MCDADE, Texas (KXAN) — For the first time in 79 years, McDade High School has a graduating class.
Seven seniors walked across the stage at McDade High School to receive their high school diploma Friday evening.
In 1941, the old McDade High School burned down.
At the time, the cost to rebuild was more than what insurance offered, so the decision was made to shuttle students to neighboring Central Texas districts.
“The community thought about it and decided not to rebuild,” said McDade ISD Superintendent Barbara Marshbanks. “It was during World War 2 and they wanted to conserve the community’s resources.”
Then in 2016, McDade ISD leaders re-established the high school and began offering courses.
The facilities were re-purposed and students were allowed to resume their studies in the building for the 2016-2017 academic school year.
“We wanted to bring high school back so our kids would have a place to call home,” she said.
Local students happily took that offer.
“They were like, if you stay here, you’ll be part of the first class in 79 years,” said Aaron Araujo, one of the graduates. “That made me want to stay longer so I could accomplish that.”
At a high school of about 85 students, Valedictorian Omar Cruz also played football, basketball, and ran track.
“I’m very proud that I know I have people supporting me,” he said. “This is a legacy that I’m leaving behind.”