The Lone Star School
Paso County was in charge of schools when the first school building was
constructed in Canutillo in 1911. The school was named, The Lone Star
School. Its school boundaries extended from White Spur (now in West El
Paso) to La Tuna, Texas, and from the New Mexico boundary line to the
Franklin Mountains - making the district about thirteen miles long and six miles wide.
hundred and eleven was a very promising year for Canutillo for many
places of business opened. Among these was the first general merchandise
store owned by W.H. Glenn, J.B. Kilpatrick, P.H.Bailey, and Harry
Bailey. The Santa Fe Railroad station was also built in 1911, and of
course, this boosted the town, for up to this time it had been only a
flag station. In 1911, Fernando Carrasco, owner of the Julimes Teatro,
started a grocery store and barber shop. Two years later, James Heminger
started the first blacksmith shop, J.R.Montfort opened a harness shop,
and the Canutillo Lumber Co. was opened by Thomas B. Atkins. Canutillo
was growing and so was its school.
the 1920's, the school building was enlarged to ten rooms, seven
classrooms, a lunchroom, and two lavatories with shower baths. For the
1923-24 school year, the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades were
added and total enrollment was 350 students. Canutillo students
interested in continuing their education after eighth grade had to
travel almost 15 miles to attend El Paso High School. This continued
through the 1950's.
Canutillo ISD Officially Opens
April 18, 1959, Canutillo Independent School District was officially in
operation. From that time on, much was needed to be done to get this
fledgling school district on its feet. Work began immediately on
prioritizing the new school district’s needs. A Board of Trustees had to
be voted into office, a superintendent had to be hired, a tax
collections office had to be set up, plans for the construction of
school facilities to include a high school needed to be developed, among
other important issues.
ISD’s first Board of Trustees members were: Robert Gilbert, who was
elected president; Ruth Blount, T.J. Warren, Kenneth Bouma, Louise
Seymour, Radford C. Pinckard, and Gonzalo (Chalo) Garcia. After the
first year, Bouma stepped down and E. W. (Gene) Chandler was appointed.
as CISD’s first superintendent was Joseph MacDougall, who had been the
principal of Canutillo’s elementary school since 1957 under the county
school district. MacDougall remained through 1965,when he was appointed
as head of the then new federal program, Project Bravo, for the El Paso
region. Having MacDougall as executive director of Project Bravo
facilitated the Canutillo community’s efforts for initiating much needed
social services including youth sports programs, health services for
the elderly, and the Head Start initiative for pre-school children.
Building a Premier District
1962, CISD had passed a $330,000 bond issue to add a classroom wing for
high school students next to the existing elementary school, which was
located at the intersection of Fifth and Central Streets. In 1963,
Canutillo ISD graduated its first senior class. And by 1964, CISD’s
enrollment was 1,013 students. The new school district struggled through
the rest of the 1960’s as it experienced growing pains.
By 1979, CISD officials were ready to move on their plans for a middle school. Another bond issue was passed and work on the middle school campus on Talbot Road was completed. Canutillo Middle School was open for the 1980-81 school year.
By 1971, Canutillo ISD school facilities were too small to house all grade levels- kindergarten through twelfth. Consequently, school officials developed a split-shift daily schedule to accommodate the junior and high school students. In 1973, CISD voters passed its second bond issue for $800,000 for a new high school. The new high school was built on 30 acres of land on Bosque Road that was purchased from the El Paso Public Service Board (PSB). The high school opened for the 1974-75 school year.
In 1998, CISD completed phase one of Canutillo Elementary School for $2.9 million including 18 classrooms, main offices, library, and cafetorium. In 1999, phase two of Canutillo Elementary School was completed for $3.2 million including 30 more classrooms and other campus needs.
1987, Canutillo voters passed a $7.1 million bond issue for
construction of two new elementary schools: Jose H. Damian Elementary
School in the Borderland area and Deanna Davenport Elementary School in
the Westway community. In 1994, Canutillo ISD voters passed a $10
million bond issue that provided for the Bill Childress Elementary
School, a Support Services & Transportation Facility and for phase
one of the new Canutillo Elementary School.
1999, CISD Board of Trustees called for a $23 million bond referendum
to build a new high school, and voters overwhelmingly passed it by 96
percent. School officials secured 71 percent of the cost through the
state’s Instructional Facilities Allotment (IFA)program. Site selection
for the new campus was an arduous endeavor with community residents
having input every step of the way. After considering seven different
locations, an advisory committee recommended to the School Board and the
Board approved a 50-acre site located west of Interstate-10 next to
EPCC’s Northwest Campus.
April 2003, CISD voters again gave their vote of confidence and passed
another bond issue for $12.3 million, $5 million for district-wide
maintenance and renovation projects and $7.3 million earmarked for the
new high school construction. With the additional funds, school
officials were able to enhance the design to ensure a comprehensive
campus for at least 1,800 students. In designing the new
campus, architects held several meetings with interested community
residents and Canutillo High School faculty and staff to elicit needs
2006, CISD voters passed a $39 million bond issue that provided for the
construction of two new elementary schools and enhancements to existing
schools. CISD’s fifth elementary campus,Gonzalo & Sofia Garcia
Elementary School welcomed students into the new facility in April 2008.
Early College High School
the fall of 2008, CISD and El Paso Community College joined efforts to
open the Northwest Early College High School, CISD’s second high school,
which provides high school students the opportunity to obtain a high
school diploma and associate’s degree in four years. NECHS opened its
doors with only 100 ninth grade students in 2008, and added a new class
of 100 freshmen each subsequent year, graduating its first class in
2011. NECHS is located on the EPCC campus, adjacent door to CHS.
voters supported the district once again by passing a $44 million bond
issue and tax ratification election (TRE) in April 2011, which was well
known as Decision 2011. The
bond issue provided for additional funding needed to build the
district’s tenth school as well as make needed upgrades to existing
In summer 2013, CISD broke ground on its tenth campus, Congressman Silvestre and Carolina Reyes Elementary School. The school opened in August 2015.