El Paso’s Central school (pic 3) was the first public school in the city, established in 1884. However, it had no system in place to educate non-English speaking children, and school records at the time showed no students with a Hispanic last name.
Olivas Villanueva Aoy saw this need and decided to address it. With his personal funds, he began a school at the Segundo Barrio in 1887. He not only taught English, but supplied his students with food and clothing and cared for their health. 🍎 A year later, the El Paso school board began supporting the Aoy School, and it became known as the Mexican Preparatory School.
Unfortunately, Aoy died in poverty in 1895, having spent most of his income and savings on supplies for his students. He died as plans were on the way to make a new building for the school, to accommodate the growing population in Segundo Barrio. Many students attended the funeral to pay respect to their teacher, and the new school was named in his honor (Pic 1).
Pic 2: present-day Aoy school🏫
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