Same skies. Same balmy weather. Same dusty earth beneath our feet. But one hundred and two years later, so much has changed. It’s a voyage through time that both unites us and at the same time holds us worlds apart from the men and women and boys and girls who are forever linked to the history of McAllen schools.
The story of our past began in 1908 when a single teacher stood at the open door of a one-room, white framed structure to – for the first time - welcome twenty children of all ages from this young community. The small school stood one block south of the Presbyterian Church on the corner of 12th and Austin Streets.
To mark its history, the McAllen Independent School District continues to invite students, staff, parents, and other residents to join its celebration – “102 Years of Excellence.” Among other things, students are urged to collect family histories and to learn about the people whose names have been bestowed upon our schools.
Residents are invited to recount the experiences that make up our school district’s past and to share with us items they may have collected along the way.
This capsule of time occurred while the rest of the world marveled over the aeronautical genius of Orville and Wilbur Wright, armed forces chose the SOS as the universal distress signal, and the first horror film – “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” - shocked audiences in Chicago.
In 1905, the Missouri Pacific Railroad was built through the community and the word “McAllen” was painted across both ends of the railway station.”
Children came to the new community from many other different places and the school soon became overcrowded. The school was then transferred to the church so that more children could be accommodated and a second school, located south of the railroad tracks, was established for the children of Mexican workers.
The first class graduated in 1913, four school years after the school first opened. That graduating class consisted of four young girls and Hazel Archer was valedictorian.
During this time, the district was identified as “Common School District number eleven.” That all changed in 1915 when the 34th Texas Legislature passed an act establishing the McAllen Independent School District.
An unswerving pledge to reach excellence in education is rooted in our history and continues today with our pledge to fulfilling our promise to the children of our community.