HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL
Highlights of 1915
Photo directly above, is from 1915 and is at Dade City Court House with front row—Superintendent of Schools, J.W. Sanders (former principal of ZHS), E. Pasco Wilson, A.A. Boone, Tax Collector, Archie Burnside, Clerk of Circuit Court and Mr. Green. Back Row is Lula Burkett, Mattie Mobley and Ida McGeachy Sparkman.
A Founder’s Day edition of the Zephyrhills News in 1966 features the following photo from 1915 with a caption that reads, “First High School—The Colony Company’s first high school was built between 7th and 8th Avenues on the west side of what is now Hwy. 301. The construction date is not certain. The building burned in 1926, and a new school was built at the present location (as of 1966) centered at 10th Avenue and 10th Street. This postcard view was made in 1915.”
On May 3, 1915, these teachers were appointed for Zephyrhills: Prof. William Cleveland Finney (Principal), Ruth Sumner, Miss Birdena Schenck, Prof. Vassar C. Mathews, Lillian Carter, Lillie Geiger, Miss Wanda Briggs, Miss Nina Percival, Muriel Storms.
A 1915-16 directory shows 209 students attending the Zephyrhills school, with 33 pupils above the eighth grade. The teachers were W. C. Finney, Miss Ruth Sumner, Miss Berdina Schenk, V. C. Mathews, Miss Frances Laughinhouse, Miss Lillie Geiger, Miss Uarda Briggs, Miss Marie Stewart, and Miss Muriel Storms.
The registers from the Pasco County School Board of 1915 show the following students enrolled with their ages: Gerald Briggs, age 12; Mary Briney, age 12; Ruth Burnet, age 14; Amos Chancey, age 18; Rhonda Davis, age 15; Inis DeRyder, age 15; Rachel DeRyder, age 12; Curtis Geiger, age 13; Catherine Griffith, age 17; Raymond Hood, age 14; Moray Kinsey, age 15; Elias Mayo, age 19; Lorene Pelham, age 11; Ray Pelham, age 13; Willie Stebbins, age 12; Ruth Storms, age 11; Wallace Turner, age 17; Herman Vogt, age 19; Lula Wallace, age 16; Mae Wallace, age 14; and Billy Wofford, age 13.
Parents were asked also to provide their names. These records were scanned by Jeff Miller of the fivay project from Pasco County School Board archives.
Notice that the registers which were used until the computer era, were handwritten and included the student’s name, age, date of entry, and parent’s name and then had a space for attendance. When the author began teaching in 1974, similar registers were still used and were vitally important in maintaining records that were used for school funding formulas.