On Sept. 16, 1974, 40 young men and women filtered into an old livestock barn that would become Tampa Preparatory School.
An Ambitious Founding MissionTampa Preparatory School was founded in 1974 by a group of citizens dedicated to the idea of a non-denominational, independent secondary school rigorous in its college-preparatory curriculum and enriched by artistic and athletic pursuits. Their goal was the raising of centered, inquisitive and selfless adults through contact with diverse experiences and people.
To embrace a larger segment of the community, the school added seventh- and eighth-grade levels to its program in 1991, and a sixth grade in 1997. Visionary leaders realized a long-awaited dream in 2002 with the completion of a custom-designed campus on the Hillsborough River, across the street from its former location on the University of Tampa campus.
Building for the Future: A Modern MasterpieceToday, the 150,000 square-foot school complex, including a 32,000 square-foot sports complex, affords Tampa Preparatory School students an unparalleled learning and training environment and unsurpassed amenities. The School’s proximity to the many cultural assets of the City of Tampa affords access for both students and teachers, including the Straz Center for Performing Arts, Patel Conservatory, Tampa Bay History Center, Tampa Museum of Art, Glazer Children’s Museum and the historic Tampa Theater. Tampa Prep’s community partnerships flourish as students volunteer countless hours to community service organizations in Tampa Bay.
While just 18 students graduated in the first class of Tampa Prep in 1977, our alumni base currently includes more than 3,000 proud Terrapins! Seven Heads of School guided and directed the School’s progress, together with the Board of Trustees. They are: George Wolfenden, 1974-79; David M. Delo, 1979; Joe Wandke 1979-83; L. Laird Davis, 1983-88; Susanna F. Grady, 1988-98; D. Gordon MacLeod, 1998-2007; and Kevin Plummer, since 2007.
Tampa Preparatory School is governed by a diverse Board of Trustees composed of parents, alumni, and business and civic leaders from the Tampa Bay area. Trustees are nominated by committee, elected by vote of the current Board and serve three-year terms.
Tampa Preparatory School is accredited by the Florida Council of Independent Schools and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools, The Enrollment Management Association, the National Association of College Admission Counselors, the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the Southern Association of College Admission Counselors, Bay Area Association of Independent Schools and Tampa Bay Independent Secondary Schools.