Franklin High School was established in 1910, with 2 teachers and 20 students in an upstairs room in the Franklin Institute, an old Elementary School, located in the center of Franklin, Tennessee. The first graduating class, the class of 1912, consisted of 3 students. The first principal was Nell Shea. Franklin High School received its own building in 1926, and was locate just outside of the downtown area. G.E. Craddock was the principal during the move, and brought 10 teachers and a senior class of 33 to the new building.
In 1936, W.C. Yates became principal of Franklin High School. Franklin was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1941, and increased the number of teachers to 13, and the graduating senior class to 53. Daly Thompson became principal in the early 1950s. Barry Sutton became principal in 1955.
In January 1956, the Franklin High School building burned down, leaving only the gym and basement standing. The school moved to local churches while a new building was constructed. The new location, still used today, was on the opposite side of Franklin, and had 19 classrooms. the staff increased again to 19 teachers, and taught a graduating class of 72. The senior class grew to 184 by 1967, and had 45 staff members. Carl Owen became principal in 1967, but only served for one year. During this year, Franklin High School was combined with Natchez High School. D.W.Sanders became principal in 1968, and was replaced in 1971 by Carl Pike.
Brentwood High School was opened in 1982, pulling students from Franklin High school. Bob Lawson became principal in 1987, but only served for a year. In 1988, Doug Crosier was named principal, and the school building was renovated. Centennial High School was opened in 1996 to support the growing Franklin area.
Dr. John Calton was principal for the 2000-01 school year, and after he resigned, Dr. Linda Miller was principal for a year. In 2002, Willie Dickerson was appointed principal, and is still serving today.
A new Franklin High School was built between 2004 and 2006, costing 18 million dollars, and was built on the site of the previous building.
Franklin High School is widely known as the first high school in Tennessee to offer the International Baccalaureate program. There are currently 11 seniors at Franklin High School in the International Baccalaureate program.