David W. Carter High School

David W. Carter High School
David W. Carter High School
1819 W. Wheatland Road
Dallas, TX 75232  United States

Type public, secondary
School district Dallas Independent School District
Principal Gail David Dupree[1]
Faculty 185[1]
Grades 9-12
Number of students 1,872[2]
Color(s) Columbia Blue and Red[1]
Mascot Cowboys[1]
Trustee dist.  6, Carla Ranger[3]
Learning Community   Superintendent's, Leslie Williams [4]

David Wendel Carter High School (commonly referred to as Dallas Carter) is a public school located in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas (USA). David W. Carter High School, which covers grades 9-12, is a part of the Dallas Independent School District.



The school was built in 1965 and is named after David Wendel Carter, a doctor and member of the DISD school board. He served on the school board for 25 years, from 1925 to 1950, longer than any other member. Carter also served as the school board's president for 16 years.[1] The school graduated its first class of seniors in 1968.[5]

The area surrounding Carter is one of the wealthier parts of Oak Cliff; most homes were built in the early 1960s. Although Carter's students were almost completely white when the school opened, the student body became increasingly African-American in the late 1970s. The surrounding neighborhood remains solidly middle-class.[citation needed]

The school initially drew students from Justin F. Kimball High School; the two schools maintain a highly competitive rivalry to this day. The two schools face each other annually in football as "The Oak Cliff Super Bowl".[citation needed]

In 2005, after the closure of the Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District. Carter absorbed some WHISD high school students.[6]

In 2011 the district re-opened Wilmer Hutchins High School.[7] Some former WHISD zones covered by Carter were rezoned to Wilmer-Hutchins.[8][9]

Extracurricular activities


Carter High School winning football program started with Joe Rush, Mike Baker, Danny Davis, Patrick Martin, O.C Jackson and Skip Jefferson. Patrick Martin was 1st team All-SWC at Arkansas 1978. Dallas Carter has a very competitive American football program. Playing in the highest classification in Texas high school football, the Cowboys reached the state semifinals in 1971 (lost 7-13 to Wichita Falls), 1974 (lost 12-14 to Mesquite) and 1982 (lost 13-21 to Hurst Bell), but did not make the final game until 1988. That year, Dallas Carter had one of the most talented high school football teams ever assembled, equipped with a defense featuring Jessie Armstead (LB), Derrick Cherry (DT), Clifton Abraham (CB), Le'Shai Maston and Derric Evans (both S). Guided by legendary coach Freddie James, the Cowboys won the 1988 5A state championship with a 31-14 win over Converse Judson. During the 1988 playoffs, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) attempted to remove Carter for using a player ineligible for an allegedly failing grade. The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) challenged the determination of the TEA in court and received a restraining order allowing them to continue play. Carter won the case in district court, Judge Joe Kendall ruling that the DISD, not the TEA, held the final authority to determine its students' grade. (The DISD had ruled that the student passed.) The UIL and TEA appealed Judge Kendall's decision and the appellate court refused to hear it, declaring the case moot. In spite of the court's rulings, the UIL voted in 1991 to officially strip the title from Carter and award it to Judson. The DISD, weary from years of legal proceedings, decided not to further contest the matter.[citation needed]

The 1988 Dallas Carter Cowboys appear in the 2004 film Friday Night Lights as opponents to Odessa Permian in the state championship game. Actually Carter defeated Permian in the 1988 state semifinals. The video clips used to show the 1988 Dallas Carter playing the “Hays Rams” was actually a 2002 playoff game between Carter and Richardson Berkner.

Carter's 1989 team was just as talented as the 1988 squad, featuring Clifton Abraham in his senior year and transfer Greg Hill. However, they were banned from the 1989 state playoffs by the UIL executive committee because Carter coach Freddie James had knowingly played an ineligible player. Carter was also caught using police scanners in 1991 to intercept radio headset communications between opposing team's press box coaches and sideline coaches, limiting an opposing team to six first downs in a 1991 playoff game. Nonetheless, the Dallas Morning News ranked Dallas Carter at #1 of the their final area ranking of the 1989 season. In 1990, Carter reached the state semifinals again, but lost 7-28 to Arlington Lamar. Since James retired in 1995, Carter had a couple of different head football coaches. Bruce Chambers chose to leave the school for an assistant job at Texas after two seasons. His successor Linus Walton coached 1998 and 1999 before being removed after he was convicted of stealing money from the school. In 2000 Carter had an interim coach.

In 2002, Carter hired Allen Wilson, who has previously coached at Paris High School in Paris, Texas and John Tyler High School in Tyler, Texas. Paris won a 4A state title in 1988, while John Tyler won a 5A title in 1994 and made a finals appearance in 2000. Carter owns a 53-8 record since Wilson's arrival.

Dallas Carter had made 30 playoff appearances, which is best in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and 5th overall in 5A Texas football.[10]


53% of the students at David W. Carter High School are economically disadvantaged, 12% enroll in special education, 10% enroll in gifted and talent programs, and 4% are considered "limited English proficient."[11]

The ethnic makeup of the school is 94% African-American, 6% Hispanic, less than 1% White, non-Hispanic, less than 1% Asian/Pacific Islander, and less than 1% American Indian/Alaskan Native.[11]

The average class sizes at Carter are 24 students for English, 30 for foreign language, 22 for math, 23 for science, and 28 for social studies.[11]

Teachers at the school carry, on average, 11 years of teaching experience and 9% of the teachers on staff are first-year teachers.[11]

Feeder patterns

As of 2006, William H. Atwell and D. A. Hulcy Middle Schools feed into David W. Carter High School. [12]

Adelle Turner, Mark Twain Vanguard, and T. G. Terry Elementary Schools feed into William H. Atwell Middle School, and Birdie Alexander, Umphrey Lee, Ronald E. McNair, and Martin Weiss Elementary Schools feed into D. A. Hulcy Middle School, all of which ultimately feed into David W. Carter High School.[12]

Notable alumni

  • Jerry Pittman, first graduating class 1968, Dallas attorney, represented British author and attorney, Michael H.B. Eddowes and Marina Oswald Porter; exhumed alleged presidential assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald in 1981 for second autopsy.
  • Craig Watkins, first African American District Attorney in Dallas County and the State of Texas; known worldwide for correcting the wrongful convictions of previous DA's
  • Clifton Abraham, former NFL cornerback
  • Jessie Armstead, former NFL linebacker
  • Karan Ashley (Karan Ashley Jackson), TV actress; played Aisha in the Power Rangers TV program
  • Chet Brooks, former NFL cornerback
  • Joe Burch, former AFL lineman
  • Daryll Smith, NFL player
  • Michael Crabtree, First-Team All-American wide receiver for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, First Round Draft pick (10th overall) by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2009 NFL Draft
  • Greg Hill, former NFL running back
  • Darren Lewis, former NFL running back
  • DJ Phife, disk jockey Celebrity DJ from Dallas Texas
  • Le'Shai Maston, former NFL fullback
  • DeMarcus Love, American football offensive tackle
  • Liz Lacy Mikel, actress and jazz singer
  • Steve Nice, radio personality on K104, a Dallas-area mainstream urban station
  • Mark Sanford, former NBA Player Miami Heat
  • Jesse Poole, former all-purpose back for the TCU Horned Frogs
  • {Patrick Martin), former All SWC 1st team Defensive Back Arkansas, Defensive Player of week vs. Texas AM 1978


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