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The Sands of Time
In the early 1880's as the wild West Texas wind swept the sands of time across the vast Panhandle, a
small settlement around Wild Horse Lake took its humble beginnings.
The wind swept again in 1889 as Amarillo's first school opened its doors for a seven month term.
The school house was a two room frame building which had been Potter County's first courthouse. Mr.
C. G. Witherspoon was the first teacher in the newly formed Amarillo school system. Amarillo's first
graduating class came in 1894, members of that class were: Flora lVIcGee, Mary K. Brooks, Eula Trigg
and Daisy Martin. These students were taught from such text books as: lVIcGuffey's READER, Ray's
ARITHMETIC and Websteris BLUE BACKED SPELLER. Spelling was the core of early curriculum.
Early spelling books contained such words as BOIS D,AIC and ASAFELIDA. Debating ranked as
the most popular activity of the day, the most common topics debated were "Resolved: The horse is
more useful than the coW,,' or '6Resolved: Man is superior to woman."
Soon Amarillo's need outgrew the old school house and because there was no more room to build,
an election was called to vote bonds for a new city hall. City law of the day did not allow the voting
of bonds for a school buildingg therefore, the new city hall building was rented to the school board
for 31.00 a year. There was much complaint over the location of the school because it was so far
from town, it was located at 12th and Polk.
ln,1905 a 324,000 building was erected on Johnson, which Was Amarillo's most residential street in
In the 1909-10 school term a new school building was erected just south of the old city hall on
Polk, this was the first 'cAmarillo High School," in 1922 it became Central junior high school and in
later years, until 1958 when it became too old, it was Elizabeth Nixon junior high school.
Amarillo high school was moved into the present building in 1922. In rapid succession other units
were added, the now out-dated Armory-Gymnasium.
Curriculum has had to keep pace with the time, in the early schools only the basic needs were stressed.
Later more academic subjects were offered to fit the changing needs.
R. B. Norman, "Poppa Sandie," came to Amarillo high in 1929 from Vernon high school. He retired
World War I altered the education philosophy of the school and the methods of education were made
The depression effected a new change in school policy, during the forties many vocational classes
were added to the curriculum. ..
Somewhere in this long period, in the shifting of the sands of time, Sandie spirit was born. The spirit
that has lived in the heart of every Sandie who has attended Amarillo high school. This spirit may
be found on the athletic field, it may be found in extracurricular contests, or in the class room. Sandie
spirit is the enthusiasm shown in the pep rallies during a losing season, the trophy lined halls, the
avid desire for learning. Sandie spirit is Amarillo high school, the old building, the cracks in the walls,
the creaky floors, the pipes across the ceilings, the ceilings that fall in when it rains, warped stairs.
Sandie spirit is the student bodies as they come in and then go out to make their own way in the World.
Lastly Sandie spirit is the proud and majestic, yet sad, strains of the school song.
Today Amarillo high is showing the marks of the sands of time . . . we'll sing your praise tonight
. . . soon the school may be completely engulfed by the sands of timeg but the Sandies have made a
name for themselves, as Sandies, and have - made a reputation for Amarillo high school, home of the
Golden Sandstorm . . . we'll sing your worth o'er all the earth . . . although the building may soon be
lost to the shifting sands, Amarillo high school will never be forgotten, it's achievement will stand
as long as memory itself stands . . . in books of fame we'll write your name . . . Sandieland will live
as long as there are Sandies to keep the spirit and Valor alive in their hearts.