Gulf Junior High School/Gulf Middle School

This page is under construction and was last revised on Jan. 12, 2010.

Students in grades 6-11 attended Gulf High School when it opened in 1922. The lower grades were referred to as the junior department of the school. Later, students in grades 7-9 attended Gulf Junior-Senior High School.

Pierce Junior High School operated in the late 1950s, with the same principal as Gulf High School, in the red brick building on Main Street which had been Pierce Elementary School.

On Mar. 15, 1959, the St. Petersburg Times reported that Pierce Junior High School would be unable to accommodate the sixth grade from Richey Elementary in the following year and would be filled to capacity with grades 7 and 8.

On April 14, 1959, Howard L. Grayson was appointed principal of Pierce Junior High School.

On April 28, 1960, these teachers were appointed to Pierce Junior High School: Marion L. Crawford, Grace Johnson, J. Wesley Pritchard, Herbert L. Whalley, David H. Clark, Jr., Bruce Dutton, Bobby Lee Knowles, Clarice Thompson, Albert E. Woody, John Shea.

Apparently, in 1961 junior high students began attending school in the red brick building at Grand Boulevard and Gulf Drive, and the name Gulf Junior High School was adopted.

A Nov. 27, 1965, newspaper article mentioned that David “Hap” Clark was principal of Gulf Junior High School. During the 1965-66 school year, Gulf Junior High School was headquartered in the red brick building which later became Schwettman Education Center.

On July 19, 1968, the St. Petersburg Times identified W. R. Durden as principal of Gulf Junior-Senior High School.

In the 1970-71 school year and perhaps earlier also, Gulf Junior High School met in the same building as Gulf High School on Louisiana Avenue. High school students attended in the morning and junior high students attended in the afternoon.

Newspaper front page, Sept. 8, 1971

Gulf Junior High School opened in a new facility on Sept. 7, 1971, with Thomas Weightman as Principal. The school was a new building located on Ridge Road (since renamed School Road), although seventh grade students initially attended the Gulf Junior High Annex on the Boulevard.

In 1972 the school board considered changing the name of Gulf Junior High School, concerned that there was confusion among the names Gulf Junior High School, Gulf High School, and the old Gulf High School, which was then serving as a junior high school annex. However, a survey revealed that teachers and students at Gulf Junior High were satisfied with the name and wanted to keep it.

On Feb. 9, 1973, Beverly Daniel Herold, 22, a physical education teacher at Gulf Junior High School, was killed in an auto accident.

On Nov. 5, 1975, the top administrative staffs at Gulf Comprehensive High School and Gulf Junior High School were swapped. High school principal Arthur O'Donnell, curriculum assistant Terry Graham, and guidance counselor James Pritchard moved to the junior high, and junior high principal Ed Campbell took over as principal at the high school, accompanied by his assistant Arthur Engle.

At the start of the 1977-78 school year, Gulf Junior High and Gulf High switched buildings, with Gulf Junior High moving to the building on Louisiana Ave.

At the start of the 1983-84 school year, the school became a middle school, teaching students in grades 6 through 8.


1970-1973 Thomas Weightman
1973-1975 James E. Campbell
1975-1977 Dr. Arthur O'Donnell
1977-1978 Dr. John Joyce
1978-1979 John Best
1979-1995 Richard Koop
1995-1998 Greg Wright
1998-2003 Raymond Bonti
2003- Stan Trapp

2000 PHOTO

SEPT. 9, 2003 PHOTOS


History of Education front page