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La Joya High School

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Subject: List of high schools in Texas, La Joya Independent School District, Palmview High School
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La Joya High School

La Joya High School
604 N. Coyote Blvd.
La Joya, Texas 78560
School type Public, High School
Founded 1926?
School district La Joya ISD
Principal Antonio Cano
Assistant principals Gilberto Casanova
Xavier Ramirez
Maria B. Leal
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 2,379  (2010 UIL Realignment)
Language English
Campus Suburban
Color(s) Red and White         
Mascot Coyotes
Feeder schools Lorenzo De Zavala Middle School
Cesar E. Chavez Middle School
Dr. Javier Saenz Middle School
Rival schools Palmview High SchoolJuarez-Lincoln High School

La Joya High School is a Texas UIL Division 5A high school in the La Joya Independent School District named after the city it resides in, La Joya. The school is home to students that live on the west and south areas of La Joya ISD.


La Joya ISD has been home to a single high school entity since the district (then known as Tabasco ISD) erected Nellie Schunior Memorial High School in 1926, six years after the death of Nellie Leo Schunior, the first education pioneer in the district's current boundaries.
La Joya High School was later created, in order to house the growing number of students that Nellie Schunior Memorial High School could not accommodate. As the years rapidly passed, the communities within the district boundaries began to flourish, and the district population exploded. La Joya High School, being the sole high school within the 226 square miles (590 km2) of land, grew to enormous proportions. For a long time, La Joya High School housed 9-12 grades. Eventually, the student population grew too much and a separate Ninth Grade Campus was built adjacent to La Joya High School.

In 1993 over 3,000 students were enrolled at La Joya High School, and enrollment was sharply increasing throughout the La Joya Independent School District.[1]

This new Ninth Grade Campus proved to be too small by the year 1999, so a larger and brand new Ninth Grade Campus was built, opening its doors to students in October 2000.
As the Freshman Class of 2000 was housed at the brand new Ninth Grade Campus, the remodeling project to expand the old Ninth Grade Campus went underway. By the year 2002, La Joya ISD was home to three high schools, but still only had one senior class, as all three campuses (conveniently located next to each other) shared students. La Joya High School became known as La Joya Senior High School (housing only 11th and 12th graders), the 2000 Ninth Grade Campus changed its name to Juarez-Lincoln High School (housing half of the 9th and 10th grade students), and the newly-remodeled old Ninth Grade Campus became Jimmy Carter High School (housing the other half of the 9th and 10th grade students).
Once again, population spurts in western Hidalgo County helped to overcrowd all three high schools. La Joya ISD had no choice but to split the district into three separate high schools, and for the first time ever, have multiple senior classes, multiple sports teams, and multiple mascots. The 2008-2009 school year became the inaugural year for both the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies, and the Palmview Lobos. With a much smaller student population, Juarez-Lincoln High School was classified as a 4A school, but Palmview High School, with a student population parallel with La Joya High School, was classified as a 5A school.

Past principals

Principal Years Served
Melinda Flores 2009–2010
Rolando Rios 2011–Present


Coyote Football

La Joya really hadn't been a sports icon in the valley for long. Not until the late 1990s was it that the team started making some noise. Simply known as "Los Coyotes", the Coyotes remained favorites in the Rio Grande Valley's 5A school from 2001-2005. Accumulating four district titles in that span, they were involved in the biggest game in 2004 between La Joya and Converse Judson despite losing in a lopsided affair. No team in the valley had made it past the third round of the playoffs in the 5A level. The reputation La Joya has in South Texas was created by its unwavering fan support. Thousands of residents attended Friday Night Football at La Joya ISD Stadium (often regarded the best football stadium south of San Antonio). Attendance to games easily surpassed the 12,500 capacity of the stadium. More times than not, fans of the La Joya Coyotes would have to be seated on the visitors side if there was space available.

The 2008-2009 school year split La Joya into three high schools; evidently, the Coyotes took damage in athletics with none of the three schools making it to the postseason in the 2008 campaign.

La Joya ISD suffered a tremendous hit with the division of one high school into three. The La Joya Coyotes, which had been setting new records for the district (advancing to higher playoff games than ever before), suddenly saw themselves playing against their past teammates, now the Palmview Lobos and the Juarez-Lincoln Huskies. Unfortunately, the Palmview Lobos had a less-than-stellar inaugural season in District 30-5A, winning none of ten total games in the 2008 season, but that was not the case for Juarez-Lincoln. Despite being the underdogs in a different classification, Juarez-Lincoln beat Palmview High School during the inaugural season. In 2009 the Coyotes had their worst season ever. They gained only 1 victory out of all 10 games played.

Fine arts

La Joya High School Coyote Band

La Joya High School has earned an outstanding number of accolades in the past decade. Concert Bands have consistently received UIL Sweepstakes Awards (given to bands that earn a "Superior" rating on the concert portion of the contest, where they perform three prepared contrasting pieces of music for three judges, and a "Superior" rating on the sight-reading portion of the contest, where they learn a brand new piece of music never seen nor played by anyone before in just seven minutes, then perform it for three additional judges).

LJHS has also had great success on the marching field. In 1998, La Joya High School Marching Band and their show "Firebird Suite" made history by marking its first appearance at the coveted UIL 5A State Marching Band Contest at Baylor University, akin to the State Championships of Football. Roughly 25-35 of the best bands in the entire State of Texas compete, but because there are many different classifications in UIL, 5A and 3A bands compete only on EVEN years, and 4A, 2A and 1A schools compete on ODD years. Two years later, La Joya HS made history again in 2000 with their show "By Air, By Sea, and By Land", earning a second consecutive appearance at the UIL 5A State Marching Band Contest at Baylor University. In 2002, La Joya HS advanced to the UIL 5A State Marching Band Contest at Baylor University yet again with their show "Stravinky's Uproar". This would also mark the last time Baylor University would host the UIL contest due to the unnaturally cold weather that year. Bands were not able to compete to their fullest due to the rain and sleet that created BU's football field into a muddy mess. The "Finals" portion of the contest was cancelled due to the many injuries on the field and the unsafe conditions for marching. A consensus was made by UIL officials to leave the Preliminary rankings as the official Finals ranking.

In 2004, UIL decided to move the enormous contest indoors, and since then, UIL 5A State Marching Contest is held at San Antonio's Alamodome. La Joya High School once again made history by marking its fourth consecutive appearance at the contest. The only other 5A school in the Rio Grande Valley to have the same amount of consecutive appearances was Harlingen High School, which also advanced to the State contests in 1998, 2000, 2002, and 2004. La Joya High School performed what many call today the "best performance ever by a Valley High School band" with their show "Midnight at the Louvre". It was a spectacle like no other, highlighting European compositions, marking La Joya High School's last appearance to the State Marching Contest. In 2006, La Joya HS failed to advance to the Area G Finals contest with their show "Out of Darkness". In 2008, the district's split hurt the highly successful program. Despite this split, the band earned a Superior Division 1 at the annual UIL Pigskin Jubilee Contest.

In 2010, the band returned to its winning streak, managing to earn a Superior Division 1 rating at the annual UIL Pigskin Marching Contest with their show "Power and Grace", and advancing to the UIL Area G Contest. At the Area G Contest, the LJHS Band ranked 4th out of 38 bands from across South Texas in the prelims portion of the contest, advancing to Area Finals for the first time since 2004. The band program has re-earned their "Power and Grace", and they now are back on the map as one of the most competitive groups in South Texas. The La Joya High School Coyote Band is under the direction of Ruben Adame.

Grupo Folklorico Tabasco

Grupo Folklorico "Tabasco" was formed in 1982, in order to showcase the Hispanic roots of the students of La Joya ISD. Since its inception, the philosophy for the folklorico program has been to perform and preserve the folklore and culture of Mexico through its music.

Places Visited

They have entertained audiences throughout our school district, the Rio Grande Valley and have received state, national, and international recognition. At the state level, they have performed for Governors Mark White and Ann Richards. At the national level, they have performed at the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans and in Washington D.C. at the White House for President Bush Senior in 1990. They have also performed for a number of senators and congressman as well as President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore on several occasions. In 1987 and in 1994 our students were honored twice with an invitation to perform at the annual Carnaval in Nice, France.


La Joya Jewelettes, the premiere drill team of South Texas

Other Clubs/Organizations

LJHS National Honor Society
LJHS Jewelettes(Dance/Drill Team)
H.O.S.A. (Health Occupations Students of America)
S.W.A.T. (Students With A Testimony)
Book Club Gear Up
F.F.A. (Future Farmers of America) LJHS Student Council
Hispanic National Honor Society

Hispanic Youth Leadership Organization LEO- Lion's Club International

Cosmetology Club VICA

LJHS Jewel Guard LJHS Color Guard (JROTC) LJHS Armed Drill Team (JROTC) LJHS Unarmed Drill Team (JROTC) LJHS Rifle Team (JROTC) LJHS Physical Fitness Team (JROTC) LJHS Leadership & Academics (JROTC) LJHS Raider Team (JROTC)


La Joya High School has an original song named "Alma Mater", written by one of the band directors decades ago. The words to the song are from an anonymous source.

La Joya's fight song, "Jalisco", is an original song written by one of its band directors that uses the tune of "Jalisco", a popular song in Mexico.


External links

Texas portal
Schools portal
  • La Joya High School
  • La Joya High School (Archive)

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