12/1/2022 Exhibit Opens: School Bells Are Ringing: Winter Garden’s Historic High Schools

Major Jean Booker, Miss Drew High School 1962
Winter Garden’s Lakeview High School rose in 1927 on 17 acres of land donated by pioneer citrus grower Luther Fuller Tilden. It was built to replace the too-small Oakland-Winter Garden School that stood on Tildenville School Road. Beloved by a succession of graduating classes, it served West Orange County through the class of 1975, when West Orange High School was built south of the city to accommodate a rapidly growing student population. Lakeview was converted to a junior high, and in 1986 became the middle school that stands today.
Due to Florida’s institutional segregation, black students were not permitted to attend Lakeview. To receive a higher education, they traveled to Jones High School in Orlando, which exclusively served African American students. In the late 1950s, Winter garden’s one school for black students succeeded in providing accredited courses for high schoolers, and Charles R. Drew High School was born. It operated until Orange County high schools were integrated for the 1969-70 school year; Drew was closed and its students were able to attend the more commodious Lakeview or Ocoee High Schools.
Newly-shared images of students, teachers, and structures at Drew will be featured.
Winter Garden Heritage Museum
1 North Main Street
Through February 28, 2023
We are thankful for the sponsorship of this exhibit by
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