W. H. Adamson High School

Coordinates: 32°44′54″N 96°49′13″W / 32.7482°N 96.8204°W / 32.7482; -96.8204
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W. H. Adamson High School
309 East Ninth Street

, ,

United States
Coordinates32°44′54″N 96°49′13″W / 32.7482°N 96.8204°W / 32.7482; -96.8204
Former nameOak Cliff High School
School typePublic, high school
MottoAll Together Adamson. Learning Today. Leading Tomorrow.[3]
School districtDallas Independent School District
PrincipalStephanie Amaya[2]
Faculty90.04 (FTE) (2017-18)[1]
Enrollment1,480 (2017-18)[1]
Student to teacher ratio16.44 (2017-18)[1]
Color(s)  Royal Blue
AthleticsBaseball • Basketball • Cross Country • Football • Golf • Soccer • Softball • Swimming & Diving • Tennis • Track & Field • Volleyball • Wrestling
Athletics conferenceUIL
W.H. Adamson High School
Former Adamson High School in 2017
W.H. Adamson High School is located in Texas
W.H. Adamson High School
W.H. Adamson High School
W.H. Adamson High School is located in the United States
W.H. Adamson High School
W.H. Adamson High School
Location201 E. 9th St.,
Dallas, Texas
Area9 acres (3.6 ha)
Built1915 (1915)
Built byHolmboe Co., J.J. Fritch, Roland Construction Co.
ArchitectW.B. Ittner; Roscoe DeWitt; M. Lemmon; Gordon, Hefley & Hall
Architectural styleColonial Revival
NRHP reference No.11000343[4]
DLMK No.H/139
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 8, 2011
Designated DLMKJune 8, 2011[5]

William Hardin Adamson High School, formerly Oak Cliff High School, is a public secondary school located in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas, United States. It is part of the Dallas Independent School District and is classified as a 5A school by the UIL. In 2015, the school was rated "Met Standard" by the Texas Education Agency.[6]


Old campus

In 1891 the newly-incorporated Town of Oak Cliff voted to seek bids on a school building. The newspaper reported: "Resolved by the city council of Oak Cliff that the mayor be instructed to advertise for plans for a modern three-story brick school building with brick cross walls [sic] to be erected at Oak Cliff, Texas, to contain twelve rooms for school purposes and the cost of said building, complete, not to exceed the sum of $22,000,…" The cornerstone was laid at the corner of Patton and Tenth streets for the school in September, 1892 under the auspices of the Masonic grand lodge of Texas.[7]

In 1891 William Hardin Adamson was named superintendent and Oak Cliff Central School operated at that location until a new building was constructed to house the high school in 1915 at the corner of Ninth and Beckley. The old building was then operated as an elementary school until 1926 when it was torn down and the students assigned to John H. Reagan and James Bowie schools and later to the new Ruthmeade School (now John F. Peeler). The lot at 201 East Ninth Street has been the site of a Dallas high school facility since 1915.[8]

The school is named for William Hardin Adamson, who became superintendent of the Oak Cliff School District shortly after moving to Oak Cliff in 1901. In the decade after the City of Dallas annexed the Town of Oak Cliff and merged school districts, the Dallas ISD built Oak Cliff High School to relieve crowding at Dallas High School, built just 8 years prior.[9] Adamson was named principal of the new school. He served as principal until 1934 and died a year later on 26 May 1935 at age 71. A week after his death, the school system renamed Oak Cliff High School after Adamson.[3]

The 1924 Oak Cliff High School football team won the state championship, one of only two DISD high schools to win a state football title (Sunset, in 1950 with the now-discontinued "City" championship, is the other).[10] Carter High School was forced to forfeit its 1988 Class AAAAA title, so its state championship no longer counted.[citation needed]

Overcrowding problems at Oak Cliff High School were relieved by the 1925 opening of Sunset High School.[11]

Adamson High School was one of six high schools in Dallas in the 1930s and 1940s; the only other high school in Oak Cliff was Sunset High School, which was located about 19 blocks from Adamson High.[citation needed]

The location of Adamson High School is just four blocks from the Texas Theater where Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, was captured.

During the Cold War, Adamson also became a fallout shelter. In the new building, a secret compartment room was added in the art room underground.

Around 2009, DISD planned to raze Adamson. Some Adamson alumni created a movement to have Adamson declared a Dallas landmark so that the district would be unable to raze the existing campus.[12] DISD acquired other property so it could build the new Adamson.[13]

The new Adamson was built on the site of the Oak Cliff Christian Church, which DISD had demolished after preservationists had not found a buyer for the facility. Houses and apartments were also acquired and demolished for the new facility.[14]

On June 8, 2011, the old W. H. Adamson High School building was granted historical status by the Dallas City Council.[15] Additionally in June 2011 the school was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today there are two buildings. The new building is in use while, as of 2014, the old building is no longer occupied.[16]


The W.H. Adamson Leopards compete in the following sports:[17]

Adamson is one of the oldest football programs in Texas, it being the 9th oldest[18]


The auditorium of the new main building has 580 seats.

The current, main building has 223,496 square feet (20,763.5 m2) of area. The auditorium of the main building has 580 seats. It has ROTC facilities, including a gun range; a coffee-shop operated by students; child development facilities; and facilities for disabled students.[14]

In 2015 some alumni argued that the old building should be more heavily utilized.[9]

There is also a separate automotive technology building.[14]


As of 2008 Adamson had almost 1,240 students, with about 80% being from low income families and 94% being Hispanic and Latino.[19] As of that year many of the students learned English as a second language, and the largest group of students who were not U.S. born originated from Ocampo, Guanajuato.[20] That year the head ESL teacher, Marcia Niemann, stated that some students in the ESL program take jobs outside of school to finance family members in Mexico and the U.S., and that most parents of ESL students had educations below the equivalent of the 9th grade.[21]

As of 2008 the school had 85 teachers, including 16 who were bilingual.[21] That year the school had four full-time ESL teachers, four bilingual ESL teaching assistants, and two non-bilingual ESL teaching assistants.[20]


In 1978 band director Moisés Molina started the Mariachi Azul y Blanco; Molina, who died in 1994 from hemochromatosis,[22] is the namesake of Moises E. Molina High School.[23]

Feeder patterns[edit]

  • W. H. Adamson High School[24]
    • Hector P. Garcia Middle School
      • Felix G. Botello Elementary School
      • James Bowie Elementary School
      • James S. Hogg Elementary School
      • John F. Peeler Elementary School
      • John H. Reagan Elementary School

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Search for Public Schools - W H ADAMSON H S (481623001206)". National Center for Education Statistics. Institute of Education Sciences. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  2. ^ "General Information / Quick Facts". www.dallasisd.org. Retrieved 4 June 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d "W. H. Adamson High School General Information". Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  4. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  5. ^ Thomas P. Perkins Jr. (June 8, 2011). "Ordinance No. 28233" (PDF). City of Dallas. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  6. ^ "2015 Accountability Rating System". Texas Education Agency.
  7. ^ CORNER STONE Of the Oak Cliff Public School Building Laid To-Morrow, September 12, 1892, Dallas Daily Times Herald, p. 4, col. 1.
  8. ^ TWO SCHOOLS FACE DISCARD, April 12, 1926, Dallas Daily Times Herald, Sec. I, p. 13, col. 4
  9. ^ a b Appleton, Roy (April 24, 2016). "Reunion parade will push effort to revive the old Adamson High". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 16, 2023.
  10. ^ Dave Campbell's Texas Football, 2008 edition, page 362
  11. ^ Elliott, Alan C., Patricia K. Summey, and Gayla Brooks Kokel. Oak Cliff. Arcadia Publishing, 2009. ISBN 0738570680, 9780738570686. p. 39.
  12. ^ Wilonsky, Robert. "Adamson Alumni Gathering for Last-Minute Appeal to Dallas ISD Trustees Tomorrow Night." Dallas Observer. Wednesday September 23, 2009. Retrieved on September 23, 2009.
  13. ^ Wilonsky, Robert. "In Oak Cliff Neighborhood, the Complex Negotiations Behind New Adamson High." Dallas Observer. January 15, 2010. Retrieved on January 15, 2010.
  14. ^ a b c Appleton, Roy (2012-07-08). "New Adamson High School brings big change of scene to north Oak Cliff". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2016-07-15. - Updated July 9, 2012.
  15. ^ [1] Archived 2011-07-02 at the Wayback Machine City Council protects Adamson High School with landmark designation
  16. ^ Treviño, Julissa (2015-04-30). "Faculty, students and alumni look back on long history of Adamson High School". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2017-12-24.
  17. ^ The Athletics Department
  18. ^ "You know you're from Texas when..." www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2023-05-28.
  19. ^ Hernández, Macarena; Gary Jacobson (2008-06-10). "Immigrant Students: Adamson High Principal Rawly Sanchez takes a personal stake in kids' success". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  20. ^ a b Hernández, Macarena; Gary Jacobson (2008-06-07). "Immigrant Students: New arrivals face a hard road to finish high school". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  21. ^ a b Hernández, Macarena; Gary Jacobson (2008-06-08). "Backgrounds play big role in new immigrants' success in U.S. classrooms". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 2009-07-27. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  22. ^ "Mariachi". W. H. Adamson High School. 1997-06-18. Archived from the original on 1997-06-18. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  23. ^ "Moises E. Molina High School". Dallas Independent School District. 1998-02-22. Archived from the original on 1998-02-22. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
  24. ^ "Dallas ISD Feeder Patterns 19-20" (PDF).
  25. ^ Cabell, Charles Pearre, The Handbook of Texas Online
  26. ^ "Restrained Power", TIME Magazine, August 4, 1958, archived from the original on November 5, 2012
  27. ^ http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/text/sports/m-basebl/auto_pdf/2013-14/misc_non_event/BB2014MediaSupplement.pdf (p. 167)

External links[edit]