Stanton High School was named after Edwin McMasters Stanton, One of Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of War. Mr. Stanton was a staunch anti-slavery advocate and championed free formal education for African American children. The school opened on February 8, 1868, in Duval County in Jacksonville Florida, for African American Students.
A group of Jacksonville African Americans brought the property for the school was purchased for eight hundred and fifty dollars. The school has had it's up it down with being destroyed with fires. The first building caught on fire in 1882. The second time it was built it was caught on fire again by the “Great Jacksonville Fire” in 1901, due to the wooden structure of the building. After the last fire, it was rebuilt in 1902 and stayed opened for the next fifteen years. The school color is royal blue and white. The mascot of the school is a blue devil; the school crest has a phoenix bird which stands for the “rising of the ashes” the school was rebuilt twice after the fires. May 23, 1914, the Circuit Court of Duval County appointed nine trustees to manage the school and its property. The poor and unsafe conditions at the school prompted the school board, the school trustees, and local citizens of Jacksonville agreed to upgrade the school structure to make it fireproof.
In 1882 Stanton was listed as a public school in Duval County School. Stanton started as an Elementary school and including the six grades, which later became a 1st – 12th grade. The Old Stanton building was used as a junior high school until 1954 when it became Stanton Vocational High School. By day, this Stanton served traditional students as a vocational training center; by night, it served nontraditional students as the center for an Adult and Veterans Education Program (New). J. C. Waters as the first principal and D. W. Gulp who followed as principal, Stanton gradually became known throughout the state for the high educational standards which it still maintains today. The eighth grade was added under the principalship of W. M. Rell. Principal James Weldon Johnson started the move toward a high school department (Stanton). James Weldon was one of the founders of the NAACP, he is also earned respect as a writer and poet.
The first class at Stanton was comprised of 348 black students, six white teachers, and several black staffs. In 1980 New Stanton became one of the magnet schools instituted by the Duval County School Board to serve gifted students throughout the county. To this end, the school's name was changed to its present designation, Stanton College Preparatory School. Stanton College Prep is recognized as one of the Top 10 college preparatory public schools in the country (New). Helen Dillet Johnson worked as a Teacher at Stanton for two decades. One of her sons James Weldon Johnson were a Stanton High school alumni James Johnson later graduated Atlanta University, and become principal of Stanton for almost eight years.
In 1953, The Stanton High School was transferred to a building on 13 street was renamed “New Stanton Senior High School” Charles D. Brooks was the first principle, Charles Brooks Honor Society still lives on to foster the same high standards in school. In 1953-54 the “Old Stanton High school was being used as a Junior high. In 1954 it changed to Stanton Vocational High School. During the 1980-1981 school year, the focus of New Stanton Senior High School changed again. It became one of the magnet schools instituted by the Duval County School Board to serve gifted students throughout the county. Hence, the name was changed to Stanton College Preparatory School. Mrs. Carol Walker was its first principal. The school is recognized as one of the top academic schools in the nation today (Vision). In 1981, Stanton College Preparatory School became the first Magnet school in Duval County. The new school opened in 1917 and closed in 1971. Today, the building is typically referred to as Old Stanton High School. In 1983, the school was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Old Stanton High School was closed in 1971 and in 1983, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places (Old).
As of today, Stanton High school is now called “Stanton College Preparatory”. Stanton College Preparatory offers a diligent/rigorous curriculum of honors courses, Advanced Placement, and International Baccalaureate courses. Students can earn college credit for courses taken through partnerships with the University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville in high school. As of 2018, Stanton High school is ranked #28 in the National Rank, because of their performance on the state-required test.