When the course of the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad, came through Cibolo and Schertz into San Antonio in 1877, it brought economic development and growth with it. During this time, children in the Green Valley, Cibolo Valley, Lower Valley and Schertz areas attended schools established under the community school system. Under the community school system, Lower Valley School was established in 1877 (closed in 1966) and Green Valley School was established in 1887 (closed in 1955).
Schertz school was established during the 1890’s and was located across Cibolo Creek and the railroad tracks in the area where the Randolph Air Force Base stables are currently located. It was the first school attended by children growing up in Schertz.
In 1901, Guadalupe County adopted the district school system, operated under the State’s administration. The community schools that were es-tablished in the area continued to operate under the district school system and new schools were built.
In 1916, a two story brick school was built in Cibolo on what is now Loop 539. This would be the building we refer to as the “Whitehouse” or the “Cibolo Hilton”. It was initially used for grades 1-11. The original structure at this site has been used consistently, serving many purposes over the years. Most recently, it was home to the Cibolo Center Alternative Program until the end of 2009. At the time of this writing, plans for the future of the “Whitehouse” have not been finalized.
In 1917,a new Schertz School, a two story brick construction, was built at 301 Main in Schertz, on land donated by Adolph Schertz. Grades one through 12 attended this school. Sometime before 1948, the name of the school became Schertz-Cibolo High School.
In the late 1920's San Antonio enjoyed rapid growth. Our community also experienced increased population and economic development in 1930, when Randolph Air Force Base was dedicated. The construction of Randolph Air Field which began in 1928 was touted as "the largest project undertaken by the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers since the Panama Canal". It is reported that "there were 15,000 people in attendance at the dedication of the air field and a fly-by of 233 planes, possibly the largest assembly of military aircraft in the world".
The school districts of Schertz and Cibolo merged in 1940, becoming the Schertz-Cibolo Consolidated Common School District, still under the Guadalupe County District School System. Grades one through six attended in Cibolo and grades seven through twelve in Schertz.
The school system that would soon become SCUCISD was further developed during the period from 1946 through 1959 under the affable resolve of Superintendent of Schools, Clarence T. Shelton. During this time frame, Schertz-Cibolo School District built three new schools. Athletic programs were developed for boys and girls and Schertz-Cibolo High School’s first band was established. In addition, Schertz-Cibolo schools were successfully integrated, well ahead of other Texas communities when Shelton enrolled black students, putting an end to the bussing of the black students to Seguin's Ball High School. Civic leaders viewed this as a positive development and the new students were accepted by the student body.
In 1952, the original Schertz Elementary School was built at 701 Curtiss Avenue (Schertz). The campus went through many additions and renovations, through the years. In 2009, the replacement campus was dedicated and nearly all of the original construction from 1952 has been demolished.
In 1953 construction of a new Schertz-Cibolo High School, at 301 Main (Schertz) began. This new school was built next to the 1917 structure. During the nearly 60 year history of this school, renovations and additions brought it through many incarnations. In 1967, it became O’Henry Junior High School and in 1984, it was re-named Ray D. Corbett Junior High School. In 2009, Ray Corbett Junior High School moved to a replacement campus. In 2010, Allison L. Steele Enhanced Learning Center took up occupancy in the part of the site that is at 204 Wright Avenue. Plans for the remainder of the school at 301 Main Street are still being developed.
In 1955, the first phase of the school on Schlather Road in Cibolo was constructed to serve as Schertz-Cibolo Junior High. The junior high was re-named O.G. Wiederstein Junior High School in 1961 and in 1969, it became O.G. Wiederstein Elementary. There were many additions and renovations to the site through the years. In 2009 O.G. Wiederstein Elementary School moved to a replacement campus located at 171 Borgfeld Road, Cibolo and the school on Schlather Road was re-dedicated as the Marion Dolford Learning Center.
Also in 1955, the Schertz-Cibolo School District annexed the Green Valley area and the Green Valley Elementary School closed despite the resistance of a number of supporters, who wished to keep the school open. Many years later, the abandonded school building was moved to the campus that was known at the time as Wiederstein Elementary, (200 Schlather Rd). The old Green Valley School building is still used by the Guadalupe County Headstart though the campus is now named Marion Dolford Learning Center.
Local businesses in our communities prospered in the sixties and early seventies.
With the completion of I-35, and additional training commands and Air Force services transferred to Randolph Air Force Base in the early sixties; the population in Schertz and Universal City multiplied and our communities struggled with growing pains. Conflicts between civic leaders, parents, students, educators and School District officials escalated, reflecting the community’s concern for improved education and its desire to be involved with the governance of our schools.
In 1960, civic leaders and School District officials recognized a need for additional funding to support rapid growth in our schools. The Board of Trustees found that one means of raising funds was by the issuance of school bonds; however the District’s designation as a consolidated county school district imposed limits as to the amount of bonds the District could issue. They found that as an independent school district they would have the option to issue bonds in an amount sufficient to support the goals they had set for the community's schools. As an independent school district, Schertz-Cibolo Schools would also have access to other forms of funding.
In 1961, the Board of Trustees called for an election to be held to establish Schertz-Cibolo Schools as an independent school district. In the election held on February 25th, the voters agreed that the Schertz-Cibolo Consolidated School District should be an independent School District. On April 24th, 1961 the Board of Trustees, accepted the election results and resolved that it would now be Schertz-Cibolo Independent School District.
These measures enacted by School District officials and the hiring of William Malish in 1962, eased tensions and heralded a period of progress and innovation during the mid to late sixties. The changes introduced by William Malish reshaped education programs, curriculum, and school administration and enhanced the District’s financial position. Many projects were undertaken by SCUCISD during Malish's term.
Rose Garden Elementary School was built in six parts, beginning in 1961.
In 1964/65, school officials reported that Schertz-Cibolo Independent School District served a population of 9000, residing mainly in Schertz and Cibolo and a portion of Universal City (a 41 sq mile area). The character of the community consisted primarily of residential, farms and ranches with major influence from Randolph Air Force Base. There were five schools in the District: Schertz-Cibolo Senior High School, Wiederstein Junior High School, Schertz Elementary, Rose Garden Elementary and Cibolo Elementary. Total enrollment was 2400.
In 1966, the first phase of the Northview Campus was constructed, at 401 Byrd in Universal City. Northview has been used for a number of different purposes through the years; an elementary school, a kindergarten, and to house special programs.
Also in 1966, Lower Valley School closed and its students transferred to schools in the Schertz-Cibolo Independent School District.
From the time that the Schertz and Cibolo Common School Districts consolidated in 1940, the high school was called Schertz-Cibolo High School. In the early 60’s there began to be a push from a growing number of the community to re-name the high school, Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City High School. During the planning and construction of the new high school (that would be Samuel Clemens High School), community support for such a change was increasing and persistent. Finally, when the Board of Trustees met on January 19, 1967, the members voted unanimously that, “for the best interest of the School District”, The Schertz-Cibolo Independent School District would be re-named as the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City Independent School District and that the new high school would be named, Samuel Clemens High School.
In 1967, the construction of Samuel Clemens High School (main building and field house) was completed. Schertz-Cibolo High School had seen its last senior class graduate in May and the first football game had already been played in the new stadium when the Class of 1968 reported for their first day of school at the newest SCUCISD campus. However, like other schools throughout the District, that was just a beginning. Having undergone many additions and renovations, Samuel Clemens High School continues to grow with the rest of the District, in enrollment and in facilities.
There is an interesting story in the community that explains that the Board of Trustees’ motives for choosing Samuel Clemens as the name of the new high school was to save money. The story is that the trustees figured out that by naming the new high school Samuel Clemens, they could continue to have the students use the same athletic and band uniforms that they had been using as Schertz-Cibolo High School. The initials on the uniforms being S-C could stand for Samuel Clemens just as they had stood for Schertz-Cibolo.
The untimely death of William Malish, in 1969, shocked and saddened everyone who had known him and who had been influenced by his hard work for the School District. However, his influence extended beyond his years with the District. William Malish was credited with the passage of a $1.5 million bond issue in April 1969 that supported growth for the District into the next decade. In the months prior to his death, he had also acquired federal funding for the construction of an administrative building for SCUCISD.
In 1970, the William Malish Administrative Building was dedicated.With the encouragement and support of the community, School District leaders proudly named the new building to honor William Malish.
In 1974, the initial phase of J. Frank Dobie Junior High School was completed to serve originally as an intermediate school. The campus became the District’s second junior high school in 1998 when the second of two new intermediate schools was dedicated.
In the late 70's and early 80's enrollment in the District leveled off and actually declined in some years. There was a general economic downturn in Texas and the United States during that time in history. To balance a budget that was impacted by reduced tax revenues, School District leaders closed Northview Elementary School, reorganized grade assignments for our intermediate schools and rearranged attendance zones for the remaining schools.
The 1980 census reported the Schertz-Cibolo-Universal City I.S.D. served a 60 square mile area; of which the population was 20,745. In the mid to late 80's enrollment climbed once again and the total student body reported for the 1988/89 school year was 3,900.
The School District's enrollment reported in 1995 was in excess of 4,800. The community responded to a new period of rapid growth by passing bonds to finance the construction of additional schools, as well as the expansion and renovation of existing schools. Two new intermediate schools were completed; Laura Ingalls Wilder Intermediate School in 1996 and Barbara C. Jordan Intermediate School in 1998. In 1999, Maxine & Lutrell Watts Elementary school was dedicated.
Steady growth in the area has seen the SCUCISD evolve from a school system serving predominantly rural youth to one meeting the needs of a diverse student population. School District leaders focus on providing equal facilities for every campus in response to views expressed by the community. Again, voters approved bonds for the construction of new campuses, as wells as renovations and additions to existing campuses in 2000 and in 2006.
In the first decade of the new millennium, our District has constructed nine new campuses: Norma Paschal and Green Valley Elementaries (2003), Byron P. Steele, II High School (2005), Sippel Elementary and the Wiederstein Elementary replacement campus (2008), replacement campuses for Schertz Elementary and Ray D. Corbett Junior High (2009), and a third intermediate campus - Elaine S. Schlather Intermediate (also 2009). In addition, SCUCISD completed the Toby Conner Agriculture Complex (2001) and the Clarence T. Shelton Athletic Complex (2005). August 24, 2015 saw the opening of the District's newest campus, Cibolo Valley Elementary.
From our earliest days, District leaders have worked in partnership with the community. Residents remain committed to a sound education system. They make education a community affair. Parents actively participate in their children’s education and the governance of the School District and parent and community volunteers are very active at each campus.
SCUCISD serves the cities of Schertz, Cibolo and Universal City and rural areas of northeast Bexar County and southwest Guadalupe County. Today its boundaries extend over a 73 square mile area. We have 16 campuses serving an enrollment of 11,700.
By C Cielencki, 2010
The material on the SCUCISD History Project pages have no commercial purpose. They are provided for the visitor's entertainment.