Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School exterior.jpg


United States
Coordinates39°17′42″N 76°35′56″W / 39.29512°N 76.59876°W / 39.29512; -76.59876Coordinates: 39°17′42″N 76°35′56″W / 39.29512°N 76.59876°W / 39.29512; -76.59876
School typePublic, Magnet
Motto"Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow"
School districtBaltimore City Public Schools
SuperintendentDr. Gregory Thornton [CEO]
School number414
PrincipalYetunde Reeves
Enrollment881[1] (2018)
Color(s)Maroon and gold
Team nameThe Poets (for boys)
Lady Poets (for girls)

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, is a public high school in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. The basketball players put this place on the map.


In 1918, Paul Laurence Dunbar High School opened around the corner from its present location as the Paul Laurence Dunbar Elementary School, No. 101. The original school was part of the segregated "colored schools" system, which was abolished by 1954.[citation needed] The present school is part of the Baltimore City Public Schools system. It was named in memory of Paul Laurence Dunbar, a famous African-American poet, who had died twelve years before the school opened. In 1925, it was renamed Dunbar Junior High School, No. 133. In 1940, Dunbar became a high school and awarded its first diploma, the second school for African-Americans in Baltimore to do so.[2]

Dunbar's temporary location during renovations
Dunbar's temporary location during renovations

In the summer of 2007, after thirty years of heavy use, the main high school building was emptied for renovations. Students were moved to Thomas G. Hayes Elementary School, behind Dunbar at 601 North Central Avenue. The renovations were completed in late August 2009 with costs totaling $32 million. Renovated features included science and robotics labs, wider interior hallways, larger windows, a new cafeteria, and a new library.[3]


Dunbar High School is a magnet school, offering biotechnology, emergency medical technology (EMT), accounting, nursing, and health care delivery systems programs. Dunbar High School has been named a Bronze Medal School by U.S. News and World Report.[4]


The male varsity sports offered at Dunbar are baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and wrestling. The women's varsity sports offered are badminton, basketball, soccer, softball, and volleyball. The four varsity teams that are coed are cross country, swimming, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field.


The Baltimore City Public Schools withdrew from the Maryland Scholastic Association (MSA) in 1993, its long-time home since 1909 and the home of the formerly segregated schools, Dunbar and Douglass, since 1956.[5] The schools then joined the larger, statewide Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA), and since then Dunbar has had great success in the class 1A division. The Dunbar football team, the Poets, won state championships in 1994, 1995, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2021.[6]


Since 1993, the school's basketball team, the Poets, have won the State Championship fifteen times. Additionally, the Poets were National Champions in 1983, 1985 and 1992. Dunbar's girls basketball team, the Lady Poets, have excelled as well, winning the state girls basketball title in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2011 and 2012.

Community partnerships

Dunbar is one of the partner schools of Thread, formerly the Incentive Mentoring Program, an organization formed by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that tutors high school students to help prevent them from failing high school.[7] Struggling students selected by the principal can receive one-on-one tutoring from Thread mentors, as well as social support to address any personal challenges that may be affecting their school performance.[8]

Notable alumni

Business and industry

Politics and government







  1. ^ "Enrollment for All Grades All Students : Demographics : Baltimore City - Paul Laurence Dunbar High : 2018 Maryland Report Card". Maryland State Department of Education. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  2. ^ Gladden, Elzee; Gladden, Jessie B. (1988). "The Dunbar Chronicle: A Case Study". The Journal of Negro Education. 57 (3): 372–393. doi:10.2307/2295431. JSTOR 2295431.
  3. ^ Bowie, Liz (2009-09-01). "Dunbar opens with complete new look". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2009-09-03.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Paul Laurence Dunbar High in BALTIMORE, MD | Best High Schools | US News". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  5. ^ Pryor, Chastity (2007). "The Collegian" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-14. Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  6. ^ "MPSSA Football Championships Tournament History" (PDF). Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  7. ^ "Thread". Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  8. ^ "Partnership Spotlight: Dunbar Mentoring Project" (PDF). Schools Monthly: 21. 1 January 2008.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Reginald F. Lewis remembered fondly in ceremony at Dunbar high school".
  10. ^ "Maryland Judiciary Press Release". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  11. ^ "Richard Jerome Brown, 85, Dunbar High coach, teacher". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  12. ^ "Harris pins high hope on humble beginning". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  13. ^ Lewis, John (September 6, 2016). "Tupac Was Here". Baltimore Magazine. Retrieved 2021-12-19.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Tommy Polley Bio". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  15. ^ a b Sun, Baltimore. "Dunbar to dedicate basketball court after legendary coach Bob Wade on Tuesday". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  16. ^ "Dunbar's Carlos Austin follows in footsteps of half-brother Tavon Austin". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  17. ^ "Delano Johnson - 2011 Football". Archived from the original on June 23, 2016. Retrieved June 22, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  18. ^ "Muggsy Bogues". Basketball-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  19. ^ a b "Baltimore's Sam Cassell, Wizards Players, Alumni and Coaches to Host Clinic at Dunbar High School | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE WASHINGTON WIZARDS". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  20. ^ "HS Then & Now: Area's Best Roster Keeps On Growing". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  21. ^ Jr, Robert Mcg Thomas (1993-07-28). "PRO BASKETBALL; Celtics' Lewis Dies After Collapsing in a Gym". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  22. ^ "Towson Catholic Hires Dunbar Great As Coach". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  23. ^ "David Wingate stands accused, his career, life in limbo". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  24. ^ "Dunbar High School Renowned Athlete Dies". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  25. ^ a b "Keith Booth Bio". Retrieved 2015-07-04.
  26. ^ "Perry Dozier gets the best of his twin brother Terry in coaching face-off". Retrieved 2015-07-04.