Howard Middle School (Orlando, Florida)

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Howard Middle School is a middle school located in Orlando, Florida, United States at the northeastern edge of Downtown Orlando.

The school, which is a part of the Orange County Public Schools, serves grades 6 through 8.

The school was originally built in 1926, becoming the first school in the area for high school students known as Orlando High School. It was the first desegregated high school in the area as well. The school was transitioned into a junior high school (7th-9th grades) in 1952, when two new high schools (Edgewater High School and William R. Boone High School) were built to relieve the growing population's need for additional education. In 1987, realignment shifted the grades at Howard to 6th-8th, and brought about the current name, Howard Middle School.

The gymnasium was added in the late 30's. In 1984, upon his retirement, the gym was renamed the Robert Cluggish Memorial Gymnasium, in honor of his years of dedication to Howard. Mr. Cluggish served as a teacher, football coach, basketball coach, and athletic director during his 35 years at Howard and was a former player for the New York Knicks.

The cafeteria/band room was added in 1948 and the old OHS letters can still be seen on the southwest corner of the building. In 1952, Orange County Public Schools completed construction of two new high schools, originally named Orlando South High School and Orlando North High School, later named Boone and Edgewater. The former OHS building was then renamed for Mr. Clarence E. Howard, a school trustee of earlier years, what are now called School Board members.

Thus Howard Junior High School was established, with J.B. Bookhardt as principal. The school colors of blue and red and the Ranger mascot were selected. The first hat and boot logo used was designed by the husband of Mrs. Doris Verigan, a former assistant principal and the only female principal the school has had. Principal Robert E. King died in April and Mrs. Verigan completed the school year as interim-principal. The current hat and boot logo was designed by art teacher Clinton McCracken. The media center was added in 1984. This one-story building was constructed in the courtyard area in the center of the main building.

In 1987, with the conversion to middle school, the name changed once again and Howard Junior High became Howard Middle School. Glen Terry was the first principal in Howard Middle School, followed by former Superintendent Ron Blocker.

The school was renovated in 2000. For eighteen months the entire school operated in 52 portables located on our athletic field. Because it is a historical site, only interior changes could be made to the original buildings. In March of 2001, students and staff moved back into a 21st-century school.

Howard continues to be a leader in the field of education. In October, 2011 the Orange County School Board designated Howard as a magnet school. The Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts will lead students on a path toward creative and academic excellence and prepare them for successful high school and college careers.

Howard MS was awarded the 5 Star School Award in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, recognizing the significant role that community contributions play in working with students. In addition, Howard earned its first "A" School Grade by the Florida Department of Education in 2008 and continued with another "A" in 2009 and 2014.. In October, 2009, Howard Middle School was designated as an AVID National Demonstration School. In 2014 Howard Middle School was designated a National Exemplary Arts School by Arts Schools Network.


Howard serves grades 6-8. Course focus includes science, mathematics, English, social studies, the arts, and physical fitness. Additionally, Howard is a NASA Explorer School. The NASA Explorer School program is a special relationship with NASA that offers students additional focus on mathematics and science and sponsors curriculum and clubs about rocketry and space exploration. Howard Middle School also offers, band, chorus, art, speech/debate, digital videography/photography, digital 2D animation, digital music theory, composition. The school also offers some high school credit courses and higher level science classes, like Forensics/Pre-med and Aviation (with flight simulator training), in addition it offers one Pre-law class.

Howard Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts - OCPS Magnet School

Students (grades 6-8) in Orange County, Florida, can apply to attend the school and participate in its advanced arts based curriculum.

HMS Fine Arts Policy
Students are provided sequential, standards based instruction in Dance, Music, Theatre, and the Visual Arts.

Academy Description
Students in the Academy will choose a Visual Arts or Performing Arts major. In some circumstances, students may choose to participate in more than one major.

Admissions Requirements

●GPA 2.5
●Standardized test scores where placement in remedial/intensive courses is not a requirement
●Signed Terms of Agreement for Enrollment
●Excellent conduct and citizenship

The application for the magnet program is at OCPS School Choice


Orlando High School

1927-1928 Judson B. Walker
1928-1953 William R. Boone

Howard Junior High School
1952-1953 J. B. Bookhardt
1953-1959 James L. Garland
1959-1963 Keith Stone
1963-1964 W. J. Phillips
1964-April, 1969 Robert E. King
April,1969-August,1969 Doris Verigan
1969-1971 Robert G. Lengauer
1971-1974 William Spoone
1974-1978 William Frangus
1978-1983 Robert G. Bruce
1983-1987 Jesse Lane

Howard Middle School
1987-1989 Glenn Terry
1989-1992 Ronald Blocker
1992-1995 Chuck Rivers
1995-1997 James H. Lawson
1998-1999 Paul V. Flores
1999-2005 Timothy A. Smith
2005-2014 Carl Cartwright
2014-present Paul Maldonado

C.E. Howard
When Orlando High School closed, the school was renamed Howard Junior High School. It was named after C.E. Howard, a school trustee, what we now call a school board member.

Notable alumni

Orlando High School

Howard Middle School

Larry Eugene Smedley - United States Marines Corporal, Medal of Honor recipient.

See also


  1. "Orlando". 1918-08-30. Retrieved 2012-06-29. 

External links