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Franklin High is a public high school with a long history and community traditions. It was established in 1910 with 20 students and 2 teachers. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools first accredited the school in 1941, when there were 13 teachers and a senior class of 53 students. Today the school numbers 1,760 with a faculty of 118, 57% holding advanced degrees. The student population is 91% White, 3.3% Hispanic, 3.2% African-American, 1.9% Asian, and .6% other with a student/faculty ratio of 21.97 to 1.
Franklin High School has a long and rich history of providing education to the young people of WilliamsonCounty. It began in 1910 with twenty students and two teachers in a few upstairs rooms of the Franklin Institute, the old FranklinElementary School, located at Five Corners. That first Franklin High School graduated three students in 1912. One of the early principals was an educator by the name of Miss Nell Shea. In the fall of 1926, the new Franklin High School opened its doors on a site atop a hill on Columbia Avenue. G.E. Craddock was the principal when this move was made, and he carried with him a staff of ten teachers and a senior class of 33. Courses taught included English, math, history, science, French, Latin, home economics and manual arts, taught by Mr. Craddock, the principal. In 1936, W.C. Yates became principal of Franklin High School. In addition to serving as principal, Mr. Yates also taught agriculture. In 1941, when FHS first became accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, it had 13 teaching staff members and a senior class of 53. Mr. Daly Thompson, who earlier had served as superintendent of schools while teaching Bible and science at Franklin High School, became principal in the early 1950’s.
In 1955, Barry Sutton became principal, and it was during his first year, January 1956, that the building on Columbia Avenue burned, leaving only the gym and a few basement classrooms standing. Local church buildings were pressed into service until a new building was constructed on the present site. It consisted of 19 classrooms, a gym, cafeteria, library, study hall, offices and three shops. With a staff of 19 and a senior class of 72, Mr. Sutton and FranklinHigh School moved into the new building over the Thanksgiving holidays in 1957. During Mr. Sutton’s tenure, the building was enlarged, and by 1967 the senior class numbered 184 with a teaching staff of 45. Carl Owen served as principal for one year, 1967-68, and it was during his administration that NatchezHigh School and FranklinHigh School were combined, with both campuses housing FranklinHigh School students. Mr. D.W. Sanders became principal in the fall of 1968, and in 1971 Carl Pike became principal. During his tenure, another addition was added to the building, and by 1981 the senior class numbered 442. In 1982 BrentwoodHigh School was opened, pulling most of its student body from the ranks of FranklinHigh School. Bob Lawson, formerly an assistant principal and guidance counselor, became principal of FHS in 1987, and during his year of service, another major addition and renovation project was inaugurated.
In 1988 Doug Crosier was named principal and the 9.5 million dollar renovation and addition was completed. Franklin High continued its steady growth, so much so that the new CentennialHigh School opened in 1996 to accommodate the growing Franklin/Williamson County area. Dr. John Calton was appointed as principal for the 2000-01 school year. After Dr. Calton resigned in the summer of 2001, Dr. Linda Miller became the principal for one year.
In the summer of 2002 Mrs. Willie Dickerson was appointed the current head principal. FranklinHigh School’s tradition of excellence established over the past 93 years has continued. Over the past six years, 19 students have been named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, and test scores have remained well above state and national averages. In 2000 Franklin High became the first high school in Tennessee to be accepted as an affiliate member of the International Baccalaureate Program. In July 2004 the IB organization announced that all ten of the first IB graduates were awarded IB diplomas. Franklin High also excels outside the classroom, with a nationally recognized band program, active forensic and vocal music programs, numerous student clubs and organizations, and competitive athletic programs in every sport sanctioned by the TSSAA, including 10 state championships in women’s soccer in the past 11 years. Today the school numbers over 1700 students.
During the summer of 2004 construction for a new 18 million dollar building began in front of the old building built in 1957. Most of the 400 Hallway was demolished, the building reconfigured for the main entrance in the back, and ten portables positioned behind the Field House to carry on instruction. Faculty, staff and students moved into the new building in January 2006.
Tennessee Department of Health