and the community is the soul of the school.”
Oscar Carter and D.D. Cooley--
Founders of the “Houston Heights” neighborhood
Hamilton Middle School, founded in 1919, is located in the historic Houston Heights at the intersection of Heights Boulevard and 20th Street. The school’s main building, designed in a neo-gothic style with soaring towers at its entrance that form an “H” and surrounded by Live Oak trees, with inviting sidewalks and benches, is a timeless cornerstone of one of Houston’s most attractive and diverse urban settings.
Houston Independent School District spent $406,000 to build the facility and contributed another $86,000 for equipment and furnishings. After construction was complete in 1919, Hamilton Middle School was a neighborhood showplace.
Teachers were paid the generous sum of $1,500 a year.
It was not long before Hamilton students began to excel in many ways: teachers expanded the academic interests of students with speakers like the famous Sergeant York and the grandson of Comanche chief, Quanah Parker. In 1926, the Hamilton Indians football team won the City’s championship..
In difficult periods during the 30’s and 40’s, the school reached out to its neighbors: during the Depression, Hamilton opened a thrift shop to help support Heights-area families. In the aftermath of World War II, the school helped the neighborhood return to normalcy by bringing together families for school competitions (and winning several city championships, in both swimming and baseball).
Hamilton M.S. continued to thrive throughout the 60’s and 70’s, when it won numerous citywide baseball and football championships and graduated many students destined for illustrious careers, including: renowned newsman Dan Rather, race car driver A.J.Foyt, and famed criminal attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes. During the 70’s, Hamilton successfully integrated its student body, adding to the rich diversity of the school still present today.
In the 1980s, Hamilton intensified its commitment to academic excellence by adding a Vanguard Program for Gifted and Talented students. Heights-area children were provided an even greater platform to receive an excellent education within their own neighborhood.
Hamilton was also an early adopter of such programs as, “Kick Drugs Out of America” program, designed by martial arts master and actor Chuck Norris, to provide a healthy alternative to drug use in the form of martial arts training and to promote athletics outside conventional sports.
In 1999, Hamilton Middle School was honored by The Annenberg Foundation as one of its "Lamplighter Schools."
In the 2000’s, Hamilton has continued to be a leading middle school not only within the Heights Community, but within the entire Houston School District. Academically, the Texas Education Agency rated Hamilton “Recognized” status for the past six years.
Student art has been displayed at several venues, including The Wortham Center, Jones Hall, and the Houston Public Library (Downtown location). Art students have won 3rd Place and Honorable Mentions in the Wells Fargo/Society for Performing Arts contest as well as other numerous awards. Hamilton’s Speech & Debate Team has placed 1st (2009, 2010) and 2nd (2012) in University of Houston’s Elite School Sweepstakes.
Hamilton students continue to be engaged in civic responsibilities, including participating in “Souper Bowl of Caring,” the March of Dimes, and Breast cancer awareness campaigns. In 2013-2014, Hamilton students began partnering with Rice University's "Rice Coalition on Hunger & Homelessness."
Consistently striving to be the "heart of the community" in many important ways is Hamilton's history, its present, and its future. Hamilton Middle School students are well-educated and well-rounded . . . and “Destined for Greatness.”