Booker T. Washington High School (Memphis, Tennessee)

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Booker T. Washington High School
Motto We're tops! We lead and others follow.
Established 1873/1926
Type Public secondary
Principal Alisha Kiner
Students 700
Grades 9–12
Location 715 South Lauderdale Street,
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Coordinates 35°07′40″N 90°02′42″W / 35.127821°N 90.045078°W / 35.127821; -90.045078Coordinates: 35°07′40″N 90°02′42″W / 35.127821°N 90.045078°W / 35.127821; -90.045078
District Memphis City Schools
Campus Urban
Website BTWHS Website
Booker T Washington High School Memphis TN 2013-01-12 009.jpg
Eastern facade with main entrance from South Lauderdale Street

Booker T. Washington High School (also known as BTW[1]) is a public secondary school located in South Memphis. Part of the Memphis City Schools, it serves grades 9-12. The school gained national attention when U.S. President Barack Obama delivered the school's 2011 commencement address as a reward for winning the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.

History[edit]

The school was originally founded as the Clay Street School in 1873 and was among the first public high schools for African Americans in Memphis.[2] It was renamed Kortrecht High School in 1891. In 1926 a new building was constructed and the school was renamed in honor of American educator and civil rights leader Booker T. Washington.[3][4] Further expansions were completed in the years since, including the Blair T. Hunt Gymnasium, dedicated in 1950.[5]

Race to the Top[edit]

The school entered and won the 2011 Race to the Top Commencement Challenge, a competition that "invites public high schools across the country to demonstrate how their school best prepares [students] for college and a career."[6] Among the required application materials were student essays and videos that demonstrated the school's innovation in education. The accomplishments of the school included increasing graduation rates from 55% in 2007 to 82% in 2010 through the use of same-gender freshman classrooms and increased teacher effectiveness.[7] BTW also suffered from and overcame high teen pregnancy and violence rates.[7] The school beat out more than 450 other applicant schools, and as a reward for this achievement, President Barack Obama delivered the school's 2011 commencement speech.[7][8]

Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Flock, Elizabeth (May 17, 2011). "Barack Obama gives keynote address at Memphis high school, views flood damage, and meets NCAA champs". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "Early Black Education in Memphis". Booker T. Washington Class of 1966. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "Kortrecht High School Historic Items and Photos". memphistechhigh.com. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kuhnhenn, Jim (May 17, 2011). "Obama hails high school graduates in Memphis". Associated Press. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "BOOKER T. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL: THROUGH THE YEARS". The Commercial Appeal. Scripps Interactive Newspaper Group. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge". White House. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Holland, Sally. "President visits Memphis High School graduation". CNN.com. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "President Obama at Booker T. Washington High: Commencement Challenge Winners". The White House Blog. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Brisbane, Arthur S. (April 26, 1987). "Marion Barry Just Wants to Be Loved". The Washington Post. p. W20. Retrieved 17 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Verdell Mathis". Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. 2006. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  11. ^ http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/7739be3f

External links[edit]