Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School

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Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School
Crest of Irma L. Rangel YWLS.jpg
Dallas, Texas U.S.
Coordinates 32°46′26″N 96°45′38″W / 32.773970°N 96.760481°W / 32.773970; -96.760481Coordinates: 32°46′26″N 96°45′38″W / 32.773970°N 96.760481°W / 32.773970; -96.760481
Type Secondary, Single-sex education, Public
Motto Girls Today, Women Tomorrow, Leaders Forever.
School district Dallas Independent School District
Principal Lisa Curry
Grades 6-12
Color(s) Red, navy blue, and white
Mascot Panther

The Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School is a school for girls in Dallas, Texas. Part of the Dallas Independent School District, it is the first public all-girls school in the state and is renowned for its challenging coursework and high college matriculation rate.[1]

The school was established in 2004 and graduated its first class of 21 students in 2009.[2][3] It opened under the leadership of Principal Vivian Taylor-Samudio.

The school is in proximity to Fair Park.[4]


The school is named after Irma Lerma Rangel who was the first Mexican-American woman elected to the Texas House of Representatives and the first woman elected as Chair of the Mexican-American Legislative Caucus.[5]

Palm Harbor Homes founder and philanthropist Lee Posey, along with his wife, visited The Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem, a high-performing all girls' school in New York City. Posey decided to have a similar school established in Dallas. Posey's organization, originally the Young Women's Leadership Foundation and later the Foundation for the Education of Young Women, established a partnership with DISD and had the school established as the first all girls school in Texas.[1]

Originally housed in the historic Stephen J. Hay Building, located at 3801 Herschel Ave. in the city's Oak Lawn district, the Irma L. Rangel Young Women's Leadership School opened its doors to 125 students on August 16, 2004 under the leadership of Principal Vivian Taylor-Samudio, who headed the school from its inception to her retirement in 2015.[6] In the 2005-2006 academic year, it expanded to receive ninth grade students, and the following year, it further expanded to receive sixth and tenth grade students. The school finally opened to grades sixth through twelve during the 2008-2009 academic year, graduating its first class in 2009.[7]

In 2010 Rangel parents protested a plan to require children in Rangel's middle school to reapply for the high school grades.[8]


The school is a member of the Young Women's Preparatory Network, which funds programs including leadership-building summer camps and on-campus college advising.[9] As part of the network, it maintains relationships with other institutions in the network, including sister school Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin. [10] Once graduated, students maintain connected via an alumnae network that helps establish professional connections.[11]

The Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, established in 2011, is the school's all-boys counterpart, or brother school.[12]


In 2013, Principal Vivan Taylor-Samudio introduced and instilled the school creed, to be recited by students each morning.[13]

I believe in the beauty of my dreams.
I believe hard work and resilience are the pathways to success.
I believe in the pursuit of excellence.
I believe I am my sister's keeper.
I believe I am a leader and I can make a difference in my community and the world.
I believe in living a healthy and safe lifestyle.
I believe in myself.
Girls today, women tomorrow, leaders forever.


The school includes a hand bell choir, a vocal choir, a string instrumental orchestra, academic pentathlon and decathlon, a robotics team, a debate team, a yearbook staff, a GSA called Rainbow Rangers, an after-school communityy service club, and many more.[14]


  • Texas Education Agency exemplary school (2006 to present)
  • Teacher Kathryn Tharp received 1st place in 2005 Dallas Art Educators Association awards
  • Teacher Kimberly Ferguson received Texas Instruments' 2008 STEM Award
  • 1st place in District 5A High School One-Act Play Competition (2007-2008)
  • Received grant from the Dallas Museum of Art for the 6th grade Talented and Gifted class (2008-2009)
  • Received grant from Citibank for Introduction to Business class for 7th and 8th graders
  • 2011 National Blue Ribbon School (named by U.S. Department of Education)
  • Ranked as the 3rd best high school and 2nd best middle school in the North Texas area by Children at Risk
  • 4th place in Sweepstakes at the 2013 Texas Math & Science Coaches Association State Championship[15][16] (Many trophies and medals were also awarded to team members individually)[17][18]
    • 1st place in Science
    • 4th place in General Mathematics
    • 8th place in Number Sense
    • 9th place in Calculator
  • Named 5th Most Challenging High School in the US by U.S. News & World Report in 2014


  1. ^ a b Hobbs, Tawnell D. "All-girls school thriving" (). The Dallas Morning News. Saturday May 12, 2007. Retrieved on October 17, 2014.
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  4. ^ Haag, Matthew. "Irma Lerma Rangel school near Fair Park evacuated after carbon monoxide leak" (Archive). The Dallas Morning News. January 6, 2012. Retrieved on December 26, 2015.
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  7. ^ Retrieved January 26, 2009.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  8. ^ Rado, Diane. "Rangel parents worried about reapplication requirement " (Archive). The Dallas Morning News. January 15, 2010. Updated November 26, 2010. Retrieved on December 26, 2015.
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  12. ^ Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy
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  14. ^ Aasen, Eric. "Hand bell choir at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School rings in the season " (Archive). The Dallas Morning News. December 17, 2010. Updated January 5, 2011. Retrieved on December 26, 2015.
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