Miami Edison High School

Miami Edison High School is a secondary school located at 6161 NW 5th Court in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami, Florida, USA. The provost is Dr. Pablo G. Ortiz. The school is part of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system.

Almost ninety years ago, Miami Edison Senior High School had its humble beginnings in a small palmetto-thatched hut inhabited by spiders, beetles, ten pupils and one teacher. After this tropical edifice burned to the ground in 1895, the activities were moved twice, finally being established in a rickety four-room structure in 1897. During the brief tenure of Principal Ernest Roller, only the common subjects and agriculture were taught. At this time the forerunner of the Parent Teacher Association, the "Mother's and Teacher's League" was formed; its aim was to further the general welfare of the student body. This organization became the oldest PTA of service in Dade County when the name was changed in 1918.

In 1915 after the destruction of the old building by a violent windstorm, the long-cherished dream of Dr. J. G. DuPuis, A. N. Fallensen, and E. N. Webb, trustees, was realized as Dade County Agricultural High School came into existence. Mainly through their efforts, a land grant was secured and the new building erected. Professor A. C. Alleshouse became principal in 1917, and was succeeded in 1920 by W. O. Lockhart. Being accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools made it necessary to secure a principal with a degree; J. N McArthur became principal until his transfer in 1923, when Jesse G. Fisher (right) accepted the position. Even in these years of instability, the school continued to grow, as two wings were added in 1922 and five years later the first cafeteria was installed. Many school organizations came into being at this time to keep pace with the extension of the building. This rapid growth continued as the impetus given to athletics by the employment of the first regular coach brought the clamor for a gymnasium. The School Board proceeded to erect the addition, but due to lack of an architect, the bleachers soon became the victim of the hurricane of 1936. The repaired building remained until the present Middle School was constructed on the site.

In 1928, our present building was completed and into it moved 892 students and a faculty of 32, marking the beginning of the Junior and Senior High system. New additions included the Home Economics building, and the only boat-building class in the United States. In the following years, the school auditorium, the shops and the field house were added. In 1931 came a strong demand to change the school's name. Under the influence of Principal Fisher and Henry Filer, then chairman of the School Board, suggested names were submitted to the student body. The recent death of America's great inventor, Thomas A. Edison, proved to be the deciding factor.

Thus, in October 1931, Dade County Agricultural High became Miami Edison Senior High in his honor. Soon after, this new name was immortalized as Mrs. Frances Deen set to music the words of Mrs. Marjorie Weatherup's "Alma Mater". 1949 marked the tragic death of Julian Daniel, whose great character, service and leadership were honored by the establishment of the Julian Daniel Award and by the presentation of Key Club's annual scholarship. Mr. Robert A. Wilson (right) became Principal upon Mr. Fisher's retirement in 1950 and under his leadership the extracurricular program was expanded.

Interested not only in academics, Miami Edison has for years earned the reputation of being recognized a leader in all fields of athletics. The Red Raiders have shown their superiority in football for they often dominated the strongest league in Florida, the Big Ten Conference. The varsity is proud of the fact that the Orange Bowl Stadium was dedicated by an Edison team playing Coral Gables in 1938, and has since remained the home of the Red Raiders. The pride and spirit of the students in all endeavors were shown when a strong Student Council and Inter-Club Council were organized in the 1930s. It was through their efforts that the Honor Code, regarded as the basis of the "Edison spirit" was adopted in 1939. The Coat of Arms was installed in the patio in 1958 and the "Little Red Devil" became the symbol of our spirit.

In 1955, Mr. William B. Duncan (right) became Principal and has been able, through the efforts of an outstanding faculty, the support of community resources, and the motivation of the students, to set in motion those changes emphasized in the nation for a rededication to quality education for every student according to his ability. During his administration the "Operation Amigo" program found its illustrious beginning in the United States in the halls of Miami Edison in January 1962. The chance to take into our homes Peruvian students in cooperation with the Miami Herald was marked by complete success. For the prominent part Edison played in the advent of this now nation-wide program in hemispheric understanding, Mr. Duncan became the first North American to be awarded the "Alfonso Ugarte" medal for inter-cultural friendship.

Thus, from humble beginnings in 1885 to the advent of a prominent high school in 1915, Edison has expanded from a tiny thatched hut to our present extensive structure; from a faculty of one to over 100; from a student body of ten to over 2200; from a school of agriculture to one with diversified courses. The prevailing school spirit, standards of integrity, and ideals of scholarship and sportsmanship have reigned supreme throughout the years. These ideals of Miami Edison have helped to mold many outstanding personalities, but no man lives without leaving his mark in some way, and Miami Edison is rich in all these - her sons, daughters, and those who cherish her name.

(Adapted from the 1964 Miami Edison Beacon ) Article graciously contributed by the Miami Edison Over the Hill Gang.

After 1964 Miami Edison Senior High has seen many changes in the years following publication of the above article. Reflecting the population shifts of the region, Edison went from being a predominantly white student body in the early 1960s to an almost completely African-American one by the time the senior high moved to its present building in 1979. The eighties saw a further shift in population, with the influx of Haitians making the present student body predominantly Haitian-American.

There have been no more principals like Jesse Fisher, who stayed at Edison almostthirty years (1923–1950), or William Duncan, who lasted almost twenty (1955–1973). Most Edison principals now stay for 3–5 years (as is the case district-wide). Following Mr. Duncan, we had the following principals (see photos at bottom of page): Judith Greene (1973–1977), Piedad Bucholtz (1977–1979), Frank deVarona (1979–1983), Craig Sturgeon (1983–1992), Willa Young (1992–1995), Gloria Evans (1995–1998), and our current principal, Santiago C. Corrada.

Because of overcrowding two new wings (S and T) and a legion of portables have been added over the years. The mascot has changed again. The Little Devil is out, making way for the Pirate, which students and staff voted for during the 1997-98 school year. Edison students are still great achievers in sports. The girl's basketball team, for example, won the state championship in 1995 and again in 2001.

Read more about Miami Edison High SchoolNotable Alumni, Demographics, Academics, News

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