A History of Booker T. Washington High School
The history of Booker T. Washington High School dates back to April of 1911, when the Norfolk School Board agreed to endorse one year of high school learning in connection with elementary school at John T. West School. In 1912, a second year was added and, in 1913, a third year was included. In May of 1914, the State Board of Education endorsed the high school and the local board passed as act which gave Virginia its first accredited public high school for Negroes.
The following year saw such rapid growth that the board was forced to move to the high school site on Princess Anne Road. This site was officially occupied in 1917 and its name was immediately changed to Booker T. Washington High School. In 1924, keeping pace with its own rapid growth, a new and then modern Booker T. Washington High School opened on Virginia Beach Boulevard with a student body of 1750 in grades 7 – 12 and a faculty of 63 teachers.
During the 1920’s and 1930’s under the leadership of Mr. Winston Douglas, Booker T. Washington rose to new heights of glory, earning the name “The Mighty Booker T” and the “Fighting Bookers.” In 1961, Mr. Albert Preston took the helm and guided Booker T. Washington High School through many major social, economic and educational changes with unaltered determination and quiet dignity.
In September of 1974, a new era began for Booker T. Washington High School. A modern eight million dollar plant was opened. The formal dedication was on Sunday, February 9th, 1975. Dr. Thomas Newby was appointed principal in December, 1977. Under his leadership, Booker T. Washington continued its quest for excellence and service to the community. When Dr. Newby retired in 1994, Mr. Joel R. Wagner became principal. He served until 2002 when Mrs. Cynthia Watson took the helm. Mr. Kevin Monroe held the reigns as the top BTW administrator until the summer of 2013. Mrs. Adrian Day became principal in the fall of 2013-14. Day’s tenure as principal lasted until the spring of 2016. Mrs. Latesha Wade-Jenkins, assistant principal was named acting principal for BTW in June 2016. Dr. Margie Stallings took the helm of the school in July 2016. She came onboard as school principal after serving as the Night School Principal at the Norfolk Technical Center. Stallings had previously served as an assistant principal at BTW.
With its usual pride and determination, the student body and faculty look forward to carrying on the outstanding job that has been done over the past ninety one years in serving the community, the state and the nation.