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Campus History

  • Dobie History
  • Side profile drawing of J frank dobie
    "No story exists that I can't make better in the retelling."
    Mr. J. Frank Dobie
  • Four different principals of J Frank Dobie High School. Steve Jamail, Jerry Speer, Frank Braden, Allen Sory

    The necessity for new schools in the booming South Belt area brought about the expansion of the Pasadena Independent School District and construction of a new school.

    Following World War II, the City of Pasadena and the Pasadena Independent School District expanded southward as more families moved to town to find jobs in the ever-growing aerospace and petrochemical industry. They discovered convenient housing in the newly developed South Belt area. The community was planning major and rural roads. Plans were underway to construct a transit route, Beltway 8 and the Sam Houston Parkway.

    By 1960, this growth had wandered to the far outskirts of southeast Houston. The growing number of students migrating to the heavily populated areas created problems and tough situation as students were bused to schools in Genoa and South Houston.

    As the number of students grew, the district's problems could no longer be solved with the transportation and there was only one solution available - new schools.

    Several elementary schools were the first education centers to be built. Many of the children were elementary age due to the growth of "Baby Boomer" families. Beverly Hills Intermediate was the first intermediate to be built in the South Belt area. As time passed, the need for the community's own high school became evident. During the building of Sam Rayburn High School, the Pasadena ISD school board decided that all schools built henceforth would be named after famous Texans. Thus, Dobie High School was built in 1968 and was named after the famous author and educator J. Frank Dobie.

    Dobie High School was a monumental achievement in its construction alone, being the first district high school designed to be completely air conditioned. With the exception of the gyms, the structure had no windows, making it an ideal shelter for tornado warnings and watches.

    Dobie's attendance in the opening semester consisted of over 980 freshmen, sophomores and juniors. The seniors who were "drawn" into Dobie's attendance zone were allowed to complete their last high school year at South Houston while underclassmen were transferred to Dobie.

    The students and staff became equally involved in the school and growing support and spirit for the expanding school quickly increased.

    At the close of the school's first semester, Dobie's first graduating class received their diplomas - all six of them. Five girls and one boy graduated mid-term.

    The following semester, 226 more students received their diplomas from Dobie's first principal, Allen Sory.

    Sory, himself, was somewhat of a legend, having turned a newly developed school into an educational center that would break records.

    A graduate of the University of Houston, Sory took it upon himself to mold the school's colors and mascot after the University of Texas where Dobie himself once taught.

    The colors became orange and white, and the mascot, the fabled Texas longhorn.

    Even from the beginning, Dobie High School promised to be somewhat of a model for other schools, and since its opening has become a leader in many areas. Dobie's many achievements, national champion Academic Decathlon teams, countless district victories in sports, music and agriculture, prove that the district's investment in Dobie was a wise one.

    Dobie has grown from a small cluster of students to a large and thriving place where dreams are turned into realities.

    Reprinted from 1998 Chaparral: Authored by David Metz

    Contributed by Dudley Dobie, Jr., cousin of J. Frank Dobie

  • For decades longhorns have been a symbol of strength and pride, forging a rich history for all Texans. Now, the traditions that have characterized J. Frank Dobie High School and forged a link through the years are being retold in a new facility, for a new generation. The story continues.

    From the burnt orange brick on the outside of the building, to those same colors combined with black and white in the school's interior, the campus serves as the perfect setting for academic excellence.

    The 490,000 square-foot facility was approved as part of a $199.05 million bond issue passed in February 2000. Ground breaking ceremonies were held at the end of June 2001 and the new facility opened in the fall of 2003 with an August enrollment of 2,699. The school has the capacity to accommodate more than 3,000 students to meet growing population needs.

    Overcrowding problems at the Beamer campus and the rapidly growing population in the South Belt were the two driving forces which motivated voters to cast their votes in favor of the building program. According to demographic studies, more than 5,700 homes are expected to be built in the district over the next seven to ten years with a large portion of the growth occurring in Dobie's attendance area. Evidence of that growth is very apparent today.

    The design of the new Dobie features a modern orange and white brick facade with many windows. The inside of the building has wide hallways and the cafeteria is located in the center of the school. Separate wings are devoted to academics and physical education and vocational classes. Another wing houses the music classes and the auditorium.

    One of the most attractive features of the campus is the courtyard which flanks the cafeteria and the classroom wings of the school. A design committee that was comprised of faculty and staff members from Dobie worked with Bay Architects to design the school. J. T. Vaughn Construction oversaw the building of the campus.

    Contributed by Mark Kramer with contributions from Dobie staff

  • When the first settlers arrived in the South Belt and Clear reek areas, they were greeted by less than friendly Karankawa Indians and marshy lands unfit for growing crops. Some pioneers were able to brave these dangers, however, and communities grew and expanded through the early 1800's.
    Texas, under the Mexican flag, became the battleground for freedom. Volunteers enlisted in the Texas Army and won independence when Sam Houston defeated Santa Ana at San Jacinto. With few funds to pay its soldiers, the Texas Army paid its men in land grants. Dickenson Putnam received a land grant in 1838 deeding to him some 960 acres of land.

    Today that land is the bulk of the Sagemont subdivision. Putnam's ownership of the land lasted a short time. After his death in 1838, the property was sold to C. V. Uglo, then changed hands several more times before being sold to Ayrshire Development Corporation over a century later.

    In 1860 businessmen formed the Clear Creek Development Community. In 1879 George Washington Butler imported the first Brahman bulls from India and started a cattle business in this area. Marshy areas were immediately pinpointed for excellent rice growing.

    In 1962 Ayrshire acquired 881 acres of what is now Sagemont. The first five homes were built to establish a water district. These "pioneers" drew water from a ground well and traveled along dirt roads. Ayrshire began immediate construction of homes, the first one being sold to the George West family in 1964. Gulfgate was the closest shopping and banking area.

    For recreation, the West family spent much of their time backpacking in the "wilderness' which is now occupied by Stuchbery Elementary.

    Unlike other developments, the South Belt area land was purchased over a twenty year period. Today some 3,021 acres with 10,000 plus single family homes grace the former fields.

    Contributed by the South Belt-Ellington Leader

  • William Dobie, great grandfather of J. Frank Dobie, immigrated to Texas from Sussex County, Virginia, in 1828. He was in Austin's third group of colonists, and he received from Mexico a grant of about 1300 acres straddling Middle Bayou (now Armand Bayou), just a short distance from the South Belt area. William returned to Virginia where he died, but his son Robert, J. Frank Dobie's grandfather, followed his father to Harrisburg and Middle Bayou. Robert drowned in Middle Bayou while bathing one evening and was buried in the cemetery on the banks of Galveston Bay in Seabrook.
    Contributed by Dudley Dobie, Jr., cousin of J. Frank Dobie

  • J. Frank Dobie was one of the preeminent folklorists of Texas history and an outspoken proponent of individual freedoms and preservation of the natural world.

    He was born on September 26, 1888, to R. J. and Ella Dobie, a middle class ranching family in Live Oak County Texas. Although he was a "country boy" Mr. Dobie early in life developed a love of reading and the classics from his mother, Ella Byler Dobie.

    While attending Southwestern University, he met his future wife, Bertha McKee. They were married in 1916 at the dawn of World War I. Dobie enlisted and was sent to France in 1918. Upon his return in 1919, he entered the only profession available to a well read, well-educated man of his day - teaching. As a professor, he wrote columns and editorials as well as retelling familiar folk stories for Texas newspapers.

    His most acclaimed compilations of short stories include "The Mustangs" and "The Longhorns" though he wrote many others. His work reflects his love of all things western and his home - Texas. Mr. Dobie was a noted and sometimes controversial professor at the University of Texas as well as a guest lecturer at Cambridge University.

    During his lifetime, Mr. Dobie received many awards and honors. Shortly before his death he, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson, but was unable to accept in person because of illness. J. Frank Dobie died in September 1964 and was buried like the true Texas hero he was in the Texas State Cemetery.

    J. Frank Dobie High School is proud to bear his name and honors this man as the great Texas storyteller and folklorist, the respected educator, who shared his love of learning with his students.

    Reprinted from the 1998 "Chaparral" with information compiled from An American Original" by Lon Tinkle; Authored by Rachael Castillo with additional information from the district communications department

  • Principal and Assistant Principals: Allen Sory, Jimmy Barber, Peggy Walters, and James McNeil

    Norene Brown, Lois Foshee, Jimmy Gibbs, Lois Anderson, Lynne Champion ,Barbara Eads, Audrey Eversmeyer ,Truman Goodwin ,Barbara Jackson ,Judy Mayo, John Rusciano, Betty Taylor, Gorman Wiggins, Darrelynn Barnett, Glenda Pewthers, Charlsie Urquhart, Arthur Clark, Hollie Koehler ,Sterling Laird, Garland Bland ,Barbara Crowson, John Gordon ,James Humphries, Estis Landers, James Lucas, G. S. Miller Alan Pierce, Vicki Stratton, John Devote, Kay Shaffer, Rose-Marie White, Gene McCarley Irene Crosby, Will Bigott, Geraldine Cooper, Sandra Newsome, Martha Pay, Jack Ritch, Dean Johnston, Dick Mills, Ann Brannen, Jack Fink, Carol Murphy, Kenneth Stuessel, Jane Reed, William Harlow ,Bill Ashworth, Ruth Ann Harper, Wanda Hebert, Martha Landtroop, Jane Pope, Sam Sailer, James Hulme, Bill Brawn, Felix Martinez, C. J. Leslie, Don Cole, Margaret Rudat, Shirley Blanton, David Fleming, Vernori Fewell, Suzanne Stone, Alice Malkemus, Alice Williams, Lynne Keevert, Gene McCarley, Maguerite Day ,Sandra de Sandro, Jacauiline Jackson ,Steve Montgomery, Randall Dorsett, Celia Zettel, John Bryan,

    • Angela Demel Cecchini - 1994 graduate - Elected to the West Virginia Weslyan 2009/2010 Athletic Hall of Fame for softball. During her four-year career at Wesleyan, she compiled an 85-12 record with an amazing 43 shutouts. She was a two-time All-Region, All-American, a four-time WVIAC Pitcher of the Year, and a four-time member of the All-WVIAC First Team. 
    • Robert E. Marling, Jr. - 1974 graduate, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Woodforest Financial Group, Inc. and Chief Executive Officer of Woodforest National Bank.
    • Shane Nance - 1996 graduate, went to the Brewers, and is now with the Kansas City Royals organization.
    • John Scheschuk - 1995 graduate, played professional baseball for the San Diego Padres
    • Andrew J. Ferraro - 1992 graduate, is a freelance sportswriter covering the Houston Aeros for the Houston Chronicle (2002-Present).
    • Ryan Long - 1991 graduate, made it to the majors with KC.
    • Kenny Howery - 1993 graduate, and Stanford graduate, is one of the founding members of what PayPal is today.
    • Lori Massey - 1986 graduate; Judge of the 288th District Court of Bexar County, Texas
    • David Mills - 1986 graduate; Research Fellow, Neural Plasticity Research Group, Harvard Medical School
    • Gawain Guy - 1981 graduate; Rice Hall of Fame Track Star; competed in the Olympics for Jamaica
    • Heather Ogilvie - 1996 graduate; Miss Texas USA 2000; KHOUTV Channel 11 correspondent
    • Chris Williams - West Point Academy graduate; served in Desert Storm; killed while commanding an army battalion
    • Nathan Mitchell- Professional baseball player for the Cubs organization
    • Chris Connealy - 1977 graduate; Houston Fire Department Chief
    • Mark Yandell - 1983 graduate; Human Genome Project; Howard Hughes Institute
    • Matt Erickson - 1987 graduate; Professor, Massachusetts Institute - of Technology; researcher in genetics
    • Wendy Frazier - 1988 graduate; Professor, Old Dominion University
    • Mark Chassay - 1984 graduate; Head Team Physician, University of Texas at Austin
    • Trevor Cobb - 1989 graduate; Rice University football team; played for Kansas City Chiefs
    • Christa Williams - 1996 graduate - competed in Summer Olympics 1996 and 2000, softball pitcher
    • Cheryl Ezzell - 1997 graduate - participant Junior Olympics as inline speed skater, World Team member, Pan-Am Games participant in in-line speed skating
    • Scott Lengefeld - 1995 graduate; All-American in cross-country at Texas A & M -University
    • Stephanie Coon - 1997 graduate; Harvard University graduate; Harvard Law School
    • Jeff Dorough - 1997 graduate; Yale University graduate
    • Chris Bradshaw - 1995 graduate; Dartmouth University graduate
    • Ethan House - 1997 graduate; West Texas A&M University graduate - Mass Communications - Marketing Director /Client Relations at
    • Devin Mitchell - 1997 graduate; University of Southern California Pre-Med; Baylor Medical School
    • Steve Cummings - 1982 graduate; played professional baseball with the Toronto Blue Jays organization
    • Dr. Mary Campbell-Fox - 1976 graduate; Chief of Staff at Southeast Memorial Hospital; first woman and first D.O. selected for this position
  • Larry Abbott, Diane Adams, Ray Adams, Susan Albert, Barbara Allen, Sylvia Anderson, Craig Arrant, Bill Aten, Ken Austin, Jo Ann Bacon, Debbie Bailey, Phil Baker, Bill Baldy, Mike Bankev, Donna Battarbee, Kathy Bennett, Carol Billeri, Bobby Blackwell, Sherry Bland, Jo Nell Boley, Debra Botts, Terry Box, Petrea Boyer, Richard Brahm, Brenda Brandenburg, Dianna Braxton, Shirley Bray, Regina Broussard, Dolores Brukenhoffer, Debbie Bryson, Denise Bureau, Connie Campbell, Mary Campbell, Sandra Carlin, Cindri Carrick, Mike Carter, James Castleberry, Ken Chapline, Greg Cheek, Muryel Coble, Bruce Cole, Steve Conley, Lynn Cook, Mike Cook, Barbara Cooper, Thomas Cox, Linda Crain, Eva Crawford, Carol Crouch, Dean Cruse, Ken Cryer, Jim Cummings, Dennis Daniels, Lynda Davis, Duane Day, Richard Degetaire, George Des Hotels, Nell Dies, Audrev Dillon, Bobby Donegan, Debbie Doyle, Tina Drake, Sherry Draper, Mary Duensing, Richard Edwards, Robby Eldridge, Sherry Ellison, John Evans, Jimmy Ezell, Kenneth Faires, David Farrell, Sandy Fifer, Jay Fincher, Donna Ford, Mary Fostinis, George Frels, Fernando Fuentes, Danny Gabrielson, Phyllis Gainer, Steve Garfalos, Chris Gary, Tim Georg, Liz Gerhardt, Steve Gilliam, Rhonda Gilmore, Linda Gordon, Jan Graham, Jim Graham, Judy Graham, Rhonda Grasshoff, Leanne Greer, Bebe Hale, Harvey Hamilton, Joe Hanes, David Hardy, Aileen Hart, Michelle Haynie, Wade Helton, Janice Henson, Diane Herring, Guy Hicks, Dennis Hines, Gary Hines, Dana Holmes, Veronica Hoover, Beth Horstman, Randy Hough, Glenn Howard, Terry Hubbard, Diane Hubenak, Steve Hulsey, John Husbands, Richard Hutson, Misti Ijames, Mike Irwin, Jerry James, Johnny Jamison, Della Jarrard, Don Jarreau, Mike Johnson, Gary Johnston, Victor Johnston, Lynda Jones, Patricia Justus, Linda Keis, Jeff Kennedy, Larry Kincaid, Cherry Kluth, James Koester, David Krejci, Norma Labardini, Sidney Lacombe, Debbie Lake, Elizabeth Lambert, Gordon Landrum, Vickie Lankford, Judy Lindberg, Debbie Lindley, Nancy Livingston, Ken Lockerman, David Long, Jerry Lroy, Margie Mackebon, Sherry Mahaffey, Margaret Malone, Jam Marin, Jimmy Maury, Bill McCormack, Shirley McDuffie, Ernest McClaren, Richard Medina, Russell Miller, Lou Mills, Barbara Mitchell, Thomas Mock, Janet Moore, Nora Moranda, William Moreno, Brenda Morgan, Sherry Moyer, Brad Murray, Billy Neel, Lonna Nelson, Larry Neumann, Richard Newell, John Niscavits, Dan Noble, Grant Norris, Diane O'Quain, Mona Ohm, Bob Olson, Del Parker, Darlene Pate, Maureen Pearson, Bill Perry, Frank Pettigrew, Paul Phillips, Pat Priest, Harold Pruitt, Ray Pyle, Lori Ramey, Rochelle Rawlins, Patty Rayburn, Julia Redding, Vickie Reiswig, Vickie Richard, Lonnie Ricks, Cindy Ridenour, Ava Rogers, Kenneth Roney, Dede Rudd, Mark Russell, Mary Sanders, Faye Sansom, Judy Sawyer, Steve Schuster, Kathy Scott, Sharon Sharp, John Sherrington, Lynn Showalter, Wayne Simmons, Jerome Smith, Bill Smith, Frances Smith, Sam Smith, Tucker Smith, Rhonda Sones, Paul Spradley, Candy Stanfield, Carolyn Stevens, Darrell Stevens, Cindy Stewart, Jan Stovall, Paul Swank, John Taylor, Johnny Terry, Eddie Tindall, Larry Tittle, Ruth Toney, Gene Toy, David Trefry, Trudy Turner, Cheri Vance, Mike Vollmering, Debbie Vorhies, Rosemary Wade, Wallace Ward, George Weaver, Regina Wells, Gina West, Wanda Wetherall, James White, Patti Wilcoxson, Patti Willard, Sharon Wills, Kris Wilson, Steve Withrow, Dennis Witt, Charles Wood, Betty Ybarrafs

    • 1st place (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006) District winners in Web Design.
    • Numerous football district, regional titles
    • Numerous volleyball district, regional titles
    • Numerous cross-country, district, regional, and two state titles
    • Numerous basketball district and regional titles
    • Numerous softball district, regional, and two state titles
    • Numerous individual and team track winners district, regional, and state
    • Numerous baseball district and regional titles
    • Numerous individual swimming medalists
    • Recognized Campus - 1999-2000, 2001-2002
    • Many National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists and several finalists
    • National Academic Decathlon winner in 1992 and 1996
    • Third place - National Academic Decathlon - 2003
    • State Latin Junior Classical League champions - 1981-1995, 1998, 2006
    • UIL district, regional, and state winners (journalism, business, computer)
    • Many UIL sweepstakes awards for choir, band, and orchestra
    • State awards in cheerleader competitions
    • State awards in dance team (Lariaettes) competitions
    • UIL prize-winning drama productions
    • Vocational top awards for Health Occupations, Cosmetology Business, Auto Mechanics, Auto Body, and Home Economics departments
    • Friends of Pasadena Library poetry contest winners
    • Numerous Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Art Winners
    • Scholastic Gold and Silver Key art winners Scholastic Gold Key creative writing winner Student art honored with exhibitions in State Capitol
    • Numerous all-state choir, band, and orchestra members
    • State award winning literary magazine, the etalage
    • State honors for Dobie Student Council
    • Many Champion and Reserve Champion winners at Pasadena Livestock Show and Rodeo
    • Numerous speech/debate first place awards in area contests
    • Allen Sory 1968-1976
    • Frank Braden 1976-1988
    • Jerry Speer 1988-2000
    • Steve Jamail 2000-2012
    • Franklin Moses 2012-present