History of Our School

In 1891, Miss Minnie Tubbs opened the first school in Lubbock. She had fifteen pupils whom she taught in a store located on the southwest corner of the block just east of the present city square.

P. F. Brown established the second school in Lubbock in 1892. Those who succeeded him in conducting the one teacher school were C. F. Stubbs, Mrs. Lee K. Anten, M. N. Park, and A. J. Clark. An assistant was hired for Miss Laura Davis in 1898, and one room was added to the building. Miss Davis was followed by George R. Bean, R. R. Holland, B. N. Graham, Ed Couch and W. S. Norton.

The first independent school district in Lubbock County was formed on April 14, 1907. It had a ten mile radius which included the town of Lubbock.

The first superintendent, Mr. E. R. Haynes, was hired in 1907. After the original building burned in1909, a new building was erected just south of the Burrus Elevator. That fall, Mr. G. N. Atkinson came to Lubbock and served as teacher in the eight room frame building.

In 1909 bonds worth $25,000 were issued, and a brick building with two stories and a basement was built. This building was located on the site where the city hall offices are located. Mr. J. K. Wester became superintendent in 1910 and Mr. G. N. Atkinson became high school principal. It was during this administration that the standards of the school were raised from those of a high school to a first class rating. Mr. M. M. Dupre, elected superintendent in 1914, introduced manual training, home economics, and agriculture. In 1916 there were eight teachers and the school had sixteen affiliated credits.

In 1922 a bond issue provided for a new high school. This school of 28 teachers was located between 13th and 14th streets in the 2000 block. Bonds were voted in 1925 for the addition of two study halls. This was the old Thompson Junior High building.

Principal G. N. Atkinson became acting superintendent; after the fall of 1925 Mr. M. N. Duncan became superintendent. During his term, public speaking was added to the curriculum, and three supervisors were added to the staff.

Construction of the present high school building was begun in 1930. The School Board appropriated $650,000 for the new building on 19th street, which was a controversial location because some parents felt that the new high school was too far from town and that their students would have to ride their horses too far to go to school. The contractor depleted the $650,000 before the building was completed. However, because he refused to compromise on the workmanship or materials in the new school, the contractor sold his family's oil fields in East Texas to have the money to complete the building. He went broke and never built another building after completing Lubbock High School in 1931.

In the fall of 1934 Dr. Kenneth Oberholtzer became superintendent. In 1937, Dr. W. B. Irwin was elected to this position, being followed by Mr. R. W. Matthews in 1944. In 1951, Mr. Matthews resigned and Mr. Nat Williams came to Lubbock to serve as superintendent. . It is interesting to note that our high school has had only thirteen principals:

  • Mr. Atkinson who served until 1926

  • Mr. R. W. Matthews from 1926 to 1944

  • Mr. Floyd Honey from 1944 to 1955

  • Mr. Jay E. Gordon from 1955 to 1957

  • Mr. W. H. Howarth from 1957 to 1960

  • Mr. Howard Price from 1961 to 1965

  • Mr. E. C. Leslie from 1965 to 1969

  • Mr. Jerry Crawford from 1969 to 1970

  • Mr. Knox Williams from 1970 to 1991

  • Mrs. Rose Mediano from 1991 to 1996

  • Mr. Patrick Cates from 1996 to 2000

  • Mr. Doyle Vogler from 2000 to 2009

  • Mr. Doug Young named to the position in 2009

There was some discussion of the construction of a vocational high school sometime after the conclusion of World War II. Mr. Matthews, superintendent of Lubbock Public Schools at that time, suggested the need of a new high school. Lubbock High School and Dunbar High School were the only high schools serving Lubbock, and as the population grew in a southwest direction another liberal arts high school was needed with all three schools teaching approximately the same subjects. Mrs. Ayers, a school publicity director, prepared a brochure which portrayed the enormous growth in population and scholastics in Lubbock in 1950. This study revealed that we would be in dire need of a new high school sometime before 1960. The school board, acting upon a recommendation by Mr. Williams, superintendent of the Lubbock Public Schools, purchased the site in 1953.

The construction of the new high school started in the spring of 1954. In the spring of 1955, the school board decided to name new high school Lubbock Monterey, and Tom S. was add to the name of Lubbock High to distinguish the two Lubbock High  Schools , and the big job of separating the Lubbock and Monterey student bodies was begun. In September of 1955, even before the building was completed, Monterey High School opened its doors for the new student body. Long time principal, Mr. Floyd Honey, left LHS to open Monterey. With the opening of MHS, a new rivalry was born with the city now having two high schools that would compete against each other at the same level. Up until this time the main Lubbock High rivalry was to be found to the north with the Amarillo Sandies.

In the early spring of 1962,  the LISD school board voted to remove Tom S. from Lubbock High's official name. The student body held an actual funeral ceremony with effigy and casket followed by a burial of Tom S. in the open court yard. That court yard later became the site of the administrative offices and is currently covered.

Again in 1965, the Lubbock High Student Body was divided as Coronado High School opened. In the fall of 1967, Estacado was welcomed as the newest of the city's high schools.

In 1970, Mr. Nat Williams retired and was followed by Mr. Ed Irons as superintendent. During Mr. Irons’s tenure many major changes came about at Lubbock High.

Estacado took another segment of the Lubbock High student body and in 1970, the Federal Court ordered the boundary between Lubbock High and Dunbar High School changed, which shifted another large portion of the student body away from Lubbock High. During this hearing, there was talk of closing Lubbock High.

Through the following decade the school faced a decling enrollment as the city continued to grow to the south and west. In 1979, in order to raise the enrollment of Lubbock High, LEAP (the Lubbock Exemplary Academic Program) was developed. This program offered many unique courses to high school students all over the city. Lubbock High began to increase its enrollment and the school district had a true academic and enriched high school magnet program.

To further enhance the offerings at Lubbock High, in 1983 the innovative four day week was introduced. This consisted of an academic week with six seventy minute periods of instruction and an activity Friday designed to offer students courses not normally offered in the high school curriculum. Lubbock High School was the first school in Texas and only the third in the country to offer a four-day academic week schedule. Along with this program came the opportunity for Lubbock High seniors to enroll at Texas Tech for college course work during their senior year.

1982 was Lubbock High's 50th anniversary in the beautiful building on 19th Street. During the first 50 years, the building has been enlarged to include the cafeteria and the East wing, the West wing for science, homemaking and vocational shops, a new library over the cafeteria, a new gym and woodworking shop north of the building, a tennis field house with 5 additional courts, an administrative office complex in the open patio, and the Chapman Athletic Complex to replace the old Chapman gym which was lost in a fire.

1983 and beyond found the school district with a new superintendent, Dr. E. C. Leslie, a long-time Westerner, and Lubbock High on the move serving students from the entire school district and surrounding community as student sought to be a part of the innovative education opportunities avaialbe in the LEAP program.

1989 began a new era for LISD as Dr. E. C. Leslie announced his plans to retire and Dr. Mike Moses assumed leadership of the district . LEAP celebrated its 10th year anniversary, establishing Lubbock High as an extremely successful academic magnet program. Lubbock High's enrollment soared, making it the largest high school in the district, and for the first time a numerical limit was placed on the program to help balance enrollment among the five high schools.

In the fall of 1991 a new era began for Lubbock High with the appointment of Rose Mediano, the first female high school principal in LISD. Additionally new construction to update Lubbock High School environmentally with central air conditioning and heating and the addition of new facilities was begun at a cost of $3.9 million dollars.

In 1993 the Texas Education Agency selected Lubbock High School as one of the original eighteen schools for the prestigious Mentor School program. The Mentor School program focuses on high schools throughout the state that are making advances in innovative teaching, site-based decision making and restructuring of the school day. Lubbock High School hosted visitors from across the state to showcase its programs.

During the 1993-94 school year Lubbock High School became a Professional Development School. As a Professional Development School, Lubbock High School works closely with Texas Tech University to aid in the education of students aspiring to become teachers. The Professional Development School designation will enable staff to enrich their teaching skills which then impact student learning. Lubbock High School was the first high school Professional Development School in this area.

During the 1994-1995 school year, Dr. Mike Moses was named Commissioner of Education for the State of Texas, and Dr. Curtis Culwell became superintendent of LISD. A new practice gym had been added to the Lubbock High School campus between the woodworking shop and the spectator gym. Although replacing a building with such unique architecture, workmanship, and materials would be virtually impossible today, recent estimates put the value of Lubbock High School in excess of $100 million dollars.

Lubbock High implemented an alternating block schedule in 1995-1996 for the Monday-Thursday academic week unique in most high schools as the classes meet were the same each day much like a college setting. Mondays and Wednesdays meet four classes and Tuesday and Thursdays meet four different classes with the unique Friday classes continuing.

In the spring of 1996, LHS was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. The Blue Ribbon Award is the highest honor given to any public or private school in the nation. Awarded for overall excellence in educational programs, the Blue Ribbon Award places Lubbock High among the truly elite schools in the nation.

In the spring of 1997, Lubbock High dedicated Westerner Field, the new baseball complex on North University Avenue. The spring of 1999 also saw Lubbock High School become the first city high school to have its own softball field with the dedication of Lady Westerner Field also located on North University next to the baseball facility.

In recognition of the commitment to the school motto, "Sportsmanship, Then Victory," the University Interscholastic League named Lubbock High School the AAAAA Texas State Sportsmanship Champion School for 1998. The 1998-99 school year brought Lubbock High more fully into the age of technology. As the result of a grant from the Texas Infrastructure Fund for over $88,000, virtually every room in the building will have computers to access the Internet In the spring of 1999.

In the summer of 1999, Lubbock High School was admitted to the International Baccalaureate Program, considered to be the most prestigious and rigorous curriculum program in the world. LHS began offering IB courses in the 2000-2001 school year, and the Class of 2002 was the first group of students to be able to earn an International Baccalaureate Diploma at Lubbock High School. The 2004-2005 school year marks the 25th anniversary of the Lubbock Exemplary Academic Program (LEAP), one of the state’s most successful academic magnet programs.

In the spring of 2000 the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals named Patrick Cates principal of the year for the state of Texas. In the summer of 2000, Doyle Vogler, long-time Lubbock High School teacher and administrator, was named principal of Lubbock High School.

The fall of 2006 ushered in a another new era in the life of Lubbock High as freshman were added to the student body. This meant that the school would open it doors to over 1,300 new students as freshman and sophomores will be brand new to the building. The student population grew to over 2,300 students!

New construction for this new era included: demolition of the original gymnasium interior and construction of a new state of the art library in that area, new classrooms constructed in the area of the existing library, a new practice gymnasium, new classrooms in existing rooms that are large enough to be divided, new construction at Chapman field that included a new weight room and locker rooms, the relocation of the administrative office complex to the gym area previously used for dance. The Dance and Gymnastics programs were relocated to the Dorothy Lomax Center.

In the fall of 2009, the continuation of a tradition of excellence that began so many years ago was ensured with the appointment of Mr. Doug Young as Lubbock High School Principal.  Mr. Young served for 5 years as Associate Principal at LHS before assuming the leadership position at Ed Irons Middle School where he served for one year before returning to Lubbock High School as its thirteenth Principal.