New Building for Sanderson High School
In 2012, a new high school building was added to the south end of the junior high building,
facing 2nd Street. The old high school, with all of its architectural charm, had reached a parting place with the Terrell County
ISD. Although millions could have been spent overhauling the old building, it was more fiscally responsible to build a new plant
which suited the needs and requirements of modern education today.
Facing a withering blast of criticism from former students
and those who loved the old building, the administrators and school board held to the task and created a building that better served
the needs of the student population. Though not as stylish as the old building, nevertheless, the new building was utilitarian
and got the job done, economically.
Education in Terrell County has undergone many changes through the years. From horse and buggy days to the present era, the
education of our children has always been of the utmost importance to our citizens. By providing modern facilities and highly-qualified
staff and administrators, we have managed to stay abreast of the changes and provide a quality education for our children. We
have been rewarded with generations of young adults who have gone out into the world, excelling in their professions, often exceeding
our expectations and dreams for them. May it always be so.
The new Sanderson High School, opened in 2012.
©Terrell County Memorial Museum, except where attribution is given.
The Story of Terrell County Schools
The old building had become a charming anachronism, cold in the winters and subject to breakdowns of the
heating plant at the worst possible times. The building suffered electrical problems, and just its general condition and 80
year-old plumbing and wiring threatened to eat up any construction budget. Clearly, the time had come to give the building a
rest. Not all of the old facility was closed, however. The gymnasiums, cafeteria and auditorium are still in use, with
multiple plans for repurposing the main building.
Although music was taught from the beginning and instrumental music incorporated shortly after, it centered
mainly on solo and small group ensembles. The band program at SHS began in the 1920s and included students from Grade 3 through
Grade 11, all male. This band photo from 1931-1932 shows the wide range of ages involved and the simple uniforms worn.
Later, white shirts, dark slacks, black capes with orange or gray lining and black garrison caps were used. In
the mid 1930s, smart, orange and black military-style uniforms with field hats were purchased for the band. The band alternated
in the ensuing years, between the military uniforms and the cape and garrison cap outfits, as period photos show. Around 1946
the band was divided into Senior Band for Grades 9 through 12 and Junior Band for elementary and junior high school students.
In 1948, new uniforms were purchased for the Senior Band, consisting of dark coats and pants with stripe down the leg and fancy
black shako hats with plumes. The hats were replaced in 1950 with similar shako hats with orange bands around the crown.
These uniforms were used through the 1950s.
Early day football game played on the rodeo grounds near the present-day American Legion field.
An organized football program at SHS was begun in 1925 when kids returning from a ball game at a neighboring town set up a clamor
to have a team. The first games were played on a dirt field at the rodeo ground/baseball field located in the area of today's
Legion field. The grandstand/bleachers stood about where today's Dairy King is located. Later, games were played on a
field located out in the Lomita Terrace area. Practice took place in an area behind today's Roundhouse Restaurant building,
then known as McKnight's Motor Company and Motel.
During World War II, games were suspended.
After the war, it became difficult to schedule games because no team wanted to play in the rocks and dirt of Sanderson's field.
It was at this time that the field was built in the present location at Eagle Stadium and grass planted to create a regulation
field. Eleven-man football was played until the 1990s when a severe drop in population forced the school to go to 6-man play.
The team has won many district and bi-district championships and made several unsuccessful trips to State.
The Sanderson Times had this caption for the picture above: "The first region champion girls' basketball
team was in 1924 and was composed of the following students who won that honor for the Sanderson High School: in the back row are
Mary Alice Happle, Mabel Harrell, Gazelle Williams, who was the coach, Lolette Lemons, Grace Martin; the bottom row is Annie Farley,
Bethilda Eldridge and an unknown girl. The names of the ladies now are Mrs. Web Townsend, Mrs. W, H. Chandler, Mrs. J. A. White,
Mrs. Frank Robertson, Mrs. Charlie Turk, Mrs. "Toad" Brotherton, and Mrs. Hayes Cavender.
rules then had such things as three divisions in the court instead of two with the guards, center and forwards restricted to their
own third of the court; there was no dribbling of the ball - only one bounce allowed and a bounce was necessary before the forward
could shoot. Centers also jumped after each goal."
In the '50s when boys played baseball, girls' sports included
volleyball, but since everything is driven by the bottom line, it was dropped when the school board determined that cheerleading was
a sport and they did not have to provide more sports opportunities for girls than boys.
Today, girls enjoy
basketball, track, tennis and "cheerleading." Boys Basketball
Posing on the practice field located behind McKnight Motor Company and Motel, today's old Roundhouse Restaurant, 1940.
About to take the kids back to Dryden, ca 1936. Normally, the bus was used to haul Dryden high school-age students to Sanderson,
since only Grades 1-7 attended at the Dryden School. In 1956 the Dryden School was closed and all students rode the bus
to Sanderson. Dryden residents were not happy about the youngsters having to drive 20 miles to school and home again.
If high school students participated in sports or academic activities, they came home even later.
Sanderson Schools Photo Album