Tampa’s Hillsborough High celebrates 130 years

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The Hillsborough High School Alumni Association is hosting a 130th anniversary celebration for the school this weekend.

If you walk through the school today, you’ll see your average 21st century hallway: students on cellphones and listening to iPods.

But there’s also a deep sense of tradition.

"The tradition is obviously seen just walking through the halls,” senior Meghan Tindel said. “Just seeing the bricks reminds you how old this school is. It’s not like any other school in Hillsborough County."

The beautiful brick building looks almost the same it did decades ago, but what was it like to be a student there then?

"There was a feeling,” Alice Bustelo, who graduated in 1949, said. “We were always very proud we went to Hillsborough."

Alice’s husband, Angel Bustelo, graduated in 1949. The two met in the school’s office, where Alice helped out.

"I walked down the hall and saw this beautiful little lady and I sweet talked her into doing my paperwork,” Angel said.

The Bustelo’s said their favorite memories were of the annual Thanksgiving Day football game.

"Thanksgiving day, there was only one thing: beat Plant,” Angel joked.

"All the girls got corsages and you went to the game and there was a certain amount of pride,” Alice said.

And while the football team looks a bit different these days, there’s still that same sense of pride.

"I feel like the same sense of family and belonging is the same sense they had back then,” senior Lumiere Rostick said.

Current students also honor a lot of the same traditions, like not stepping on the painted “H” on the patio and carrying on the spirit of the Big Red.

"I think almost every kid you ask with understand what Big Red is, what the “H” is and appreciate what it stands for,” principal Gary Brady said.

The anniversary celebration will be Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the school.

Bay News 9 – local-news

April 8, 2016 |

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