History of Coppell Independent School District
There was a school - likely a log cabin - in the Coppell area (renamed from "Gibbs Station") as early as the 1870s. In 1879, school was held in the Grapevine Springs (historic park in Coppell) Methodist Chapel and seemingly occupied a number of local church buildings over time. By at least 1897, Coppell had its very own school building, and an even newer two-story building served students at the turn of the century. In 1927, the Dallas County School System acquired six acres of land in Coppell along present Southwestern Boulevard for $900, upon which a new brick building was built. Two rural schools, Gentry School and Bethel School, consolidated with Coppell School and moved into the new building, part of which is, today, Pinkerton Elementary. In 1928, Coppell School had 175 students in grades one through eight. Upon finishing the eighth grade, students attended Carrollton High School to graduate from the twelfth grade. Coppell school ceased to be a county school in 1959 when the Coppell Independent School District was Created In the early 1960s, a decision was made to expand Coppell School into a full twelve-grade school, and a grade was added per year until 1965. Until 1963, Coppell athletic teams were known as the Coppell Tigers. Then, because of the new professional football team in Dallas, and because Coppell was home to a junior rodeo, the mascot changed to the Coppell Cowboys. First High School Class graduated from Coppell High School in 1965. In 1967 a second school building was built to house grades seven through twelve; that building is the current location of Coppell Middle School West. Coppell School was renamed as Pinkerton Elementary.
As rapid city growth continued after 1967, Coppell Middle School was located on the same site as Coppell High School
Coppell School, established in 1928, was renamed to W. W. Pinkerton Elementary in the honor of Woodrow Wilson Pinkerton.
A new building was built to house grades seven through twelve, which is the current location of Coppell Middle School West.
Old Lee Elementary was added in 1983 at the current New Tech High @ Coppell location. The school was closed and the building was re-purposed in the Summer of 2008. CISD added its second middle school, opening doors to Middle School East in 1986. In 1987 the third elementary school was added and was named Barbara S. Austin Elementary. In 1989 Coppell High School moved to its present location allowing Coppell Middle School West to take over the entire campus. New additions were made to CHS in 1993, 1997, 2001, and 2014. Starting in 1991, an elementary school was added each year until 1994. Mockingbird opened its doors in 1991 to become the fourth elementary school. Wilson Elementary was added in 1992 and was named in the honor of Wheelice Hart Wilson. Lakeside became the fifth elementary school in 1993. Town Center Elementary opened its doors in 1994. In 1996 Cottonwood Creek Elementary and Valley Ranch Elementary were added making it nine elementary schools. Denton Creek Elementary and Middle School North opened their doors in 1998 becoming the 10th elementary school and third middle school respectively. CISD Annex (alternative education center) outgrew its original location and the new campus became known as Victory Place @ Coppell. Coppell ISD’s second high school, New Tech High @ Coppell, opened in fall 2008 with two grade levels, ninth and tenth, and 275 students. This twenty-first century choice high school was founded on the concept of collaborative and project-based learning and was the forty-second New Tech High academic community of its kind in the country (today there are over 150 campuses in the New Tech Network). In 2014, CISD opened Richard J. Lee Elementary, the first LEED Gold Certified and Net Zero Energy elementary school in Texas.
Student growth in Coppell ISD averaged over 16% from the mid-1980s. Today, as one of the largest employers in Coppell, with over 1200 employees, Coppell ISD is comprised of sixteen campuses serving nearly 12,391 students in grades PreK-12. The district includes ten elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools, and an alternative campus. Current growth projections of between 200 and 250 new students per year (for the next five years) indicates more schools will be needed.
This high-performing and diverse public school system has earned a statewide and national reputation as a leading innovator in transformative and engaged learning for the 21st century. It proudly educates with a whole-child philosophy in mind boasting state and national championships in academics, athletics, and the fine and performing arts. In 2015, a record 37 National Merit Semifinalists were named in a district where a rigorous curriculum helps prepare 92% of all graduates to continue their educational pursuits at the university level.
The Coppell Independent School District is conveniently located approximately ten minutes north east of the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport in the North Texas area. Although the City of Coppell is just over 14 sq. mi. in size, the school district spans over 23 sq. mi. in the cities of Coppell, as well as portions of Dallas, Irving, Lewisville, and Grapevine.
(Special thanks to Wheelice “Pete” Wilson, Jr. and the Coppell Historical Society for their early timeline contributions.)