On July 3, 1883, the citizens of Terrell voted overwhelmingly to establish and support a system of public schools. The first classes were held in September of that year in buildings that had previously been occupied by various private schools. In 1885, Terrell's first public school building, a three-story brick structure, was completed at the corner of Moore and Ann streets. It burned in 1913, and classes were held at the site of the former Wesley College until a replacement was completed in 1914. Over the years additional facilities have been built as the student population increased.
The Terrell School System has been served by able leaders throughout its history. D. A. Paulas served the first superintendent. From 1893 to 1918 the district was headed by S. M. N. Marrs, who went on to become state superintendent of public instruction in 1922.
Since its beginning in 1883 and its first graduating class in 1886, the Terrell schools have produced fine community citizens and leaders. Public education in Terrell has had a significant impact on the development and growth of the town and the surrounding area.