Winter Haven High School
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|600 Sixth Street, SE 
Winter Haven, Florida, Polk County 33880 
|Funding type||Public |
|Color(s)||Blue and Gold |
The school opened in 1886 on the second floor of Boyd’s Hall, currently where City Hall stands. In 1890, a frame school building was built at the corner of Central Avenue and First Street.
When the student population reached 200 in 1912, more space was added onto the structure. Three years later a brick building replaced the wood-framed ones to make room for all elementary and high school students in 12 grades.
In 1922, an eight-room structure for the high school was built on Fourth Street, the present annex (demolished in Winter/Spring 1971) at Denison Junior High School. In 1925 a large stucco building (also now demolished) was built on the adjacent lot for the high school, and the smaller building became a junior high department.
The current structure was built on Sixth Street in 1955 on a 32-acre (130,000 m2) tract of land. The late 1980s and 1990s saw a tremendous expansion of the campus, including a new gymnasium, music building and administrative offices.
The full reconstruction of the school commenced in the fall of 2009. All of the original campus (not including the auditorium, which was the original gymnasium) was demolished and replaced with a total of four new buildings (33, 34, 35, 36). An estimated 24 million dollars was spent on the construction and the new building boast two stories, new laboratories, kitchens, and art rooms.
Most recently, it was announced on January 4, 2012, that Winter Haven High School became a "B" school. This was a major achievement and showed that school was and still is making progress.
The school held a “Celebrate Blue and Gold” event Sept. 15, 2006 to mark the school’s 120th anniversary.
The WHHS band program, which dates from 1936, consists of the "Pride of Winter Haven" Marching Band, including the Devilette Dance and Flag Ensemble, the Symphonic and Concert Bands, "Messengers" Jazz orchestra, Percussion Ensemble and many student-led ensembles.
The Winter Haven High School Marching Band, also known as "The Pride of Winter Haven," performs at football games, marching band competitions, community events and local and national parades. It has performed in many national events, including the Washington DC National Cherry Blossom Parade in the 1960s, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the mid-1990s and then later in 1998 St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York City. In 2011 they received their 12th consecutive FBA "Straight Superiors" at the District 12 marching competition.
The Symphonic Band performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City on May 24, 2008 with two other ensembles, The Caltech-Occidental Concert Band from California and Jackson High School Wind Ensemble from Washington.
- Trey Mancini, MLB baseball player for Orioles 
- James H. Ammons, former president of Florida A&M University
- Andre Berto, boxer
- Otis Birdsong, NBA basketball player
- Kenneth Brokenburr, former Olympic sprinter
- Stephen Christian, vocalist for rock band Anberlin
- John Covington, American football player
- Rowdy Gaines, former competitive and Olympic swimmer and Gold medalist, swimming analyst for ESPN and NBC
- John Michael Harrison, student 1979-1982, entrepreneur
- Scott Helvenston, former Navy SEAL
- Kent LaVoie, musician, songwriter, performed using the name Lobo and was in a band with Gram Parsons and Jim Stafford titled The Rumours
- Charlie Manning, Former professional baseball player (Washington Nationals)
- Joseph Milligan, guitarist for rock band Anberlin
- Kathleen Parker, nationally syndicated Columnist class of 1969
- Gram Parsons, a student in 1961-63, singer/songwriter and member of The Byrds, founder of The Flying Burrito Brothers, discoverer of Emmylou Harris
- Jordan Schafer, major league outfielder for the Minnesota Twins
- Jim Stafford, musician, songwriter, and was in a band with Gram Parsons and Kent LaVoie titled The Rumours
- Sally Wheeler, actress
- Gary Wright, actor, singer, arts education presenter
- David Menges: Western Movie Actor/Director
- "General Information". Winter Haven High School. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Haven High School to Mark 120th Anniversary, article in Lakeland Ledger, May 25, 2006.
- "Girls High School Basketball Records" (PDF). Florida State High School Athletic Association. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "LeDawn Gibson Bio". Florida A & M University. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
- "Winter Haven Grad Growing Fast in O's Farm System". TheLedger.com. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
- Gernert, Bob (9 October 2011). "Gram Parsons: 'Cosmic American' music". News Chief (Winter Haven, FL). Retrieved 21 October 2011.