Located in El Paso, Texas, the El Paso Independent School District is the largest district in the Texas Education Agency's Educational Service Center - Region 19. With nearly 50,000 students in 80 campuses, EPISD also is the 12th largest district in Texas and the 61st largest district in the United States. It also is El Paso's largest employer with nearly 9,000 employees and has an annual operating budget of $483 million. Organized in 1883, EPISD is not only a large district, but also one rich in history. In 2008, EPISD celebrated its 125th anniversary.
In late 1882, the newspaper headline read: "$700 has been subscribed by the citizens of El Paso in lands, money and all material for the purpose of erecting a public school." So, the mission began. An election took place for a board, selecting O.T. Bassett as the first president, with Mayor Joseph Magoffin overseeing the new school board. In the fall of 1883, El Paso, now a progressive city of 4,000, saw the first El Paso public school officially open. There were 200 students in an old wooden structure. The principal, John Merrill, received $150 a month and used his own furniture. Only one teacher was hired, Anna Moore, and she received $75 a month. Knowing that more needed to be done, Calvin Esterly, the first superintendent, signed a contract to have a new large schoolhouse built that could be for all the students of El Paso.
In 1884, it was built on the corner of Myrtle and Campbell streets and was called Central School. EPISD was home to the first public kindergarten class in Texas in 1893 at Central Elementary School. In 1885, the first high school was established and it was on the second floor of that same building. The subjects deemed critical, at that time, included mathematics, grammar and, at the top of the list, penmanship.
Through the years, EPISD has grown to encompass more than 253 square miles. It is bordered by the Texas-New Mexico state line, the U.S. Mexico border and the Ysleta ISD. EPISD is made up of 10 high schools, 14 middle schools, 46 elementary schools, 2 PreK-8 schools, 4 specialty schools. Other campuses include an alternative high school and middle school, a recovery program for students at risk of dropping out, an adult education school for GED and citizenship classes, an occupational center and several magnet schools.
The district's oldest operating school, Alamo Elementary School, celebrated its 110th birthday in 2009.
Built in 1916, El Paso High is the oldest operating high school in El Paso, Texas. Reminiscent of Greek and Roman architecture, El Paso High has become an historical benchmark for EPISD. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Historic Jefferson High School
1014 N. Stanton St.
El Paso, TX 79902
Main: (915) 230-2000