University High School (Orlando, Florida)

University High School (Orlando, Florida)

Infobox School
name = University High School

motto = Contio Laureata
motto_translation = Latin: "An Assembly of Honored Scholars"
established = 1990
type = Public secondary (with some magnet programs)
principal = Doug Guthrie
faculty =
students =3,764 []
mascot = Cougar
colors = Blue and Gold
district = Orange County Public Schools
city = Orlando
state = Florida
country = United States
website = []
grades = 9–12
address = 11501 Eastwood Drive
newspaper =
yearbook =

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).

University High School has two campuses, the Freshman Campus (formerly East Campus) and Main Campus (formerly West Campus). The Main Campus is now the campus where the Sophomore, Junior, and Senior classrooms are. The Main Campus is designed in a square architectural layout with a courtyard in the middle. The Freshman Campus is made up predominantly of fixed portable classrooms and is located across the street from the Main Campus. Discovery Middle School (in Orlando, FL) was located in what is now the Freshman Campus prior to moving to its own location.


International Baccalaureate

The UHS Chapter of the IB Program is designed to provide students with a rigorous education in many fields. Before actually being considered an IB student, the Freshman and Sophomores are technically Pre-IB students until the completion of their Sophomore year. The program is highly demanding and generally only the most dedicated students finish with an IB Diploma.

Requirements for acceptance include an essay, interview, 3.5 GPA from 7th and 8th grade, test scores, and teacher recommendations.

Global Technologies Magnet

The GT Magnet offers students a more concentrated education in fields pertaining to technologies such as engineering, computer science, and simulation. It also gives students access to hands-on courses dealing with programming, robotics, and other computer-oriented fields.Students applying are required to have a 3.0 GPA from 7th and 8th grade and teacher recommendations. The program, formally known as GIFT (Global Information and Future Technologies) is a great fit for University High School as it is adjacent to the University of Central Florida, one of the nation's top engineering colleges.


The school's mascot is a Florida Cougar named Casey the Cougar. The school colors are blue and 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.


The UHS football team had a slow beginning but has had some recent successes. In 2002, John Flath was chosen as the new head coach, however, he later had legal issues. The 2002-2003 season resulted in a poor 2-8 record. However, the football program experienced a complete turnaround in the 2003-2004 season with a school record of 8 wins and 2 losses during the regular season. Although failing to defeat Boone High School for the District Championship, UHS still moved on to the playoffs. They lost their first game to Edgewater High School. Since then coach Flath has taken a job at another local high school and Coach Jeff Smily has taken over.

Kyle Israel may be said to be the most famed product of University football. He became the starting quarterback at the University of Central Florida in 2006 as a junior and also started in 2007, his last season with the UCF Knights. Israel went on to play in the Arena Football League.

Performing Arts

The Drama Department

University High School has an accomplished drama department. They have performed several popular plays such as Les Misérables (musical), Evita (musical), Aida (musical), and recently, "Miss Saigon". The Drama Department also boasts a thespian troupe. Troupe 4848 of District 5 travel to Dr. Phillips High School every winter to compete in District competition and to Tampa every spring for State competition. In 2008, the troupe's one act, "The Window School", won "Best in Show: One Act" and went on to get straight superiors at State.


The University High School Cougar Band & Guard have a reputation of being one of the best band programs in the state. The Top Bands (Wind Ensemble, Jazz 1) have a history of receiving straight superior ratings at the District and State level MPA(Music Performance Assessment)Fact|date=September 2007.It is also known for its marching band program. Some of the more recent marching band shows include Channel One Suite (2003), Othello (2004), One City Block (2005), There And Back Again (2006)and Almost Yesterday (2007). The upcoming show for 2008 is entitled "Enigma."

The University High School Winterguard has started to make a name for themselves and the school. The performance ensemble has been a finalist at nationally qualifying regionals and had strong placements in statewide competitions as well.

Under the direction of Patrick Culler, the marching band was highly successful, traveling around the nation to perform. The group participated in the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C., performed in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City (1995), and traveled to Los Angeles, CA to particpate in the Tournament of Roses Parade (1998). In the mid to late 1990s, the marching band was one of the largest in the Central Florida region. The membership was near 350 students; approximately 10% of the total UHS population at the time.


*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 2006-7 state championship and were featured in the movie "".

Clubs & Organizations

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:
*Beta Club
*French Honor Society
*Junior State of America
*Youth Equality Alliance (local Gay-Straight Alliance)
*Key Club
*Mu Alpha Theta
*National Honor Society
*Science National Honor Society
*Student Government Association
*The Torch (newspaper)
*TV Production
*Unity YearbookAnd many others. [ [ UHS ] ]

2006 Murder

On October 19, 2006, a 15-year-old male student, Michael Nieves, [ "Orlando Sentinel" Local News] ] was fatally stabbed at about 2:15pm while walking to his school bus to go home. He was known to be stabbed with a three-inch serrated blade. [ [ "Orlando Sentinel" Blogs] ] The victim was said to be stabbed in the neck and the abdomen. After the stabbing, the 17-year-old Kelvin De La Cruz, then changed clothing and hid out in a classroom on the second floor, and was apprehended by a school resource officer. Kelvin de la Cruz pretended to give Michael Nieves a hug as to ask for forgiveness and then stabbed Michael in the back of the neck. Michael then bent over and Kevin stabbed him again, this time in the abdomen. [ [,0,7777048.story?track=rss "Orlando Sentinel" Local News] ] The 17-year-old, who was pointed out by witnesses, was arrested around 3:00 pm the same day. [ [] ]

1998 Murder

Shortly after classes on December 9, 1998, 20-year-old construction worker Omar Witt approached 16-year-old Mark Thornton, allegedly seeking to confront Thornton about harassment of a female student. After a crowd had gathered, someone in the crowd shouting a racial slur. Thornton denied having said it, and tried to leave. As he turned to leave, Witt threw a punch that connected with Thornton's temple. Thornton fell to the ground and did not get back up. He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Omar Witt was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. A memorial dedicated to Thornton is located in the parking lot of the Main Campus.

Sadly, due to the racially charged nature of the incident (Witt was an African-American; Thornton was white) Mark Thornton has been listed as a martyr on white supremacist web sites [ [ Crosstar Martyrs' Honor Roll ] ] .

External links

* [ Official school website]


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