La Joya High School

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La Joya High School
604 North Coyote Boulevard
La Joya, Texas 78560
United States
Coordinates 26°15′12″N 98°28′23″W / 26.253452°N 98.472927°W / 26.253452; -98.472927Coordinates: 26°15′12″N 98°28′23″W / 26.253452°N 98.472927°W / 26.253452; -98.472927
School type Public, High School
Founded 1941
School district La Joya ISD
School number (956)-580-5100
Principal Antonio Cano
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,379 (2010 UIL Realignment)
Language English
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Red and White         
Mascot Coyote
Communities served Sullivan City
La Joya
Feeder schools Lorenzo De Zavala Middle School
Cesar E. Chavez Middle School
Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School
Ann Richards Middle School
Sister schools Palmview High School
Juarez-Lincoln High School

La Joya High School is a Texas UIL Division 6A high school in the La Joya Independent School District named after the city it resides in, La Joya. The school is home to students that live on the west and south areas of La Joya ISD.


La Joya ISD had been home to a single high school entity since the district (then known as Tabasco ISD) erected Nellie Schunior Memorial High School in 1926, six years after the death of Nellie Leo Schunior, the first education pioneer in the district's current boundaries. La Joya High School was later created, in order to house the growing number of students that Nellie Schunior Memorial High School could not accommodate. As the years rapidly passed, the communities within the district boundaries began to flourish, and the district population exploded. La Joya High School, being the sole high school within the 226 square miles (590 km2) of land, grew to enormous proportions. For a long time, La Joya High School housed 9-12 grades. Eventually, the student population grew too much and a separate Ninth Grade Campus was built adjacent to La Joya High School.[citation needed] In 1993 over 3,000 students were enrolled at La Joya High School, and enrollment was sharply increasing throughout the La Joya Independent School District.[1]

The new Ninth Grade Campus proved to be too small by the year 1999, so a larger and brand new Ninth Grade Campus was built, opening its doors to students in October 2000. As the Freshman Class of 2000 was housed at the brand new Ninth Grade Campus, the remodeling project to expand the old Ninth Grade Campus went underway. By the year 2002, La Joya ISD was home to three high schools, but still only had one senior class, as all three campuses (conveniently located next to each other) shared students. La Joya High School became known as La Joya Senior High School (housing only 11th and 12th graders), the 2000 Ninth Grade Campus changed its name to Juarez-Lincoln High School (housing half of the 9th and 10th grade students), and the newly remodeled old Ninth Grade Campus became Jimmy Carter High School (housing the other half of the 9th and 10th grade students).

Once again, population spurts in western Hidalgo County helped to overcrowd all three high schools. La Joya ISD had no choice but to split the district into three separate high schools, and for the first time ever, have multiple senior classes, multiple sports teams, and multiple mascots. The buildings once used to inhabit Ninth Grade Students were turned into Early College High Schools, Jimmy Carter High School became Jimmy Carter Early College High School and a College and Career Center, while Juarez Lincoln High School became La Joya Early College Hig School, and Thelma E. Salinas STEM Early College High School . The 2008-2009 school year became the inaugural year for both the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies, and the Palmview Lobos. With a much smaller student population, Juarez-Lincoln High School was classified as a 4A school, but Palmview High School, with a student population parallel with La Joya High School, was classified as a 5A school. In the 2015-2016 school year, school principals made the decision of creating academies for students who are interested in pursuing careers in the Fine Arts or the Business world, so the Academy of Arts and Humanities and the Academy of Business and Industry were introduced to the High School. Students now have the choice to venture out into their field of interest and are also given the opportunity of Part-Time jobs by the time they get to their Junior and Senior year. That same year, La Joya High School became the first school "south of San Antonio" and one of the only ones in the state to boast a full, hour lunch, which is nicknamed "Power-Hour" by Students and Staff Members. Power-Hour gives students more of a college experience, by letting students go to the library and study/finish homework or be tutored by their teacher at that time. It also serves as a recreational time for students to relax or socialize.

Former/Current Principals[edit]

Principal Years Served as Principal
Alfredo Garza 2004-2007
Melinda Flores 2009–2010
Rolando Rios 2011–2013
Antonio Cano 2013–Present


Coyote Football[edit]

La Joya really hadn't been a sports icon in the valley for long. Not until the late 1990s was it that the team started making some noise. Simply known as "Los Coyotes", the Coyotes remained favorites in the Rio Grande Valley's 5A school from 2001-2005. Accumulating four district titles in that span, they were involved in the biggest game in 2004 between La Joya and Converse Judson despite losing by a large margin. No team in the valley had made it past the third round of the playoffs in the 5A level. Thousands of residents attended Friday Night Football at La Joya ISD Stadium (often regarded the best football stadium south of San Antonio). Attendance to games easily surpassed the 12,500 capacity of the stadium. More times than not, fans of the La Joya Coyotes would have to be seated on the visitors side if there was space available.

The 2008-2009 school year split La Joya into three high schools; evidently, the Coyotes took damage in athletics with none of the three schools making it to the postseason in the 2008 campaign.

La Joya ISD suffered a tremendous hit with the division of one high school into three. The La Joya Coyotes, which had been setting new records for the district (advancing to higher playoff games than ever before), suddenly saw themselves playing against their past teammates, now the Palmview Lobos and the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies. Unfortunately, the Palmview Lobos had a less-than-stellar inaugural season in District 30-5A, winning none of ten total games in the 2008 season, but that was not the case for Juarez-Lincoln. Despite being the underdogs in a different classification, Juarez-Lincoln beat Palmview High School during the inaugural season. In 2009 the Coyotes had their worst season ever. They gained only 1 victory out of all 10 games played.

Fine Arts[edit]

La Joya High School Coyote Band[edit]

La Joya High School has earned a number of accolades in the past decade. Concert Bands have consistently received UIL Sweepstakes Awards (given to bands that earn a "Superior" rating on the concert portion of the contest, where they perform three prepared contrasting pieces of music for three judges, and a "Superior" rating on the sight-reading portion of the contest, where they learn a brand new piece of music never seen nor played by anyone before in just seven minutes, then perform it for three additional judges).

LJHS has also had great success on the marching field. In 1998, La Joya High School Marching Band and their show "Firebird Suite" made history by marking its first appearance at the coveted UIL 5A State Marching Band Contest at Baylor University, akin to the State Championships of Football. Roughly 25-35 of the best bands in the entire State of Texas compete, but because there are many different classifications in UIL, 5A and 3A bands compete only on EVEN years, and 4A, 2A and 1A schools compete on ODD years. Two years later, La Joya HS made history again in 2000 with their show "By Air, By Sea, and By Land", earning a second consecutive appearance at the UIL 5A State Marching Band Contest at Baylor University. In 2002, La Joya HS advanced to the UIL 5A State Marching Band Contest at Baylor University yet again with their show "Stravinky's Uproar". This would also mark the last time Baylor University would host the UIL contest due to the unnaturally cold weather that year. Bands were not able to compete to their fullest due to the rain and sleet that created BU's football field into a muddy mess. The "Finals" portion of the contest was cancelled due to the many injuries on the field and the unsafe conditions for marching. A consensus was made by UIL officials to leave the Preliminary rankings as the official Finals ranking.

In 2004, UIL decided to move the enormous contest indoors, and since then, UIL 5A State Marching Contest is held at San Antonio's Alamodome. La Joya High School once again made history by marking its fourth consecutive appearance at the contest. The only other 5A school in the Rio Grande Valley to have the same amount of consecutive appearances was Harlingen High School, which also advanced to the State contests in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. La Joya High School performed what many call today the "best performance ever by a Valley High School band" with their show "Midnight at the Louvre". It was a spectacle like no other, highlighting European compositions, marking La Joya High School's last appearance to the State Marching Contest. In 2006, La Joya HS failed to advance to the Area G Finals contest with their show "Out of Darkness". In 2008, the district's split hurt the highly successful program. Despite this split, the band earned a Superior Division 1 at the annual UIL Pigskin Jubilee Contest.

In 2010, the band returned to its winning streak, managing to earn a Superior Division 1 rating at the annual UIL Pigskin Marching Contest with their show "Power and Grace", and advancing to the UIL Area G Contest. At the Area G Contest, the LJHS Band ranked 4th out of 38 bands from across South Texas in the prelims portion of the contest, advancing to Area Finals for the first time since 2004.

Grupo Folklorico Tabasco[edit]

Grupo Folklorico "Tabasco" was formed in 1982, in order to showcase the Hispanic roots of the students of La Joya ISD. Since its inception, the philosophy for the folklorico program has been to perform and preserve the folklore and culture of Mexico through its music. They have entertained audiences throughout the La Joya District, the Rio Grande Valley and have received state, national, and international recognition. At the state level, they have performed for former Governors Mark White and Ann Richards. At the national level, they have performed at the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans and in Washington D.C. at the White House for President H.W. Bush in 1990. They have also performed for a number of senators and congressmen as well as President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore on several occasions. In 1987 and in 1994, the group was invited to perform at the annual Carnaval in Nice, France.

Former Students have continued their education at colleges and universities that offer cultural scholarships. Other students have their own performing folklorico group as a result of the training they received at La Joya High School.

Drill Team[edit]

The La Joya High School Jewelettes have been recognized for being one of the best drill teams in South Texas. They have garnered dozens of awards. In 2015, in order to commemorate the Jewelettes' 30th Anniversary, the La Joya HS Jewelettes, the Jr. Jewelettes from Lorenzo de Zavala MS, Dr. Javier Saenz MS, and Cesar Chavez MS, and former Jewelettes performed for the halftime show in a football game.


La Joya High School boasts a large amount of student organizations. Below are some Clubs, Electives, and Organizations.

School Traditions[edit]

La Joya High School has an original song named "Alma Mater", written by one of the band directors decades ago. The words to the song are from an anonymous source. Palmview High School, a sister school, also uses the music for the Alma Mater but with different words.

La Joya's fight song, "Jalisco", is an original song written by one of its band directors that uses the tune of "Jalisco", a popular song in Mexico.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Garcia, James E. "Policy may force students out of district on border." Austin American-Statesman. Monday December 13, 1993. Final Edition, News p. A1. Retrieved on August 24, 2013. Available from NewsBank, Record Number AAS268701. "[...]and La Joya High School has topped 3,000 students."

External links[edit]