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Hillsborough's Steinbrenner High has much to do before opening

LUTZ — The boundaries for Steinbrenner High School are set, but most everything else remains a work in progress.

How's staffing going, someone asked principal Brenda Grasso during a Tuesday night meeting of about 100 Steinbrenner parents and students.

"You are looking at the staff of Steinbrenner High," Grasso said, gesturing to Kelly King, the assistant principal for curriculum. "We are all here tonight."

In coming months, Grasso and King will hire administrators and a support staff, as well as teachers and coaches, and set up a Web site.

A few things are known.

No, the school will not have an International Baccalaureate program, nor will it have school uniforms.

Yes, it will have a football team and other sports, plus a band, clubs, an agriculture curriculum and Advanced Placement courses.

Administrators expect the new school, designed for 2,500, to open in August with about 1,500 students. There will be no senior class the first year.

Exactly what classes will be offered will depend on student demand. Steinbrenner will have a music program, but King said administrators will have to see whether there are enough students interested to put together, say, a jazz ensemble.

Grasso and King are visiting schools that will feed students to Steinbrenner and, among other things, asking students to vote on a school mascot and colors.

Prospective mascots include the Stallions, the Chargers, the Yankees and the Clippers — all in keeping with the interests of New York Yankees owner and sportsman George M. Steinbrenner, for whom the school is named.

"I'm begging you: Please don't call it the Yankees," said Terry Bitter of Lutz, whose three children will one day go to the school.

Bitter, a Rays and Tigers fan, said calling the teams the Yankees would be too polarizing, and besides, the school is not in the North.

School colors could include crimson with black and gold, navy blue with green and gold, or navy blue and orange.

Students also can suggest ideas for the mascot and colors.

A decision on the mascot and colors should be reached by the end of this month, Grasso said.

Richard Danielson can be reached at or (813) 269-5311.

Hillsborough's Steinbrenner High has much to do before opening 02/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 11:31pm]
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