Austin Junior High opened its doors in the fall of 1976 under the leadership of principal, Curtis Hines. Helping Mr. Hines with leading the Broncos were Jo Dial and Nim Vokel, vice principals. Maroon and white were chosen as the school colors (Mr. Hines daughter was attending A&M) and the Bronco, Spirit, was chosen as the school mascot.
Counselors Dar Roedel and Jean Priestly helped guide the students and help them with their problems. The first organizational meeting of the PTA was help on October 5, 1976 and Evan Griffiths was elected president.
The school song was based on the tune of the Texas state song, Texas, Our Texas, and the fight song's melody was taken from Ghost Riders in the Sky. The words for both school songs were written by one of the art teachers, Carolyn Kelly.
During the first year the athletic department had some rough times being the new school in the area but the 8th grade girls track team coached by Arlene Fasbender won every event they entered. They won 27 of the possible 28 trophies during the year. The year was highlighted with the creation of the Austin Student council with Brian Barton as the governor and the National Junior Honor Society with Cindi Aaen as president. The first Sweetheart Ball was held in February with Dana Schroeder and Bob Castleton being named Queen and King.