The first Valentine School was established in 1887.
In February, 1909, Jeff Davis County School district #4 was enlarged to include a number of outlaying ranches. On March 23rd, the county bought Block D in Valentine from W.E. and Sallie Bell for $200 for the site of a school building. On June 19th, an election-issue $6,000 in bonds for forty years passed with 18 votes for and none against. Construction of the building was completed soon afterwards using cement blocks made by the Daughtery Brothers of Alpine.
The Valentine School House became the focal point of the community and a central gathering place for Valentine residents. Oral tradition claims that when the news of the Brite Ranch raid on Christmas Day of 1917 reached Valentine, many of the civilians and residents of the town gathered at the school house hoping for safety in numbers and making plans for the defense of the community if necessary.
In June of 1925, bonds for $20,000 at 12½% were issued for a two room plus auditorium addition to the Valentine school house.
On August 16, 1931, at 5:40 a.m., Valentine and the entire surrounding area was awakened by a severe earthquake. Some experts placed the epicenter of the earthquake thirty miles northeast of Valentine in the Davis Mountains. The quake was recorded as an 8 on a scale of 10 and caused extensive damage to homes and buildings over the entire area. The Valentine school board, with Roy Bloys as Secretary, applied through state representative Lee Satterwhite of Odessa for state aid to repair the school house. They received $25,000 in January of 1932, but the bell tower was not replaced. The whereabouts of the bell is not known.
Prior to 1937, Hispanic students attended school in a separate school facility, presently the Valentine Catholic Church.
In 1937, Hispanic students from the fourth grade through high school began to attend school in the "Anglo” school. The following year, the remaining first three grades were also transferred from the old Hispanic school building to the Anglo school. All Valentine children then attended school together and shared the high quality education which has been, and continues to be, the hallmark of Valentine School.
The late 40s and early 50s saw a considerable increase in railroad workers stationed in Valentine. The school population grew, and in 1949 a $65,000 gymnasium and six classrooms were added to the school. The building, constructed of cinder blocks, utilized lumber from an abandoned warehouse at Fort D.A. Russell in Marfa. This addition was a separate building from the original and became the classrooms for elementary students, while the older original building housed the secondary students. At this time, three salvaged army buildings were converted into living quarters for teachers and are still utilized today.
On May 10, 1952, Valentine voted to form an Independent School District with fifty-two votes for and none against. The Valentine Independent School District was officially established and has continued to be a high quality school district for the education of the children of Valentine and the surrounding area. Several of the trustees of the Valentine School Board who were members at this historical time remained active in the area and in the Valentine community. The Valentine School Board of 1952 consisted of: Vic Newton; President, Chile Ridley; Vice-President, Doris Kelley; Secretary, Clay Miller, Alex Melendez, Howard Bell, Sr., and Robert Everett.
In 1980, two classrooms were added to the elementary building.
In 1982, dressing room facilities were added to the gym. The facilities included two dressing rooms, coach’s office and a laundry/training room.
100 years since the opening of the school building, The Valentine ISD is an Exemplary Rate school District.
Today we celebrate 100 years of excellence.
Photo by Larry John Porras, Jr.
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