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Raymond & Tirza Martin High School
Laredo, Texas
Type Public
School district Laredo Independent School District
Principal Oscar Perez[1]
Grades 9th - 12th
Color(s) Red & White
Mascot Tiger

Raymond & Tirza Martin High School, known as Martin High School, is a secondary institution of learning located in the Laredo Independent School District in Laredo, Texas. Grades 9th through 12th are taught there. It serves students living in central Laredo. The school is adjacent to the Laredo Civic Center.

In 2007, Martin High School was cited by the Texas Education Agency in Austin, for having performed below U.S. academic standards. The institution trailed acceptable standards in reading and mathematics instruction and was given "Stage 3" sanctions. Martin is one of forty-seven schools in Texas in the "Stage 3" category. The school was informed in 2008 that if it does not improve its academic standing, it could be converted to a charter school, have its administrative staff replaced, or be taken over by the State of Texas.[1]

In 2009, Laredo Independent School District officials said that efforts would be redoubled to teach English to a remaining group of students who continue to prefer Spanish in most conversations. "We need to speak as much English as possible," said Severita Sanchez, the LISD executive director of compliance and accountability. School officials blamed the weak foundation in English for poor performance on academic skills tests.[2]



Entrance to Martin High School (renovated in 2008)
The former gymnasium at Martin High School
The Colonel Roberto Flores Academic and Wellness Center on the Martin High School campus

Laredo High School (Laredo's first public school) was founded in 1916 at the present day La Posada Hotel. In 1937, Laredo High School was moved to San Bernardo Avenue and renamed Martin High School. The school mascot is a Tiger. It was the only public high school in Laredo from 1937 until 1964, when J. W. Nixon High School opened in The Heights neighborhood.

Martin High School is well known for its band, also acknowledged as "La Banda Del Animo." The most popular and energetic song played by this band is their "Fight Song". Martin High has several distinctions under its belt as their band was the first band invited from Laredo to perform at a Dallas Cowboys game and has been invited to perform at several parades around the state of Texas. Martin sports the only basketball team from Laredo ever to win a State Basketball Championship—in 1952. Several of the schools sayings are "The Pride of Laredo," and the most well-known is "Once A Tiger, Always A Tiger."

One of Martin High's most enduring teachers was Elizabeth Sorrell (1909-2007) who taught principally English in the Laredo Independent School District from 1931-1979. Thereafter, she launched a second career as the popular society columnist for the Laredo Morning Times.

Martin High School has a very successful Crime Stoppers Program under the direction of Sandra Rocha. The school together with the Laredo Independent School District Campus Crime Stoppers have won numerous awards at the state, national, and international level. The director for the LISD Campus Crime Stoppers Program is Estela Quintanilla. Both Rocha and Quintanilla are Martin High graduates.

Magnet school

The Health Science Magnet School of Martin High is named for physician Dennis D. Cantu, a member of the Laredo Independent School District Board and a graduate of J. W. Nixon High School in Laredo.

Martin High School also houses Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Health and Science Magnet School, which focuses on health and science education. The students may choose from two different paths in the magnet school. The magnet school is named for Cantu, a member of the Laredo Independent School Board.

Notable alumni

  • Agustin Dovalina, III (born 1955), Class of 1973 - Laredo police chief from 1996-2007
  • Lazaro "Larry" Dovalina, (born 1947), Class of 1965—Laredo city manager, 2000-2006
  • Ramon H. Dovalina (born 1943), Class of 1960 - President of Laredo Community College, 1995-2007
  • William N. "Billy" Hall, Jr. (1940-2002), Class of 1958 - member of the Texas House of Representatives, county treasurer, civic leader
  • Oscar M. Laurel (1920-2001) -- state representative, district attorney, member of the National Transportation Safety Board, executive director of the International Good Neighbor Council, firebrand Democratic orator
  • Abraham Kazen (1919-1987) -- U.S. representative from 1967-1983
  • Radcliffe Killam (1910-2007), Class of 1937 - oilman, businessman, rancher, landowner, philanthropist
  • Hector J. Liendo (born 1950), Class of 1968 - Webb County justice of the peace since 1992
  • Juan L. Maldonado (born 1949), Class of 1967—President of Laredo Community College
  • Anita Ligarde Martin (1915-2004) -- Wife of former Mayor J.C. "Pepe" Martin; sometimes called "First Lady of Laredo" during 1950s-1970s
  • Andres "Andy" Ramos (born 1940), Class of 1958—Webb County county administrative judge (1987-1991) and former Laredo City Council member
  • Rodolfo "Rudy" Rodriguez, Jr. (born 1959), Class of 1977—One of four Webb County constables
  • Ezequiel D. Salinas (1908-2007) - state court judge and activist for Hispanic civil rights
  • Elizabeth Sorrell (1909-2007) - English teacher and journalist in Laredo
  • Jose C. "Pepe" Trevino, Jr. (1930-2007) - Laredo businessman, philanthropist, and Laredo Community College trustee from 1975 -2007
  • Vidal M. Treviño (1929-2006) - educator, state representative, and Democratic power broker
  • Danny Valdez - Webb County Judge since 2007; former justice of the peace
  • Oscar J. Zuniga (1922-2007) - engineer who designed three Laredo neighborhoods
  • Roberto Sandoval, Jr. (born 1958), Class of 1975—District Chief with the Laredo Fire Department


  1. ^ Tricia Cortez, "Twelve fall short", Laredo Morning Times, September 5, 2007, p. 1
  2. ^ Nick Georgiou, "Too Much Spanish: Martin High will focus on teaching English", Laredo Morning Times June 10, 2009, p. 1

External links



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