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About Us

Dunbar Athletics

On November 14, 1870, the high school for the education of colored youth was organized as the Preparatory High School for Colored Youth in the basement of the Fifteenth Street Presbyterian Church by William Syphax, the first chair of the Board of Trustees of the Colored Public Schools in the District of Columbia. It was the first high school for African-American students in the country and the first public high school for any student in the District of Columbia. The school moved around the city until 1891 when it settled into a new building at 128 M Street, NW (now the Perry School building) and was renamed M Street School. In 1916, the school moved to First and N Streets, NW and the Commissioners of the District of Columbia renamed the high school in honor of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), one of the most acclaimed writers at the turn of the 20th century, who lived in Washington from 1897 until 1902. Since its inception, the school has graduated many of the well-known figures of the 20th century, including Sterling Brown, Edward Brooke, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Charles R. Drew, Sadie T. M. Alexander, Charles Hamilton Houston, William Hastie and Robert C. Weaver. Its illustrious faculty included Mary Jane Patterson, Anna J. Cooper, Robert H. Terrell, Francis Cardozo, Richard T. Greener, Mary Church Terrell, Kelly Miller, Ernest E. Just and Carter G. Woodson. Dunbar was considered the nation’s best high school for African Americans during the first half of the 20th century. It helped make Washington, DC, an educational and cultural capital.

A Tradition of Excellence


The mission of the Paul Laurence Dunbar Senior High School Athletic Department is to maintain a quality athletics program as an integral part of the city’s overall program of education with emphasis on the complete academic, athletic and social development of the student athlete that prepares them for leadership and service in regional, national and global communities while bringing positive recognition to Dunbar Senior High School, its Alumni and the city of Washington, DC.


Dunbar Athletics program strive to be a model for all public high schools within the region and globally while providing leadership, teamwork and high aspirations that is consistent with Washington, DC Bold, Rich, and Innovative culture. 

Athletic Core Values

1. Academic Excellence
2. Athletic Success
3. Student Athletic Development
4. Community Involvement
5. Integrity

Athletic Department Goals

1. Create the most powerful learning experience possible for the student athletes.
2.Recruit, retain, and develop quality coaches to carry out the mission.
3.Embrace and enhance equity and diversity throughout the staff, sport programs, culture, and community outreach activities.
4. Create an educational and athletic environment that promotes great sportsmanship and prepares student athletes to be productive leaders in society.
5.Ensure environment is  safe and inviting for the student athletes, fans, and opposing teams at all teams.

Inter-High/DCIAA Football Conference Titles 

1992, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2012 

Inter-High/ DCIAA  Football Division Titles 

1971, 1975, 1978, 1983, 1992, 1995, 1998, 1999,  2000,  2001, 2002,  2003,  2004,  2008