SOHOPEDIA: Principals / School Timeline


Carroll Teague 1957-1962

George Morton 1962-1963

Elmer Bondy 1963-1967

Walter Matthys 1967-1975

Hugh McGaugh 1975-1981

James Barber 1981-1991

Doris Barnes 1991-2002

Deborah Aubin 2002-2007

Steve Fullen 2007-2016

Andrea Wenke 2016-current


1956-1957: Ground is broken and construction begins on a new Pasadena ISD high school at the corner of Edgebrook and Shaver in a largely undeveloped area where Houston, Pasadena and South Houston abut. Original plans call for the new campus to be named Edgebrook High School, but officials of the City of South Houston complain. After a squabble, City of Houston officials agree to de-annex the the land to be used for the school, allowing the City of South Houston to annex it. The Pasadena ISD agrees to name the new school South Houston High School. The nearest subdivision to the school is Freeway Manor -- about a mile away -- although a handful of new homes are already under construction in an adjoining tract to be named Arlington Heights. The first portions of the school to be completed are the cafeteria, the long two-story classroom complex in the middle of campus and the vocational skills classrooms flanking the cafeteria.

Oct. 18, 1957: South Houston High School, built at a cost of $3.5 million, opens its doors for the first time, although construction on major portions of the campus continue. About 500 sophomores and juniors make the move from Pasadena High, where they had attended classes for the first seven weeks of the school year. The 1958 Pasadenian yearbook devotes sections to the new South Houston Classes of 1959 and 1960, and pages to the new SoHo sports teams and organizations.

1957-58: Committees meet to make decisions what would become the school's traditions. Members of the mascot and school colors committee were Janette Stephens, Elinda Smith, Judy White, Don Meador and faculty representatives Harry Morgan and Barbara Adams. Members of the school ring design committee were Howard Johnson, Lloyd Geissen, Peggy Dudley, Donna Chambers, Don Meador, Judy White and faculty representatives Marian Edwards and Harry Morgan. The Spartaniers are established as the school's pep squad, a forerunner to the 'Jannettes. The Alma Mater, written by E.B. Cannon with words by Pauline Williams, was adopted and a Trojan Code established.

Sept. 12, 1958: Dennis Breeden scores the first touchdown by a South Houston player, helping the Trojans beat San Jacinto High 40-0 in their first varsity football game.

Fall 1958: Following the completion of the auditorium and the boys gym, a dedication ceremony is held on campus. An Anniversary Queen - Bethel Barcello -- is selected to mark the school's first anniversary. Homecoming would follow the next fall after the school's first graduation.

May 1959: South Houston graduates its first class. Sonny Ables is the first student to receive his diploma in a commencement ceremony (the school graduated two students at mid-term). The Class of 1959 donates the school seal, still embedded in the floor in the front entrance.

Fall of 1961: A fiberglass Hector, a gift from the Class of 1961, is placed inside the front entry encased in plexiglass. In 1967, Hector becomes the victim of a drive-by shooter with a deer rifle. As a result, Hector is moved to the back of the entry hall, out of range. Years later, with the remodeling of the school, he is placed in storage. Still later, in disrepair, he is plastered over and painted as part of an art project. He is still on display at the school.

Sept. 1961: The high school becomes a shelter for evacuees during Hurricane Carla.

Oct. 1961: The tradition of the senior girls bike ride is started.

1962-63:Select South Houston chemistry students become test subjects in a national nutrition experiment designed to identify the causes of lagging energy in afternoon classes. Students were routinely weighed and asked to stick to healthy diets. The results, deemed a success, draw national attention.

1964: Affected South Houston students go through a separate registration in advance of the opening of an third Pasadena ISD high school -- Sam Rayburn, which opens in the fall.

1965 : Air conditioning is installed. A new two-story wing is added to the northwest corner of campus.

1966: A new football venue, still bearing the Memorial Stadium name and located at the corner of Burke and Dabney, is completed in time for the 1966 football season. SoHo's new drill team, the 'Jannettes, take the field for the first time.

1966: Pearl S. Buck, author of "The Good Earth" and Nobel Prize winner, speaks to South Houston students in the school auditorium.

Dec. 10, 1967: In bitter cold at Rice Stadium, the band and drill team perform at halftime of the game between the Houston Oilers and the Oakland Raiders, attended by 36,375.

Fall of 1968: The incoming junior and sophomore classes arrive to find hundreds of their classmates "missing," the result of the opening of a fourth Pasadena ISD high school -- J. Frank Dobie -- on the other side of the Gulf Freeway.

Fall of 1970: The name of the school newspaper, "The Trojan Torch," is changed to "The Forum." The name is changed back to "Torch" in the late 1990s.

Fall of 1970: A Navy Junior ROTC program is launched at the school.

1974: A fire in the wood shop causes $78,000 in damage. Girls are allowed to join the NJROTC program for the first time.

August 1975: District administrators give up the fight on dress code in the wake of Title IX orders from the federal government. Long hair on male students and pants for female students are allowed for the first time.

Fall 1975: SoHo enjoys its best football season ever. Dubbed the "Junkyard Dogs," the Trojans started the year with a No. 7 state ranking and won all 10 of their regular-season games while claiming the school's first district title. South Houston beat La Marque in a bit-district contest in the Astrodome before bowing to Port Neches-Groves in the second round. The nickname "Junkyard Dogs" was born during the 1974 season when an opposing coach, in a newspaper interview, tried to disparage the South Houston community by claiming that it wasn't known for anything more than "junkyards, ice houses and used car lots." The Trojans promptly beat his team and claimed the nickname.

November 1975: Girls begin full-scale competition in UIL sports.

May 1976: Graduation for the first time is moved indoors to Phillips Field House amid controversy. Each of the 560 SoHo graduates is allotted just eight tickets.

1977: Artificial turf is installed at Memorial Stadium. The new school library opens.

Fall 1979: A long state experiment concludes with the end of the "trimester" system. Schools revert back to a two-semester calendar.

Aug. 6, 1981: Trojan Band performs at halftime of the Oilers-Philadelphia Eagles preseason game in the Astrodome.

1985: No-pass, no play is implemented.

May 7, 1997: Elaine Reinartz, an assistant principal at South Houston, is killed in a traffic mishap on the Gulf Freeway. The conference center in the heart of the campus is named in her honor.

Fall 2005: Huge numbers of refugees from Hurricane Katrina arrive in the Pasadena and South Houston communities, causing enrollment at South Houston to fluctuate wildly and posing problems for school administrators.

2007: The school celebrates its 50th anniversary with an open house. The Class of 1965 donates a new Victory Bell to stand beside the old bell, which would no longer be used.

Sept. 2008: Hurricane Ike strikes the Texas coast, forcing the cancellation of two weeks of school.

March 2011: The Hall of Honor is dedicated with an induction ceremony for 55 esteemed graduates.

2012: The South Houston HS Alumni Association is formed with 1989 graduate Diane Lively Phelan chosen as the first president. The organization of the group marks the revival of the old Ex-Students Association, which was disbanded in the late 1960s.

October 2013: The Teacher Hall of Honor is dedicated with an induction ceremony for 20 former educators.