kingwood Kingwood Park Summer Creek Quest
Location Atascocita[hs 1] Humble Houston Houston Harris County[hs 1] Humble Highschool
Year opened 2006 1965[hs 2] 1979 2007[hs 3] 2009 1995
School colors Red, white, blue Purple, white Navy blue, light blue, white Forest green, silver, black Maroon, gold Forest green, gold
School mascot Eagle Wildcat Mustang Panther Bulldog Knight
Principal Bill Daniels Donna Ulrich Michael Nasra Lisa Drabing Brent McDonald Terri Osborne
Athletic conference 6A 5A 6A 5A 6A N/A
Enrollment 3,097 1,698 2,725 1,643 2,019 393


  1. ^ a b Unincorporated
  2. ^ Originally opened in 1918 as Humble High School; moved to a new building in 1929 as Charles Bender High School; moved to its current location and gained current name in 1965.
  3. ^ The building had previously been a 9th grade campus for Kingwood High School.

Middle schools[edit]

Elementary schools[edit]

Feeders of Atascocita MS[edit]

Feeders of Creekwood MS[edit]

Feeders of Humble MS[edit]

Feeders of Kingwood MS[edit]

Feeders of Riverwood Middle School=

Feeders of Ross Sterling MS[edit]

Feeders of Timberwood MS[edit]

Feeders of Woodcreek MS[edit]

  1. ^ Constructed to LEED and Collaborative for High Performance Schools standards


  1. ^ "Schools." Fall Creek. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.
  2. ^ Humble Independent School District's profile page. Retrieved on March 6, 2013.
  3. ^ "2009 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency. Archived from the original on 2015-10-25.
  4. ^ Meaux, Robert (2015). The Humble History Tour.
  5. ^ "City of Houston Annexation FAQ". City of Houston. 1996-10-31. Retrieved 2018-04-24. About 2,600 residents of the Humble Independent School District are located within the City of Houston, without any effect on their school district status. - This page was written and published before the date of Kingwood being annexed.
  6. ^ Meaux, Robert and the Humble Museum (2013). Images of America: Humble.
  7. ^ Kesbeh, Dina (2017-03-01). "Humble ISD one of the fastest growing districts in Texas". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2017-03-02.

External links[edit]