“This school has grown far beyond its founders' wildest dreams.”Marilyn Gatlin, co-founder
Corbett Prep, originally known as Independent Day School, grew out of a dream Marilyn Gatlin and Betty Anderson had to create an educational environment of unlimited possibilities that promoted the gifts and talents of every student.
Founded in 1968 as an independent, nonsectarian school, Corbett Prep now serves more than 500 college-bound students in PreK3 through 8th grade. Gatlin and Anderson had been studying gifted education under Dr. Dorothy Sisk in the University of South Florida's first Gifted Education Masters Degree Program. They were seeking an educational program that combined excellence in academics, innovative learning techniques, and the nurturing of a positive self-concept. While the school has evolved through the years, its dedication to a hands-on, child-centered philosophy has prevailed and is now based on best practices in education and knowledge gained from leading-edge brain research to accelerate learning.
In 2012, Independent Day School became Corbett Preparatory School of IDS to honor two of Tampa’s most highly regarded community and civic leaders, Cornelia and Dick Corbett. Mrs. Corbett has been a longtime leader, visionary, and generous supporter of Independent Day School.
In addition to changing the school name, the Board of Trustees honored IDS founders. Corbett Hall was renamed Gatlin Hall, in honor of the leadership of co-founder Marilyn Gatlin, and the training facility inside the Farish Center was named in memory of co-founder Betty Anderson. Both women represent the leadership and vision that champions giftedness in all learners. Thousands of students have benefited from their combined passion to make a difference.
To honor the civic leadership, vision and generosity of Tampa philanthropists Cornelia and Dick Corbett and their family, the Board of Trustees of Independent Day School (IDS) renamed the school Corbett Preparatory School of IDS. The change took effect in the 2012-13 school year.
“The decision to rename our school Corbett Preparatory School of IDS represents our profound appreciation for Cornelia and Dick Corbett and their family’s ardent support for IDS over the past 32 years,” Corbett Prep Head of School Dr. Joyce Burick Swarzman said when the decision was announced. The Corbett family’s longstanding commitment to IDS began when their four children attended the school, and Mrs. Corbett served as President of its Board of Trustees for two separate times for a total of 14 years.
The decision to rename the school Corbett Prep highlights the Corbett family’s monumental civic and philanthropic leadership in Tampa Bay.