100 Years of ECISD

  • Welcome to our Celebrating 100 Years of Ector County ISD webpage!

    We are planning a year of events and activities that look back the history and accomplishments of ECISD, as well as look forward to a new century of growth and innovation! We will be adding information to this site as the weeks go by so look for those announcements and plans right here.

    We trace the beginnings of Odessa – and Odessa’s schools – back to the late 1800s, when the Texas Legislature divided the great expanse of west Texas into several counties including Ector.

    A district covering all of the county was created locally, and Inez Rathbun was hired as Odessa’s first public school teacher. She taught classes in February and March of 1890. Miss Rathbun was followed by Mrs. E.R. Bryan who taught in a room in the courthouse for another seven-and-a-half months that year. Records show there have been public school classes every year in Ector County since then.

    The first school building was built at 6th Street and Texas and was used for a decade until a new red brick school house was built at 10th Street and Lee in 1909 (pictured). It was two stories with two rooms on each floor, and that is where all students attended classes.

    On August 18, 1921, during a special session of the Texas Legislature, Texas Governor Pat Morris Neff signed House Bill 59 and at 1:01 p.m. the formation of Ector County Independent School District (ECISD) was officially announced.

    A little more than one week later, on August 27th, the first Board of Trustees election was held.

    ECISD started with 171 students and a budget of $2,223.

    From that humble beginning has grown one of Texas’ major school districts; one with a history of innovation; a rich tradition of community support; and a determination to overcome any obstacles hindering our journey toward success.

    Ector County ISD schools have produced Olympians, Hall of Famers, entrepreneurs, businessmen and business women, leaders in medicine, as well as generations of local, state and national leaders .

    ECISD’s enrollment is now more than 32,000 students and our budget is more than $350 million – figures that were certainly unimaginable in 1921 . Just as the early West Texas pioneers probably never imagined the booms and busts of the oil fields; the world-wide impact of our Permian Basin region; and the technology that now drives oil exploration…our early educational could never have dreamed of internet connections, laptop computers, artificial intelligence and virtual reality goggles. All tools that we now use to teach our 21st Century students. 

    We look toward the future with great anticipation. We are driven by commitments to excellence in our work, investing in our talented people, and ensuring every student’s learning journey prepares them for whatever path they choose to pursue. You see it in our mission statement and we believe it wholeheartedly – OUR Students are THE Future. That future is very bright. Happy 100th birthday, Ector County ISD!

  • 100 Years of ECISD: Ector County Independent School District 1921-2021