All-American City of Pharr

History: Pharr Schools

In 1911, the people of Pharr constructed the first building dedicated to education in Pharr, located on the corner of Cherokee and Athol. On weekdays, the building housed 9 students of various grade levels, and on weekends, the building became a church.

In 1915, the Common School District of Pharr and San Juan was established, with 143 students enrolled. It had its first graduating class, of 9 students, in school year 1916-1917. Pharr – San Juan High School consisted of 10 classrooms, library, a 400 seat auditorium, indoor drinking fountains and bathrooms, and was open only to anglo students.

From 1924 to 1927, several schools were built. Hispanic students enrolled in Pharr Mexican School (Buell, Clover), and in 1927, a brick building was built specifically because of the over crowding of Mexican children. In 1932, the school was renamed Helen W Buell Elementary, honoring their former principal.

In 1958, Texas Legislature included Alamo into the school district, renaming the district Pharr San Juan Alamo Independent School District, or PSJA as it is referred to by locals.