Bartow High School

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Bartow Senior High School
BHS jackets.jpg
Address
1270 S. Broadway Ave.
Bartow, Florida, Polk County, 33830
United States
Information
School type Public High School
Established 1887
Status Open
School district Polk County Public Schools
Principal Emilean Clemons
Grades 9–12
Gender co-ed
Enrollment 1301 (3/10/2014)
Grade 9 366
Grade 10 339
Grade 11 303
Grade 12 293
Language English
Color(s)     Blue
    Orange
     White
Nickname Yellow Jackets
Rival Kathleen High School
National ranking 2 (2013 Newsweek)
Average ACT scores 30.3 (IB school)
Yearbook Echo
Feeder schools Bartow Middle School, Union Academy
Bartow High School

Bartow Senior High School, formerly Summerlin Institute and Union Academy is the only high school located in Bartow, Florida. The school is also the location of the International Baccalaureate School at Bartow High, a school which annually finishes in the top five in composite SAT scores in the United States as well as Summerlin Academy, the only public military school in Florida.

History[edit]

Summerlin Institute was founded in 1887 as the first public high school located in Bartow, Florida. It was named after Jacob Summerlin who donated large amounts of land to the cities of Bartow and Orlando. This school was the first brick school in the United States located south of Jacksonville, Florida. In the early 20th century, Union Academy was founded in Bartow as a high school for African-Americans. In 1927, Summerlin Institute was relocated to the corner of Broadway Avenue and Tharp Street which is the current location of Bartow High School. In 1968 Polk County, Florida schools were integrated and all high school students living in Bartow and surrounding areas were, for the first time, going to the same school. The name of Summerlin Institute was changed to Bartow Senior High School, and Union Academy became an integrated middle school. The name change was (and still is) controversial because Summerlin Institute was considered one of the more prestigious public schools in the Southern United States, but because the school was named after Jacob Summerlin, who was a slaveholder, many felt the name change was appropriate. Many (but not all) Bartowians consider the history, traditions, alumni, etc. of Bartow High School to include the pre-1970 histories of Summerlin Institutes and Union Academy as well as the history of Bartow High School (1970–present), thus making the 1970 integration a "merger" of two schools. Others consider Summerlin Institute/Bartow High School one school, and Union Academy a now defunct high school, but current middle school.

In 1996, Bartow High School earned approval from the IBO to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma program. The students pursuing this program are placed in the International Baccalaureate School, a school-within-a-school on the Bartow High campus. While IB students attend many IB specific classes they take regular Bartow High School electives and participate in the Bartow High School athletic program. Beginning with the Class of 2010, it was only composed of students from western Polk County, due to the opening of a second IB school at Haines City High School for students from eastern Polk County. The principal of the IB school in Bartow is Dr. Edwin Vetter.

In 2006, the Summerlin Academy was established as a military school originally located under the same roof as Bartow High School and International Baccalaureate School. In 2008, Summerlin moved to its own facility in Bartow.

Athletics[edit]

The school's nickname is the Yellow Jackets, although the school colors and uniforms are blue and orange (a result of the merge between Summerlin Institute and Union Academy; Summerlin's colors were orange and white and Union's colors were blue and white).

Over the last forty years, the school has won multiple team and individual state championships, most of which being in football, men's basketball, swimming, men's weightlifting and girls' softball. The school has many alumni who have competed at the NCAA Division 1 football and professional National Football League levels.

Most recently, Bartow High School has gained the most attention for its success in girls' softball. The program, coached by Glenn Rutenbar, is the only team to have appeared in a FHSAA [1] state championship game for 10 consecutive years (1997–2006). The program won seven titles out of its 10 consecutive appearances and now boasts what is claimed to be the finest high school softball facilities in the state of Florida. During this run, two Bartow pitchers became the first and second players in FHSAA softball history to pitch in four state championship games. Melissa Parsons pitched from 1997–2000, winning the '97 and '00 titles, and Lindsay Littlejohn followed suit from 2002–2005; however, Littlejohn exceeded Parsons' feat by winning all four titles, another first for the history books.

Bartow also became the first team in history to win five consecutive state softball championships (2002–2006). In 2003, the program earned a No. 1 national ranking by the USA Today Coaches' Poll. The dynasty fell when the 2007 team lost to rival Lake Wales Highlanders in postseason play. The team is currently undefeated with an 18-0 record.

Famous alumni[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°53′00″N 81°50′35″W / 27.883214°N 81.84307°W / 27.883214; -81.84307