W. W. Samuell High School

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W. W. Samuell High School
Samuell HS 2007.JPG
Together We Make It Happen[1]
8928 Palisade Drive
Dallas, TX 75217
Type Public, Secondary
School district Dallas Independent School District
Principal John Vega[1]
Faculty 128 (2012)[2]
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1,732 (2012)[3]
Color(s) Blue and Gold[1]          
Mascot Spartan[1]
Trustee dist.  4, Nancy Bingham[4]
Area   1, Ivonne Durant[5]

W. W. Samuell High School is a public secondary school located in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas, Texas (USA). Samuell High enrolls students in grades 9-12 and is a part of the Dallas Independent School District.

The school serves portions of southeast Dallas and a portion of the city of Balch Springs.


Dallas ISD annexed Pleasant Grove ISD in 1954, and Pleasant Grove High School was replaced by Samuell High School in 1956-57. In the 1950s and early 1960s, a number of new housing developments in the Pleasant Grove area made Samuell one of Dallas' largest high schools; a new wing was opened in the mid-1960s to handle the increase in population. H. Grady Spruce and Skyline high schools were opened in 1963 and 1971 to help reduce attendance at Samuell.

Dr. William Worthington Samuell was a wealthy individual who before his death donated millions of dollars to the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department. There are now at least six institutions named after Dr. Samuell in the Dallas area, including the high school, a boulevard, a City of Dallas ranch, a city park and two streets in bordering cities. Dr. W. W. Samuell purchased the first ambulance for the City of Dallas in 1911.

The school and the district became the focus of a prominent civil rights case in 1966 when three male students — Paul Jarvis, Phil Ferrell and Steve Webb — sued the district after they were ordered to cut their long hair in order to be admitted to school. The case was one of the first in which individuals sued a large urban school district to preserve their individual rights, and the cause was taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union as well as local retail pioneer Stanley Marcus. Marcus did not know the students, but saw their hairstyles as a fashion choice rather than a show of disregard for authority. The case was lost in the U.S. District Court, and despite a series of appeals leading to the U.S. Supreme Court, it was not overturned. The decision is still cited in court cases over constitutional rights.[6]

The 1964 Spartan Track and Field Team won the Class AAAA state title and the 1965 Spartan baseball team won the Class AAAA title.[7] According to records maintained by the University Interscholastic League, these are the only state titles won by Samuell and the only baseball state championship won by any DISD high school to date.

Towards the end of the 2008-2009 school year, Samuell was announced as academically acceptable (for the first time in the TAKS era) for the 2009-2010 school year.

Student life[edit]

The alma mater is "Hail Samuell High, Hail Samuell High", written in 1955 by a music teacher at the school. The school yearbook is The Torch and the school newspaper is The Sentinel. For many years, the seniors' annual memory book was The Senior Pub, a publication of senior moments which covered all levels of the school, from the classroom funnies to athletics to activities. These traditions, with the exception of the alma mater, have since been discontinued.


The ethnic makeup of the school in the 2011-2012 fiscal year was 68.5% Hispanic, 28.9% Black, 1.3% White, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander 1.1%.[8]

Student Subgroups[edit]

88.8% of the student population is categorized as being economically disadvantaged and 15.7% of the student population is listed as having special education. [9]

Feeder patterns[edit]

As of 2007, Fred F. Florence and John B. Hood Middle Schools feed into Samuell High School.[10] John Quincy Adams, Pleasant Grove, John W. Runyon, and Edward Titche Elementary Schools all feed into Florence Middle School, and ultimately into Samuell High School.[10] Annie Webb Blanton, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Ireland, San Jacinto, and C. A. Tatum Jr. Elementary Schools feed into Hood Middle School, and ultimately into Samuell High School.[10]

Notable alumni[edit]


  • Samuell High's International Exchange Program was in effect in 1963, with Arcelina Publio Dias from São Paulo, Brazil, this was the first such program in the Dallas area.
  • Samuell High has two cheerleading groups, the Varsity Cheerleaders and Deaf Cheer Pride. The latter are a group of deaf students who attend the school.
  • The Award winning Samuell Starlets are the school's Drill Team.
  • The made-for-TV movie Right to Kill? was filmed at Samuell High in 1985 and aired nationally on May 21, 1985, on ABC. The film's leading actors were Frederic Forrest (Oscar-nominated for The Rose in 1979) and Justine Bateman, who was nominated for an Emmy for playing the role of a physically abused daughter in this movie.[citation needed]
  • W.W. Samuell has won 2 Dr Pepper Basketball Tournaments in Dallas. The tournament consists of over 32 high school teams from the DFW area.
  • In 2007, the W.W. Samuell High School Marching "Sound System" Band, under the direction of Mr. Carlton Cooper won Grambling State University's Dallas High School "Battle of the Bands" at D.I.S.D.'s Kincaide Stadium over Townview Magnet High School "Big D" Band in the large band category. This was the Samuell band's first "Battle of the Bands" victory in the school's history.
  • Site of a school shooting between two rival neighborhood gangs, December 5, 1989. A Special Ed teacher was wounded.


  1. ^ a b c d Dallas ISD - North Dallas High School. Retrieved on 22 April 2007.
  2. ^ DISD Data Packet for 2012-2013 Planning
  3. ^ DISD Data Packet for 2012-2013 Planning
  4. ^ Dallas ISD - Schools by Trustee. (PDF). Retrieved on 22 April 2007.
  5. ^ Dallas ISD - Schools by Area. (PDF). Retrieved on 22 April 2007.
  6. ^ Michael E. Young. "In '66, their hair triggered a to-do: Stylish Marcus proved an ally in band's battle to keep long locks," The Dallas Morning News, March 4, 2002.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ DISD Data Packet for 2012-2013 Planning
  9. ^ DISD Data Packet for 2012-2013 Planning
  10. ^ a b c Dallas ISD - 2007 School Feeder Patterns - W. W. Samuell High School. Retrieved on 22 April 2007.
  11. ^ NFL Dallas Cowboys
  12. ^ Cattle Barons' Ball
  13. ^ Dallas Morning News and Dallas Business Journal
  14. ^ Susan G. Komen Foundation

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°44′46″N 96°40′07″W / 32.746069°N 96.668490°W / 32.746069; -96.668490