The History of Galena Park High School
The history of Galena Park High School begins in 1928, when the name of the school was changed from Clinton High School to Galena Park High School. This occurred as the town of Clinton became incorporated as the city of Galena Park, named for the Galena Oil Co.
Mr. O. E. Lunsford was the first principal from 1928 until 1930. The school moved into its first permanent building in 1929, on the site of the current Galena Park Middle School. That building became Galena Park Junior High until it was torn down to build the current Galena Park Middle School in 1992. GPISD began in 1930 and Mr. A. T. Johnson became principal of GPHS and remained until 1933. Mr. Don Slocomb became principal in 1933 and remained until 1952. From 1942-1945 Harold Dement was the acting principal while Mr. Slocomb served in the armed forces during World War II. In 1946, the school yearbook - The Jacket was first published on a permanent basis.
GPHS moved into its current location on Keene Street in March of 1950. Mr. John W. Hoke became the longest serving principal, serving from 1952 until 1977. The 1,500-seat auditorium (later named Johnnie Rountree Auditorium) and the band and choir wings were added in 1953. A new wing on the north side of campus was built in 1956; adding a new gym and more classroom space.
In 1962, the Yellowjacket football team ended a great playoff run with a close loss in the state championship game to Wichita Falls 21-14. A new library was added in 1964 allowing for more classroom space and books. In 1965, the Yellowjackets finished the season in the state football championship; again on the losing end to Garland 26-21 in a hard fought battle.
The Band of Gold also had the honor of performing on the tarmac of Houston Intercontinental Airport for President Lyndon B. Johnson.
This is the story of Fidelity Manor High School.
Fidelity Manor High School is the only African-American High School to have ever existed in the Independent School District of Galena Park, Texas. Officially opened in January 1955 under the direction of Principal Arthur C. Lilly. In 1970 the school district integrated the school's pupils into Galena Park High School and closed both the Fidelity elementary and high schools.
In 1982, the Jacketeer dance team performed at the capitol building in Austin. Country singer Mickey Gilley, of Urban Cowboy fame, performed at GPHS in a benefit for the junior class. Mr. Gilley's son was a student at GPHS.
In 1990 Mr. Bill Burnett became the Principal of GPHS and remained until 1993, when Mr. George Banda took over those duties. In 1994 a new library, front office, science wing and cafeteria were added during a major facelift of the school. In 1998, Mr. Arnold Ramirez became the Principal of GPHS and remained until 2000, when he moved into the GPISD administration.
In 2000, GPHS ushered in the 21st Century with its first female principal, Mrs. Marsha Masi who oversaw the 2004 remodel of the school. During that construction, the Arthur C. Lilly Center, the Johnnie Rountree Fine Arts Center and the new field house at Dement Field were all constructed and the entire school was given a facelift which included new dining areas and renovations in all three gymnasiums. That year also saw the Jackets finish with a perfect 10-0 regular season in football and 2006 saw the volleyball Lady Jackets do the same thing, finishing undefeated in the regular season.
In 2007, GPHS welcomed Mr. Steven Kinney, formerly of Tice Elementary School, to the post of GPHS principal. That year also saw the GPHS robotics team, Team Kaos advance to the national championships in Atlanta Georgia after winning the Chairmen's award in Kansas City and being named the Lone Star Regional Champions. The field surface at Dement Field was also upgraded to FieldTurf to match GPISD Stadium.
In 2009, The Band of Gold reached the UIL State Marching Band competition and finished in the top bands in the state after earning Division I ratings at Region and Area band competitions. The start of a new decade in 2010, also brought a new principal, a GPHS alumni from the class of 1982 - Mr. Tony Gardea.
In 2018, Galena Park HS welcomes the new school principal, Ms. Kimberly Martin. She is also a product of GPHS.
GPHS School Principals
(no photo available)
1928 - 1930
Mr. O.E. Lunsford
1930 - 1933
Mr. A.T. Johnson
1933 - 1952
Mr. Don B. Slocomb
1942 - 1945
Mr. Harlod Dement
1952 - 1977
Mr. John W. Hoke
1977 - 1990
Mr. Wayne Lucky
1990 - 1993
Mr. Bill Burnett
1993 - 1998
Mr. George Banda
1998 - 2000
Mr. Arnold Ramirez
2000 - 2007
Ms. Marsha Masi
2007 - 2010
Mr. Steve Kinney
2010 - 2018
Mr. Tony Gardea
2018 - Present
Ms. Kimberly Martin