Documenting HHS history

The Tampa History Center will host an exhibit on Hillsborough High School since its founding in 1882

To share its 138 years of history and bring together all the classes that attended Hillsborough, there will be an exhibit at the Tampa History Center all about the school, starting April 4 through July.

This upcoming community exhibit has been on the waiting list for three years and now the HHS Alumni Association is finally able to display Hillsborough High School’s history in a special community case gallery.

Rex Gordon, an alumnus and the historian in charge says that since the exhibit was approved, the association has been planning and working on it since last year. “We want to promote HHS history and show the changes through its history, especially because students today are better with diversity in race, age, generation and religion,” Gordon said.

The showcase includes a timeline from 1882 to 2010 with 16 panels for the decades, which will have a picture of the school during that decade long with a brief description of student life during that period.

There will also be artifacts associated with sports teams, JROTC and the Red & Black. Next to the timeline there will be a big terrier statue made by Gordon that is meant to unite all generations of students. In a different room, there will be a running slideshow that is more informative. Later, Tampa City Councilman Guido Maniscalco, alumni president and a guest speaker from the history center will give a speech.

Tickets bought at the museum or online will give access to the whole museum and the HHS Exhibit. At the museum, it is $14 or $10 if tickets are bought online in advance.

“Terriers that have graduated don’t realize we have an IB program that’s been around for 20 years or all the great things Terriers are doing today. It’s the same the other way, younger Terriers don’t know a lot of things that happened back then, so we’re trying to connect everybody and show our wonderful history,” Gordon said. “We also want to inspire future generations to do something positive for the community.” The group tried to gather information and artifacts from a wide range of events and activities.

“I’m hoping there are things there regarding the founding of the school, the beginning of the oldest school in the county. I also hope that there are cool kinds of documents and pictures of when the school was first founded,” math teacher Michael Welch said, who graduated from Hillsborough in 2008. “I think that would be as a student and a teacher really interesting and exciting to see.”