OCPS commemorates 150 years with day of celebration

The Orange County School Board declared Dec. 11, 2019, as a day to celebrate the district's 150th anniversary.

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  • | 1:30 p.m. December 11, 2019
Photo Courtesy OCPS
Photo Courtesy OCPS
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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On Dec. 11, 1869, Orange County Public Schools was born with the formation of the Board of Public Instruction.

Now, 150 years later, the district is celebrating its milestone with a campaign that runs through the 2019-20 school year.

The School Board proclaimed at its Dec. 10 meeting that Dec. 11, 2019, would be a day of celebration to commemorate the milestone.

According to OCPS, at the time of the district's founding, the population of Orange County was 2,195 and teachers were paid one dollar per month per student. W. C. Roper, A. C. Caldwell and Z. H. Mason became the first three members of the Board of Public Instruction, and William A. Lovell was named the first superintendent.

Today, OCPS is the 9th largest school district in the nation, with more than 213,000 students from 165 countries, 199 schools and more than 25,000 employees.

In honor of OCPS turning 150, the district invites the Central Florida community to don orange on Wednesday, Dec. 11, to celebrate. The district stated that students will receive a special birthday graham with their school lunch and many classes are doing special history lessons.

Additionally, some Orlando-area landmarks will be illuminated orange for the occasion:

  • Lake Eola fountain
  • Orlando public art sculptures: Astrogenesis II, Global Convergence, Take Flight, Union, Cedar of Lebanon and Tower of Light
  • Colonial Drive overpass
  • ORLANDO sign at Camping World Stadium
  • Amway Center spire
  • Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
  • The Wheel at ICON Park on International Drive
  • Rosen Centre Hotel

“We couldn’t let this milestone go unrecognized, so we are excited about our yearlong effort to celebrate our past, educate our community of our history and reconnect with our alumni,” said Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins.

The community is invited to share its well wishes, memorable moments and photos on social media using the hashtag #OCPS150. Click here to learn more of the district's history and submit your stories and photos.


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