Booker T. Washington High School (Georgia)

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Booker T. Washington High School
Washington high school.JPG
45 White House Dr.


United States
School typePublic, college preparatory, exam, 21st-century small learning communities
Motto"One Family, One Destiny"
School districtAtlanta Public Schools
SuperintendentMeria Joel Carstarphen
PrincipalAngela Coaxum-Young
Staff52.90 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment679 (2019-20)[1]
Student to teacher ratio13.65[1]
AreaHistoric Washington Park
Booker T. Washington High School
Booker T. Washington High School (Georgia) is located in Atlanta
Booker T. Washington High School (Georgia)
Booker T. Washington High School (Georgia) is located in Georgia (U.S. state)
Booker T. Washington High School (Georgia)
Booker T. Washington High School (Georgia) is located in the United States
Booker T. Washington High School (Georgia)
Location45 Whitehouse Dr. SW, Atlanta, Georgia
Coordinates33°45′12″N 84°25′18″W / 33.75333°N 84.42167°W / 33.75333; -84.42167Coordinates: 33°45′12″N 84°25′18″W / 33.75333°N 84.42167°W / 33.75333; -84.42167
Area21.4 acres (8.7 ha)
ArchitectWachendorff, Eugene C.
Architectural styleMedieval eclectic
NRHP reference No.86000437[2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMarch 18, 1986
Designated ALBOctober 14, 1989

Booker T. Washington High School, named for the famous educator,[3] opened in September 1924 under the auspices of the Atlanta Board of Education, with the late Charles Lincoln Harper as principal. It was the first public high school for African-Americans in the state of Georgia and the Atlanta Public Schools system.[4]

Booker T. Washington High School was transformed into four small schools. Starting in the fall of 2014, the school transitioned back to the original one school, with four assistant principals, one academy leader, and one principal.


  • Angela Coaxum-Young, Principal


Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta.jpg

Designed by Atlanta-born architect Eugene C. Wachendorff, the building incorporates medieval and Byzantine elements, including the dramatic main entrance with five arches in two tiers. Six additions have been made to the original four-story building, which is situated on 21.4 acres (87,000 m2) of land. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[2]

It is fitting that visitors pass the statue of the school's namesake on the way to the entrance.[5] One of the foremost black educators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Booker T. Washington was born into slavery in 1856 on a small farm in Virginia. He founded the Tuskegee Institute in 1881.

In 1927, the only exact replica of the Booker T. Washington monument at Tuskegee University in Alabama was erected at the school's entrance. The statue of Washington, called "Booker T. Washington Lifting the Veil of Ignorance," is a replica of the original bronze at the Tuskegee Institute by sculptor Charles Keck. The inscription reads: "He lifted the veil of ignorance from his people and pointed the way to progress through education and industry."[5]

Today, the school, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, boasts an enrollment of more than 1600 students and a faculty and staff of more than 100.

Visitors to the historic institution have included South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, activist Jesse Jackson, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, and President George W. Bush.[6][7]

The school serves as a cornerstone of Atlanta Public School's comprehensive reform program, Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams). The project aims to increase the number of inner-city students who graduate and go to college.[4]


Washington Early College[edit]

Booker T. Washington High School-Early College is one of the newest early college small schools in the Atlanta Public School System. The premise behind the early college concept is to afford students the opportunity to obtain college credits while going to high school. BTWHS-EC aims to prepare students to pursue post-secondary education at some of the top universities and colleges in the U.S.[8]

In addition to the core program of study, students are required to take the following classes to meet the requirements of the Early College School:

  • Early College Seminar
  • Early College Math
  • Early College English
  • Early College Social Studies
  • Early College Science

Washington Banking, Finance, and Investment[edit]

The Booker T. Washington High School Banking, Finance and Investment Small School (BFI) gives BTW high school students an opportunity to learn about and prepare for college careers in business and finance. Emphasis is placed on a college preparatory curriculum that is directly linked to the business world.

This school prepares students for careers in business and finance with challenging courses. It focuses on broad, transferable skills, with an emphasis on financial industry elements such as accounting, financial planning, management, banking, credit, economics, money management, technology, investments, and insurance. In addition to their required courses, BFI students take one or two specialized courses each semester and a college-level course in their senior year. Students also participate in job shadowing experiences and paid internships.

BFI is a part of the National Academy Foundation's Academy of Finance. This foundation assists in establishing an ongoing relationship that involves corporate executives, school personnel, parents, and students, and results in paid internships, scholarships, and employment opportunities. Students are provided opportunities to enter into paid internships with local financial service companies during the summer of their senior year, and many offers of part-time employment during the school year are provided. BFI also has the Institute of Student Achievement (ISA) as its intermediary partner. This organization supports the school's planning process, curriculum development, leadership development, and overall development of the small learning communities.

Washington Health, Science, and Nutrition[edit]

The Booker T. Washington High School of Health Science and Nutrition (BTWHSN) provides an interdisciplinary curriculum with a health care and nutrition concentration through in-depth investigation, hands-on discovery, experimentation, and inquiry-based learning. Through a four-year program of study, students have the opportunity to:

  • Undergo a rigorous and relevant curriculum and receive in-depth instruction designed to ensure that all students meet the graduation requirements of the Atlanta Public Schools system while affording them multiple opportunities for postsecondary study.
  • Gain college credit through dual enrollment and advanced placement courses.
  • Explore career interest in various nutrition and health care-related fields.
  • Gain invaluable knowledge, skills, and experiences through medical seminars, internships, and health science field trips.
  • Partake in an array of shadowing opportunities and hands-on modules.

Booker T. Washington High School of Health Science and Nutrition offers two career pathways: Therapeutic Services and Nutrition & Food Science.

Feeder patterns[edit]

  • Elementary schools: Herndon and Bethune
  • Middle schools: Kennedy, Sylvan, and Brown

Local School Council[edit]

The property and business of the Booker T. Washington High School Local Council is managed by seven school council members, of whom two are parents or guardians of students enrolled in the school, two are teachers, and two are business education partners. The principal serves as chairperson of the Local School Council, which meets on the first Monday of each month from 9:00-10:00 am in the second-floor conference room at the school.[9]

Student activities[edit]

Clubs and organizations[edit]


  • Football
  • Softball
  • Baseball
  • Track & field
  • Cross country
  • Cheerleading
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Golf
  • Basketball
  • Band
  • Swimming
  • Tennis[10]

Notable alumni[edit]


Arts and entertainment[edit]

Government and politics[edit]

Science and medicine[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Booker T. Washington High School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  3. ^ "Booker T. Washington, 1856-1915". Documenting the American South. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b Untitled Document
  5. ^ a b "Booker T. Washington High School--Atlanta: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary". Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  6. ^ "Visiting Martin Luther King's President alma mater, George W. Bush speaks to students, faculty, and guests during a visit to Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Ga. Jan 31, 2002. "One way you can help is to find a child who needs somebody older in their life who can put their arm around them and say, "I love you," "There's hope for you," "What can I do to help you succeed in America?'" White House photo by Eric Draper". Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  7. ^ "Alma Powell Designates Booker T. Washington High as First APS Promise Place School". Cascade, GA Patch. 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  8. ^ "Early College / Overview". http. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  9. ^ Untitled Document
  10. ^ Untitled Document
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Walk of Fame". btwBulldogs. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
  12. ^ a b c d e Scott, Peter (January 6, 1974). "Washington High: 50 Years of Learning". Atlanta Constitution. p. 14C. Archived from the original on November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018 – via

Further reading[edit]

  • Jay Winston Driskell, Jr. Schooling Jim Crow: The Fight for Atlanta's Booker T. Washington High School and the Roots of Black Protest Politics. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2014.

External links[edit]