Twin Sisters Taught at Roosevelt Elementary School for 32 Years

Two longtime teachers decided to call it quits in 1976 after 32 years teaching at Roosevelt Elementary. They were identical twin sisters, Mary Etta and Mary Ella Banks. The Bankses were born in Arkansas City, Ark., and came to El Paso at the age of 3 with their father, Rev. F.L. Banks, and their mother. The sisters took turns going to college to earn their degrees. One would work to support them, then the next year, the sisters would switch places with each other. Mary Ella was teaching at Aoy Elementary and served as principal, while Mary Etta was teaching school on a ranch during the Great Depression. The Banks sisters earned various honors for their work teaching music. They were at Roosevelt Elementary when it first opened in 1947 and wrote the school song. The sisters both earned master’s degrees and both taught in the Ysleta and El Paso School districts.

Sources and further reading:

El Paso Herald Post
May 1,1975
May 27,1976

EPCHS Volunteer,

Joseph Longo


Since 1954 the El Paso County Historical Society has been a driving force in the historic scene of El Paso. EPCHS strives to foster research into the history of the El Paso area; acquire and make available to the public historic materials; publish and encourage historical writing pertaining to the area; and to develop public consciousness of our rich heritage.