PRINCIPAL / ADMINISTRATOR: Catherine "Missy" Lennard
Student Hours: Monday - 8:10-2:00pm / Tuesday-Friday - 8:10-3:00
Campus Opens @ 7:40 am
Uniforms: Mandatory School Uniforms
Before School Program: Yes
After School Program: Yes
Dorothy C. York
Mrs. Dorothy C. York left a huge footprint in Hillsborough County, Florida. On February 22, 2022, the School Board unanimously voted to honor her by naming its newest school the Dorothy C. York Innovation Academy. A Tampa native, she was married to the late Ellis L. York and was the mother of county resident, Liz York Cohen. She graduated from Middleton High School, received her undergraduate from North Carolina A&T University and her graduate degree from North Carolina Central University. Always actively involved to make the community a better one, she was a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the National Council of Negro Women, the NAACP, and she was a faithful member of the 29th Street Church of Christ.
As the first person in her family to graduate from college, she was determined to pay it forward. She was not only a dedicated teacher, but she was also a phenomenal one. Mrs. York loved teaching and spent forty-five years in the school district as Department Chair at Blake High School and as an English Instructor at Hillsborough High School. She taught her favorite subject, English, outside of the school district as well at Hillsborough Community College and Project Upward Bound at the University of South Florida. For six decades she opened up her home to provide free after school tutoring and free Saturday SAT tutoring for students who needed extra assistance. Additionally, and anonymously, she provided high school graduation fees, college application fees and college books for the neediest students in the community.
A talented author, she wrote several books and was frequently booked as a guest speaker for a myriad of events around the country. She partnered with the Parkinson’s Foundation for an awareness campaign and was featured in California’s Antelope Valley Press Newspaper. In the article, “If You Can’t Walk Crawl”, she discussed the challenges of living with Parkinson’s. With her indomitable spirit of perseverance, Mrs. York continued teaching until the end by providing weekly grammar lessons and quizzes to her caregivers.
Mrs. York shared her deep passion for education with her beloved husband. In their memory, The Dorothy and Ellis York Fully Endowed Scholarship was established at Florida State University.