Cy-Fair ISD's first high school reaches 75th anniversary

Three years after the Cypress and Fairbanks school districts consolidated in 1939, Cypress- Fairbanks High School opened in January 1942 on what was once a cornfield.

The vote to consolidate passed 129-66 in Cypress and 90-87 in Fairbanks. Trustee J.F. Bane and Superintendent E.A. Millsap are most frequently credited with the consolidation.

Following consolidation, the school board purchased 100 acres of land for $75 an acre to build the school, which opened with 10 classrooms, three offices, a cafeteria, gymnasium and auditorium.

Today, about 3,600 students attend Cy-Fair High School, but the school had rural beginnings. Former students and Cy-Fair ISD officials reflected on the school’s past at a Jan. 22 event honoring its 75th anniversary.

Nearly every student in the 1950s was the child of a farmer or a teacher, according to historical records maintained by the district. Results of a 1952 survey revealed the average student woke up at 3 a.m. to milk dairy cows, rode the bus to school for a full day of classes, practiced football after school, returned home to milk the cows once more and then went to bed.

CFISD’s agriculture and rodeo program launched in 1944 and brought in $12,000 in 1950, officials said. Last year, the annual livestock show garnered more than $900,000.

Wayne Richardson, who started ninth grade at Cy-Fair High School in 1961, spoke at the event about his time in the FFA program working on old Army equipment to move the Cy-Fair rodeo across the street.

“The rodeo was very important to a lot of people, and it really put us on the map,” he said. “I thought I was going to join and ride a horse, ride a bull. But a lot of work went on, and I really learned how to work.”

Over the years, CFISD students have gotten a reputation for being respectful and polite, former Cy-Fair High School Principal Mike Smith said.

“It’s those legacies of never giving up, being kind to our neighbors, supporting each other—that’s what makes Cy-Fair High School great,” he said.

By Danica Lloyd

Editor, Cy-Fair

Danica joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in 2016. As editor, she continues to cover local government, education, health care, real estate, development, business and transportation in Cy-Fair. Her experience prior to CI includes studying at the Washington Journalism Center and interning at a startup incubator in D.C., serving as editor-in-chief of Union University's student magazine and online newspaper, reporting for The Jackson Sun and freelancing for other publications in Arkansas and Tennessee.