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Campus History

Sam Rayburn Texans LogoWhen Sam Rayburn High School opened its doors on September 2, 1964, the campus featured a new addition to Pasadena ISD schools- air conditioning. The fully air-conditioned facility cost 2.6 million dollars to build and was soon home to 2,560 students. At the time of the campus’ founding, Rayburn was the largest high school in the district and Carter Lomax was the principal. Students were excited to begin creating traditions for the new school and it was decided the mascot would be the Texan and the school colors would be Columbia Blue and white. In November of 1964, Texans cheerleaders presented the student body with a large fiberglass map of Texas which lit up after touchdowns at football games. Rayburn’s first graduating class was 468 students, with 35 honor graduates. During Rayburn’s second year in 1965, the enrollment jumped to 2,637. Over the next several years, the enrollment continued to grow and by 1967, there were approximately 3,200 students enrolled. Overcrowding led the Board of Trustees to approve a proposal to make Rayburn a “Super School.”  The proposal included $850,000 worth of additions, including 20 more classrooms, a girls' gym, additions to the cafeteria and an expansion of the library. In the 1969-1970 school year, students were becoming more civic-minded and a delegation attended a pollution seminar in Dallas, while others participated in "Teen Age Jury." During the 1970 school year as the needs of the campus grew, five teachers aides were hired to assist the campus. In 1971, the "School Within a School'' plan was implemented. In 1976, Rayburn had a 4A State Honor Orchestra and two new courses were introduced: a Performing Arts course and a Bi-Centennial Course.  In 1976, Rayburn had an enrollment of 2852 students. During the 1978-1979 school year, the band hall was renovated and the following additions were added to the campus: two gyms, coach’s office, training rooms for boys and girls and a Special Education wing. In 1985, 1993 and 1997, the Baseball team participated in the state playoffs. 

In more recent years, in 2003-2004, the campus received a building renovation and a new front office was constructed, along with a Science wing. In 2007, due to copyright issues, the school discontinued the use of Looney Tunes character Yosemite Sam as an informal mascot. In 2011, Pasadena ISD voters approved of a bond initiative which allowed for the building of a new gym for the school and a few years later in 2013, the gym was constructed. During the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 school years, the boys’ basketball team made the state playoffs. The school is not only known for its success in basketball, but for its Art program. From 2010-2020, art students at Rayburn have been awarded Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion and Class Champions in various rodeos throughout the state. Students from the program have been crowned the Grand Champion at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for three years in a row. Additionally, in the past 10 years, students in the school’s program have received a total of 15 National Gold Medals for the Scholastic National Art competition. 

The campus continues to undergo renovations and in 2017, the Early College wing was constructed and in 2020, new tennis courts were added. The school currently serves around 2,670 students in grades ninth through twelfth. 

List of Principals

  • Carter Lomax 1964-1984
  • Barbara Crowson 1984-1993
  • Mike Fowler 1993-1994
  • Ray Wright 1994-1996
  • Manuel Rodríguez 1996-1999
  • Frank Braden (interim principal) January 1999-May 2000
  • Merlin Mohr 2000-2004
  • Troy McCarley 2004-2007
  • Robert Stock 2007-2018
  • Vanessa Reyes 2018-2023
  • Katherine Rearick 2023-present