Gulf High School History, Part 1

FHC indicates the information was taken from the article "The First Half Century.” Dew indicates the information was taken from an article written by early Principal Edwin S. Dew. This page was last revised on April 3, 2017.

Note: Items pertaining to football and basketball have been removed from this page and can be found on the separate football history page, boys basketball history page, and girls basketball history page.

1921. The school district in which New Port Richey is located votes in favor of the issue of bonds in the amount of $50,000, of which $35,000 is for a new high school.

Jan. 12, 1922. The New Port Richey Press has: “It is on this notable and important highway that the West Coast High School is to be erected, and this will be a further stimulus to building operations in the neighborhood.”

Feb. 1, 1922. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports, “Tony Fredosio has fitted up what his youthful patrons declare the 'niftiest school bus we ever had,' and continues regular school bus service between [New Port Richey] and Tarpon High School. Sixteen pupils are in attendance from New Port Richey.”

Feb. 9, 1922. The New Port Richey Press reports the vote on the school bond issue to build a high school is 67-3 in favor in New Port Richey and 28-0 in favor in Elfers.

Mar. 16, 1922. The New Port Richey Press reports, “The contract for the new high school building will be let on March 27th, and it is expected that work will begin within two weeks and rushed to completion so the building will be completed and the equipment in place in time for the opening of school in September. The plans were drawn by F. H. Trimble, of Orlando, who is an authority on school architecture, and who now has under construction over one million dollars worth of school buildings in the state of Florida.” (Wikipedia article on Frederick H. Trimble)

Mar. 24, 1922. The Dade City Banner reports that County Superintendent E. B. O’Berry has received from architect F. H. Trimble “profiles of ‘Gulf High School’ which is to be built this summer on the bank of the Pithlachascotee to accommodate the children of the gulf coast of Pasco county.”

Mar. 30, 1922. The Elfers West Pasco Record reports, "The new high school building for Special Tax School District No. 32, which includes Elfers, New Port Richey, Old Port Richey and Odessa, is now an assured fact, for at the meeting held by the county school board at Dade City, Monday, the $50,000 bond issue was sold and the contract for the construction of the building awarded.”

May 5, 1922. An article in the Dade City Banner refers to the school as Gulf High School.

May 11, 1922. The New Port Richey Press reports that construction on the new $35,000 building had begun on Monday of this week.

Sept. 18, 1922. Gulf High School opens in a new $40,000 building, with students in grades 6 through 11. A newspaper article at the time said 39 pupils were enrolled the following day, but that more were expected soon. According to Dew, “Forty pupils were enrolled in the first three grades of high school during the first week and several were added later.”

Sept. 1922. The faculty in 1922-23 was as follows: T. J. McBeath, principal; Edwin S. Dew, English and History; Miss Mabel Waring, Latin and Science. Miss Waring resigned at Christmas and Miss Kate Caplinger took her place [Dew].

Sept. 28, 1922. The New Port Richey Press reports, "Professor McBeath, principal of the Gulf High School, has intimated his intention to give night courses to pupils who are unable owing to having to work in the day time, to attend the ordinary classes. Those who are desirous of taking advantage of this provision are requested to see the professor at his residence any hour after school.”

Oct. 5, 1922. The "Gulf Hi School Notes" column in the New Port Richey Press reports, “The Junior class is a record breaker this year. Prof. McBeath says he never saw such a fine class in mathematics. We have geometry one day and geometry "hash" the next. Prof. Dew thinks we are just splendid in history, especially in remembering dates. Much to our regret, he is requiring all those who do not have text books to prepare special reports on research topics. We expect to have our texts by the end of this week. [...] The last two periods Friday afternoon were devoted to the organization of an Athletic club. All pupils assembled in the study hall, Professor McBeath acted as chairman and after a short discussion on athletics the following officers were chosen: Richard DeBoer, president; Vivian Nason [?], first vice-president; Louis Weddle, second vice-president; Alex McFarland, secretary-treasurer; Mark St. Clair, reporter. We have no equipment at present but we hope that some plan will be devised in the near future for securing basketball outfits, as we wish to organize two teams, one for girls and one for boys.

Oct. 16, 1922. The first issue of the student newspaper, Gulf Hi-Life, appears. It says the school colors are Sea Green and Silver Gray. [In 1927 the colors are given as green and gray in the New Port Richey Press.]

Oct. 19, 1922. A baseball team of Gulf High School boys defeats a team from the New Port Richey grammar school, 4-1. The game was played at the New Port Richey baseball field. This is the first known athletic event involving Gulf High School.

Nov. 2, 1922. Gulf Hi-Life, appearing as a column of the New Port Richey Press, describes the faculty:

Prof. T. J. McBeath, principal of our school is a man well known in educational circles throughout the state. He is one of our oldest educators, having taught many years in Florida and adjoining states. We consider ourselves very fortunate to obtain the services of such a renowned educator. Mr. Edwin S. Dew, who has charge of the English and History departments, is well known to the people of this county. He has taught for a number of years in the public schools of Pasco county and is at present the Democratic nominee for representative to the state Legislature. Miss Mabel Waring comes to us from Madison, where she has been, for some years, associated with the Madison High School and a member of the faculty of Madison Summer School for the training of teachers. Miss Waring teaches Latin and Science.
The same column reports "Work was commenced on the High School baseball diamond last Thursday afternoon. Mr. Dew stepped what he thought to be the right distance between bases but later when it was measured it proved to be about fifteen feet too far. The Gulf High School and the New Port Richey grammar school engaged in their second game of baseball Tuesday afternoon, October 31st, which resulted in a score of five to two in favor of the high school.

Nov. 24, 1922. A contemporary account describes Gulf High School has having 44 students and 3 teachers.

Mar. 27, 1923. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports, “The next issue of Gulf Hi-Life will be perused with unusual interest when the two girl editors will get out the entire issue unassisted. They will secure the advertising, set up the 'dummy' and bring out the most attractive edition of the entire school year, in this closing number. Both Miss Bowman and Miss Wright are supported by the entire class, however, in their work and the little paper will teem with interesting things.”

May 8, 1923. With no seniors, Gulf stages a "graduation" for its 12 sophomores, as they are promoted to the upper division of the school. On May 11, 1923, the New Port Richey Press carried the headline "Twelve Sophomores Presented Diplomas," and reported, “Professor McBeath initiated the idea of having the sophomore class graduate from the junior department into the senior department, hence the graduation of sophomores.”

Sept. 1923. During the 1923-24 school year, classes are offered in English, Latin, French, mathematics, geometry, algebra, science, history, physical education, and psychology (FHC).

Sept. 7, 1923. The New Port Richey Press reports: "Enrollment figures place the first six grades of New Port Richey grammar school at 91. The seventh and eighth grades for the district, with the exception of Odessa, will be taught at Gulf High this year as the Junior department. There is an enrollment of 41 pupils in this department. The Senior department of Gulf High has 46 pupils, of which ten compose the Senior class. A number of changes have been made in the studies for this term of high school. Psychology has been added. A full unit of Civil Government has been substituted for English history and Practical Arithmetic has been substituted for the usual Geometry course. The first week of school has been organization week, and all classes, literary society, athletics, domestic science clubs and Gulf Hi Life staff have been organized. The school voted unanimously to continue the publication of the school paper, Gulf Hi Life, which was so successfully published by the pupils last term. Prof. Dew states that everything is running smoothly at the high school and conditions are favorable for a splendid school year. He states that the school will be connected with the city water works system in the next two weeks, as he has promise that the line will be extended to the school in that time. The faculty for Gulf High School is composed of Edwin S. Dew, principal; J. H. St. Clair, first assistant; Miss Mary Bohman, second assistant; Miss Maude Fant, junior department.”

Sept. 21, 1923. The New Port Richey Press reports: “As a preliminary event to high school athletics, Gulf High baseball team played a town team Thursday afternoon at the ball grounds on Main street, the town team getting the best of the fray by the score of 14 to 6.”

1924. The newspaper column "Early Days in New Port Richey" by John W. Parkes of May 22, 1958, has:

Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Waters were among the first young couples whom we met in those good old early days. Mrs. Waters, who began teaching at Gulf High School in 1924, organized the first high school orchestra in the city. It was composed of her violin students and pupils in the school, who were learning other instruments. Mittye Walker Pierce, now Mrs. Floyd Locke, who was attending Gulf High at the time, was her first pianist. From that small beginning was formed the Gulf High School band directed by Wood Ross, now deceased, and later taken over by Gilbert Stansell, who did a splendid job of developing an outstanding band which did much to favorably publicize New Port Richey. Mr. Stansell will be remembered by many of the "old timers" as being the husband of Marguerite Ahrens, daughter of Mrs. Jeanette Hewitt. Mrs. Hewitt is an outstanding musician herself, and has taught many young folk to play the piano, even before the incorporation of the city.

Apr. 29, 1924. The Tarpon Springs Leader reports that the Tarpon Springs Boy Scout baseball team defeated the team of Gulf High School Monday afternoon, 10-5.

April 29, 1924. Gulf’s first real graduation ceremony takes place for the 11 seniors: Mark St. Clair, Hoke Corbett or Corbeth, Roscoe B. Henderson, Paul Hugh Wynn, Louis Meeth, Marguerite Ahrens (Stansell), Marion or Billie Bowman, Louise Weddle (Frazier), Anna Mae Lee (Carlton), Ruby Eiland (Underwood), and Mary Lou St. Clair (Knight). Superintendent E. B. O'Berry presented diplomas to graduates of the high school and certificates of promotion to students promoted to the ninth grade. Mittye Walker Pierce (Locke) and Jean Fullington performed piano solos. [A history of Pinellas county schools has "In 1945, the late Dr. Louis Meeth became the director of adult, vocational and veterans' education in Pinellas County. Dr. Meeth and other educators and residents successfully lobbied for the state legislature to provide funding for adult education, which it did in 1947 with an amendment to the Minimum Foundations Program.” It has not been confirmed that he is the GHS graduate with the same name. Mary Lou St. Clair (Knight) was a daughter of James H. St. Clair, a long-time and popular Gulf High School teacher; she was later a librarian at Clearwater High School. Ruby Eiland (Underwood) married Rev. Delbert Vincent Underwood, who died in Gainesville in 1999. Mark St. Clair, a son of James H. St. Clair, was for many years a teacher in Pasco county schools and for eight years was Pasco Superintendent of Public Instruction. In 1961 he was teaching in Leesburg.]

Aug. 29, 1924. The New Port Richey Press reports that Gulf High School will begin its third term on Sept. 1 with Principal Alvin Covert and five teachers: “J. H. St. Clair, who holds over from last year and is well and favorably known through his former work; Miss Elizabeth Humphries; Miss Vivia Craig, who taught at Elfers last year; and Miss Lucinda Allen, of Brooksville.” The newspaper also reported that "telephone service is soon to be installed in the building.”

Sept. 1, 1924. The New Port Richey Press reports that Principal Covert stated that Gulf High School would be accredited except for the fact that enrollment is too small, by eight students.

Sept. 5, 1924. The New Port Richey Press reports, "Prof. Covert is striving toward the goal so long sought, to make Gulf High an accredited high school. The teaching staff is composed of only certified instructors, and the equipment is up to standard, so that every requirement is being met to have the school accredited, with the exception of one and that is not within his power to remedy without the co-operation of all those who should be patrons of the high school. The one requirement in which the school is now deficient is in attendance. The school lacks just eight pupils of having the required number for accrediting. It is thought that the smaller number of pupils than usual is caused by the failure of Odessa students to attend. Owing to the temporary impassable condition of the road, which is now torn up in process of rebuilding, pupils that expected from Odessa have not yet enrolled. However, it is thought that as soon as the road is put in passable shape these pupils will come, and in all probability will swell the number to the required attendance. [...] The pupils have decided to continue the publication of the school paper, Gulf Hi Life, the first number of which will be issued at an early date.”

Oct. 31, 1924. Gulf Hi-Life reports: “Gulf High School is peculiarly fortunate this year in the music facility. With Mrs. Waters giving violin lessons, and Mrs. Brown piano and sight singing we might truly say we are a musical school. Quite a number of the boys are taking violin lessons, and a large number of the girls, piano. The trustees recently, at the earnest solicitation of Prof. Covert and Mrs. Brown, have added sight singing to the curriculum, and credits will probably be given for proficiency in same. This is an appreciated feature, for a singing school is always an orderly, hard-working school. Hearing, and taking an active part in good music, certainly refines and humorizes any one. This is especially true with reference to the impressionable natures and plastic minds of children. Let us all take advantage of our opportunities at this time, and try to cultivate a taste for real music. Not forgetting what the great poet said in reference to music, 'He that hath no music in himself, and is not moved by concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treason, strategem and spoils. Let no such man be trusted!'"

1925. The school acquires its first orchestra—eight pieces, including strings, according to FHC. According to WPH, Winona Waters organized the High School Orchestra, comprising eight pieces, in 1925.

1925. A pamphlet said to be from 1925 showing several cheers for basketball games lists the faculty as follows: A. Covert, Principal; J. H. St. Clair; W. E. Trottman; Mrs. W. E. Trottman; Mrs. Rachel Kirkman; Miss Vivia Craig; W. Bremner; Miss Ellen Kolb; Mrs. C. M. Brown, Music. Advertisers in the pamphlet are Bolling Realty Co.; G. A. Sander’s Store, Elfers; Burnette-Patterson Lumber Co.; Kissimmee Inn, Elfers; Gulf Utilities Co., New Port Richey; New Port Richey Press; Standard Grocery (phone 60); Edenfield Cash Store, Elfers; Jackson’s Sanitary Dairy; Herman J. Heinnickel Electric & Plumbing Contractor, Elfers; Dixie Filling Station; J. A. Bragg General Contractor; Home Lumber and Supply Co.; Jackson Realty Co., Elfers; the Sweet Shoppe; Jahn-Herms-Voth Real Estate, New Port Richey; San Souci Groves, Elfers; Palmetto Studio and Gift Shop; Tarpon Springs Leader; Dixon Cleaning Co., New Port Richey; Bollings Pharmacy and Port Richey Drug Co.; F. I. Grey Realty Co.

Jan. 16, 1925. The GHS news column in the New Port Richey Press reports: “The girls of the volley ball team played against the boys team, Friday, January 9.”

Apr. 3, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports: "Information has just been received by Prof. Alvin Covert, Principal, that through his efforts and the high ratings of his faculty, the Gulf High School has been officially accredited as a Senior High School. This will be interesting news to all friends and patrons of this section, as our high school will now take its rank with the best in the state. Prof. Covert and his corps of assistants have worked very hard to bring about the accrediting of Gulf High, and deserve much credit as well as the thanks of the entire high school district for putting this school on the scholastic map. In an interview with Prof. Covert he stated that he hoped to have at least one or two additional instructors for the high school department, and additional laboratory equipment next year which would place this school second to none as an educational institution of the senior high school class.”

Aug. 28, 1925. The New Port Richey Press reports the faculty this year will be: Alvin Covert, principal; J. H. St. Clair, assistant principal; Mr. and Mrs. Trottman; Miss Lucinda Allen; and one other teacher whose name could not be ascertained.

Aug. 27, 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports, "School days will be resumed in New Port Richey Monday, when several score pupils of the Gulf High School will take their seats for the beginning of the term at nine o'clock. Opening exercises will feature the resumption of sessions. Professor Bremner will be principal of the high school the coming year, and his assistant will be Professor St. Clair. Miss Vivia Craig, and another teacher not yet engaged, will complete the faculty.”

Sept. 3, 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports:

Gulf High School opened last Monday morning with the largest enrollment in its history. A goodly number of the patrons and school officials were present. Messrs. Pierce, Kolb and Mitchell made interesting and inspiring talks. All those present seemed to feel t hat the school was destined to have a very fine year, and in all probability there will be a nine rather than an eight months session.

During the last few days a good deal has been done in the way of organizing. A literary society was started with the following officers: President, Mittye Walker Pierce; Vice-President, Albert Johnson; Secretary, Bonnie Mitcham.

The athletic association starts out with these officers; President, Calder Edenfield; Vice-President, Pauline Page; Secretary, Corine Clark; Treasurer, Professor St. Clair. ...

The school decided to print a paper semi-monthly to be called "Gulf-Hi Life," with Mittye Walker Pierce as editor-in-chief. The following are the members of the senior class. There may be one or two more coming in a little later. Helen Fisher, Alice Kemple, Mittye Walker Pierce, Bonnie Mitcham, Calder Edenfield, Albert Johnson, Zane Rankin, Lucille Gomez, Cotherine Rigins. The motto selected is "Labor Omnia vincit," the class flower Pink Radiant Rose. Colors, pink and white. These are the officers; President, Helen Fisher; Vice-president; Zane Rankin; Secretary-treasurer, Calder Edenfield; Reporter, Albert Johnson.

Dec. 10, 1926. The New Port Richey Press reports that the north wing will be added to the building:
Some hope for improvement of the past unsightly and crowded condition of the Gulf High school was aroused in the hearts of citizens of New Port Richey in attendance before the county school board at Dade City Tuesday when the board awarded a contract to L. M. Miller of this city for the erection of a new unit comprising a study room to accommodate pupils of all high school grades during study hours and relieve congestion in the class rooms. Further action of the board to immediately install an adequate heating plant was deemed of even greater importance as relieving the present menace to pupils through unheated class rooms.

Efforts under the auspices of the Civitan club will be continued to secure additional appropriation by the board from ample balances remaining unexpended from the last bond issue, to fertilize and plant grass and shrubbery in the front of the high school yard and level the athletic field in the rear yard. The board had already allowed $600 for this work, which with the assistance of the pupils and Prof. Bremner has already done considerable of the grading in front of the school.

The new unit to the present school building will be two stories in height with a basement to accommodate the heating plant for the entire school, the structure to be of brick and concrete with steel reinforcement, according to Mr. Miller, who is an experienced contractor of this city.

1926-27. The Class of 1927 donates a new sidewalk to the school, and all nine of the seniors inscribed their names in the wet cement. [Mittye Pierce (Locke) was a member of the class of 1927.]

1927. There are 91 students in grades 7 through 12 (FHC).

May 1927. The list of eighth grade graduates: Faye Anderson, Leroy Blanton, Herbert Blanton, Winfield Booker, Helen Bremner, Herbert Burgess, Charles De Woody, Lois Eikel, Martha Felker, Gordon Fullington, Myrtis Green, Eunice Hatcher, Cecil Henderson, Thelma Hudson, Katheryn Hunter, Esther Kamunen, Frances Kirkman, Melvin Knowles, Corwin Littell, Ira Littell, Lillian McFarland, Gertrude McMillen, Ella Meeth, Dorothy Miller, Josephine Paynes, Charles D. Paige, Allen Starks, Murl Young.

1927. The Junior-Senior banquet is first held at the Hacienda (FHC). This was also the first year that graduates wore caps and gowns (FHC).

Aug. 19, 1927. The New Port Richey Press reports that Prof. W. D. Bremner will be superintendent of both GHS and Pierce Grammar School, in addition to his duties as Principal of GHS.

May 1928. Nineteen students graduate.

Oct. 12, 1928. The New Port Richey Press writes in an editorial: “Gulf High school has over 100 pupils this year as against 77 last year, due mainly to the fact that its reputation under Prof. Bremner has made it a desirable school, with real opportunities for the pupils....”

Nov. 23, 1928. The New Port Richey Press reports: "Acting immediately on complaints of parents, Acting Mayor Warren E. Burns ordered the High School closed at noon today owing to lack of proper heating. This condition was known to P. L. Pierce, it is alleged, and no effort apparently made to safeguard the children from the efforts of being compelled to remain in chill rooms many hours each day. The same condition prevailed last winter, it is alleged, and nothing was done toward correcting the condition during the summer.”

Nov. 30, 1928. The New Port Richey Press reports: “The effort on the part of Superintendent Bremner to inject more interest in the Gulf high school curriculum by the organization of a band and orchestra, comprising pupils of the different grades, received expert recognition this week. Last evening the band entertained the visitors and members of the local Knights of Pythias lodge. Among the appreciative hearers was George Lynch, superintendent of public instruction of Pinellas County. Mr. Lynch praised the efforts of the band unstintedly, and was surprised to note the disparity of age and size of the performers. The oldest member is not quite 19, and the youngest hardly 10. The band is made up of instruments as great in variety as grown-up organizations, and executed with genuine, youthful pride and enthusiasm. Gilbert Stansell is the director. The school band, augmented by the Gulf High Glee club, went on the air over WFLA at Clearwater Friday evening.”

April 23, 1929. Roy Jasper and Helen Littell are married in the auditorium of Gulf High School.

May 1929. Fifteen students graduate from Gulf High School.

Sept. 27, 1929. The New Port Richey Press reports “Prof. J. H. Kelley of Gainesville will be principal of Gulf high school and patrons are congratulating the school board on being able to secure this outstanding educator as principal of the local high school. Prof. J. H. St. Clair, Miss Grace Fogg, Miss Josephine Tucker, Miss Bertha Kolb, Mrs. Rachel Kirkman, Mrs. A. Riviere and Miss Beatrice Cogar make up the faculty.”

Oct. 4, 1929. The New Port Richey Press reports that the new Principal, J. H. Kelly, was highly recommended by the University of Florida. It reports that Gulf High School is the only school in the county accredited this year. It also reports that Prof. Kelly introduced his faculty consisting of Prof. J. H. St. Clair, Miss Grace Fogg, Mrs. Linton Tucker, Mrs. A. Riviere, Mrs. Rachel Kirkman, and Miss Bertha Kolb.

Oct. 11, 1929. The Evening Independent reports, “S. H. Merchant, who is to be the new science teacher at the Gulf high, has arrived and is at work.”

Nov. 1, 1929. Gulf Hi Life appears on page 2 of the New Port Richey Press, which began donating space for the newspaper. An article refers to "the revived first issue of Gulf Hi Life, our school newspaper.”

June 20, 1930. The commencement program shows a class roll consisting of 7 students. The faculty consists of J. H. Kelly, Principal; J. H. St. Clair; Mrs. Josephine Tucker; Miss Grace Fogg; Mrs. Elizabeth Blair; S. A. Merchant; Mrs. Minnie Riviere; Mrs. Rachel Kirkman; Miss Bertha Kolb.

Nov. 21, 1930. The New Port Richey Press reports: "Prof. W. B. Goate, noted composer, organist, pianist and former voice culturist, has again started training the pupils of Gulf high school in voice, having started Tuesday morning. He also expects to utilize the string instruments in the high school orchestra, as he believes they will add much to the efficiency of his work. Prof. Goate trained Gulf high pupils two years ago so well that it resulted in their winning of the vocal contest at Tampa, in which all the high schools of the state were actively competing.” [William Bloomfield Goate was born in England in May 1848; he died in 1934.]

Jan. 2, 1931. The New Port Richey Press reports that P. L. Pierce, president of the county school board, stated in a letter that Gulf High School is fully accredited, after an article in the Dade City Banner implied otherwise. Pierce went on to say that Gulf "has a higher rating than any other school in the county.”

Mar. 6, 1931. The New Port Richey Press reports a PTA will be organized at Gulf High School on March 10.

Apr. 3, 1931. A headline in the New Port Richey Press reads: “High School May Secure Full Term.” The low taxes that had been collected because of the depression threatened to curtail the length of the school year.

May 1931. The New Port Richey Press reports that 14 students graduated at Gulf High.

Sept. 14, 1931. The Evening Independent reports that the school board on Monday appointed Miss Jessie Craft and Miss Louise Wethington for Gulf High School, and that all teachers for this district are appointed with the exception of the principal for Gulf High.

Oct. 2, 1931. The New Port Richey Press reports, “Prof. Deane DeFord is acting principal of the high school, pending supreme court action on the appointment of a permanent faculty head.” [The County Board of Public Instruction declined to appoint as Principal the person recommended by the Trustees of Special Tax School District No. 32. The trustees applied for writ of mandamus to compel the County Board of Public Instruction to appoint the principal named by the Trustees.]

Oct. 5, 1931. The Tampa Morning Tribune reports, “The new teachers are Deane DeFord, Miss Jessie Craft and Miss Louise Wethington for the Gulf high.... Until the school board appoints a principal, Mr. DeFord is acting in that capacity. The other teachers are, Senior high: Prof. J. H. St. Clair, Miss Grace Fogg; Junior high, Miss Eleanor Kuhlman, Bertha Kolb and Mrs. Ellen Norfleet.”

1932. The school acquires its first dressing rooms for physical education classes. Two houses were donated to the school, moved onto the grounds south of the river, and remodeled. These dressing rooms were torn down a year or two later by the C. W. A. and replaced by a renovated chicken coop (FHC).

1932. A manual arts program is started at the school, consisting of one shop class (FHC).

Feb. 3, 1933. The Dade City Banner reports: “Owing to dissention in the faculty of Gulf High school at New Port Richey, the school board decided to make changes necessary to restore harmony. Accordingly the principal of Gulf High, W. E. Trottman, is to be moved to Trilby, while M. G. Donaldson, former principal at Trilby, will take charge of the New Port Richey school.”

April 21, 1933. The nine graduates are: Helen Hilton, Nola Hope, Betty Fulford, Elsie Willis, Annie Witt, Edith Clark, Jean Hoffman, Aaron Daugherty, and Robert Foskett.

1934. In a 1973 newspaper interview, Fred Marchman recalled, “In 1934 the State Department recommended we close Gulf High and bus our students to Tarpon Springs. Our enrollment was small. We used to try to recruit kids from Land O’ Lakes to bolster our attendance.” The newspaper article reported that at that time Gulf High had below the 300 student minimum the Department of Education required of a high school.

May 10, 1935. The New Port Richey Press lists the names of twelve seniors who are to receive diplomas.

Aug. 23, 1935. An article in the New Port Richey Press indicates Prof. M. G. Donaldson will remain as principal in the coming school year, and that a high school band and orchestra will be created, under the direction of Professor Frank Erwin Watts.

Oct. 6, 1935. The Tampa Morning Tribune reports:

NEW PORT RICHEY, Oct. 5—Frank E. Watts, 28-year-old member of Gulf high school faculty at New Port Richey, died today at the Tarpon Springs hospital, where he was taken a week ago. Death was attributed to a streptococcus infection. This was Watts’ first year at the New Port Richey school, coming here from Daytona Beach, his former home. He formerly had been connected with radio station WRUF at Gainesville, where he conducted an orchestra. He was a graduate of the University of Florida. The body was sent from here tonight to Daytona Beach, where he is survived by his parents and one brother.

Oct. 25, 1935. The New Port Richey Press reports that Paul Cremaschi, 35, an accomplished musician and instructor in music, has bee named to succeed the late F. E. Watts to the music department.

Dec. 4, 1936. The New Port Richey Press reports: “Prof. Paul Cremaschi and his Gulf Hi Band deserve much credit for their wonderful performance at the Lawn Fete last Tuesday night. With no previous rehearsal the band played for the acts of the 'Marvelous Melville' as he held the spectators spellbound with his daring feats. The band members, even though they were thrilled as they watched, played on like professionals.”

June 4, 1937. The New Port Richey Press reports 17 seniors will receive diplomas.

Aug. 2, 1937. The school board accepts the resignations of Gulf teachers Charles Gant, Adelyn Fox, and Robert H. Whitely.

Aug. 27, 1937. The New Port Richey Press reports that the Gulf High School faculty will consist of Prof. M. G. Donaldson, principal; J. H. St. Clair, English; Sarah Katherine Lewis, home economics; Betty Ann Graham, English and history; H. J. McIntyre, industrial arts and manual training; R. O. Lampi, music; Mary Robinson, librarian. "Three other teachers who will take the courses of social science and coach; mathematics and science and a teacher for the commercial course are also expected to be present for the early opening of the school, but their names were not available at this time.” [Upon graduation from Northern Michigan College of Education, Robert Oswald Lampi (1915-1985) accepted a position as Director of Music at Gulf High School and held the position for 3 years. He then became Bandmaster at Pahokee High School, where he stayed for many years.]

May 1, 1939. The New Port Richey Press reports "seventeen young men and women receive their diplomas" on Friday night.

1930s-1940s. According to FHC, the enrollment remained at about 200 students and 10 teachers in the 1930s and 1940s. During this period there was a fear the school would be closed because it did not have enough students. A delegation of parents and teachers went to Land O’ Lakes to meet with parents of students there and ask that they send their children to Gulf instead of Pasco High School. Fred K. Marchman recalls their proposal was not well received.

1939-40. The Corsair, Gulf’s first annual is published. It is a soft-cover book. The 1940 Corsair shows J. M. Lanier as Principal, and the following faculty: Mr. R. O. Lampi, Miss S. K. Lewis, Mrs. Gordon Dixon, Mr. Oliver Daugherty, Mr. F. K. Marchman, Miss Marguerite Cassels, Mr. J. H. St. Clair, Mr. H. J. McIntyre, and Mrs. Josephine Tucker. The yearbook has photos of 28 seniors.

Sept. 1, 1939. The New Port Richey Press reports J. M. Lanier is the new Principal.

Sept. 6, 1940. The New Port Richey Press reports the two local schools -- Pierce Grammar School and Gulf High School -- will reopen on September 9. The article lists the Gulf faculty as follows: J. M. Lanier, principal; J. H. St. Clair, English and Latin (?), J. J. McIntyre, manual arts and Spanish; Fred Marchman, mathematics; Marguerite Cassels, commercial; Sarah K. Lewis, Home Economic, Chemistry; Oliver Daugherty, social science and coach; Gilbert Stansell, music; Leonora Lanier, English and Library.

Sept. 12, 1941. The New Port Richey Press reports enrollment as follows: 11th grade, 25; 8th grade, 18; 9th grade, 40; 10th grade, 20; 11th grade, 33; 12th grade, 19; a total of 155 students, two fewer than last year.

1941-42. The 1942 yearbook is titled The Buccaneer. [Several references in the yearbook imply there was no yearbook for the 1940-41 school year.] The 1942 yearbook shows J. M. Lanier as Principal, and the following faculty: J. H. St. Clair, O. E. Daugherty, F. K. Marchman, Mrs. F. K. Marchman, Miss Lanier, H. J. McIntyre, Miss S. K. Lewis, G. M. Stansell. There are 17 portraits of seniors; they all fit on one page. There is a list of 30 juniors.

1942-43. Because of gasoline rationing, football is the only sport.

Sept. 1942. The New Port Richey Press reports J. H. Lanier will remain as Principal in the coming school year.

June 4, 1943. The New Port Richey Press reports that graduates sat in a "V" formation in the graduation ceremony, and that three seats were left vacant to honor members of the class who were in the military service. [Among the graduates in the Class of 1943 was James Frederick Clark (1926-2001), who taught at GHS from 1950 to 1956. Clark is a son of James Washington Clark Jr. (1880-1940).]

July 2, 1943. The New Port Richey Press reports that Arthur H. Stevens will be the new Principal at Gulf High School. [He served as Principal until the end of the 1948-49 school year.]

Sept. 10, 1943. The New Port Richey Press reports: "Miss Karen Nelson, director of music at Gulf high school, states that the school band is in need of several instruments and requests donations of such instruments on this account. The band has always played a prominent part of the school life and donation of anything toward the band’s well-being would be in a most worthy cause.”

May 22, 1944. Thirteen students graduate from the class of 1944. J. H. St. Clair, a retired teacher, delivers the commencement address at the request of the class.

May 1946. The 1946 yearbook includes an excerpt from "My Son" by Dr. James D. Hughes and has the following dedication:

To those who have given their lives in the line of duty for their country in World War II, we proudly dedicate this annual.
  • Chester Rufus McKay
    Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean February 18, 1942
  • Ernest Nettles
    Died July 24, 1944 from Wounds Received on Italian Front
  • Robert H. Colgan
    29th Bombing Mission over Germany February 3, 1945
  • Ralph DeCubellis
    Saipan June, 1945
The 1946 yearbook has photos of 15 seniors. The yearbook shows A. H. Stevens as Principal and the following faculty: H. J. McIntyre, Manual Arts; O. E. Daugherty, Social Studies and English; Marguerite Marchman, Commercial Department; J. J. Blake, Librarian and Athletics; Reid Fussell, Science and Home Ec.; Mildred Donegan, Mathematics; Karl E. Parks, English; Sylvia J. Falany, Music; Evelyn Heller, Social Studies. The yearbook says the school newspaper, Gulf Hi-Life, is issued monthly.”

May 1947. The 1947 yearbook shows A. H. Stevens as Principal, and the following teachers: Barbara Clark, Fred Marchman, Mrs. A. H. Stevens, H. J. McIntyre, Nancy Mickel, Arthur Mickel, John Calman, Eugenia Hoffman, H. P. Wilmoth, Jane Heaphy. It lists 16 seniors.

May 2, 1947. A newspaper article indicates that John Calman is the band director.

May 1948. Apparently no yearbook was published this year. Jean Harper Carpenter ('48) recalls that the yearbook committee was so disappointed with the 1947 yearbook because of shortages after the war that they voted not to produce a yearbook in 1948.

June 7, 1948. Twenty-eight students graduate, the largest class to date. Among the graduates is Lucy Jones (DeCubellis), who 50 years later was the Secretary to Principal Cheryl Renneckar.

June 6, 1949. The graduating class of 1949 consisted of 17 students, according to Jackie (Fussell) Mathison, one of the students. She said she believes it was the second smallest graduating class. She says that no yearbook was published that year. [The New Port Richey Press reported that there were 16 graduates.]

Because there was no yearbook, the New Port Richey Press published the Senior Superlatives, which follow:

BOYS: Best Looking - Berry Alexander; Most Popular - Berry Alexander; Most Athletic - Neil Hunt; Neatest - Bob Lewis; Most Studious - Bob Lewis; Best All Around - Neil Hunt; Wittiest - Sam Anderson; Biggest Flirt - Sam Anderson; Most Timid - Bob Lewis; Most Likely to Succeed - Neil Hunt; Most Talented - Fred Koning; Class Baby - Jim Drinkard; Most Serious - Bob Lewis; Best Dressed - Bob Lewis; Best Dispositioned - Berry Alexander.

GIRLS: Prettiest - Lucille Guess; Most Popular - Lucille Guess; Most Athletic - Bea Marie Fiilar; Neatest - Helen Balcom; Most Studious - Helen Balcom; Best All Around - Bea Marie Filar; Wittiest - Bea Marie Filar; Biggest Flirt - Rheba Richardson; Most Timid - Jacqueline Fussell; Most Likely to Succeed - Helen Balcom; Most Talented - Dorene Townsend; Class Baby - Helen Balcom; Most Serious - Jacqueline Fussell; Best Dressed - Helen Balcom; Best Disposition - Lucille Guess.

1950s. In the 1950s the shop class built kayaks which the students raced on the river; seniors had their own private door to the school -- the front door (FHC).

June 2, 1952. The commencement program lists the faculty as follows: W. G. Stephens (Principal), Philip L. Capdevielle, James F. Clark, A. R. Chambers, Mrs. Hazel DeBerry, Mrs. Edna Ford, Fred K. Marchman, H. J. McIntyre, John Semago, Mrs. W. G. Stephens, Douglas C. Taylor, Miss Joyce Williams.

May 1953. The 1953 yearbook shows W. G. Stephens as Principal, and the following faculty: Lucille K. Stephens, F. K. Marchman, P. L. Capdevielle, Pat Tingue, John Semago, Mrs. F. Dixon, Mrs. Morris, H. J. McIntyre, J. F. Clark, M. Kevalick, A. R. Chambers, Mrs. Hicks. There are photos of 36 seniors. [There was no yearbook in 1954.]

1954. An alum from this class recalls that there was a homecoming parade in 1954 and it was not the first one.

March 29, 1956. The New Port Richey Press reports that Principal John Semago gave a report on the overcrowded conditions at the school, saying that when the fall term begins in September there will be 353 students already placed, not counting newcomers and transients, in a building that should house a maximum of 225 children.

Spring 1956. Students stage a strike as half of the student body spend a day on the bleachers at the football field, refusing to attend classes, because three popular teachers had not been reappointed.

Oct. 4, 1956. The New Port Richey Press reports that Principal Tommy Gibbs announced that attendance for the first month of school was 98%, with an average daily attendance of 347. He also stated that 83% of students used the cafeteria. "Gibbs encourages the students to eat at the cafeteria, where an adequate meal is served for the sum of 25 cents. Students eating at home must have a note from the parent stating this preference. No student at Gulf High is allowed to eat anyplace other than school or home. This ruling has greatly cut down, and is helping to erase the lunch-hour problem of the past, when high school students were wandering down in the town during their lunch period.”

June 6, 1957. The New Port Richey Press reports that graduation exercises will be held tonight at 8 o'clock in Sims Park and that in case of inclement weather the exercises will be held in the high school auditorium. The graduating class is composed of 12 boys and 10 girls.

Sept. 12, 1957. The New Port Richey Press reports a record enrollment of 415 was reported at Gulf High School last week. The article quoted Principal Gibbs as expecting a peak enrollment of at least 525 by the end of the first semester. Registration by grades: 7th, 84; 8th, 75; 9th, 89; 10th, 88; 11th, 50; 12th, 23.

Nov. 13, 1958. Gulf Hi Life publishes its first issue since 1955. A note reads, “It’s up to you English classes to keep our newspaper alive. Which class will edit the next issue? Take it from us, Mrs. Sanford’s 5th period English class, that it’s really a lot of fun.”

May 1959. The 1959 yearbook shows a faculty consisting of 15 teachers (pictured elsewhere on this website) in addition to Principal Tommy Gibbs.

Sept. 22, 1959. Gulf Hi Life reports: “Mr. Gibbs is now the principal of Gulf High School and Pierce Junior High. He is aided by Mr. David H. Clark, acting assistant principal of the junior high for the year of 1959-60. When the new combination junior high school is built it will be in one building, needing only one principal, states Mr. Gibbs. Enrollment at the senior high is 355 this year as contrasted with 282 in 1956 for both junior and senior high.” [The newspaper is dated 9/22/58 but apparently was actually published on 9/22/59.]

May 1960. The 1960 yearbook shows Mr. Tommy Gibbs and Mr. David H. Clark as principals of Gulf High and Pierce Junior High. The yearbook includes photos of junior high students. Among the seniors in the 1960 yearbook is Joseph Edward Pittman, later the Pasco County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

On June 6, 1960, 72 seniors graduated in Sims Park.

Sept. 8, 1960. The New Port Richey Press reports that Principal Tommy Gibbs gave the following figures: seventh grade, 145; eighth grade, 138; ninth grade, 123; tenth grade, 88; eleventh grade, 82; twelfth grade 81. He said the total of 657 is an increase of 68 or nearly 12 percent over 1959.

Mar. 16, 1961. The New Port Richey Press reports that the Pasco County School board decided to transfer the name Gulf High School to the new building under construction on Louisiana Avenue after board member Carl Hatcher reported that a majority of persons in the New Port Richey area preferred the name be retained.

June 1, 1961. Eighty-three seniors, the largest class ever, receive their diplomas at Sims Park.

Sept. 9, 1961. The new GHS building on Louisiana Avenue is dedicated.

1962. According to FHC, the school newspaper is renamed the Buccaneer Log. (However the 1962 yearbook shows the Hi-Life staff.) The name was later changed to The Buccaneer.

Mar. 30, 1962. Charges of misconduct against three Gulf High School teachers are addressed at a school board meeting. [Subsequently, James E. Pannell resigned, effective April 10, and Edd Webb resigned effective at the end of the school year, although both denied wrongdoing. A third teacher, Fred Smith, was exonerated.]

June 4, 1962. A graduating class of 81 students receive their diplomas. Among the graduates in 1962 is Mike Olson (1945- ), who later became the Pasco County Tax Collector. He was vice president of the senior class and selected the most talented boy. [His mother, Mittye Pierce, graduated in 1927; his daughter, now Kelly Rutherford, graduated in 1987 and became a teacher at Mittye P. Locke Elementary School. One of Olson’s teachers had been David H. "Hap" Clark (1922-2007), who ran against him in the 2000 election for tax collector.]

Sept. 1962. W. R. Durden becomes Principal at the start of the 1962-63 school year. (He left in the fall of 1971-72 when he transferred to Richey Elementary School.)

1963. The Administration Building is completed (FHC).

Dec. 1963. Gulf High School is removed from the list of approved schools of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. [The loss of accreditation was attributed to inadequate facilities, in particular laboratories, which were scheduled to be built from the proceeds of a bond issue which was narrowly voted down. Accreditation was restored in 1964 following the voters' approval of a bond issue.]

May 1964. The 1964 yearbook shows W. R. Durden Jr. as Principal and David H. Clark as Assistant Principal. Among the seniors are Alan Grant Safranek Jr., vice president of the senior class and boy with best personality. He later became a Pasco County Commissioner. Another senior is John Short, boy with most school spirit and most valuable back on the football team. He later became Sheriff of Pasco County.

1964. The remainder of the buildings are completed at the Louisiana Avenue site (FHC).

1964-65. The 1965 yearbook reports, “The Senior Class of '65 is privileged to be the first graduating class to have completed four years of high school education in the newly erected Gulf High School.” It also has: “On December 16, 1964, the first edition of the Buccaneer Log was published, making it the most recent publication of its kind in five years. From this time on, the students of Gulf High have been informed monthly of school news, sports activities, feature articles, and other events of interest to them.” Among the faculty listed is Thomas E. Weightman, Dean of Students and Athletic Director; he later became Superintendent of Schools for Pasco County. Among the graduates in 1965 are John Gallagher, who later became the Pasco County Administrator and Les Snyder, who later became a teacher at Gulf. The yearbook also includes a photo of freshman John Devaux, who later became a teacher at Hudson High School.

June 7, 1965. Graduation is held at Sims Park.

June 2, 1966. The New Port Richey Press reports: “The class of 1966 at Gulf High School will be graduated at exercises at 8:00 p.m. Monday, June 6, at First Methodist Church, when 114 seniors don caps and gowns signifying their successful completion of the public school curriculum. Uniquely, the graduates number the same as last year’s class at 114, thereby sharing honors as the largest graduating class in the history of the school.”

Aug. 31, 1966. The St. Petersburg Times reports that Principal W. R. Durden Jr. said that the enrollment on Monday, the first day of school, was about 1,030. By comparison, Durden said, the enrollment four years ago, for the same grades, 7 through 12, was 531.

Sept. 1966. The 1966-67 school year is the first year during which black students are allowed to attend Gulf High School. [Prior to this year, the small number of black students living in New Port Richey were required to attend high school in Tarpon Springs or Clearwater.]

May 1967. The first graduation in the newly-built gymnasium at the Louisiana Avenue location takes place.

Oct. 18-19, 1968. Winds from Hurricane Gladys demolish a portable classroom.

May 1969. The 1969 yearbook has: “Because of double sessions this year and the fact that the high school day ends at 12:13 p.m. our school newspaper, The Buccaneer Log, has been combined with the local newspaper, The Chronicle, whose offer of free space, use of equipment and guidance could not be refused under the circumstances. Although our Log staff would much prefer to compose, edit, print and handle the entire production of our school paper, it is almost an impossibility with the present school hours. However, much credit should go to the competent Log staff, as well as to its adviser, Mr. Gordon Tucker, for the coverage of school progress and activities.”

May 1970. The 1970 yearbook shows W. R. Durden as Principal, Thomas Weightman as Assistant Principal, Gordon Tucker as Dean of Boys, and Dorothy Webb as Dean of Girls.

1970. According to FHC, “By 1970 Gulf High School has grown so large that Gulf Junior High School became a separate entity, although it continued to share the same building with Gulf Senior High until 1971.”

Jan. 6, 1970. The Pasco County School Board approves a change in the name of the school to Gulf Comprehensive High School. (A Sept. 1971 newspaper article reported that no one realized the name was changed until school board member Dr. Robert Hartzell recently produced a copy of the minutes which referred to the name change.)

Nov. 12, 1970. The New Port Richey Press carries a photo of the new school under construction on what is now School Road and reports, “According to Gulf High Principal Roscoe Durden plans are not definite now how the new building will be used. He was relatively sure it would be used for Junior High students in the 1971-72 school year.”

1971. Gulf High School teacher John Gallagher is elected to the New Port Richey City Council. He gave extra credit to his students who attended the council meetings. [Gallagher subsequently became City Manager of New Port Richey and County Administrator of Pasco county.]

April 1971. Students protest the suspension of four students by Principal W. R. Durden, as directed by Schools Superintendent Chester Taylor. [One of the candidates for student council had concluded his speech with "No more bull____," the slogan used by Norman Mailer in his 1968 New York mayoral campaign. That student and the co-editor of the school newspaper, who was the 1972 valedictorian, were suspended, along with two other students on the newspaper staff. Taylor described a "profane political protestation" to the school board.]

May 1971. Among the graduates in 1971 is Dan Tipton, who was elected Mayor of New Port Richey in 2004.

Sept. 7, 1971. The new $2.3 million Gulf Junior High School opens with 1300 students on Ridge Road in New Port Richey. (The street was later renamed School Road, and Gulf High School later moved into this building.)

Fall 1971. Dr. Robert Marsh becomes Principal. (He remained Principal until May 1974.)

Sept. 5, 1972. Gulf Comprehensive High School begins the fall semester with double sessions. The morning classes begin at 6:55 a.m. and end at 12:20 p.m. Afternoon classes run from 12:30 to 5:55 p.m. Homeroom is held for the first 15 minutes of both sessions. A break time is scheduled from 10:25 to 10:40 a.m. and 4 to 4:15 p.m. [Beginning with the 1972-73 school year, and continuing through the 1975-76 school year, Kevin White coached cross country and track, and assisted in coaching football and wrestling. He later became the Athletic Director at Notre Dame. White coached his Gulf teams to 19 conference, district, regional and county championships between 1972 and 1976. He is a member of the Florida High School Track Coaches and Athletes Hall of Fame.]

Sept. 10, 1972. The Clearwater Sun reports Gulf Comprehensive High School added 228 students in the past week, bringing the total enrollment to 1428.

Sept. 15, 1972. Gulf High School observed its 50th birthday with an open house during school. Other events included a pep rally, parade, barbecue, football game, dance, and the rededication of St. Clair field.

May 1973. The 1973 yearbook shows Dr. Robert Marsh as Principal, Mr. Pritchard as Assistant Principal, Stephen Schaefer and Arthur O’Donnell as deans.

June 1973. Gulf Comprehensive High School graduates 330 seniors.

July 9, 1973. Hudson High School opens with students attending school in the same building as Gulf students, on Louisiana Avenue, but later in the day. Hudson began in its own building in September 1974.

May 1974. Dr. Arthur O’Donnell becomes Principal (until November 1975). He had been a math teacher at Gulf. He later became Principal of Hudson and then Ridgewood High School.

June 1974. Graduation is held in the gymnasium; 284 seniors receive their diplomas.

June 20, 1974. The West Pasco Chronicle reports: “School Board member Bob Hartzell proposed at Tuesday’s regular meeting of the board to move Gulf High to the building now occupied by Gulf Junior High and to move that school to the building now occupied by Gulf High. Hartzell said that the agricultural complex and the athletic complex at Gulf High are inadequate. The move to Gulf Junior High would give the school 40 acres in which to expand. Hartzell said that the building could be expanded to accommodate 4000 students. The proposal was generally well received by the school board members. It was decided to have School Superintendent Ray Stewart study the move. The principals involved have already started space allocation studies.”

June 27, 1974. Hudson High School holds its first graduation, in the Gulf High School gymnasium.

Nov. 5, 1975. The top administrative staffs of Gulf Comprehensive High School and Gulf Junior High School are swapped. High school principal Arthur O’Donnell, curriculum assistant Terry Graham, and guidance counselor James Pritchard moved to the junior high school. Junior high principal Ed Campbell took over as principal of the high school, accompanied by his assistant, Arthur Egle. In addition, Gus Manticos, dean at Hudson High School, was transferred to Gulf Comprehensive.

Oct. 22, 1976. W. D. “Des” Little Stadium is dedicated at the facility that now Gulf High School, but was for the final year Gulf Junior High School. [Former teacher Kathleen Norris recalls that the first touchdown scored at Des Little stadium was during the first JV football game. It was scored by Frank Papa, who moved to Largo at the end of that year and graduated from there in 1978.]

Nov. 26, 1975. New Principal James Campbell writes in The Buccaneer: “It appears that the major task for all of us right now deals with the physical condition of the campus. We need more and better parking areas and the campus needs a general facelifting so the facilities will look as good as the programs conducted inside. By working together we can do it.”

1977. Graduation is held at Des Little Stadium.

Sept. 1977. Gulf Comprehensive High School and Gulf Junior High School switch buildings, with the high school moving to its current location and the junior high school moving to the Louisiana Ave. campus. Former GHS teacher Kathleen Norris recalls, “In 77-78, we switched buildings mainly because we went off double sessions and BPJHS was built by then.”

June 1978. The first graduation is held in the new gym.

1983-84. Ninth grade students begin attending Gulf High School. [Previously, Gulf High School had only grades 10 through 12. The Pasco County School District began changing its junior high schools, which included grades 7 through 9, to middle schools, with grades 6 through 8.]

May 1985. The 1985 yearbook shows Robert Prior as Principal, and indicates he had been at Gulf since 1979. It shows Don McClain, Dr. Jerry Peterson, and Kathy Rushe as Assistant Principals.

June 13-14, 1987. A reunion is held for the classes of 1924 to 1967.

Sept. 1987. The new Science/Math Building, located behind the main building, opens at the start of the 1987-88 school year.

Feb. 8, 1989. The St. Petersburg Times reports, “The board approved a request to change the name of Gulf Comprehensive High School to the simpler Gulf High School, which actually is a return to the original name. "Comprehensive" was added in the 1970s when vocational programs were expanded. With the shifting of such programs to the Marchman Vocational Center, the vocational emphasis was lessened and Principal Coy Pigman suggested the simpler name would be more appropriate.”

Sept. 5, 1989. School opens one week late at Gulf High School because of an asbestos removal project over the summer; the rest of the school district had begun classes on August 28. When school opened, work was still under way in the asbestos removal project, and the first floor was off limits to students. Students were required to enter the school by using one of the two sets of stairs at the south side of the school. Students could buy a cold lunch in the gym. The cafeteria and media center were not open for approximately the first week of school.

May 1991. The 1991 commencement program shows Principal Coy Pigman and assistant principals B. Gail Crowder, Patricia Haynes, Steve Luikart, Timothy Gilbert, and Ed Braddy.

Sept. 1991. Cheryl Renneckar becomes Principal at the start of the school year, and Tom Imerson becomes an Assistant Principal, also at the start of the school year. [Ms. Renneckar became the longest-serving Principal in 2000; Mr. Imerson remained as an Assistant Principal until February 2001.]

May 17, 1992. A dedication ceremony is held to rename the gymnasium the Bever-Hicks Memorial Activities Center, for Joe Bever, a coach and math teacher for 20 years, and Robert K. Hicks, who taught English, Latin and humanities for 21 years. Bever died of cancer on March 3, 1986, and Hicks died from a heart attack on April 13, 1991.

1999. The Florida Department of Education assigns Gulf High School its first letter grade, a "C," based student FCAT scores. [The school had earned a "C" in 1999-2001, a "D" in 2002, a "C" in 2003-2006, a "D" in 2007, a "C" in 2008, and a "D" in 2009. In 2013 the station was given an "A" for the first time.]

Sept. 1999. Enrollment at Gulf High School reaches about 2000, with six portable classrooms on the campus. Pep rallies during the year were held outdoors in the football stadium, as there was insufficient room in the gymnasium for the entire student body. The administration consisted of Principal Cheryl Renneckar and Assistant Principals Thomas Brochu, Patricia Haynes, Tom Imerson, and Alfred Palma. At the middle of the school year, students began wearing photo ID’s, in accordance with a policy adopted by the district school board for all high schools in the county.

August 14, 2000. The school year opens with fewer students than last year, as the new Mitchell High School relieves some of the overcrowding. All but two of the portable classrooms had been removed during the summer.

July 1, 2002. Thomas Imerson becomes Principal of Gulf High School.

Sept. 4, 2002. Science teacher Tom Dale, 50, dies unexpectedly of a massive heart attack. He had taught school earlier on the same day.

May 12, 2003. The first yearbooks to be printed entirely in color are distributed to students.

Aug. 9, 2004. The 2004-2005 school year marks apparently the first time in Gulf history that Latin is not offered. [Gulf was the last public high school in Pasco County to offer Latin. Because of declining interest, it was last taught at Gulf in the classroom during the 2002-2003 school year, but it was offered as an on-line course to a few students during 2003-2004.]

Sept. 5-6, 2004. Hurricane Frances causes flooding, some damage, and massive power outages in western Pasco County. [Public schools were closed for two days beyond the planned three-day Labor Day weekend. The scoreboard at W. D. "Des" Little Stadium and a light pole in a parking lot were blown down by winds from the hurricane.]

Sept. 26, 2004. Hurricane Jeanne passes near New Port Richey. [Public schools were closed on Sept. 27-28 because many schools, including Gulf High School, had no power.]

Nov. 2004. Total enrollment stands at 1621.

Nov. 2, 2004. The Pasco County School Board names Dr. Deborah J. Lepley to be the Gulf High School assistant principal in charge of the International Baccalaureate program. [The program will begin at Gulf with pre-IB ninth graders in the 2005-2006 school year.]

Jan. 20, 2005. Long-time assistant principal Patrica Haynes retires. [She had joined the Gulf faculty at a science teacher in 1984. She was replaced as Assistant Principal for Student Services by Florence Buono.]

Sept. 2005. Enrollment stands at 1638. There are 96 persons on the instructional staff.

Jan. 10, 2006. On-line access to grades and attendance is made available to parents and students.

August 2006. A revised bell schedule is adopted for the 2006-07 school year, featuring a full period for lunch. First period began at 7:40, rather than 7:50, as in previous years.

September 2006. Guidance counselors move into newly constructed offices.

March 13, 2007. Tardy Hall, a long-time consequence for students arriving late to class, is eliminated.

April 2007. Gulf High School officially becomes an International Baccalaureate high school as the International Baccalaureate Organization approves the diploma program for the school.

May 2007. Two portable classrooms are installed. [Another was installed shortly thereafter, bring to five the total number of portables.]

May 22, 2007. A girl, Courtney Cohen, kicks for both teams in the Green and White spring football game. In the fall she became the first girl to play football for Gulf.

May 25, 2007. Graduation is held at the EpiCentre, an auditorium at the Calvary Chapel Worship Center. The location was changed because of possible construction in the gym; it is the first time graduation is held off campus since 1966.

July 13, 2007. A statue of a Buccaneer in the commons, a gift of the Class of 2007, is dedicated.

August 20, 2007. The school year begins with a return to the six-period schedule.

June 6, 2008. Graduation is held at the EpiCentre for the second year in a row. Girls and boys dressed in white and green gowns respectively. It was the first time in many years that students wore different colored gowns. There were 240 graduates.

June 9, 2008. Steve Knobl becomes Principal, replacing Thomas Imerson, who moved to a district position briefly before retiring.

Aug. 24, 2009. The 2009-10 school year opened with about 1400 students, a smaller number because of the opening of Anclote High School in Holiday. The hours for the school day were moved up 20 minutes, with first period beginning at 7:30 and period 6 ending at 1:40. The earlier start time was set by the district to reduce transportation costs.

Feb. 20, 2010. The Gulf wrestling team wins the state Class A championship, and individual wrestlers Anthony Ayers and Ladarious Jackson win individual state titles.

Feb. 19, 2011. At the state wrestling tournament Anthony Ayers and Ladarious Jackson win state titles for the second year in a row, and R. J. O’Connor places third. The team placed 5th in Class 1A.

May 7, 2012. Kimberly Davis becomes Principal. She replaced Dr. Steve Knobl, who resigned the previous month. Assistant Principal Gwen Gideon served as acting principal during part of the interim period.

Return to history front page