Howard W. Blake High School

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Howard W. Blake High School
1701 North Boulevard
Tampa, Florida, 33601-3703
Coordinates 27°57′26″N 82°28′06″W / 27.957089°N 82.468324°W / 27.957089; -82.468324Coordinates: 27°57′26″N 82°28′06″W / 27.957089°N 82.468324°W / 27.957089; -82.468324
Type Public, magnet, high school
Established 1956
School district Hillsborough County Public Schools
Principal Jesse Salters
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 1957[1]
Color(s) Black and Gold          
Team name Yellow Jackets

Howard W. Blake High School is a public high school in Tampa, Florida. It originally opened in 1956 as Don Thompson Vocational High School. It became a junior high after the end of segregation.

School history[edit]

The school is named in honor of Howard W. Blake, a Tampa native who attended Florida A&M University, Claflin University, and Atlanta University. Blake's entire life was geared toward guiding young people to their optimal education experience

After Tampa integrated the schools, Blake was known as Blake Junior High and was a seventh grade center, until 1997.

Magnet school[edit]

Upon re-opening in 1997, the school added a magnet school for the visual, communication and performing arts. The magnet program has continued to make headlines and win countless awards within each of its departments over the years.[citation needed]

The 2007-2008 school year marked Blake's 10th anniversary as a magnet school. The celebration of 10 years was shown through the valiant efforts, Blake High School's dedicated Magnet Arts Coordinator. Her event for the anniversary featured a variety of Blake alumni from the ten years, coordinating a gallery full of pieces by talented artists such as Ari Richter and performances in a variety of fields, such as Chicago's star of Wicked, Danyelle Williamson.

The entire school attempted to highlight the occasion, even in such instances as performances (Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind) as well as the Choir and Symphony Orchestra performing the Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Graduation Rate[edit]

In 2012 Blake's graduation rate was 80% as compared to a statewide rate of 74.5% and a Hillsborough County rate of 72.6%. npr[2]

Florida Department of Education Grade[edit]

2014 A
2013 B
2012 A
2011 B
2010 B npr[3]

Accelerated Education[edit]

Blake also boasts a strong academic curriculum, featuring over 15 Advanced Placement programs in which nearly all of the classes score higher on their AP tests than the national average.[citation needed]

Blake Accelerated Curriculum Program is an online high school magnet program in the School District of Hillsborough County. It is one out of seven of franchises of Florida Virtual School. Its online program has certified teachers that are innovative and motivated to teach in an online format[citation needed]. Students only report to campus for FCAT Testing, and extra curricular activities (optional). Students can actually customize their education to become accelerated or to just accommodate their needs. Some students accelerate their high school career by 1–2 years early.[citation needed]

Magnet Programs[edit]


The theatre program is well-regarded within the Tampa arts community and provides a structured opportunity for the study of drama, musical theatre and technical theatre/design as primary divisions of art and literature. The department prides itself in the professional performance and production of their shows, and the personal growth and development of the individuals. The theater department is part of the International Thespian Society and competes annually at Florida State Thespians, where they have won numerous Superior ratings in virtually all categories. The theatre department produces 6 shows a year: two straight plays, two musicals, a musical concert and a Senior Showcase. Students of the theatre department have continued into university theatre or are working in LA and Broadway, such as Taylor Trensch who has toured with Spring Awakening, performed in Broadway Shows Wicked and Matilda, the Musical and is currently sharing the lead role in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and Rachel Lee, a working actress in Hollywood who was recently an extra in Valentines Day. Even during their high school careers, Blake students have made reputations locally and nationally as actors, directors, playwrights, stage managers, designers, and technicians including work at local theater's in the Tampa bay area including, American Stage Theatre, FreeFall Theatre, Stageworks, and Jobsite to name a few. Current Blake Theatre faculty include Sean Ryan Paris, Acting/ Directing ;Jessica Scruggs, Musical Theatre; and Kristian Garza, Theatre Design.[4]


Blake High School offers a wide music curriculum consisting of band, orchestra, choir, guitar, piano, harp, jazz ensembles and marching band in addition to theory and history courses. The faculty of the music department comprises eight highly skilled instructors in their respective fields. There are many opportunities for music students to perform in the community in All-State, All-County, Music Performance Assessment, and Solo and Ensemble festivals.[citation needed]

Dance department[edit]

The dance department has been through many changes but has never had so much success as of late. Currently is headed by three teachers who teach ballet, and different modern techniques. Throughout the year there are master classes and the department is host to guest faculties. The dance department hosts many classes from Dance Repertory, Ballet, Modern, (Jazz, Pilate) Master Classes, Choreography I & II, Dance Honors and Senior Projects. With these the department hosts five shows a year, two faculty shows, two student choreographies and one Senior Showcase. Some students may participate in Youth American International Grand Prix. Decided by the teachers[citation needed].

Creative Writing[edit]

As in all the other majors at Blake High School, creative writing majors are selected by the department teachers through an audition process. Students wishing to be in the program must first prepare a portfolio of their writings, and submit an application to be seen. On the day of their appointment, they must bring said portfolio and meet with the two teachers. Together, the student and teachers will go through the portfolio and the student will be asked to read a sample of their writings aloud. The writings are allowed to be Poetry, Prose or a mix of the two. After acceptance the students are put through a rigorous course that helps them not only produce new works but also teaches them how to perform various works, submit their pieces professionally, how to publish a magazine and how to edit their own work. At the end of their four years the students will be able to publish chapbooks. A chapbook is a typically short book of one's best writings.


The Journalism Program is currently working on having all their material posted via their new website. The program has been successful in achieving awards at school competitions such as FSPA (Florida Scholastic Press Association) for various reasons. The students are selected to be in the program based on their portfolios containing previous editorials, short stories, articles, and any other works of writing that will be reviewed. There will then be an interview with the Advisor for the program.

Visual Arts[edit]

Visual Arts students are selected for enrollment through an auditioning process that considers all current works of art, sketchbook work, potential, academic achievement, and attendance. Visual arts students are required to take all level one courses in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Jewelry, Photography, Sculpture and Ceramics. Students can then decide to take level 2 and 3 classes in any given fine art and by the end of their junior year they may audition again to become an AP studio/ portfolio student and will concentrate in one media. Master certification is available for students that are willing to work extra hard to have 10 (instead of the usual 8 credits) visual art credits by the time they graduate, including AP Art History. All students are required to attend professional artist lectures,gallery openings, submit work into contests, meet deadlines, etc. The facilities in the visual arts department are unmatched by any other high school in Florida and even some colleges and universities. Many private art schools from across the U.S. are familiar with the work of Blake Students and find their work to be exceptional!



Men's sports include swimming, basketball, baseball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, track and field, tennis, and wrestling.


Women's sports include cheerleading, football, soccer, cross country, tennis, softball, volleyball, basketball


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  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Howard W. Blake School of the Arts, Faculty

External links[edit]