HISTORY OF EDUCATION IN PASCO COUNTY

Pierce Grammar/Pierce Elementary School

Pictures of Pierce Grammar School

Picture of Porter Lamar Pierce

In Sept. 1926 a new brick elementary school opened on Main Street in New Port Richey. It replaced a wooden building referred to as the New Port Richey School (see above). Pierce Grammar School was named for Porter Lamar Pierce.

On Sept. 2, 1927, the New Port Richey Press reported that Prof. B. B. Blanton is the new principal of Pierce Grammar School.

School board minutes of July 3, 1930, show Wilma Vahey, Mrs. E. M. Manning, and Rachael Kirkman appointed as teachers.

On Sept. 5, 1930, the New Port Richey Press listed these teachers: Mrs. W. C. Preetorius, grades 1 and 2; Miss Talitha Waddy, grade 3; Miss Wilma Vahey, grades 4 and 5, Mrs. C. A. Tansill (principal), grade 6.

School board minutes of June 15, 1931, show Mabel Tansill, Talitha Waddy, and Evelyn Waddy appointed. According to a newspaper article, Tansill was the principal.

School board minute of Aug. 16, 1932, show Mabel Tansill appointed Principal, and Betty Bailey, Mrs. George Wanner, and Mrs. Cynthia C. Albritton were appointed teachers.

School board minutes of June 3, 1935, show E. W. Carter, Principal, and Martha T. Waters, Assistant Principal, appointed.

On Sept. 4, 1936, the Dade City Banner reported that E. W. Carter was appointed Principal, and other teachers appointed were Miss Evelyn Waddy, Mrs. Ellen Norfleet, and Mrs. Jennie Sheldon.

On May 3, 1937, the school board rejected the nomination of E. W. Carter as principal and teacher of Pierce Grammar School, no. 32, for alleged acts of insubordination and activities designed to incite the teachers of his school to become antagonistic to the board. The board voted that trustees of that district be required to submit a second nomination for principal for the Pierce School at the next board meeting.

School board minutes of May 15, 1939, show J. M. Lanier, Principal, Annette Lyons, Talitha Waddy, and Jennie Sheldon appointed.

On June 26, 1939, the St. Petersburg Evening Independent reported that F. M. Mounts, who had taught at Zephyrhills High School, has been appointed the new principal for Pierce Grammar School, replacing E. W. Carter, principal here for several years.

On May 11, 1945, the New Port Richey Press reported: “Pierce Grammar observed VE Day with assembly at 9 o'clock to hear by radio President Truman and Winston Churchill. Hearing that the day was also President Truman's birthday, the group sang Happy Birthday. Principal F. M. Mounts spoke briefly. Rev. B. E. Palmer read the favorite scripture passage of the late Pres. Roosevelt and spoke to the pupils of their importance and responsibility in building a good new world. ‘God Bless America’ was sung as a prayer.”

In April 1946 F. M. Mounts was re-appointed principal of Pierce Grammar School.

On April 4, 1949, W. G. Stephens was appointed Principal.

In the 1940s the school is called Pierce Grammar School in school board minutes; in the 1950s it is called Pierce Elementary School.

John R. Clark served as Principal for two years, resigning effective Aug. 31, 1953, to accept a position in Okaloosa County. He was succeeded as Principal by Fred K. Marchman.

In August 1953 the school opened with the following teachers. Principal: Fred K. Marchman; sixth grade, Miss Eleanor Johnson; fifth grade, Mrs. Marguerite Marchman; fourth grade, Mrs. Cora Gilmore; third grade, Miss Lauzanne Sims; second grade, Mrs. Jennie Keller; first grade, Mrs. Jane Henderson and Miss Barbara Helm.

In the late 1950s the school closed, with students attending the new Richey Elementary School.

However, Pierce operated as a junior high school for grades 7 and 8 in 1957-58.

In 1960 the city of New Port Richey purchased the Pierce Elementary School building to use it for city hall and other municipal purposes.

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