Parkland High School (Texas)

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Parkland High School
Parkland HS logo.gif
5932 Quail Ave
El Paso, Texas 79924
United States
Coordinates 31°54′9″N 106°24′7″W / 31.90250°N 106.40194°W / 31.90250; -106.40194Coordinates: 31°54′9″N 106°24′7″W / 31.90250°N 106.40194°W / 31.90250; -106.40194
School type Public high school
Founded 1958
School district Ysleta Independent School District
Superintendent Dr Xavier De la Torre
Principal Darryl Henson
Grades 9–12
Nickname The Park
Rival Bel Air High School, Eastwood High School , Harmony School of Innovation
Publication Parkland Panorama
Newspaper Parkland Sun
Yearbook The Arena

Parkland High School is part of the Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso, Texas.



Parkland High School first opened as Parkland Grade School (primary) in 1958. By 1960, the school's curriculum could not accommodate high school courses. Those students who were entering high school were forced to attend nearby high schools, Irvin and Burges High Schools. The decision was made by the Ysleta Independent School District to expand Parkland Grade School into Parkland High School . In 1959, the student body was asked to vote for the school's mascot and school colors. The Matador and black and gold were chosen. In September 1962, the doors to Parkland High School were officially open. The school only had 9th grade and 10th grade, as well as all primary grades.


At the time of Parkland High's opening, there were three other high schools established, making Parkland High the fourth high school in the district. The school in 1962 consisted of 100 wing, 200 wing, the cafetorium (the current administration offices) as well as the nearby Parkland Elementary. Until 2006, Parkland Elementary and Parkland High had the distinction of being the only combined primary/secondary campus in the Ysleta Independent School District. Parkland High graduated its first class in 1964. One member of that class, Kathy Henry, continued to serve as head of the Mathematics Department. She retired towards the end of the school year of 2008. It was during this time that the school was given its official coat of arms by the Jostens Jewelry Company, which also made the school's first class rings. The school opened Matador Stadium in 1965 and the old gymnasium in 1966. Every spring, the school would hold its annual "Spring Corrida", which was the equivalent version of today's Senior Prom. The school would host representatives of other schools in the city in the event, and likewise send its own to their respective dances. By the end of the decade, Parkland High had a student population of 300 students. Parkland Elementary curriculum was separated from the school in 1967, and Parkland Junior High School was separated in 1969 and opened its doors a short distance away.


As the school entered the 1970s, the school had become a major competitor in Northeast El Paso. The proximity of Andress High School quickly grew to a heated rivalry in both sports and academics. The old 300 wing was erected in 1976 and housed the freshmen class. This building was demolished in 2000 and replaced with a new, two story building in 2003. The school began making an impact in local sports, taking city records in basketball, football, and established a short-lived, coed gymnastics team. The school's JROTC program was among the largest in the city and even boasted a small band. The armed rifle teams practiced their marksmanship underneath the school's stadium, in a small rifle range. In the 1973-74 school year, a fire destroyed the school's library as well as the school's official records. At the time, the library was located in the current principal's office and main administration entrance. It was presumed that the school's artifacts were destroyed in the fire as well. From the late '60s through the mid '70s the men’s basketball teams, under coach Maxie Glover, won several 2-A Championships. In 1972 the 2-A school, although the school was much smaller in enrollment size, was moved to the larger 2-4A District. In their second year, in the larger district, the Matadors won their first football championship. Several players went on to play at the college and university level, while Mike Williams went on to play in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs. In the spring of 1974 the track team won the first 2-4 District Title.


The 1980s had very little impact on the school's growth, as no new buildings were erected during the entire course of the decade. The school in 1980 consisted of the original buildings from Parkland Elementary as well as the stadium, old gym, tennis courts, metric track, as well as the 300 wing. The school's girls basketball was highly remembered and very respected. The banners that hung in that gym were from girls basketball.


The 1990s saw the most significant changes to the school since the 1960s. The expansion of the school started in 1992 (This is inaccurate the groundbreaking and new additions to the school started in the late '80s on the library and gymnasium and were almost entirely completed the year I graduated in 1990 I recall walking through the almost entirely completed library and gymnasium before 1990 and also recall the groundbreaking ceremonies). In 1996 (very inaccurate date the groundbreaking took place in the late '80s I was there and graduated in 1990), the school broke ground for a new library, band hall, and the addition of a bigger gymnasium and adjacent theater. The school also saw its student population grow as the surrounding neighborhoods experienced the city's growth northward. In 1998, the school broke ground again for a new two-story building housing new science labs and classroom space to alleviate overcrowding. The new building failed to provide enough rooms, and as a result, the entire freshmen class was located the far extreme corner of the campus in portable classrooms. The school's football team returned to glory, with a return to district play in 1994, by capturing the District 3-4A title. The basketball team began its 13-year winning streak in 1994 and 1998 won its first of 7 consecutive district titles. The track and field team emerged as one of the city's elite toward the end of the decade. The annual football game between Andress and Parkland determined which school was "Beast of the Northeast".


The school's prosperity from the previous decade carried over to the new decade. The school condemned and demolished the old 300 wing in 2000, but turmoil in the district delayed the building's replacement until 2003. In 2002, the school celebrated its 40th anniversary. The school's basketball team won its first ever area basketball championship in 2002 and repeated in 2004. The school's entire landscape was replaced in 2004 with a junior college feel, adding numerous trees and bushes, as well as benches for students to use. In late 2005, the district announced that Parkland would become the district's new magnet school, the Math/Science/and Engineering Academy, fulfilling the district's plan of having specialized magnet programs in all seven high schools. The building of a new Parkland Elementary will allow the high school to annex the grounds to help start its magnet academy. Began as an end of year showcase by art teacher Katherine Gelinas, Parkland now has an art gallery which displays numerous works of art produced by Parkland students. Art students at Parkland have won various awards for their works of art. The school received a new fine arts wing and fieldhouse in 2006, and renovation of the school's theater began. In the fall of 2006, the football team finished undefeated in the regular season for the first time ever, leading many to call the team the school's best ever. The team also defeated Riverside High School (El Paso, Texas) for the first time since 1999, capturing the outright district title.

Notable alumni[edit]


Parkland's mascot is shared by two other schools in the district, Parkland Elementary and Parkland Middle. The two lower schools have a variation of the Matador; Parkland Elementary's mascot is the Torero, which is young Matador in training. Parkland Middle's mascot is the Novillero, a teenage Matador still in training. Parkland High's mascot is the Matador, a grown bullfighter. These three schools have the distinction of sharing the same mascot.

Feeder schools[edit]

Four elementary schools and one middle school feed into Parkland High School:

  • Desertaire Elementary "Silverhawks"
  • Dolphin Terrace Elementary "Dolphins"
  • North Star Elementary "Patriots"
  • Parkland Elementary "Toreros"
  • Parkland Middle "Novilleros"


External links[edit]