Booker T. Washington
1514 E. Zion St.
Tulsa, OK 74106
Principal: Melissa Woolridge
At a glance
International Baccalaureate Course Offerings
Advance Placement Courses
Many Hornets, one hive!
Booker T. Washington is a world-class high school in the heart of America. In 2009 and 2016 the school received the coveted distinction of being a Blue Ribbon School recognized by the United States government for being academically superior. Our school is ranked as one of the top high schools in the U.S.
Founded in 1913 to serve the citizens of the African-American community, Booker T. Washington was chosen in 1973 to be the vehicle for Tulsa's school desegregation program. This school was established as a magnet school and serves students from every racial, ethnic, religious, and socio-economic group in Tulsa. Booker T. Washington continues to thrive based on the twin ideals of promoting excellence and acceptance of diversity. This philosophy has resulted in our institution's recognition as one of the most successful secondary schools in the United States. Our racially-balanced student body boasts a nationally-ranked academic bowl team and speech and debate team, as well as championship basketball, football, soccer, swim, and volleyball teams.
We are at the forefront of academic trends as one of only two high schools in Oklahoma to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma and the only high school in Oklahoma to offer the IB Middle Years Programme. These programs attract students who thrive in an academically challenging environment. Major universities and colleges, as well as technical, business, government, art and music academies actively recruit Booker T. Washington students.
In 2020, Booker T. Washington High School celebrated its 107th year.
The IB programs are different from other curricula because they:
- encourage students to think critically and challenge assumptions
- encourage students to consider both local and global context
- develop multilingual students
Beyond preparing students for college-level work, the International Baccalaureate program calls for students to express themselves through writing, requires community service, and aims “to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”
AT BTW, STUDENTS CAN:
- Experience a wide range of academic, elective and athletic offerings; and
- Experience a student centered environment in which students and staff focus on building strong, life-changing relationships.
INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE COURSE OFFERINGS
- English Literature
- History of Europe
- Mathematics Applications and Interpretations
- Portfolio Art
- Social and Cultural Anthropology
- Sports, Exercise & Health Science
- Theory of Knowledge
- World History
- World Religions
Advanced placement course offerings
- Calculus AB, BC
- Computer Sci Principles
- Chinese Language and Culture
- Econ Micro
- English Language and Composition
- English Literature and Composition
- Environmental Science
- French Language and Culture
- German Language
- History of Art
- Human Geography
- Music Theory
- Physics I
- Social and Cultural Anthropology
- Spanish Language
- Spanish Literature
- Studio Art and Drawing, 2D, 3D
- U.S. Government and Politics
- U.S. History
- World History
- Academic Bowl 6A State Champions (2019-2021)
- Best High Schools In America by U.S. News (2020)
- National PTA School of Excellence program (2019-2021)
- National Blue Ribbon School (2009; 2016)
- Nationally Ranked Junior Varsity and Varsity Academic Bowl (2021)
- Nationally Ranked Speech and Debate (2020-2021)
- NSDA Team of Excellence (2020)
- PTA National School of Excellence (2019)
- Academic Bowl
- African-American Society
- Air Force JROTC
- Green Team
- Hornets Against Hunger
- Jazz Band
- Latin American Society
- Men of Power
- Model UN
- SOFA Club
- Speech & Debate
- Student Council
- Student Safe Team
- T-Connection Band
- Teen Advisory Board
- Women Empowered
- Youth & Government
- Boys Basketball
2019 6A State Champions
- Boys Cross Country
- Boys Golf
- Boys Soccer
- Boys Swimming
2018 5A State Champions
- Boys Tennis
- Boys Track
2017 6A-II State Champions
- Girls Basketball
2018 5A State Champions
- Girls Golf
- Girls Cross Country
- Girls Soccer
5A State Champions (2018; 2019)
- Girls Swimming
- Girls Tennis
- Girls Track
Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856-November 14, 1915) was born a slave to an African American mother and an unknown white father. He was freed at age nine. Understanding the importance of an education at sixteen Booker T. began attending college in Virginia, working as a janitor to help pay his expenses. After teaching for several years and attending seminary school, Booker T. eventually became the first principal of Tuskegee Institute. There he had the position to advocate on behalf of African Americans, encouraging them to get their constitutional rights through their own moral and economic advancement.
Washington believed in equity. He believed that through technical skills and personal productivity, African Americans would eventually be seen as equals in society. Washington believed in teamwork and excellence. He founded and oversaw the Tuskegee Institute to ensure the continued success of the students, including George Washington Carver. Washington exhibited great character. He worked hard to support his fellow men, and dedicated his entire life to the betterment of others. These values are consistent with those the the Booker T. Washington High School community cherishes.
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
- Booker T. Washington
The original Booker T. Washington High School was a four-room building located at 507 E. Easton St. built in 1913. E. W. Woods was the first principal, serving a modest student population 14 students and two teachers. With a growing Tulsa population, the building on E. Easton St. became inadequate; prompting the construction of a larger three-story building at the same location. Escaping the destruction of the Tulsa Race Massacre, this school served African-American students from 1920 until a third Booker T. Washington High School was erected at 1631 E. Woodrow Pl., in 1950. The first graduating class from this building was the mighty class of 1961.
For sixty years, Booker T. Washington High School served the African-American community of North Tulsa. However, in 1973, responding to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Tulsa Public Schools chose Booker T. Washington to be a model for their school desegregation program. The district began to bus in white students while continuing to allow students who lived near the school to attend as well. This changed Booker T. from a neighborhood to a magnet school as it is known today.
For the school's 90th anniversary, a fourth Booker T. Washington school was built and dedicated in 2003. The current Booker T. Washington High School retained the front section of the old school for its historical significance and is located at 1514 E. Zion St.
Booker T. has a rich history of excellence in academics, athletics and community service. This is noted in the vast number of distinguished alumni. The number of alumni who have excelled throughout the schools rich history prevents us from listing them all. However, many of them have been inducted into the Booker T. Washington Distinguished Hall of Fame.
- Principal Melissa Woolridge, Ph.D.
- Assistant Principal Sharon Lazdins
- Assistant Principal Matt Myers
- Assistant Principal Audra Bull
My academic career with Tulsa Public Schools began at Eli Whitney Middle School (now Hale Junior High School) where I was a seventh grade classroom science teacher for seven years. Since that humble beginning, I have served Tulsa Public Schools in several capacities including: dean of students (middle school), principal intern (middle and high school), and assistant principal (high school).
After serving as the principal of George Washington Carver Middle School for two consecutive years, I took a sabbatical from the district to teach undergraduate science courses in biological science, human anatomy, and zoology at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology. Following my year-long sabbatical, I returned George Washington Carver Middle School where I remained principal for an additional six years. In 2017, I began serving as the principal of my alma mater and the pride of the great southwest, Booker T. Washington High School.
I hold a bachelor of science degree in biological science/chemistry from Kentucky State University, a master of science degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in secondary science education from Oklahoma State University; and a doctorate in environmental science from Oklahoma State University. Prior to my career in education, I served as a virology laboratory technician for the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory which is located on the Oklahoma State University Campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I also worked as a entomology laboratory technician, a police forensics department laboratory technician, and a forestry technician, where I had the opportunity to train with the "Hot Shot" forest fire-fighters.
Science is my passion, education is my mission.
I have been working for TPS and at Booker T. Washington High School since 1994. I taught biology for 18 years and have served as the IB Diploma Program Coordinator since 2000. In 2012, I moved into my current role as Assistant Principal. My current responsibilities include IB Diploma Program, district/state/IB testing, Special Services, admissions/recruitment, master calendar, master scheduling, and supervision of staff and students.
While not a graduate of Booker T., I have received a tremendous education from its students, staff, and community. I am proud to be a Hornet!
I grew up in Oklahoma and attended The University of Oklahoma for my undergraduate degrees in History and Journalism, and OU Tulsa for my M.Ed. My wife Mariann and I got married in 2016.
I have been working in TPS since 2007. I was a classroom teacher for four years at Gilcrease Middle School, one year at Mclain Jr. High, and four years at Phoenix Rising. I also worked at Central High School before becoming assistant principal at Booker T.
I am so proud to be a Hornet!
I have been part of the Tulsa Public Schools team since 2000, including 13 years teaching 7th grade language arts, geography and Read 180 at Thoreau Demonstration Academy. I also served as the school's athletic director, language arts department chair, site improvement plan coordinator, and building test coordinator. I have been an assistant principal since 2013, working at Salk and Tulsa MET before coming to Booker T. Washington in 2018.
I have my undergraduate degree in history and secondary education from The University of Tulsa and hold masters degrees in education administration and as a reading specialist from Northeastern State University.
My special affinity for Booker T. began when I was ten years old. I had just moved here from a small town in Kansas. I came to my first ever basketball game and had the privilege of watching Wayman Tisdale play. From that point, both Booker T. and basketball have occupied a very special place for me, and I am proud to be a Hornet!
In all things social, we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.
- Booker T. Washington