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St. Petersburg High School

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Type  Public secondary
Principal  Al Bennett
Phone  +1 727-893-1842
Founded  1898
Established  1898
Grades  9–12
District  Pinellas County Schools
Colors  Black, White, Green
St. Petersburg High School
Motto  Loyalty and Service to God, Country and Home
School district  Pinellas County Schools
Address  2501 5th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33713, USA

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St. Petersburg High School, founded in 1898, is a secondary school located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The school's current building, a historic landmark, was built in 1926 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. The school was billed as the nation's first million dollar high school. The school previously occupied several other historic locations around St. Petersburg, including a location at Mirror Lake (1919–1926).


The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme located at St. Petersburg High School, the oldest of its kind in Florida. It is in fact IB school number 250 in the world. The school is known by the top universities around the world, particularly due to its prestigious IB program.

The principal, as of August 8, 2006, is Al Bennett (a 1980 alumnus). The school currently has 2,255 students enrolled.

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Academics awards

  • IB diploma graduates automatically qualify for the Florida Bright Futures scholarship.
  • The class of 2006 had nine National Merit Finalists.
  • The class of 2010 had ten National Merit Finalists.
  • The IB graduation class of 2006 had a passing rate of 97%.
  • A 2003 Newsweek magazine survey of the top 100 high schools in the United States placed St. Pete High as #25. In 2005 (based on 2004 numbers), the survey ranked the school as #35. In 2006 (based on 2005 numbers), the Newsweek survey ranked the school as #63. The ranking is based on the number of IB or Advanced Placement (AP) exams given at a school divided by the number of graduating seniors.
  • Was ranked as the #2 high school in the Tampa Bay area by the Tampa Bay Times in 2013, behind only Pine View School.
  • Traditions and spirit

    Pride and tradition walk the hallways of St. Petersburg High School. It's considered a faux pas to step on the head of the school's mascot, a green devil, in the front hall of the school. Supposedly, if you step on the head you're supposed to scrub it with a toothbrush. Seniors as well as service clubs take it upon themselves to enforce this rule to a degree. There are also two main courtyards in the school; one courtyard is called the “Junior Courtyard” and is the designated courtyard for freshmen (9th grade) and sophomores (10th grade), though any student may choose to spend time there. The Other courtyard, the "Senior Courtyard", is where juniors (11th grade) and seniors (12th grade) only are allowed to spend time. This unspoken rule where only juniors and seniors may spend time during school hours in the Senior Courtyard is usually regulated simply by way of respecting tradition. Students typically will make and effort to maintain this tradition regardless of grade.

    Senior pranks are also a tradition at the school. In 2009, seniors laid sod and soccer goals to make a miniature soccer field in an outdoor passageway. In December 2009, a group of seniors covertly constructed an elaborate holiday-themed decorative spectacle, complete with Christmas lights, a Christmas tree, and inflatable snowmen that covered the stage in the Senior Courtyard and the overlooking rooftop. Seniors once made the mistake of stopping all of the door locks on the main building with a hardening filling leaving teachers scratching their heads when they came in for work. The students were not aware of the hardening properties of the filler when they performed the prank. In 2010, five seniors performed a less destructive, yet equally disruptive prank by stacking approximately three hundred cinder blocks and balancing a telephone pole on top of it to block the entrance to the parking lot, forcing the faculty and students to park in the surrounding neighborhoods and walk onto campus.

    St. Petersburg High Schools major longstanding rival is Northeast High School. Pranks are exchanged between the schools during football season such as Northeast painting St. Pete's devil head red and St. Pete painting a shark green and depositing it in Northeast's swimming pool. Sometimes students dye Northeast High School's swimming pool green, as another spirited prank. Varsity football games are large social events at the school and students are encouraged to show school spirit by wearing the school colours (green and white, though black has become an unofficial complement) to school Fridays as well as on football game days as well as cover themselves in paint on game nights.

    St. Petersburg High School also has a heavy focus on community service created by students. Students have started Key Club International, Interact, Junior Civitan International, Rojans, Excel Club, Leo, SHOC, and Beta club chapters in the school. Each of these clubs are referred to as "Service Clubs" for their extensive focus on community service. To maintain fairness, each year there is an application period where students are interviewed to join one service club. Clubs compete for members during the weeks close to when the Information Session and the interviews are held through flier advertising, choreographed groups in hallways, and showing club spirit by wearing club shirts. Students may join only one club starting in their sophomore year to give each club an opportunity to make its presence known and attempt to recruit new members by the end of freshman year, though a student may interview during any year after their freshman year.

    St. Petersburg High School is the home to Reliance Church, which meets in the school's auditorium.


    On August 31, 2012, around 4:00 AM, a fire started on the roof above the Auditorium (Theatre). The Fire later spread into the Auditorium and then crept into an equipment room. The School incurred over one million dollars worth of smoke and water damage. The school's auditorium was reopened to all students on December 11, 2012, after all damage was either replaced or repaired.


    Around mid September, St. Petersburg High School's Historic "Bell Building" had a water pipe burst in between the third and second floors. It caused several thousand dollars in damage and rendered most of the class rooms unusable for a few days. the damage was cleared up within a week though some classrooms still show remnants of the damage.

    Notable alumni

  • Charlie Crist (1974) – 44th governor of Florida (2007–10). Served as Florida's attorney general from 2003–06.
  • Jim Haslam (1948) – founder of Pilot Corp.
  • Charles Horton, football player
  • Zac MacMath, goalkeeper in Major League Soccer
  • Milt May (1968) Major League baseball player.
  • David Mendelblatt, yachtsman and ophthalmologist
  • Mark Mendelblatt, yachtsman, silver medalist at 1999 Pan American Games and 2004 Laser World Championships
  • Grady Sutton, actor
  • Jim Morrison, The Doors
  • Doug "DJ Fresh" Hensel, Locally famous DJ and Host on HSN
  • Former principals

  • Al Bennett (2006–Current)
  • Dr. Julie Janssen (2003–2006)
  • Linda Benware (2000–2003)
  • Thomas Petit (1995–1999)
  • Barbara Broughton (1991–1995)
  • William Grey (1983–1991)
  • Vyrle Davis Davis (1973–1983) (also first African-American area superintendent in the United States).
  • Ronald R. Hallam (?-1973)
  • Douglas McBriarty (1964-1967)
  • References

    St. Petersburg High School Wikipedia

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