University High School (Orlando, Florida)

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University High School
11501 Eastwood Drive
Orlando, Florida
United States
Type Public secondary (with some magnet programs)
Motto Contio Laureata
(Latin: An Assembly of Honored Scholars)
Established 1990
School district Orange County Public Schools
Principal Dr. Cacara
Grades 912
Number of students 2,982 (2016-17)[1]
Color(s) Blue and Gold
Mascot Cougar
Newspaper The Torch
Yearbook Unity

University High School is a public high school in Orlando, Florida opened in 1990. The school is one of many public high schools in Orange County and is located about a mile from UCF. University High School has an International Baccalaureate program and a Global Technologies (GT) magnet program, which was formerly known as Global Information and Future Technologies (GIFT). The school has been named a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.[2]

University High School has two campuses, the East Campus (formerly the Freshman Campus) and the West Campus (also known as the Main Campus). The West Campus is the campus where the Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior classrooms are. The West Campus is designed in a square architectural layout with a courtyard in the middle. The East Campus is made up predominantly of portable classrooms and is located across the street from the West Campus.


The school's mascot is a Florida Cougar named Casey the Cougar. The school colors are navy blue and vegas gold. In 2004, the shade of gold was changed from a yellow gold to varsity gold. University's main rivals are Colonial High School and Timber Creek High School. UHS was built as a relief school for CHS in 1990 and Timber Creek was built as a relief school for UHS in 2002. East River was also built as a relief school for both University and Timber Creek in 2009.

Performing Arts[edit]


University High School has one of the best drama departments in Florida. They have performed several popular plays and musicals such as Les Misérables, Ragtime, Carousel, Evita, Aida, Miss Saigon, The Wiz, Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, and Sweeney Todd. University has presented Lend Me A Tenor the fall of 2010, and was one of the first high schools in the world to put on the production Phantom of the Opera in Spring of 2011. They will be presenting Les Misérables again for the second time, after a well turn out the first time, having had a turn out of 5000 ticket sales.

The Drama Department also boasts a Thespian Troupe. Troupe 4848 of District 5 travels to Dr. Phillips High School every winter to compete in District competition, and to Tampa every spring for State competition. The Troupe's One Act, The Window School, won "Best in Show: One Act" and went on and received straight superiors at State in 2008. Silas Marner was presented in 2009, and received straight superiors at District and State competition. Troupe 4848 attended Districts 2010 and won straight superiors for their One Act, A Tulip For Lily. In 2011, Troupe 4848 entered Jesus Christ Superstar as their One Act in the District 5 competition, won straight superiors and are now expected to go to the State Competition in March 2012. Troupe 4848 will also be presenting Les Misérables as their musical in April 2012.


The University High School Band Program has had a history of excellence in a wide range of performance activities since its inauguration in 1990. The program currently serves approximately two hundred students, who participate in a variety of ensembles including concert bands (Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band), two jazz bands (Big Band and Jazz Ensemble), a steel drum band (Blue Steel), two percussion ensembles, color guard and winter guard, International Baccalaureate (IB) Music, and marching band.[3]

The University Marching Band entering the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.

The wind ensemble and big band have regularly received superior ratings at the district and state level Florida Bandmasters Association Music Performance Assessment (MPA).

The University High School Winter Guard has been a finalist at nationally qualifying regionals and had strong placements in statewide competitions as well. The winter guard received 14th place at WGI World Championships in 2009, and won the Scholastic AAA bronze medal at the Florida Federation of Color Guard Circuit (FFCC) Championships in 2013 and the Scholastic AA gold medal in 2014.

The band's indoor drumline, called the "University Percussion Syndicate," earned national recognition in 2001, claiming third place in class Scholastic A in the WGI World Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More recently, the UPS won the 2009 FFCC Circuit Championship and placed fourth in Scholastic A class at the 2009 WGI World Championships in Dayton, Ohio.

The University Marching Band is the most visible performing arts ensemble at University High School, and has a long history of quality performances on the national stage. High-profile performances by the group include the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C. (1995 & 2001), the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City (1995), the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California (1998), and the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago, Illinois (2013). The marching band has received the highest rating at the FBA Marching MPA twenty-two of the school's twenty-three years. Field productions by the marching band include "One City Block" (2005), "There And Back Again" (2006), "Almost Yesterday" (2007), "The Enigma" (2008), "An Inconvenient Truth" (2009), "Through the Mind of a Child" (2010), "Reflections" (2011), "Ballet Méchanique" (2012), "Danzón Universitas" (2013), "Pandora's Box" (2014), "The Ring Cycle" (2015), and "Je Suis" (2016), and the 2017 show "Let There Be Light".

A Florida Marching Band Coalition (FMBC) regional competition called the "University Classic" has been hosted by the band in October annually since 2004.[4]

Sabor Latino[edit]

Sabor Latino was a Student Directed Latin dance team which participated in the Orlando Latin Dance Expo. Sabor Latino was directed by Giovanni Nieves along with several team captains( Valerie Kerr 08-09, Kenneth Shuga 11, Julissa Henry 09-10, Frankie Agosto 10-11, Juan Medina 11). SL performed at every Hispanic Heritage Month at the school bell tower, and also participated in many charity events. Sabor Latino only lasted though graduating classes of 2007-2011.

Notable alumni[edit]

Clubs and organizations[edit]

At the beginning of the year the school holds the Club Rush, a day where clubs and organizations advertise themselves to prospective members in the courtyard. Some clubs and organizations at UHS include: Asian Student Association, Beta Club, Chorus, Colorguard/Winterguard, Debate, Ecology Club,FFA(Future Farmers of America), French Honor Society, German Club, Habitat for Humanity, International Thespian Society, Junior State of America, Key Club, Marine Corps JROTC, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Sabor Latino Dance Team, Senior Class Cabinet, SADD, Science National Honor Society, Student Government Association, TV Production, Youth Equality Alliance (local Gay-Straight Alliance), Best Buddies, Club 42 which is a club in honor of a student who passed at university high, and many others.[6]


  • The school's stadium and junior parking lot were used as a backdrop for the 2007 film Sydney White.
  • The University High School cheerleaders won the 2006-2007 state championship and were featured in the movie Bring It On: In It to Win It.
  • University High School students were featured in an episode of MTV's hit show True Life: I'm Going to Prom.


  1. ^ FHSAA Student Population Report
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 26, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2009. 
  3. ^ "University High School Band". Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  4. ^ "FMBC". Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  5. ^ "LSU's Nick Goody has given the Tigers a new dimension with his ability at closer". Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  6. ^ UHS

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°34′34″N 81°12′51″W / 28.576229°N 81.214236°W / 28.576229; -81.214236