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New Stanton Newspaper Clippings

The original Stanton School was both the first school for African American children in Jacksonville and the first in the state of Florida. The school was named for Edwin M. Stanton, Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War.

Mr. Stanton was a staunch anti-slavery advocate and championed free formal education for African American children.

Image of Stanton Scrapbook collecting Newsclippings
Stanton Scrapbook collecting newspaper clippings.

The property for the school was purchased for $850 by the Education Society, a group of Jacksonville African Americans, on February 8, 1868. The Freedmen’s Bureau operated the school, employing white teachers from the North until Duval County leased the property for the purpose of opening a public school. The first building, a wooden structure, was destroyed by fire in 1882; the second, also wood and built that same year, was destroyed in the Great Jacksonville Fire in 1901. A third wooden structure was built in 1902 and remained in operation for the next fifteen years.

The deteriorating condition of this third building prompted its replacement in 1917 with the still-standing brick structure bordered by Ashley, Broad, Beaver, and Clay Streets. Beginning as an elementary school with six grades, Stanton eventually became a Grade 1-12 facility. In 1953 the Stanton name was transferred to a new facility in the LaVilla area (on 13th Street), New Stanton Senior High School. The Broad and Ashley facility was now known as "Old Stanton." The Old Stanton building was used as a junior high school until 1954, when it became Stanton Vocational High School. By day, this Stanton served traditional students as a vocational training center; by night, it served nontraditional students as the center for an Adult and Veterans Education Program.

Image of Stanton High School ca. 1900
Stanton High School, ca. 1900.
Destroyed by Great Fire, May 1901.

In 1969, New Stanton's educational focus began to change, from academic to vocational. The Old Stanton student body was transferred to New Stanton in 1971 and the Broad Street building remained vacant until the 1990s when it was renovated and leased to Edward Waters College for its charter school, the Academy of Excellence. The Academy continues the original school's mission of providing quality education for African American students.

In 1980 New Stanton became one of the magnet schools instituted by the Duval County School Board to serve gifted students throughout the county. To this end, the school's name was changed to its present designation, Stanton College Preparatory School. Stanton College Prep is recognized as one of the Top 10 college preparatory public schools in the country.

last updated July 20, 2006 clb