Lake Brantley High School

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Lake Brantley High School
LBHS2.jpg
Patriots Make the Difference!
Location
Altamonte Springs, Florida, USA
Coordinates 28°40′53.0466″N 81°25′22.50″W / 28.681401833°N 81.4229167°W / 28.681401833; -81.4229167 (Lake Brantley High School)
Information
Type Public
Established 1972
Head teacher Mike Gaudreau
Faculty 172 (teachers)
Number of students 3,430
Campus Location using Google Map
Color(s) Red, White, and Blue
Mascot Patriot
Website

Lake Brantley High School (LBHS) is located in Altamonte Springs, Florida, a suburban community approximately 13 miles (20 km) north of Orlando. It is a public high school serving grade levels 9–12[1] in Seminole County, FL, operated by Seminole County Public Schools. The school, which opened in 1972, ranked 79th on Newsweek magazine's 2005 list of the top 100 high schools in the United States and 424th in the 2009 Newsweek list.[2]

History[edit]

In 1969 the School Board of Seminole County, Florida determined that because of projected population growth, three new schools would need to be built in the southern part of the county. School Board Chairman John G. Angel proposed a $10-million bond issue to fund these schools, and the issue was handily approved by the voters. The plan was that an elementary school, a middle school and a high school all be built adjacent to each other in an "educational plaza" on Sand Lake Road, just west of Forest City Road. (In 1977, Angel recalled that the bond issue had passed so easily that he immediately wished that he had asked for twice as much). All three schools (and several others in the next few years) were designed by architect Eoghan Kelley, a somewhat controversial figure in Central Florida in his day.

Kelley's designs were based in part on a trend of the early 1970s called the Open School Concept. The outer school building was composed of large, simple geometric shapes with no windows, and the interior of each module was so laid out that it had few permanent walls; instead, movable walls abounded and very few of the classrooms had any doors. This was supposedly done to facilitate free movement between the rooms and other resources (such as the libraries) in each module. As the first few years were to make clear, the "no-doors" concept proved a failure, with teachers complaining constantly about noise from other rooms and halls. Eventually all the gaps were boarded up and each classroom got a door.

Kelley also stated that he had designed each school to be a fallout shelter if ever needed. (There was controversy as to whether these buildings were stout enough to play such a role, no exterior windows notwithstanding. They contained no steel reinforcement in the outer cinder-block walls, and engineers doubt that they could have withstood a hurricane stronger than Category 2 or even a tornado, let alone a nuclear weapon). Kelley was awarded the contract to design the Educational Plaza schools and several others in Seminole County, as well as other schools in Florida, primarily in Pasco County.

The first school, Forest City Elementary, was completed in 1971 and its first principal was Mr. Arnold C. Otto. (This area was originally part of the incorporated (in 1972) municipality of Forest City, however, within the decade it was absorbed into the city of Altamonte Springs. Brantley's early yearbooks refer to the school being in "Forest City, Florida," a ghost of former times). Teague Middle School was completed in 1972 and John Angel, by then retired from the school board, became its first principal. Lake Brantley High School was actually opened in 1973 and its first principal was Mr. William ("Bill") Daugherty.

Bill Daugherty first proposed the plans for Lake Brantley to the school board in 1971, and, because construction of the new building was not complete, classes were started in September 1972 on the old Lyman High School campus. (This old campus is now the site of R. T. Milwee Middle School; the new (1970) and present site of Lyman High is a mile to the north). The new building (LBHS Version 1.1) of about 141,000 square feet (13,100 m2) was finally completed in February 1973, and Lake Brantley's 900 students moved across town and started classes on February 15. The new building was officially dedicated on Monday, May 13, 1973.

LBHS' first official year in the new building began on September 4, 1973, with 1,100 students in two grades, 9 and 10. One grade was added in each of the next two years and LBHS' first graduating class matriculated on June 8, 1975. In 1974, the school board set its final districting lines, and many Brantley students (all those who lived east of Interstate 4) had to move to Lyman High School. Because enrollment was growing so quickly, a new addition to the original building was completed in the summer of 1975, at a cost of $3,500,000 - which was the entire cost of the original building, some five times larger than the addition. (Rampant inflation overtook John Angel's original budget, and the original school was built for only $17 a square foot. This was to come back to haunt the school board in later years). The open-air commons was roofed over during this time as well, and the new size of LBHS (Version 1.2) was 220,000 square feet (20,000 m2) of enclosed building. The stadium, Tom Storey Field, was finished and dedicated in November 1974, and its final improved cost (including the concrete bleachers structure and a scoreboard) was $70,000. A final addition was made to the original school in 1989, and LBHS' final size (Version 1.3) was about 270,000 square feet (25,000 m2).

Within just six years of the opening day, serious flaws in construction and material quality began to appear in the school building, and severe roof leaks appeared in many different places. Two major repair and refurbishing projects were undertaken in 1980 and 1985, but eventually, the school board had had enough, and plans were unveiled in 1996 to demolish the school and rebuild it from the ground up. By 1979, Seminole County had given up on Eoghan Kelley and by 1996, five of the fifteen schools he designed in Seminole County were demolished; the other ten were gutted and re-modeled. Even so, the exteriors of these elementary schools - Altamonte, Forest City, Lake Orienta, Sabal Point and Winter Springs, and a private school (Forest Lake Academy) clearly show their Kelley School design. Only a couple fragments remain of the others: the gymnasium of Lake Howell High School, and a partial addition to the original Teague Middle School. His other Florida schools in the counties of Alachua, Columbia, Flagler, Pasco, Sarasota and Volusia are still standing.

The new school design was thoroughly traditional, consisting of many different buildings instead of the old monolithic structure. The projected cost was $39 million, which wound up being $42 million even after some proposed items were omitted - quite a lot more than the $7.1 million cost of the first school. Construction of the present LBHS began in 1998, and demolition of the original building began the day after classes ended in May 1999. Demolition was complete by August, and the new school buildings (LBHS Version 2.0) opened for business the same month - not totally finished. Of all the structures on campus today, only the stadium is original. All of the east wall and about a third of the north wall of the original 700-module (which held Band, Chorus, Dance and part of the gymnasium concessionary) were left intact and re-used as the outer walls adjacent to the auditorium and the cafeteria. They are now the only remaining fragments of the original school.

In 2004, Lake Brantley became the focus of the school district rezoning controversy in Seminole County.[3] The new school district zoning policy ended up sending some would-be Lake Brantley students to the less prestigious Lyman High School.

Principals[edit]

The first principal of LBHS was Bill W. Daugherty, who assumed office in March 1972. His assistant principals were Don T. Reynolds, Charles Anthony (Tony) Mandeville and A. Darvin Boothe, and his Dean was James Mc Manus. Up until this time, LBHS had had only one Dean for all of the students, but starting in November 1974, separate Deans for boys and girls were put in place. James Mc Manus became a counselor, and the first Dean of Boys was Bill Duty (a coach) and the first Dean of Girls was Cindy Crain (a Humanities teacher from Seminole High School). Another assistant principal, Charles C. Webb, was brought on board that year. Mr. Daugherty resigned in June 1975 to take the job of Dean of Men of his college alma mater in Tennessee.

LBHS' second principal was Richard Barnett, who served for 18 months before being forced to resign in January 1977 amid rumors of severe misconduct. The school board appointed Assistant Principal Boothe to serve in his stead, and this temporary appointment was made permanent on April 1, 1977. Alvin Darvin Boothe became Lake Brantley's third principal, a job he was to hold for the next 29 years. He presided over his first commencement on Saturday, June 11, 1977.

Mr. Boothe worked tirelessly to improve the school, and together with the support of his faculty, LBHS' academic standing was raised to one of the Nation's Top 100 schools. He resigned as principal in March 2006 at the age of 58, after nearly 38 years of service to Seminole County. Mr. Boothe still serves the county as a liaison between the public schools and the state government in Tallahassee. Mr. Boothe started his Seminole County years as a teacher and a coach at Seminole High School in Sanford (where he worked for Don Reynolds), and came to LBHS as an assistant principal.

Of all the people that ever worked at Lake Brantley, very few served as long or longer. Until 2005, there was were only two other people who had served as long: Regina Klaers, who started as a mathematics teacher and left after 33 years to serve as curriculum director for the district. A second-year person, Dannie Roberts, a guidance counselor, retired in 2010 after serving 37 years. Right behind him were two other people from Brantley's third year - Bill Dempsey, a social studies teacher who retired in 2010 after 36 years, and Shirley Bridgman Nieto, a science teacher who retired in 2010 after 35 years. One second-year person (1973) returned in 1994; Darla Ann Mengel Lanier, a business teacher who moved to Seminole High School in Sanford. She took a promotion to the county office in March 2012. Had she never left (and also taken a 10-year leave of absence to raise her children), she would have been tied for Queen of the Hill. Sally Mc Call, a guidance counselor who came in August 1974, has 39 years and is now second in line for Queen of the Hill, and Janice Daniels, a business teacher who came in August 1973, is Queen of the Hill with 40 years. She and Sally are the very last faculty members remaining from Brantley's first three years and Janice is the last from the first two years.

Don Reynolds left Brantley to serve as Principal first at Lyman HS and then at Lake Mary HS. In his final years, he served as curriculum executive with the School Board until his retirement. Richard Barnett opened a used book store in downtown Sanford for a number of years, and in the late 1980s he returned to Massachusetts. Cindy Crain became a vice-principal of Brantley in the early 1980s and served as such until her retirement, when she went into private practice as a counselor. She passed away in 2012 at the age of 80. Tony Mandeville went into private business, and Charles Webb became the principal of Oviedo High School until his retirement.

Harder times have come to Lake Brantley; its national standing has fallen from the Top 100, to 1,031 by 2012. Mr. Boothe's replacement was Mary Williams (LBHS Class of 1980), who along with her husband Richard and her three sons were all alumni of LBHS. She joined the faculty in 1983 as a mathematics teacher and later became an assistant principal. She served as the fourth principal of Lake Brantley High School from March 2006 until June 2013, when she left to be the principal of Paul J. Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida.

The new, and fifth, principal of Lake Brantley is Mr. Mike Gaudreau, who assumed office in July 2013.

Mottoes[edit]

The first motto of LBHS was School of the Future. This was changed to Patriots Meet The Challenge. Today's motto is Patriots Make The Difference.

Alma Mater[edit]

The original Alma Mater:

School of the Future, Lake Brantley High
We are proud to sing your praise
We gather knowledge through the years
In all of the modern ways
Lake Brantley High School leads the way
Lake Brantley High School here we'll stay
To try our best to learn the most
and be the finest from coast to coast

It was written by Mr. Ken Bovio, a former music teacher and also one of Brantley's first assistant principals. He left in June 1974 to be principal of an elementary school. For reasons unclear, this Alma Mater fell from favor and it ceased to be used. The original Alma Mater plaque, made in 1972 by the Civinettes and hung from the east wall of the gymnasium, was not saved and it was destroyed in July 1999 when the gymnasium was demolished. In addition, the original builders' dedication plaques from 1973 and 1975 (in lieu of cornerstones) which were on the north wall of the school foyer also vanished during the demolition. Plaques similar to these in style can still be found at Forest City Elementary. As to why LBHS was called "school of the future," it was not due to any change in teaching methods from any other Seminole County schools of the time, but only due to the (perceived) "futuristic" appearance of the Eoghan Kelley schools. This appellation was most probably the temporary whimsy of Bill Daugherty.

Mascot[edit]

In 1973 - When it came time to choose a school mascot, the Patriot won out by one vote over the bass fish.

Academics[edit]

  • Offers 27 AP courses in a wide variety of academic subjects as well as in elective interests[4]
  • 45.5% of AP tests were passed in 2006
  • Received an "A" rating from the Florida Department of Education in 2006[5]
  • Had 7 National Merit Scholar finalists in the class of 2006 and had 2 in 2007
  • Performed significantly better than the average Florida school average and national school average in SAT and ACT test scores
  • Highest ACT and SAT scores within the district for 2002 and significantly higher than the state average[6]
  • Over 1600 Advanced Placement tests administered in 2003
  • 821 students scored 3 or higher on the 2003 AP tests
  • In the class of 2005, there were 4 National Merit Finalists

Athletics[edit]

Lake Brantley has many different sports teams. The fall sports include football (Freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams), cross country, bowling, golf, slow-pitch softball, swimming, track and girls' volleyball. Winter sports include girls' and boys' basketball, girls' and boys' soccer, wrestling and girls' weightlifting. Spring sports include girls' and boys' lacrosse, girls' and boys' tennis, baseball, fast-pitch softball, boys' weightlifting, water-polo and boys' volleyball. Their non-competitive all-girl cheer-leading squads are year round; however, a separate competitive team competes in the winter/early spring.

Jerri Kelly serves as the current Athletic Director. Michelle Carroll is the current Athletic Secretary.

Other information[edit]

  • Lake Brantley's auditorium was home to the Don Baker Memorial Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre organ
  • The Lake Brantley High School Band is the largest high school band in the state of Florida, consisting of over 350 students[chronology citation needed]
  • Lake Brantley is one of 6 schools in the state of Florida to be a part of the German American Partnership Program (GAPP)
  • Lake Brantley boasts the best Seminole County teacher in terms of AP Pass rate in Vita Simmons.
  • Lake Brantley's first Teacher of the Year to be selected for all of Seminole County was Adam Sherman for the 2014 District title.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]