School spirit & history

GHS building

Home of the Fighting Owls!

Garland High School, the oldest of the high schools in the Garland I.S.D., celebrated its 100th anniversary during the 2001-2002 school year. As the oldest, it is also the richest in tradition with a sense of pride that is obvious the moment you enter the doors.

Garland High hosts a variety of programs, co-curricular clubs and extra-curricular activities to enhance the educational experience of its students. GHS is the Gifted & Talented magnet in GISD and, as such, offers the International Baccalaureate Program, the Advanced Placement Program and the Performing Arts Endorsement.

Garland High School building in 1900

GHS in 1900

Sheet music for Alma Mater

Sheet music for Alma Mater

1909 Girls Basketball team players with coach

1909 Girls Basketball

1915 debate team members

1915 Debate Team

1918 Girls Basketball team

1918 Girls Basketball

1927 Football

1927 Football

Mascot and school colors

The following is the "official" record on how GHS got its mascot and school colors straight from Homer B. Johnson.

Becoming the Owls

A school up north was publicized as being the best high school football team in the nation. They telegraphed Garland High and challenged them to come up North and play them. Garland didn't even have a team name. 

The night before all the football games, the team from Garland would go to SMU in Dallas and visit all the coeds, so they thought the "Night Owls" would be a good name for the team. The superintendent, the principal and the coach vetoed the name, so everyone finally agreed on "Owls."

Even though GHS never raised enough money to leave the state, they did get their name from that event.

Black and gold

Greenville, Texas, which was a big city in 1923, was known as having the best high school football team in Texas. Garland went to Greenville to play and it was taken for granted that whoever won the game would be declared the state champion. There was no official play-off system in high school football in 1923.

Garland went to play and both teams were red, white, and blue. Greenville asked Garland if they would wear their practice jerseys which were black and gold. Garland agreed and they won the game, which is one of the biggest upsets in the history of Texas High School football and, since this time,  Garland continues to be black and gold.

School songs

Alma Mater

Hail, Garland High School,
your glory behold.
We’ll e’er be loyal
To the black and the gold.
Our Alma Mater,
Steadfast you’ll always be;
We’ll cherish you
Through loss and victory

Across the Field

Send the team across the field
And show them that GARLAND is here!
Set the stands reverberating
with a mighty cheer,
Hit them hard and see how they fall
Never let that team get the ball!
Hail, Hail, the gang’s all here
And we’re all for the GARLAND OWLS!

Fight Song

Here’s to Garland High School
She’s tried and true
Ever we’ll back her
In what she may do.
Rah! Rah! Rah!
See the foe is trembling,
Trembling with fear,
So come and push, pull
For Garland with cheer on cheer.

Yellow G with owl mascot

Seven rules of school spirit

Be loyal

Do not belittle your school to outsiders.  You are the school, too; it isn't just some other people.

Be sharp

Help us keep a high scholastic standing.  This is a criterion by which others will and should judge us.  "Getting by" is not a high enough goal.

Be active

Do your part. Participate in school activities, if you can. School spirit is not merely making noise; it is also a spirit of working together in comradeship and loyalty. Show your school spirit by knowing our school song and singing it at school functions.

Be vigilant

Protect our good name. When thoughtless or irresponsible students disgrace the name of the school, make them feel your displeasure. Let this include discourteous attitudes in assembly or defacing of our common property.

Be courteous

Honor yourself by showing respect and courtesy to your teachers, not because they are better than you, but because they are prepared by training and experience to help you toward a happy and successful life. The public has invested them with certain authority and certain responsibility. They want to be proud of their work.

Be thoughtful

Cultivate an attitude of courtesy toward the public. Let us always be considerate of the property rights of our neighbors. Let us never thoughtlessly crowd the sidewalks, litter the grounds with discarded papers and wrappers, or assume "squatter" rights on their lawns. The way to have good neighbors is to be a good neighbor.

Be honest

Help to maintain a high standard of honesty and self-respect.  Giving or receiving aid on tests is dishonest.

Newspaper archives

Nathan Mathews, an IB student, Class of 2019, completed a project showcasing historic GHS newspapers from the past.  These newspapers are listed by date below.  

Christmas 1944