HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN PASCO COUNTY
Black Schools in Dade City
Mickens High School 1966 yearbook - Images provided by Norman Carey
Some pictures from Moore Academy in the 1950s are included on this page.
This page was last revised on July 25, 2018.
Before 1887 what is now Pasco County was part of a much larger Hernando County. Hernando County records for the 1885-86 school year show the Mount Olive school, which was an African-American school. It was probably located near Blanton, in what is now Pasco County.
School board minutes of Oct. 1, 1888, have: "A. B. Branden (colored) presented a petition asking for a colored school for the children of his community. By motion the rules were waved and the matter referred to the Supt. with instructions to grant the school if the exigencies demand it."
A list of schools in the Pasco County School Board minutes of Dec. 3, 1888, does not yet include the Dade City colored school, but it does show Hernando Colored School, with an enrollment of 14 black students. It is the only school in Pasco County with black students. It has been suggested that the school was located around Trilby, which had a considerable black population. The name of the school perhaps suggests that it was in existence before Pasco County was created in 1887.
School board minutes of Feb. 4-5, 1889, have: "The matter of the colored school at Dade City was discussed and supt. was instructed to suspend the school unless an average of eight or nine can be maintained. The salary of teacher was reduced to $25.00 per month if average is kept up."
A list of schools as of Aug. 8, 1889, shows the Dade City colored school, with A. B. Brandon, supervisor.
On Oct. 6, 1890, R. C. Riley was appointed supervisor of the Dade City colored school. Brandon had resigned to start a black school on the south side of Lake Buddy.
On Aug. 3, 1891, Mrs. E. V. Powell was appointed the teacher for Dade City colored school.
In a report submitted to the state for the year ending Sept. 30, 1891, and published in 1892, Superintendent Robert M. Ray wrote, “I would suggest that there be a still lower grade of certificate for colored teachers, if possible to have it. Pasco will, as appears now, be unable to have a single colored school taught this year.”
On Aug. 7, 1893, D. A. Hartfield is shown as supervisor and Samuel Baisden is shown as the teacher of the Dade City colored school, No. 38.
School board minutes of Jan. 5, 1897, apparently show that J. D. Moore was appointed a teacher of the black school in Macon (Trilby). Minutes of March 1, 1897, have: "A letter showing that there were thirty five colored children of School age in Macon district and asking the Board to grant them a school was filed. On motion the School was granted, and J. D. Moore appointed teacher. School board minutes of May 3, 1897, show that J. D. Moore’s salary at School No. 3 was $30 per month.
Junius David Moore was born in 1874. He apparently died in 1953. (His death seems to have gone unmentioned in the Dade City Banner, other than a Notice to Creditors published on Jan. 30, 1953.)
The Dade City Banner of Nov. 28, 1919, has:
The colored school in the Dade City district has been housed in a one-story two-room frame building, thirty by thirty feet near the north end of Cherry street. The enrollment of children of school age under the compulsory school law reveals that there are over two hundred colored children of compulsory school age. It is impossible for two hundred children to attend school in such a building or for two teachers to instruct them. The situation has been somewhat relieved by the county board of public instruction raising the roof of the building and building a second floor, making a third room to be used as an auditorium and a third school room. Repairs have been made on the building. City water and closets connected with a cess pool either have or will be put in. —State Marketing Bureau.
According to The Historic Places of Pasco County, a three-room school for the black children of Dade City was located on Sixth Street next to St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, near what is now Martin Luther King Boulevard, in a building owned by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. The school board paid the salaries of the teachers, but the parents had to buy the books. James Irvin remembers attending this school from 1920 to 1922. It had six grades and three teachers, including Rev. J. D. Moore, whose background was in the church rather than in formal education, but who symbolized education for the black community of the area.
School board minutes of Nov. 7, 1921, show these salaries for teachers at School No. 37: J. D. Moore, $45.00; Emma Hill, $50.00; Arrie L. Clayhorne, $50.00; Rosetta Haynes, $50.00.
A letter to the editor of the Dade City Banner dated Nov. 28, 1922, reads:
Mr. Editor of the Banner:
On Feb. 15, 1924, the Dade City Banner reported that the colored citizens of Dade City had been working hard to raise funds to keep the school open for three months longer than the term provided by the county school board. The newspaper published a letter from J. D. Moore, principal, expressing his thanks for the assistance given thus far.
School board minutes of July 12, 1924, show J. D. Moore as Principal of the Dade City Colored School.
On Dec. 13, 1927, the Dade City Banner reported:
A new school building for colored pupils will be started next month, according to plans made by the Board of Public Instruction. It will be located in the “old town” section, north of Whitehouse street on a two and a half acre tract of land purchased by the board for that purpose. The plans of the board include the razing of the old grammar school building at the corner of West Church and Fourteenth streets and the lumber salvaged will be used in the construction of the new building. The present building used as a colored school, together with the land on which it stands, has been sold to the colored Knights of Pythias for a lodge hall.
On April 6, 1928, the Dade City Banner reported: “The contract for building the new colored school has been let by the School Board to James Ward, contractor and builder, the contract price being $4900. The new building is to be a one story structure and will contain five rooms and an auditorium. It is to be built along the Rosenwald plans and will be a modern and up-to-date building. The old grammar school building will be torn down and as much of this material as possible will be used. This school is to be erected on Blocks 3 and 4 in Liberty Subdivision, west of Seventh street. The old colored school building has been sold to the colored Knights of Pythias lodge for $1500.”
According to The Historic Places of Pasco County, the school was built on Whitehouse Avenue with the support of the Julius Rosenwald Fund on land donated by J. D. Moore. Rosenwald was president of the Sears Roebuck Company and a benefactor of education for blacks.
School board minutes of July 2, 1928, show these teachers at Dade City Colored, No. 37: J. D. Moore, Essie Mae Johnson, Osceola Player, Mobley Smith.
On Aug. 31, 1928, the Dade City Banner reported:
Dedicatory services were held at the Dade City school for colored children Sunday with a good attendance. Addresses were made by Judge Dayton and W. V. Gilbert; also by A. J. Ferreal, presiding elder of the A. M. E. church for this district, and other speakers, Opening exercises were held Monday, with talks by J. D. Moore, principal of the school, and several local ministers and patrons of the school. Approximately 100 children were registered on the opening day. The school for colored children was completed about two months ago and is a very substantial, conveniently arranged building, on North Seventh street. Only elementary work is being taught in the school.
School board minutes of Feb. 3, 1930, show monthly salaries for teachers at school No. 37: J. D. Moore, $90.00; Inez Sleigh, $60.00; Burnice Kelley, $60.00; Osceola Player, $60.00.
On July 3, 1930, these teachers were appointed to Dade City Colored School: J. D. Moore, Osceola Player, Susan King, Burnace Kelley.
School board minutes of June 15, 1931, indicate that a petition from the black people of Dade City was presented by Lillie Nance, requesting the removal of J. D. Moore and the assignment of Etta L. Burt as principal of Dade City Colored School. The matter was deferred to a later meeting. School board minutes of July 30, 1931, show that Burt was appointed as principal, replacing Rev. Moore, who was appointed to teach at the Lacoochee School the following month. Mrs. Burt was a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta and the first of the Moore Academy faculty with a college diploma. At this time, the school operated to the sixth grade level.
A St. Petersburg Times article in 1980, when O. K. Mickens died, has:
When Mickens came to Dade City in 1933, with a new associates degree from Bethune-Cookman Junior College in Daytona Beach, he hired on as principal at Moore Academy for $60 a month — even though the school board couldn’t afford to pay him for the first four months. Before that, a black in Dade City could only go as far as the eighth grade. The few blacks whose families could afford it went on to high school in Lakeland or Jacksonville. Mickens changed that. The academy added a ninth grade that year, a 10th the year after that, and eventually became a full-fledged high school, graduating its first class in 1940.
On of May 6, 1935, the following teachers were recommended and confirmed for School No. 37, Moore’s Academy: O. K. Mickens (Principal, replacing Mrs. Burt), Hollis Sikes, J. D. Moore, Vera Lucas, Mary H. Marshall, Christine Mickens. (Odell Kinston Mickens was born in 1904 and died on Dec. 7, 1980.)
Early on the morning of July 7, 1936, Moore’s Academy was destroyed by fire. James Irvin recalls the common community rumor that someone wanted a liquor license and could not get it because of the neighborhood school. Arson was never proved. The school was insured for $5,000.
Temporarily, classes were held in St. Paul and St. John churches as well as a building on Main Avenue until the school board rebuilt the building at the same location. A community group called the School Aid Club was organized by Mickens and headed by Irvin to provide furnishings and materials, raising most of the money through the black churches. The group obtained 900 used seats and desks at 35 cents each from Blessed Trinity Catholic school in Ocala. [Information from African American Sites in Florida (2007) by Kevin M. McCarthy]
On July 8, 1936, Mr. D. C. Miller of the South Florida School Supply Company proposed to furnish equipment to the school as follows: blackboards for five rooms, teachers desks, pupils' desks, teachers' chairs, waste baskets, pencil Sharpeners, not to exceed a total cost of $750. The proposal was agreed to by the board.
On Aug. 7, 1936, the Dade City Banner reported that the school board directed the superintendent to make arrangements for the location of a colored school in Dade City to replace the one recently destroyed by fire of unknown origin. On Sept. 10, 1936, the Board instructed the Superintendent to proceed relative to purchasing, remodeling, and opening of the Dade City Colored School.
On May 19, 1937, the present staff at Moore’s Academy was re-appointed for the 1937-1938 term. The staff consisted of O. K. Mickens, Principal; J. D. Moore; Hollis Sikes; Vera Lucas; Mary H. Marshall; Christine Mickens.
Mickens was able to extend classes through the twelfth grade, by adding a grade each year beginning in 1937, until the first class graduated from Moore Academy in 1940. There were three graduates in 1940, all girls. According to a 2006 Tampa Tribune article, Lillian Arnold-Calhoun, Mozell Thompson-Ford, and Lila Thompson-Roach were the first black students to earn high school diplomas from the Pasco County public school system. [The name is spelled Lillian A. Calhaun in a 2003 newspaper article.]
A newspaper article on July 1, 1938, mentioned that a construction worker was seriously injured in a fall while working on the new colored school. According to a source, Prof. Moore donated his property to the county for construction of the new school. It was built on North Seventh Street and the name Moore Academy was retained. Facilities at the school were still inadequate. There was no lunchroom.
Dade City native Andrew N. Lewis Jr. graduated from Moore Academy in 1941 at age 20 and became the first black man to graduate from a Pasco County public high school, according to a 2006 Tampa Tribune article.
Through Mr. Mickens’ effort, new courses were added to the curriculum including home economics which was taught by his wife, Christine. The home economics classes prepared lunches that were served to the students. Mr. Mickens also added agriculture and industrial classes. The ag students planted gardens behind the school and the harvests were used in preparing lunches. The industrial students made seesaws for playground equipment, repaired the building and built sidewalks.
On May 19, 1941, these teachers were appointed to Moore’s Academy: Mr. O. K. Mickens, Principal; Walter J. Young, Jr.; Miss Dorothy Jean Rodgers; Mrs. Mary Marshall; Mrs. Christine Mickens; Mrs. A. House; Miss Thelma Burt.
On June 1, 1942, these teachers were appointed to Moore’s Academy: Hiram J. Goodwin, Walter J. Young, Thelma W. Burt, Arrewintha S. House, Dorothy Jean R. Johnson, Mary Marshall, Christine Mickens.
On Apr. 17, 1944, these teachers were appointed to Moore’s Academy: Hiram Jas. Goodwin, Thelma V. Burt, Arriwentha S. House, Dorothy Jean Johnson, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Harriet B. Molloy and Moselle D. Thompson.
On Apr. 17, 1945, these teachers were appointed to Moore’s Academy: O. K. Mickens, H. J. Goodwin, Thelma V. Burt, Arriwentha S. House, Allie D. Quarterman, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Mozelle D. Thompson, Osceola P. Moore, Marjorie P. Jones.
School board minutes of Jan. 2, 1946, show that the Board voted to pay $1500.00 to build a lunch room at Moore’s Academy.
On May 15, 1947, these teachers were appointed to Moore Academy: Thelma W. Burt, Mary H. Marshall, Hiram J. Goodwin, Christine E. Mickens, Arrewintha S. Weston, Osceola P. Moore, John D. Floyd, Mozelle D. Thompson, Irene F. Johnson, Walter J. Young, Jr.
School board minutes of May 19, 1947, indicate that the Moore Academy frame building on the present site is to be razed and all salvageable material transported to Moore Academy for construction of additional classrooms.
On June 6, 1947, the Dade City Banner reported, “In graduation exercises on Thursday night of last week, a class of 17 received their diplomas from Moore Academy for colored pupils. Moore Academy, of which O. K. Mickens is principal, is an accredited high school with a large per cent of its faculty college graduates. A number of the class plan to continue their education in colleges.”
On May 6, 1948, these teachers were appointed to Moore Academy Elementary: Thelma V. Burt, Ruby L. Taylor, Mozelle D. Ford, Arrewintha S. Weston, Christine E. Mickens, Walter J. Young. The minutes show these teachers appointed to Moore Academy High School: Hiram J. Goodwin, James N. Taylor, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Nellyvonne P. Thompson.
On April 4, 1949, Odell K. Mickens was appointed Principal of Moore Academy.
School board minutes of Mar. 7, 1949, indicate that the board voted to purchase a 200 X 200 ft. lot adjoining Moore Academy from W. B. Madill for $650.00.
On May 2, 1949, these teachers were appointed to Moore Academy: Hiram J. Goodwin, Thelma V. Burt, Mary H. Marshall, Mozelle D. Ford, Christine E. Mickens, Claudia Lewis, Christine E. Mickens, Osceola P. Moore, Allie D. Penix, Ruby L. Taylor, James N. Taylor, Arrewintha Weston, Louise P. Gilbert, Walter J. Young.
School board minutes of July 17, 1950, report that James N. Taylor, Vocational Agriculture teacher at Moore Academy, was rated the top agriculture teacher in the State by Florida A & M.
On Mar. 13, 1951, Professor O. K. Mickens and agriculture teacher J. N. Taylor appeared before the Board desiring assistance in acquiring a small farm tractor for the school. They were instructed to get estimates and present them to the Board. Prof. Mickens stated that the plans for the new building for Moore Academy did not provide for an office or library, and he offered a plan for such with temporary construction. The board voted to accept the Superintendent’s recommendation.
On Apr. 17, 1951, these teachers were appointed to Moore Academy: Thelma V. Burt, Arrewintha S. Campbell, Claudia Lewis, Ruby L. Taylor, Osceola P. Moore, Willie V. Silas, Martha Lewis, Mozelle D. Ford.
On Apr. 17, 1952, these teachers were appointed to Moore Academy: Thelma B. Yarn, Willie V. Silas, Claudia Lewis, Martha Lewis, Opal Lawrence, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, James N. Taylor, Osceola P. Moore, Arrewintha S. Campbell, Ruby L. Taylor, Moselle D. Ford, Allie D. Penix, Louise P. Gilbert, Hiram J. Goodwin.
A new school was built in 1952 to house Moore Elementary School which still stands as part of the Moore-Mickens complex on East Main Ave.
School board minutes of Sept. 9, 1952, indicate that Mr. Mickens requested a shower and dressing room be installed at Moore Academy and the Board allocated $295.00. Mr. Mickens further stated that a drinking fountain was needed at the school and could be installed for $99.24. It was approved.
On Apr. 28, 1953, these teachers were appointed at Moore Academy: Thelma B. Yarn, Claudia Lewis, Mozelle D. Ford, Mary H. Marshall, Hiram J. Goodwin, Willie V. Silas, Ruby L. Taylor, Walter J. Young, Louise P. Gilbert, James N. Taylor, Arrewintha S. Campbell, Martha Lewis, Allie D. Penix, Christine E. Mickens, Mike Ardis.
In September 1953, Hayes Howard, a graduate of Florida A & M College, and Josephine Gadsden, a graduate of Bethune Cookman College, were appointed teachers at Moore Academy.
The first football team was in 1953, according to the recollection of Robert Johnson, a member of the team.
On Apr. 13, 1954, these teachers were appointed at Moore Academy: Thelma B. Yarn, Arrewintha S. Campbell, Ruby L. Taylor, Mozelle D. Ford, Hayes M. Howard, Allie D. Penix, Louise P. Gilbert, Hiram J. Goodwin, Melvin Dennard, Willie V. Silas, Claudia Lewis, Martha Lewis, Thelma Thomas, Walter J. Young, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, James N. Taylor, Edward S. Desmore
The high school students remained at Moore Academy until 1956 when Mickens High School was built next to the new elementary school.
School board minutes of Mar. 13, 1956, show that O. K. Mickens reported that the school has now occupied the new building.
School board minutes of Mar. 15, 1956, indicate that the name Moore High School was changed to Mickens High School.
On Mar. 28, 1956, these teachers were appointed to Moore High School: Bessie Barefield, Arrewintha Campbell, Mozelle D. Ford, Cora E. Hill, Hayes Howard, Claudia Lewis, Martha L. Lewis, Willie V. Silas, Thelma Thomas, Dorothy Trammer, Inez O. James, Thelma B. Yarn, Myrtle Jones, Mike C. Ardis, Harold E. Byrd, Melvin Dennard, Matthias Evans, Violet George, Louise P. Gilbert, Hiram J. Goodwin, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Allie D. Penix, Estus Smith, Walter J. Young, Secretary - Irene F. Gause Janitors - Ennis Hansberry, Ira Bucklon.
On March 12, 1957, Odell K. Mickens was appointed Principal of Mickens High School.
At its May 14, 1957, meeting, the Board decided that the name Mickens High School name would remain the same. The elementary section will be Moore Elementary School. The combination will be known as Moore-Mickens School.
On May 13, 1958, these teachers were appointed to Moore-Mickens Elementary School: Bessie Barefield, Arrewintha Campbell, Mozelle D. Ford, Cora Elizabeth Hill, Hayes W. Howard, Claudia L. Lewis, Martha L. Lewis, Willie V. Silas, Thelma E. Thomas, Dorothy B. Trammer, Inez O. Wright, Thelma B. Yarn, Walter J. Young. The minutes show these teachers appointed to Moore-Mickens High School: Mike C. Arcadia, Harold E. Byrd, Melvin Dennard, Louise P. Gilbert, Hiram J. Goodwin, Lee H. Henderson, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Allie Dee Penix, Estus Smith, Betty J. Tolbert, Dorothy G. Williams, Neal Williams.
On May 12, 1959, these teachers were appointed to Moore-Mickens School: Bessie Barefield, Arrewintha Campbell, Mozelle D. Ford, Cora Elizabeth Hill, Hayes W. Howard, Claudia Lewis, Martha Lewis, Willie V. Silas, Thelma E. Thomas, Dorothy B. Trammer, Inez O. Wright, Alice Y. Trueblood, Thelma B. Yarn, Fredrina Sunecia Tolbert, Mike C. Ardis, Harold E. Byrd, Melvin Dennard, Louise P. Gilbert, Hiram J. Goodwin, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Allie D. Penix, Betty J. Tolbert, Neal Williams, David Brundige, Luther Jones, Jr., Ethel Virginia Strong (new).
On Apr. 28, 1960, these teachers were appointed to Mickens High School: Bessie Barefield, Arrewintha S. Campbell, Mozelle D. Ford, Cora E. Hill, Hayes W. Howard, Claudie Lewis, Martha L. Lewis, Willie V. Silas, Thelma E. Thomas, Dorothy B. Trammer, Inez Wright, Alice Trueblood, Thelma B. Yarn, Maye Daisy Williams, Melvin Dennard, Mike C. Ardis, Louise P. Gilbert, Hiram J. Goodwin, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Allie Dee Penix, Neal Williams, David Brundidge, Ethel V. Strong, Naomi Jackson.
On Apr. 19, 1961, these were teachers appointed to Mickens High School: Bessie F. Barefield, Arrewintha S. Campbell, Melvin Dennard, Moselle D. Ford, Cora E. Hill, Hayes W. Howard, Claudia Lewis, Martha L. Lewis, Willie V. Silas, Thelma E. Thomas, Inez O. Wright, Alice S. Trueblood, Thelma B. Yarn, Maye D. Williams, Mike C. Ardis, David L. Brundidge, Louise P. Gilbert, Hiram J. Goodwin, William L. Glover, Lee H. Henderson, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Allie Dee Penix, Naomi J. Petty, Jeffery Sims, Neal Williams, Mr . Homer W. LeBlanc, Mrs. Muriel F. Miller, Mrs. Veta M. Neal, Mrs. Myra M. O'Berry, Mrs. Miriam M. Parker, Mr. Edward E. Taylor, Mrs. Rosemary W. Trottman.
On Apr. 24, 1963, Hiram J. Goodwin was appointed Principal of Moore Elementary School. He served until he died, at which time Mrs. Arrewintha Campbell was appointed interim principal. From the fall of 1968 to June 1970, Mrs. Martha Lewis served as principal of Moore Elementary.
On Apr. 24, 1963, these teachers were appointed to Moore-Mickens: Arrewintha S. Campbell, Mozelle D. Ford, Cora E. Hill, Hayes W. Howard, Claudia Lewis, Martha L. Lewis, Ida Mae Robinson, Willie V. Silas, Thelma E. Thomas, Alice Y. Trueblood, Dorothy B. Trammer, Maye D. Williams, Inez O. Wright, Thelma B. Yarn, Hiram J. Goodwin (Principal Elementary), David L. Brundidge, Melvin Dennard, Louise P. Gilbert, Mary H. Marshall, Christine E. Mickens, Allie Dee Penix, Mattie L. Puckett, Jerry Sims, Betty Joan Turner, Neal Williams, Harold Dee Wright, Mike C. Ardis, Carolyn S. Reid, Mildred B. Smith, Janice R. Jackson
Mike Ardis, who taught at Mickens High School for 17 years, coached seven baseball teams to state championships.
One of the graduates in 1965 was Charles “Bo” Harrison, who was shot and killed while sitting in his Pasco County Sheriff’s Office patrol car on June 1, 2003. Harrison was hired as a corrections officer, the second black person to join the department when he started in 1972. At Mickens he was a star quarterback and pitcher, and vice president of his senior class.
Another famous alum is baseball player Jim "Mudcat" Grant.
In an email, Norman Carey recalled, “At that time (1966) they had what they called voluntary integration, meaning any student in the area could choose to go to either Mickens or Pasco High. I remember when I was in eighth grade at St. Joe I had to fill out a choice form on which I could select either Mickens or Pasco High. Mickens’ main football rival was the Moton Panthers of Brooksville. The two schools called each other Dade City and Brooksville. The Moton cheerleaders used to do a cheer that went ‘Dade City got a team, yeah, yeah, Dade City got a team, yeah, yeah, what kind of a team, what kind of a team, a mule team a mule team. Dade City got a line, yeah, yeah, Dade City got a line, yeah, yeah, what kind of a line, what kind of a line, a clothes line a clothes line.’”
In May 1970 the school board decided, effective in September, to merge all sixth and seventh grade students in the Dade City area into the Moore-Mickens School. Students from the all-black Moore Elementary would be sent to other elementary schools. All students in grades 10-12 would attend Pasco Comprehensive High School and all in grades 8 and 9 would be merged into the new Pasco Junior High School (the old Pasco High School).
Martha Lewis (b. Nov. 4, 1922, Lake Butler) was the last African-American administrator at Moore Elementary School before Pasco schools were integrated, according to a 2009 newspaper article. She died on Sept. 19, 2009. In 1947, she married Andrew N. Lewis, Jr., mentioned elsewhere on this page. Ms. Lewis took a job teaching English at Mickens High School for black students in east Pasco. At the time, schools were still segregated. She became principal at neighboring Moore Elementary School in 1968.
Mickens Cats in Homecoming Tilt (1968)
This article appeared in the Dade City Banner on Oct. 31, 1968. Thanks to Norman Carey for transcribing it.
By GERALD NEWTON
The Mickens Wildcats host New Smyrna Beach tomorrow night in a “Homecoming” tilt at Mickens Field with kickoff time slated for 8 o’clock.
The Wildcats will run their annual parade through downtown Dade City starting at 2 p.m.
The Cats are all fired-up for the big “Homecoming” clash after belting Winter Garden 39-7 last Friday night in Winter Garden. The victory was the first of the season for Coach Larry Wright’s Wildcats.
Tomorrow night the Cats will be facing a tough New Smyrna eleven. They have a big and fast team. Coach Wright says he feels the Cats are up for the game and will come out victorious tomorrow night. The young mentor said: “we have the momentum going now after last week’s big win. The boys are confident they can win. There has been a complete different attitude on the practice field this week.
The probable starters for tomorrow night’s game for the Cats will find Wallace Wright and Roger Owens at ends, David Presley and Willis Betha at the tackles, Ronald Owens and Willie Day at the guard, and Larry Kapot at center.
In the backfield will be Charles Gray at quarterback, Claude Arnold at left halfback, Charles Brown at right halfback, and Rudolph Story at fullback.
In last week’s big game Wright led the Wildcats scoring with a pair of touchdowns and two extra points. Others scoring touchdowns were Gray, Brown, Arnold, and Story. Bernard Craig added an extra point for the Cats.
Our game story of last week indicating Mickens playing Plant City Marshall in their “Homecoming” tilt was an error. It was simply a schedule mix up on our part. Mickens played Winter Gardens last week and won 39-7. Tomorrow they play New Smyrna in the genuine “Homecoming” tilt.
Mickens Is Open After 38-6 Loss
This article appeared in the Dade City Banner on Nov. 14, 1968. Thanks to Norman Carey for transcribing it.
By GERALD NEWTON
The Mickens Wildcats have an open date this week after dropping a lop-sided 38-6 decision to the Plant City Marshall Dragons at Mickens Field last Friday night.
The loss dropped the Cats record to 2-6 on the season. It also snapped a two game winning streak built up by Coach Larry Wright’s Wildcats.
The open date is welcome by Coach Wright and the Wildcats after Fridays “bruising” battle with the Dragons. The Cats will close out their 1968 campaign on Friday night November 22.
The Cats stayed in the game with the heavily favored Dragons for a half Friday night. The half time score read 13-6. The Dragons broke things open with 25 points in the second half.
Marshall scored twice in the second period to build up a 13-0 lead. Harold Marshall scored first from one yard out. The second tally came on a 45 yard punt return by Willie Morrison.
The Wildcats came back after the second Dragon touchdown to make it a 13-6 ball game. Quarterback Wallace Wright fired a 47 yard touchdown pass to end Jim Westmorland for the TD.
Marshall scored their third touchdown in the third period to take a 19-6 lead. Calvin Moore scored the TD from one yard out.
The Dragons rolled up 19 points in the fourth period. Moore started the fourth period rampage by rambling 11 yards for a touchdown.
Mickens Parents Protest HEW Integration EdictThis article appeared in the Dade City Banner on Nov. 29, 1969.
A special committee of parents representing the Mickens PTA appealed to the Pasco County School Board Tuesday to prevent the phasing out of Mickens High School in the hopes of keeping its high school status but integrating the classes. Mrs. Julia Harrell, chairman of the group, acted as spokesman in behalf of the parents and questioned the board about the meaning of the federal edict of November 17th delivered to the board by HEW.
Mrs. Harrell stated that from her understanding, HEW said that "the school must be integrated, and not the Negro schools phased out. The Negro community is proud of their school and don't want to lose the identity. Why can't Mickens be integrated?" she protested. "We don't have nothing but that school and now you're going to take that away. It gives our young people joy and it is our social as well as our academic center."
Attorney Dayton pointed out that under federal edict, Mickens would have to have 68 percent white students to 32 percent Negro students because of the county racial percentage. All vestiges of the dual system must be eliminated. He further explained that it would not be feasible to operate Mickens as a high school because of the limited facilities and limited enrollment which could be housed.
Dr. Hartzell explained that Pasco High School in a sense would also be phased out as all those students would also be transferred to the Comprehensive High School. The new school will be capable of offering to all students a broader curriculum in both academic and vocational subjects because of the new facilities as well as the large number of students.
Superintendent Taylor assured the group that the Mickens personnel would not lose their jobs. In answer to the question about the future of Mickens. Taylor informed the group that the school would be utilized in another capacity -- either as a junior high, a middle school or possibly a single grade school for all students in the area.
The parents requested of the board a clarification of the most recent edict delivered to the board by HEW. The Superintendent explained that according to a letter received from the regional office of HEW in Atlanta on November 17, it was probable that integration of schools must be carried out by January of 1970.
The letter stated that "in our (HEW) letter of October 9, 1969 we had requested that you develop and implement a revised plan which will eliminate the dual structure of schools no later than the opening of school in January 1970. " Taylor had responded to HEW on October 20, 1969 requesting postponement until September 1970, when the Comprehensive High School and Lacoochee Elementary would be completed and thus desegregation could take place.
Integration Plan To Use Mickens HighThis article appeared in the Dade City Banner on Jan. 22, 1970.
The Pasco County School Board Tuesday agreed on a desegregation plan to eliminate a dual system by Sept. 1 which would consolidate all sixth grade students into classes that would be held in the Moore Elementary School and Mickens High School complex. The decision to use these facilities for a single grade was determined by the limited number of classrooms.
The board expressed some concern about the reactions of the black community who have been opposing the phasing out of Mickens High School. In past months, the Negro community has requested that Mickens be used as a junior high school.
Attorney for the board, George Dayton, proposed the plan, which must meet with approval by the U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Supt. Chester W. Taylor explained that the recent court decision that cited a Feb. 1 deadline for total integration does not apply to Pasco County as no official word has been received from HEW.
The county would be divided into four districts -- Zephyrhills, Dade City, Lacoochee and the west coast area. Students who live south of a line about half-way between Zephyrhills and Dade City would attend schools in Zephyrhills, those north of the line would go to Dade City schools. This would send about 80 Negro students from Dade City to Zephyrhills.
With the completion of the comprehensive high school, students from both Mickens and Pasco High School would be consolidated.
Students in Lacoochee will remain in the same facilities until the new elementary school can be completed in October. Then all students both black and white, would be housed together in the new building.
Those students who are presently enrolled in elementary and junior high school at Moore will be distributed among the other Dade City schools.
Dayton explained that if integration were immediately forced in the county, temporary facilities could be used to unify the students.
Teacher Called A Woman Of Class
This article appeared in the Tampa Tribune on Oct. 20, 2007, and updated on June 21, 2013.
By TODD LESKANIC
DADE CITY - Hundreds of Pasco County students passed through Louise Gilbert's classroom in her 36 years of teaching. One of them was her son, Ronald. He chuckled Wednesday as he remembered his years learning under his mother at Mickens High School. 'That was a very interesting situation there,' he said. 'It's tough being the son of a teacher. I can remember times when it was time for a test, and the other kids wanted me to find out what was on it. One thing about my mother, though, she was fair. She didn't treat me any different than the other kids.'
Louise Gilbert, a longtime Dade City resident and respected educator, died Sunday in West Palm Beach following an extended illness. She was 87.
Gilbert, 60, said he moved his mother from her home on First Street to his West Palm home a few months ago so he could care for her.
Louise Gilbert, a native of Georgia, was a graduate of Florida A&M University and began her Pasco teaching career in the 1940s. County schools were segregated at the time, and Gilbert taught business courses to students at Moore Academy and, later, Mickens High School. She went on to teach at Pasco High School following desegregation in the early 1970s.
People who knew Gilbert said she was a woman of class who dressed elegantly and was always professional. 'She was considered one of the best teachers in the community,' said her friend and co-worker, Thelma Allen. 'She was highly respected. Even in integration when she left and went to Pasco High, the teachers over there thought quite a bit of her.' Martha Walker, who taught with Gilbert at Pasco High, said she remembers Gilbert as a dedicated teacher who loved her students. 'Every day when she came in, she had a big can of Lysol spray, and she'd spray that room good with Lysol,' Walker said. 'After she retired, I did the very same thing. 'She was just a wonderful teacher.' Among Gilbert's students was Dade City Commissioner Scott Black, a 1982 graduate of Pasco High. Eight years later, Black ran into his old teacher while he was going door-to-door campaigning for a spot on the commission. 'There was a screen door, so I couldn't see her face, so I was going through my spiel,' he said. 'She sort of chuckled and moved closer to the screen, and I realized it was Ms. Gilbert. 'I was giving her my little introductory spiel, and she knew it already.'
Though Gilbert was well-known as a teacher, few people here knew about her tie to the civil rights struggles of the 1930s and '40s. Her husband, John Gilbert, was an associate of famed civil rights leader Harry T. Moore and instrumental in the movement to equalize the salaries of black and white teachers. Ronald Gilbert said his father's work in civil rights happened before his parents were married and that he didn't talk about it. People who knew Louise Gilbert said she didn't talk much about her husband's civil rights work, either. John Gilbert was 98 when he died in 2000.
Services for Louise Gilbert will be at 2:30 today at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 14518 Seventh St. A wake will be held at the church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Gilbert will be buried in the Dade City Cemetery.