Tampa is located on the west coast of central Florida on the northern edge of Tampa Bay. The Gulf of Mexico is about 30 to 45 minutes away by car and could be faster by boat depending on what type of boat you have. Interstate 75 runs from north to south directly into Tampa where it changes into 275 and goes to St. Petersburg or stays to the west of Tampa and follows the east coast down to the infamous alligator alley where it cuts across to Ft. Lauderdale. Interstate 4 runs from Tampa northeast to Orlando and then on to Daytona Beach.
The primary airport in the area is Tampa International Airport, but there are several other airports that help to reduce the flow of traffic out of Tampa. St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport is the second largest airport in the Tampa area serving about 1 million passengers a year. Sarasota Bradenton International lies just south of Tampa and Clearwater.
Tampa was founded in the early 1800's as Fort Brooke. It was located at the mouth of the Hillsborough River where it empties into Tampa Bay. It was originally created to stop the Seminole Indians from invading the territory but then became the pivotal point for activities both civilian and military. In 1821, Florida becomes a U.S. Territory, the population, in the north grows very slowly and Florida citrus production begins.
During the Spanish American War Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders were stationed in Tampa. This war became the turning point for the city of Tampa, with 30,000 troops using Tampa as an embarkation point to Cuba. Tampa went from a small town to a big city almost overnight.
Tampa Anhauser Bush, one of the top brewers in the US, has put together a world of special attractions in the Tampa Bay area. Bush Gardens and Adventure Island in Tampa and Sea world in Orlando, they have many other parks throughout the country. They are all a combination of natural environments and people working closely together to form a balance of enjoyment for the whole family.
The Restaurants and Clubs in the Clearwater, Tampa areas have to be some of the best. With all the competition for the tourist trade, if you're not serving the best food or having the best entertainment then you are just not going to survive here.
The Healthcare in the Tampa, Clearwater area is also some of the best in the country. Not only are there many doctors in specialized fields but many of the hospitals are also specialized. The range of ages in the area from the elderly to new families starting out with newborns and young children are an attractive challenge to physicians of every specialty and to many general practitioners and nurse practitioners.
Here are some facts about the schools in Hillsborough County City of Tampa 84 of our schools scored an A under the state accountability plan and 46 schools improved their letter grades by at least one. More than 75 percent of our schools received an A or B grade.
Our 8th graders scored best in the state on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test writing. They have been first in Florida, or tied for first, every year since 2000. District 10th graders tied for first, and 4th graders scored best in the Tampa Bay area.
Our students' average math and science scores exceeded the state average at every grade level, and our average reading scores met or exceeded the state average at every grade level except for 4th grade.
Superintendent Earl Leonard was named 2003 Florida Superintendent of the Year. He also was named Public Official of the Year by the Florida Adult and Community Educators, Inc.
Another school (Wilson Middle) was named a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence for a second time. Altogether, the district schools have received this recognition 11 times.
Dunbar Elementary and Ferrell Middle magnet schools won awards of excellence, and Lincoln Elementary, Progress Village Middle and Young Middle magnet schools received awards of distinction from Magnet Schools of America.
The Council of the Great City Schools report "Beating the Odds III" noted that the School District of Hillsborough County was among only six urban districts nationwide in which students at all grade levels scored higher than their state average on standardized math tests. We were one of only seven in the nation in which students at every grade level scored higher than the state average on reading exams. This is the third consecutive year our student scores have surpassed state averages at every level.
Newsweek Magazine listed five of our high schools among the top 4 percent of high schools in America. (King, Hillsborough, Plant, Gaither, Tampa Bay Tech).