Paul R. Wharton High School

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Paul R. Wharton High School
20150 Bruce B Downs Boulevard
Tampa, Florida 33647
United States
Type Public
Established 1997
School district Hillsborough County Public Schools
Principal Michael Rowan
Faculty 128.00 FTE
Grades 9-12
Enrollment 2,261 (2014-15)[1]
Color(s) Navy and White          
Nickname Wildcats
Rival Freedom High School

Paul R. Wharton High School (also known as Wharton) is a public high school located on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in New Tampa, Florida . It is one of 27 traditional (9-12) high schools in the Hillsborough County Public Schools system.[2] The facility was dedicated to Mr. Paul R. Wharton, who served the Hillsborough County school system for 38 years. The school opened on August 21, 1997.


Wharton's attendance boundaries include several Tampa subdivisions located in the New Tampa area.

Wharton's principals have been the following:

From To Principal
1997 2002 Mitchell Muley
2002 2007 George Gaffney
2007 2008 Scott Fritz
2008 2018 Bradley Woods
2018 current Michael Rowan

The school's colors are navy blue, white and black, and its mascot is the Wildcat. The school newspaper is called The Predator and its yearbook is Felidae.


In 2010 Wharton earned a grade of C from the Florida Department of Education.[3]

Graduation Rate[edit]

In 2012 Wharton's graduation rate was 75% as compared to a statewide rate of 74.5% and a Hillsborough County rate of 72.6%. npr[4]


Wharton HS is 31% Black, 30% White, 27% Hispanic, 6% Asian, <1% Native American, and 6% multiracial.[5]


Wharton is known for some of the most vocal sports fans in the area, to the extent their team spirit has sometimes raised questions about what the nature of high school sports should be.[6] The "Blue Crew" as they are known, are arguably the most spirited and vociferous group of fans in Tampa Bay. There have been complaints lodged about them with the FHSAA.[7]


In 2008, the boys' soccer team won the class 5A state championship.[8]


The Wildcats boys tennis include team won state championships in 2008, 2009, and 2010.[9]

Notable alumni[edit]

2013 Graduation incident[edit]

Wharton High School's graduation on June 3, 2013 was disrupted when the principal ordered the microphone shut off during the salutatorian's address. The salutatorian was removed from the ceremony by off-duty law officers who were working security for the event. He did not receive his diploma during the event, but did get it later. The Hillsborough County School District defended the principal's actions.[11]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°09′31″N 82°21′17″W / 28.15856°N 82.35476°W / 28.15856; -82.35476