Sarasota High School

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Sarasota High School
Logo of Sarasota High School
The Sailor is the mascot of SHS
1000 South School Avenue

School typePublic High School
Opened1913, 107 years ago
School boardSarasota County S.B.
School districtSarasota County Schools
PrincipalDavid Jones
Staff106.05 (FTE)[1]
Enrollment2,142 (2018-19)[1]
Student to teacher ratio20.20[1]
Color(s)Black & Orange         
MascotSailor Sam
YearbookSailor's Log
Information(941) 955-0181
Paul Rudolph Sarasota High School Addition
Sarasota High School Addition (Paul Rudolph, Architect, FAIA).jpg
Sarasota High School Addition
Sarasota High School is located in Florida
Sarasota High School
Sarasota High School is located in the United States
Sarasota High School
LocationSarasota, Florida
ArchitectPaul Rudolph
MPSSarasota School of Architecture MPS
NRHP reference No.12000365[2]
Added to NRHPJune 27, 2012
Old Sarasota High School
Sarasota FL old high school pano01.jpg
Coordinates27°19′30″N 82°31′46″W / 27.32500°N 82.52944°W / 27.32500; -82.52944
Area1 acre (0.40 ha)
ArchitectM. Leo Elliott, T. A. Monk
Architectural styleLate Gothic Revival
MPSSarasota MRA
NRHP reference No.84003844[2]
Added to NRHPMarch 22, 1984

Sarasota High School is a public high school of the Sarasota County Public Schools in Sarasota, Florida, a city on the Gulf of Mexico coast south of Tampa. The school colors are black and orange and the mascot is a sailor.


Sarasota High School first opened 107 years ago in 1913 but was relocated after a newer building was completed in 1926 on South Tamiami Trail. The current campus, consisting of two buildings — a 60,000-square-foot 1926 Collegiate Gothic structure designed by M. Leo Elliott and a 20,000-square-foot mid-century building by Paul Rudolph added in 1958-1959. The adaptive reuse project was led by Lawson Group Architects.

The Sailor Circus held their first performance in 1950 as an extension of the PE class at the high school. In celebration of the Circus' 20th anniversary in 1969, the Sailor Circus relocated to an arena right outside the school campus. Finally, in 1996, the school expanded to its current size of 85 acres (0.34 km2), and classes began to move out of the old Sarasota High building.

Initial plans for conversion into the Sarasota Museum of Art had been put on hold for a number of years, but finally the Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design[3] opened to the public on Saturday, December 15, 2019.



The school offers numerous clubs including: JROTC, drama guild, Mighty Sailor Band, history club, French club, Spanish club, American Sign Language club, National Honor Society, student government, First Priority Christian Club, Lady Sailor Club, Ex Libris Book Club, La Sertoa, Mu Alpha Theta, Rho Kappa, and a Speech & Debate team.


Sarasota High School offers numerous sports at the Freshman, JV, and Varsity level. These sports include cheerleading, swimming, track & field, wrestling, weight lifting, cross country, basketball, football, softball, golf, sailing, soccer, lacrosse, and baseball.


Sarasota High has a nationally ranked baseball team which on May 19, 2007 won its eighth Florida State Baseball Championship with a 1–0 victory over Deland High School in the 6A classification. Baseball State Champions – 1957(2A) 1973(4A) 1987(4A) 1989(4A) 1993(4A)1994(5A) 1996(5A) 2007(6A) Softball State Champion – 1999(5A) Tennis State Champion – 1999(5A) Boys Golf State Champion – 2005(2A).

Cross Country and Track & Field[edit]

Under the leadership and coaching of John Stevenson and Ed Sera, the SHS Cross Country and Track & Field teams has seen a lot of success over the last few years, including the 2018 XC Boys State Championship Title, with the girls coming in a close second. Along with the Cross Country program, there is the Sota Distance Project. The Sota Distance Project is a run club that provides an opportunity for middle and high school runners to reach new levels of fitness. The program is designed by experienced coaches who have multiple high school Florida state champions in both high school cross country and track & field.

Stevenson's accomplishments include the following:

  • 2018 4A Boys Florida Cross Country State Championship
  • 10 x Cross Country District Championships
  • 5 x Cross Country Regional Championships
  • 1 x Track & Field Regional Championship
  • 2 x Track & Fields District Championships
  • 3 x Girls Florida Cross Country State Runner-ups (2012, 2015, 2018)
  • 3 x Boys Florida Cross Country State Individual Champion (2015, 2017, 2018)
  • 2016 Boys Florida 3200 meter individual state champion
  • 2014 Girls Florida 800 meter individual state champion
  • 2014 Girls Florida 1600 meter individual state champion
  • 6 x Sarasota Herald Tribune Cross Country Coach of the Year
  • 2 x Sarasota Herald Tribune Track & Field Coach of the Year.
  • 2018 4A Boys Florida Cross Country Coach of the Year

As well as Sera's accomplishments:

  • 2 x state champion in high jump
  • State qualifiers in 100 m, 200 m, 100/110 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 400 m, HJ, TJ, LJ
  • 2 x Track & Fields District Championships

SDP registration is free to middle school and high athletes. They train Mon-Thurs and Saturday mornings during the summer. A full calendar and more information can be found online at


Girls soccer] has been revamped in recent years with a new coaching staff.

Sailor Circus[edit]

Dog act in the Sailor Circus, 1977.

The world-famous Sarasota High School Sailor Circus began as a mid-game tumbling demonstration during a football game in 1949. It has evolved into a near full-fledged circus of student performers trained and supervised by faculty and parents, some of which are or were professional circus performers. The Sailor Circus has appeared on numerous television programs and has traveled throughout the United States, Japan and Peru. In 1952, Warner Brothers made a 30-minute short on the Sailor Circus which was shown in theaters throughout North America. Through an agreement with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows, Inc. (Ringling having a long association with Sarasota), the Sailor Circus is officially known as "The Greatest Little Show On Earth".

2009 was the mark of the 60th anniversary of Sailor circus, which is no longer affiliated with Sarasota High School. It is now operated by the Circus Arts Conservatory.


The school currently has over 2,600 students with 139 teachers and faculty. The campus featuring 19 buildings (5 of them being 2 stories) and 10 portable units (each containing one classroom). There are 2 cafeterias, 2 gymnasiums, 2 locker rooms, a professional weight training room, an auditorium with stage and dressing rooms, a circus arena, 8 tennis courts, 2 baseball/softball diamonds, a football stadium with a track surrounding it, and a soccer field, and 4 parking lots.

Sarasota High features a 1-mile walking path around and through the school.


MaST Research Institute is a magnet program at Sarasota High. This program emphasizes in math, science, and engineering. The main focus of the program is to educate students on the scientific research process and then to have its members complete in-depth research projects over the course of their high school careers. Students defend their research in a public forum at the end of their senior year at the program's annual science symposium. Students involved in the MaST Research Institute have won multiple awards for their research, including: multiple entrants and placement at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair, placement at the International ISWEEEP competition, multiple placements (including 1st place) and entrants to the statewide Florida Junior Academy of Science Competition; and multiple entrants and placement in the statewide Junior Science Engineering and Humanities Symposium. MaST students have attended some of the top Universities in the nation upon graduation, including (but not limited to): Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Duke, Dartmouth, Columbia, Georgetown, and Georgia Tech.


In the 2011–2012 school year, Sarasota High School started the magnet program AICE, the Advanced International Certificate of Education, a program from Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. The program is new to Florida, but is common through the rest of the world. One of the main reasons of bringing the AICE program to Sarasota High, was to keep the college bound students districted to Sarasota High from going to the International Baccalaureate magnet program at Riverview High School. The goal of the program is to allow students to choose the amount of college prep classes they want, from 1 to all their core classes. The program has 3 main groups (Languages, Humanities and Arts, and Math and Science) and a student will need to take an AICE exam in 6 AICE classes to get a test in each of the 3 groups, and then the other 3 from any area. Students begin taking AICE classes in 9th grade. They take Pre-AICE classes in 9th and some of 10th grade. Sarasota High has replaced honors classes with Pre-AICE classes. A student can get up to 45 college credits with AICE compared with only 10 credits in IB at Riverview High School. If a student completes 100 hours of community service, a student can also receive 100% of the Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

Foreign Languages[edit]

Sarasota High School offers students the chance to learn Spanish or American Sign Language. Latin used to be offered. Although not a requirement of graduation in Florida, 2 years of a foreign language is required for admission into a state university.


Sarasota High School has a band, choir, color guard, and drama guild. The band and color guard performs at all the football games and the drama guild also put on plays.

Notable alumni[edit]


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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 27°19′26″N 82°31′37″W / 27.324°N 82.527°W / 27.324; -82.527