Booker T. Washington Junior High School opened in 1925 as the first African American Junior High School in Tampa. However, it was quickly expanded to offer high school classes. Until Middleton High was opened in the mid 1930’s, this was the only junior high and high school available for African American students to attend.
The school was located on 3rd Avenue in Ybor City. During the 1930’s, Howard Blake served as the school’s principal striving to gain respect for the school.
According to Rowena Brady, Mr. Blake was instrumental in getting the State Department of Education to recognize Booker T. Washington High School as a standard high school program, “placing it on an equal basis with other good high schools elsewhere in the state.”
After the 1971 desegregation plan in the district, Booker T. Washington was converted into a junior high school and later into a seventh grade center.
During the middle school conversion of the 1990’s, Booker T. Washington became a Magnet School for International Studies. In 2005, B.T. Washington changed to an elementary school.