Katy school life started in very modest means. Most of Katy’s school children lived on farms and went to school at home or in a one-room country school in the outlying areas. Some of Katy’s founding fathers set aside land for the original ‘Katy School’, a modest wood structure located at Avenue A and 6th Street.
The first school teacher, Mrs. Edna James, taught students there until the new brick Katy School was built in 1909. By the time the Katy Independent School District was organized in 1918, the high standards and student expectations had already started formulating.
When Katy ISD was founded, children from all of the small farm schools were brought together in the town of Katy. Historians say the Northerners and Midwesterners who came to Katy were a fairly educated group who wanted their sons and daughters to be properly schooled.
Some of Katy’s early educators had unique teaching styles and were immersed in the student’s lives because they usually lived with local families.
According to Roberta Rylander, the most sought-after teacher in Katy’s early days was Mrs. Mary Wilkenson.
“Mary was from Brown and she married Mr. Clark Wilkenson and he moved her to Katy,” says Rylander.
Wilkenson’s students did very well and also enjoyed their teachings. Rylander says Wilkenson was unique because she was extremely patriotic and instilled a sense of pride in her students. “Everybody wanted their children to have Miss Mary.”