MHSAA Raises $15,000 for Scholarships!
MHSAA Raises $15,000 for Scholarships!
A non-profit organization which provides support for Middleton High School’s educational, athletic, social and cultural programs, participates in providing scholarships to its future graduates and supports the re-establishment of the high school.
To assist with increasing graduation rates, college acceptance rates and college retention rates of Middleton students by providing financial scholarships and contributing to the positive image of the George Shroder Middleton High School.
George Schroeder Middleton Senior High School opened its doors in the fall of 1934 at 4302 N. 24th Street in East Tampa, Florida. The school was named for a local humanitarian, businessman and supporter of public education who came to Tampa in the 1890s from Charleston, South Carolina. In the early 1900s Mr. Middleton volunteered with the Tampa Urban League’s Education Committee and its chairman, Rev. Andrew J. Ferrell Sr., to secure the first building constructed specifically as a senior high school for Tampa’s African-Americans students.
Mr. Middleton also was a member of the South Florida Negro State Fair Committee, the Tampa Negro Board of Trade, the Negro YMCA and the Paul Laurence Dunbar Literary Society. Mr. Middleton helped bring Mr. Booker T. Washington (1912), Dr. W. E. B. DuBois (1916) and James Weldon Johnson (1917 and 1918) to Tampa. Mr. Middleton motivated African Americans in Tampa to open their own businesses and to organize the Tampa Branch of the NAACP (1917). He worked as one of Tampa’s first African-American mail carriers and as secretary-treasurer of the Central Life Insurance Company (where Bethune-Cookman University founder Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune was vice president and later president). Mr. Middleton and his wife, Margaret, lived on Scott Street in Tampa Heights and later bought property on Machado Street in East Tampa.
In 1925 the Hillsborough County Board of Education appointed Blanche Armwood supervisor of Negro Education. That year Booker T. Washington opened as a junior/senior high school for black students. Mr. Middleton died in 1933 just as construction began on the new high school for black students that would bear his name. Rev. Ferrell presided over the 1935 dedication service that named the school for his former neighbor and friend, Mr. Middleton, and the school graduated its first class that year. The first principal was S. Howard Newsome (1934-1940). Other principals at the original Middleton site were: C. B. Bryant (1940-1947); G. V. Stewart (1947-1959) and A. J. Ferrell (1959-1971).
Prior to Middleton’s opening in 1934, African-Americans attended high school classes at Harlem Academy (Tampa’s first school for black students), Booker T. Washington Senior/Junior High School, or in the Lomax School facility that had been built as a grade school. Following a fire Middleton held classes in the early 1940s at the Carver School building in West Tampa before relocating to a rebuilt Middleton in East Tampa. Another fire in 1967 destroyed the 1940s replacement administration/classroom building but classes resumed there with adjustments.
The original location, 4302 N. 24thStreet, now is home to Andrew J. Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy – named for the last principal of the original high school site. The current Middleton High School opened in 2002 as a $49 million facility on over 50 acres of land at 4801 N. 22ndStreet – just three blocks north of the original campus. Principal Henry (Shake) Washington, a member of the Middleton High School Class of 1968,
was the first principal of the reestablished school.
Among Middleton’s numerous graduates who have distinguished themselves with public service are: Hillsborough County School Board Chairs Doris Ross Reddick and Doretha Edgecomb; Tampa City Council Chair Gwendolyn Miller and Members Les Miller and Perry C. Harvey; Florida State Senators and State Representatives James T. Hargrett Jr., Les Miller and Arthenia Joyner; Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Chair Les Miller, Commissioners Dr. Sandra Wilson and Sylvia Rodriguez-Kimbell; Founder of Abe Brown Ministries Rev. Abraham R. Brown; 1960s Freedom Rider and civil rights icon Dr. Bernard Lafayette; the City of Tampa’s first African-American Police Chief Bennie Holder; City of Tampa Executive Assistant to the Mayor and Tampa Housing Authority Executive Director Alton White.
Other distinguished Middletonians include: WTMP Radio Talk Show Host Jetie B. Wilds; Florida Sentinel-Bulletin Newspaper Publisher C. Blythe Andrews, Jr; African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church Bishop Adam J. Richardson; Florida NAACP Field Secretary Robert W. Saunders; 1948 Summer Olympics Track & Field USA Team Member Teresa Manuel; winner of two NFL Super Bowl rings former Miami Dolphin and Baltimore Colt Lloyd Mumphord; and former high school state basketball championship team captain (Middleton) and later state championship team coach (Plant City) Jimmy Smith. The annual Middleton-Blake High School Classic drew over 13,000 fans to the 2005 football game at Raymond James Stadium – a record crowd for a high school game in Central Florida.
Today Middleton Senior High School serves some 1,300 students, with 75% of those youth living in East Tampa. Middleton also has a very successful magnet program in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The Tigers’ Robotics Team has won national honors. In 2020 Hillsborough County Superintendent of Schools Addison Davis named Mickie Boddie principal of Middleton High School.
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