Gaither High School

Gaither High School serves 1,984 students in grades 9-12.
The student:teacher ratio of 19:1 is higher than the FL average of 15:1.
Minority enrollment is 56% of the student body (majority Hispanic), which is less than the state average of 57%.
Gaither High School operates within the Hillsborough School District.
The school district's 69% graduation rate is lower than the FL state average of 70%.


The student population of 1984 students has stayed relatively flat over five years.
The teacher population of 106 teachers has declined by 8% over five years.
Grades Offered Grades 9-12
Total Students 1,984 students
Gaither High School Total Students (1987-2012)
Gender % 49% Male / 51%Female
Total Classroom Teachers 106 teachers
Gaither High School Total Classroom Teachers (1987-2012)
Students by Grade Gaither High School Students by Grade

School Comparison

The student:teacher ratio of 19:1 has increased from 18:1 over five years.
The school's diversity score of 0.66 is less than the state average of 0.69. The school's diversity has stayed relatively flat over five years.
This School (FL) School Average
Student : Teacher Ratio 19:1 15:1
Gaither High School Student : Teacher Ratio (1987-2012)
American Indian
Gaither High School Asian (1988-2012)
Gaither High School Hispanic (1988-2012)
Gaither High School Black (1988-2012)
Gaither High School White (1988-2012)
All Ethnic Groups Gaither High School Sch Ethnicity Gaither High School Sta Ethnicity
Diversity Score
The chance that two students selected at random would be members of a different ethnic group. Scored from 0 to 1, a diversity score closer to 1 indicates a more diverse student body.
0.66 0.69
Gaither High School Diversity Score (1988-2012)
Eligible for Free Lunch
Families meeting income eligibility guidelines may qualify for free and reduced price meals or free milk. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program.
Gaither High School Eligible for Free Lunch (1988-2012)
Eligible for Reduced
Families meeting income eligibility guidelines may qualify for free and reduced price meals or free milk. These guidelines are used by schools, institutions, and facilities participating in the National School Lunch Program (and Commodity School Program), School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program.
Gaither High School Eligible for Reduced Lunch (1999-2012)

District Comparison

The district's student population of 201,942 students has grown by 30777% over five years.
The district's graduation rate of 0% has decreased from 98% over five years.
School District Name Hillsborough School District
Number of Schools
Number of Students Managed 201,942 9,762
Hillsborough School District Number of Students Managed (1987-2012)
Graduation Rate 69% 70%
Hillsborough School District Graduation Rate (2001-2009)
District Total Revenue $1,906 MM $138 MM
Hillsborough School District Total Revenue (1990-2009)
District Spending $2,095 MM $159 MM
Hillsborough School District Spending (1990-2009)
District Revenue / Student $2,914,237 $13,793
Hillsborough School District Revenue / Student (1990-2009)
District Spending / Student $3,203,110 $15,882
Hillsborough School District Spending / Student (1990-2009)
School Statewide Testing View Education Department Test Scores
Source: 2012 (latest year available) NCES, FL Dept. of Education

School Notes:

  • Vivian Gaither High School (commonly abbreviated to simply Gaither or GHS) is located in the Greater Northdale area of Hillsborough County, Florida. It is a senior public high school.
  • It serves the communities of Northdale, Cheval, Country Place, North Lakes, Lutz, and other parts of northern Hillsborough County.
  • Gaither is named for former Hillsborough High School administrator, Principal Vivian Gaither. He served over 40 years in the Hillsborough County School System.
  • History: Gaither opened its doors in 1984. It first only housed 9th, 10th, and 11th grades. The following year and until 1997, it only accommodated 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. Today, Gaither is used for all of 9th-12th grades.
  • Gaither's closest rival is Sickles High School, which opened in 1997. Other rivals include Chamberlain High School, and Freedom High School.
  • The Class of 1996's Drama and Musical Theatre productions were very widely recognized. Gaither's theatrics department is considered to be one of the most talented; this and subsequent classes have been led through many sold out and flawless performances. Most notable actresses were Shannon Clemmons, Beverly Sinacori, and Dawn Schaeffler.
  • In 2003, Gaither High School adopted the vision, "Gaither will be among the top 5% of high schools in the state," and mission, "Gaither will provide all students with the opportunity and skills needed to maximize their potential as life–long learners and productive citizens."
  • During the Fall of 2003, a clustered case of respiratory Stridor hit Gaither's Starettes, the dance and cheerleading squad. Anywhere from 10 to 14 members of the Starettes as well as a few members of the Marching Cowboys contracted the illness during the months of October and November, following July band camp at the school which all were present at. During that same time the school gym floor was refinished and the auditorium painted; it is likely that the Starettes' practice area, where they spent considerable time between the two locations, predisposed them (as opposed to the entirety of the marching band, which usually practiced in the band room) to a mixture of and higher-than-normal volumes of fumes (which many complained of). The most newsworthy facet of this incident was the spotless air-quality test result mandated by County health officials and performed by both the SDHC's Safety Department and independent private environmental consultants Chastain-Skillman; the exact causes of the episode are still a mystery. As such it was featured on an episode of NBC's Today. As of December, 2003 the afflicted students' health had improved or was improving.
  • In April of 2004, a wall above the auditorium collapsed due to heavy wind and rains, and crews pulled the rest down to prevent any further collapsing. The wall was rebuilt but water purportedly continues to come in through the ceiling.
  • In 2005, the Gaither Marching Band participated in the Inaugural Parade for George W. Bush.
  • In 2006, the Gaither Vocal Chorus traveled to New York City and performed at St Patrick's Cathedral.
  • During the Fall and Spring semesters comprising the 2005-2006 school year, Spirit Week (the once-a-year week wherein students can dress to various school-related "themes") was cut down to three days instead of the usual five. To make up for what the students felt was a school-spirit deprivation (as there was no conceivable or announced reason for the decrease in the number of Spirit days), the student population created their own "themes" for the first two days of the week: Pirate day and Ninja day. On both days, students who dressed up were required by administration to change clothes.
  • During the 2005-2006 school year, many students participated in body painting in an effort to raise "school spirit". They made appearances at pep rallies, football games, or any other oppurtunity to showcase their spirit. The "Blue Crue", as they dubbed themselves, were also involved in many skits and school pranks. These pranks consisted of everything from a large scale pillow fight to hosting free barbecques in the school parking lot.
  • 2005-2006 Policy Controversy: During the 2005-2006 school year, Gaither's administration enacted new policies which have had positive effects despite negative reactions from some students. A new tardy policy went into effect; in contrast to earlier policy, tardies would be logged across all classes as opposed to per class, with increased penalties for infractions. A great number of students were concerned by this change, as the heavily populated school had densely packed hallways which made it difficult to arrive on time. However, the harsher consequences motivated students who would previously obstruct the hallways to move to their classrooms sooner, allowing students who would otherwise be late to arrive on time. Many students have agreed that the new policies have been a resounding success, since the data demonstrated a dramatic drop in tardies after the institution of the new policy. As must be expected, though, other sub-populations of the student body continue to voice contempt for the new policies.
  • In the same year, a policy requiring students to wear their Gaither ID cards was enacted. The policy has been surprisingly uneffective, due to the fact that many teachers do not enforce it, allowing students to walk around the school for the entire day without an ID, making it impossible to tell who is and isn't a Gaither student. It should also be noted that the IDs could be easily counterfeited on any home computer, due to their lack of holograms or any other security features.
  • Location: Vivian Gaither High is located on North Dale Mabry Highway: roughly 15 miles north of downtown Tampa, 20 miles east of Tarpon Springs, and about 10 minutes East-northeast of Sickles High School.
  • Sister School: Hillsborough County used the layout of Gaither to build Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, Florida. Many Bloomingdale students believe that their school was built first, when in reality Gaither was built in 1984, and Bloomingdale wasn't built until 1987.
  • The only differences between the two schools are the colors, with Bloomingdale's black and red earning it the infamous moniker "Satan Gaither" among Gaither attendees.
  • Baseball: The year 2005 was a good one for the Gaither Cowboys' Baseball team. In Coach Permuy's 21st year coaching at Gaither he led the Cowboys to a Tony Saladino Tournament win and a Class 5A State Championship game against Davie Nova, the No. 1 ranked team in the country. The Cowboys lost to Davie Nova 3-0 ending their season with a record of 26-6. Although the season ended in a down note, it is the farthest level the Cowboys' baseball program has ever reached in the play-offs. Coach Permuy credited the team with all the success mentioning "This is the best group of seniors we have ever had. The Best. They were the leaders of this team. A team of 27 guys and everybody knows their role. That's a real team." The group of seniors included: Mario Duarte, Gus Fernandez, Caleb Graham, Kris Loper, Bralio Pardo, Ryan Plate, and Chris Thompson. Now its up to the 2006 seniors to reach that final level in the play-offs and bring a State Championship back for Coach Permuy and the Gaither Cowboys.
  • Soccer: The Cowboys 2006 soccer team has had the best season of the school's history. Gaither went undefeated in the regular season with 21 wins and 2 ties, something no other Gaither soccer team has done before. The 2006 soccer team only lost one senior due to graduation last year and they are coming back to win it all. The team is very solid featuring players like Eddie Ababio, who could likely be considered the best player in the county. He leads the team with 19 goals and also has 9 assists under his belt. Ababio is accompanied by midfielder Trent Anderson who leads the team in assist with 17. With Antonio Cotroneo being a solid goalkeeper these Cowboys will be a force to reckon with in the playoffs. The defense is held down by star forward, Bruno Bustamante who regularly provides a rallying speech to push the team over the top. In 2000, the boys soccer team won the whole thing. And even though an undefeated regular season is a great statistic, it would be overshadowed in comparison to another State Championship.
  • Volleyball: The 2004 girls volleyball squad was a senior dominated team who were coming back to make another run at the State Championship. The team was led by senior Kaley Brown who filled the new "libero" position and had about 200 digs throughout the whole season. Audrey Campbell, another senior, standing at 6-foot-1 is the tallest player on the team and a dominating force at the net. Campbell had about 75 kills and 55 solo blocks leading into the playoffs. Katie Whitescarver is the best hitter the team has. The 5-8 senior leads her team in the kills category with 125. Jessica Harris is another front row senior who has used her aggressive playing style to smack down 74 kills for her team. Of course, all of these kills would not have been possible if it weren't for quality setting. Casey Smith, the daughter of Coach Cindy Smith, fills that position. Casey aided the team with 426 assists during the season and she also led the team in service aces. The final senior on the team is Donelle Goff who is a defensive specialist. Kaley, Audrey, Casey, and Donelle also play soccer for the Cowboys.
  • Track: The last great Track and Field accomplishment was Dara Altman's consecutive Pole Vaulting State Titles, in 2001 and 2002, followed closely by hurdler Joel Eastlick's District Champion title in 2001.
  • Football: The boys varsity football team had a winning record in 2005/2006 but did not make the post-season. The Cowboys finished their 2006/2007 regular season at 6-4 and second in the district, but continued to the post-season.
  • Famous alumni: Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay Devil Rays catcher.
  • Tina Novak, singer.
  • Alesha Oreskovich, model/ Playboy bunny.
  • Lydell Ross, former Ohio State Buckeyes running back.
  • J.R. Russell, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver.
  • James Smith, guitarist of band Underoath.
  • Brittany Snow, actress.
  • Jenn Sterger, photo model.
  • Chad Zerbe, San Francisco Giants relief pitcher.
  • Source: Wikipedia; it is used under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL

Nearby Schools:

The nearest high school is Dorothy Thomas Center (2.2 miles away).
The nearest middle school is Buchanan Middle School (2.2 miles away)
The nearest elementary school is Claywell Elementary School (1.2 miles away)
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Show me:
  • School Location Miles Students Grades
  • Tampa Gaither Adult/community Center
    16200 North Dale Mabry Hwy
    Tampa , FL , 33618
    0  mi  |  n/a  students  |  Gr.  n/a
  • Tampa Claywell Elementary School
    4500 Northdale Blvd
    Tampa , FL , 33624
    1.2  mi  |  703  students  |  Gr.  PK-5
  • Tampa A T Jones Math Science And Technology Academy
    Charter School
    4903 Ehrlich Rd
    Tampa , FL , 33624
    Charter School
    2  mi  |  233  students  |  Gr.  KG-5
  • Tampa Buchanan Middle School
    1001 West Bearss Ave
    Tampa , FL , 33613
    2.2  mi  |  728  students  |  Gr.  6-8
  • Tampa Dorothy Thomas Center
    Special Education School
    3215 Nundy Rd
    Tampa , FL , 33618
    Special Education School
    2.2  mi  |  60  students  |  Gr.  KG-12

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