J. W. Nixon High School

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J. W. Nixon High School
Renovated J. W. Nixon High School, Laredo, TX IMG 7413.JPG
2000 Plum Street

, ,

Motto"Forever Green and Gold"
School districtLaredo Independent School District
SuperintendentDr. Silvia Rios
PrincipalDr. Kassandra Mendosa
Enrollment1,967 (2014-15)[1]
Color(s)Green      and Gold     
NewspaperThe Pony Express
Previous J. W. Nixon High School campus design.
Viola M. Moore Band Hall is named after a former J. W. Nixon principal.
The former First Baptist Church building in Laredo, since razed, was acquired in 2004 as part of the J. W. Nixon campus; the site is now the location of the Vidal M. Treviño School of Communications and Fine Arts.

Joseph W. Nixon High School is a public high school located in South Texas. It was built in 1964 as the second high school in Laredo, Texas. The original high school in Laredo is Raymond & Tirza Martin High School, previously known as Laredo High School. Both are part of the Laredo Independent School District (LISD).

Over a period of two years (2014-2015), J. W. Nixon underwent a forty million renovation. Several older campus buildings were demolished to create a reconfigured two-story building centered about a U-shaped courtyard. Funds for the project were mostly derived from a construction bond package approved by voters. As of 2016, J. W. Nixon has a new Tennis Complex and Track & Field Complex, along with new classrooms.[2]


J. W. Nixon Mustangs sign, Laredo, TX IMG 6013.JPG

J. W. Nixon is named for a former LISD superintendent. It opened its doors in September 1964, with W. E. Lockey serving as Nixon's first principal. The first class to graduate was the Class of 1965. Initially, J.W. Nixon served as a junior high/high school with grades seven through twelve. The original school property consisted of 20 acres (81,000 m2) and the cost of construction was $151,047,568. In 2007 J.W. Nixon had a record breaking with more than 400 students graduating.

About 2 a.m. on December 7, 2012, arsonists torched three portable buildings at Nixon High School. Three other classrooms sustained smoke damage. No individuals were physically harmed in the fire.[3]

In 2014, Nixon and Martin fell short on minimum state standards and were placed on the Public Education Grant list. Similarly impacted is (LBJ) Lyndon B. Johnson in the neighboring United Independent School District.[4]

Viola Ileana Martinez Moore (1929-2017), born in Zapata and a graduate of Martin High School in Laredo, was a subsequent principal of J. W. Nixon, the first Hispanic woman to head a 5-A high school in Texas. The J. W. Nixon Band Hall is named in her honor. After regular retirement, she served for two terms as a trustee of the Laredo Independent School District and as principal of the Roman Catholic Blessed Sacrament Elementary School in Laredo. Her obituary describes her as one of "no limitations, a goal-getter, a catcher of dreams, and the best example for our community as a whole."[5]

Among the original J. W. Nixon faculty is Cecilia Cantu. Another member, Laura Garcia Magnon (died 2012). retired after forty-five years of continuous service to J. W. Nixon. The Nixon science building is named in her honor.[6]

In 2015, Pedro "Pete" Solis of Nixon High School was named "Texas Coach of the Year" for Class 5A by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches. The Nixon Mustangs finished the season, 20-4 but lost, 86-82, in the regional quarterfinals. The team had some injuries and went through four different point guards during the season.[7]

Extracurricular activities[edit]


  • Accounting Club
  • Band
  • Campus Crime Stoppers
  • Chess Club
  • Choir
  • Criminal Justice
  • Debate Club
  • Drama Club
  • Fencing Club
  • Future Farmers of America (FFA)
  • Future Homemakers of America
  • Future Teachers of America
  • Jr. Red Cross
  • Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)
  • Latin Literature Club
  • Library Service Club
  • National Honor Society
  • Nixon Drill Team
  • Nixon Reed's Rifles
  • Orchestra
  • Political Science Club
  • Quantum Science Club
  • Robotics
  • Student Council
  • Technology Club

Fall Sports[edit]

  • Cheerleading (V)
  • Cross Country - Boys, Girls (V, JV)
  • Football (V, JV, F)
  • Golden Spurs (Dancers/Performers—V)
  • Marching Band
  • Soccer—Boys, Girls (V, JV, )
  • Volleyball (V, JV)

Winter Sports[edit]

  • Basketball—Boys, Girls (V, JV)
  • Cheerleadering (V)
  • Golden Spurs (Dancers/Performers—V)

Spring Sports[edit]

  • Baseball (V, JV)
  • Cheerleadering (V)
  • Concert Band
  • Golden Spurs (Dancers/Performers—V)
  • Powerlifting—Boys, Girls (V, F)
  • Softball (V, JV)
  • Tennis—Boys, Girls (V, JV)
  • Track & Field—Boys, Girls (V, JV)

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Juan Alfaro - Analyst for the State of Texas Legislative Budget Board
  • Freddie Benavides - Professional baseball player
  • Roberto "Bobby" Benavides - President of San Antonio Retail Merchants Association, SARMA
  • Louis H. Bruni - Businessman, former Webb County judge and former member of the Laredo City Council
  • Dennis D. Cantu - Laredo physician for whom the Health Magnet School at Martin High School is named
  • Dr. Francisco G. Cigarroa - former President of University of Texas at San Antonio Science Center and current Chancellor of the University of Texas System
  • Henry Cuellar - United States Representative (28th District)
  • Gerardo "Jerry" de la Rosa (November 11, 1965 - August 27, 2007) - Member of the original Jay Perez Band; trumpet player for the 1983 state championship marching band
  • Elma Salinas Ender - retired 341st District Court judge; first Hispanic woman to serve on a district court in Texas[8]
  • Joe Rubio, Jr. — Webb County District Attorney, 1989–2009
  • Tano Tijerina (Class of 1992) - Former professional baseball player for minor league teams of the Milwaukee Brewers and incoming Webb County County Judge[9]
  • Cristobal Benavides (class of 1983) Commander, United States Navy (Retired) Naval Intelligence Officer 1987-2009 Served in Gulf War 1, Somalia, Haiti, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and other significant military operations.


  1. ^ "NIXON H S". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  2. ^ "History - Joseph W. Nixon High School". nixonhs.elisd.org. Retrieved 2016-08-06.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ JJ Velasquez, "Arson ruled, suspects sought: Surveillance footage under investigation", Laredo Morning Times, December 12, 2012, pp. 1, 14A
  4. ^ Judith Rayo, "17 schools fall short", Laredo Morning Times, January 15, 2015, p. 1
  5. ^ "Viola M. Moore". Laredo Morning Times. February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  6. ^ Laura Magnon obituary, Laredo Morning Times, November 16, 2012, p. 17A
  7. ^ Jason Mack, "Coach of the Year: Pete Solis earns 5A honor, Laredo Morning Times, April 19, 2015, pp. 1B-2
  8. ^ Valerie Godines Fitzgerald, "Historic Path: Judge Ender retires from post," Laredo Morning Times, December 31, 2012, pp. 1, 14A
  9. ^ "Meet Tano". tanoforcountyjudge.com. Retrieved April 27, 2014.

External links[edit]