HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Highlights of 1942

Seniors Plan Commencement, Zephyrhills News, May 29, 1942

Commencement Address By Dr. Bunning, of Tampa; Reverend C. N. Bennett To Deliver the Baccalaureate Sermon

The plans for the exercises of the Senior Class of Zephyrhills High School have been completed. Among the outstanding speakers to be present will be Dr. Bunning, of Tampa University, who will give the Commencement Address, Monday evening. The program of Senior activities are as follows:

Class Night Program will occur on Friday, May 29, 9 P.M. and consist of the following:

Song: “Hail to the Class,” by the Junior Class; Juniors leading the American pledge, by Irene Lefler’

A play entitled, “Attic Memories;” Class President’s address by Gilbert Chenkin; Class poem by the
Class Poet, Alice Jenkins; Giftorian Presentation by Jean Ann Mundy; Prophecy by Corabelle Storms; Welcoming Address by Alden Poehner; Reading of the Class Will by Merrill Cherry;  Cheer Leader Presentation by Emma Kemp; Two Sentimental Seniors Presentation by Alice Ryals and Peggy Shaffer; Presentation of  members of the Class of 1942 by Maurice Chancey. The Presentation of Medals will be conducted by Mr. Thomas Burch Cornelius, Principal.

Baccalaureate Service will occur on Sunday, May 31, 8 P.M. and consist of a Processional by the High School Glee Club, followed by an Invocation, then a song entitled, Morning Invitation by ZHS Glee Club. The Baccalaureate Sermon will be preached by Reverend C.N. Bennett. A special presentation entitled, “The Home Port” will be sung by students, Bobby Kersey, Sanford Delk, Nattie Storms, and Billy Green, followed by the benediction and recessional, “God of Our Fathers,” by Glee Club.

Commencement will be held on Monday, June 1, at 8 P.M. with a processional by the ZHS band followed by an invocation. A vocal solo, “Land of Hope and Glory,” -Edgar will be presented by Mrs. Gilbert Byrd. The Commencement Address will be given by Dean Bunning and the presentation of diplomas will be by Mr. D.A. Storms, Sr. followed by a benediction and processional by the high school band. The members of the Senior Class are: Gilbert Chenkin, Emma Kemp, Merrill Cherry, Alice Ryals, Alden Poechner, Jean Ann Mundy, Vernon Shafer, Corabelle Storms, Maurice Chancey, Peggy Shaffer, Alice Jenkins, Don Geiger, George Dayton, Doc. Cripe




Dean Edison Bunting, U. of Tampa Speaks to ZHS Graduates-Fifteen Receive Diplomas At Commencement Monday Night, Zephyrhills News, June 5, 1942

Zephyrhills High School graduated its first war-time senior class Monday night since 1918 with the president of the class being awarded his diploma “in absentia” and a former student, who left school to enlist in World War No. 1 and later making up his high school work, was presented his diploma after twenty-two years. The above mentioned was J. Don Geiger, prosecuting attorney for Pasco County. Also two graduates were George C. Dayton, Attorney for the City of Zephyrhills, Dade City and Board of Public Instruction of Pasco County and Carl Cripe, Principal and teacher in the schools of Pasco County. The processional was played by the high school band and the invocation was given by Reverend. R.B. Womack. Mrs. Gilbert Byrd sang, “and of Hope and Glory,” by Edgar, and the commencement address was given by Dean Edison
Bunting of Tampa University.

Dean Bunting, in a pleasing and interesting talk, pleaded not only with the youths of the graduating class, but with the entire assembly, “to be true to the best that is in you.” Be true to the best your school gave you and to be true to the best in your country. D.A. Storms, Chairman of the Pasco County School Board, presented the diplomas. Reverend B.F. Hodnett gave the benediction which was followed by the processional, played by the high school band.

Those graduating were Vernon Shafer, President of the Class; Gilbert Chenkin, Vice President, Alice Jenkins, Secretary, Corabelle Storms, Treasurer, Merrill Cherry, Herman Stone, Emma Kemp, Peggy Shafer, Jean Ann Mundy, Alden Poehner, Alice Ryans, Maureen Chancey, J. Don Geiger, George C. Dayton, and Carl Cripe.

Alden Poehner and Alice Jenkins held the highest scholarship record. Corabelle Storms, outstanding service, and Merrill Cherry, leadership.

The stage was decorated with baskets of carnations, the class flower and red and blue crepe paper. The class colors were used in designing the class motto, “Courage Conquers All Things.”




Seniors Observe Skip Away Day, Zephyrhills News, May 22, 1942

The senior class of the Zephyrhills High School observed the usual Skip Away Day by skipping away to Clearwater Beach for the day last Wednesday, the 13th. The day was spent in swimming in the gulf, playing miniature golf and eating the good things they had brought with them. On the way home they saw Bob Hope in “My Favorite Blonde,” at the Tampa Theatre.
Those present were: Miss Charlotte East, sponsor, Alice Ryals, Peggy Shaffer, Alice Jenkins, Jean Ann Mundy, Emma Kemp, Alden Poehner, Morris Chancey, Merrill Cherry, Corabeel Storms and Nattie Storms. Everyone had an enjoyable time, even if they did come home with a bright red complexion.



Seniors Entertain at Nautical Banquet, Zephyrhills News, May 15, 1942

Juniors of the local High School entertained the Seniors with a Nautical Banquet at the Women’s Club Hall on the evening of May 8. In order to embark the good ship, “Zephyr High,” each guest had to have his passport, furnished with identification, and checked by D.A. Storms, who was the Captain of the ship. The guests entered by means of a “plank” as the juniors sang, “Anchors Aweigh.”

The room was decorated in a red, white, and blue motif. The tables were arranged in the form of an anchor and were covered with red, white and blue crepe paper. Fern arrangements decorated the centers of the tables and a beautiful set of sailboats was displayed at the top of the anchor, which was the officer’s table. The sailor hats served as place cards, and sailors whose trousers were filled with mints were given as favors. Booklets in the form of sailboats contained the program and menu.

Mr. Craig served as Admiral; Mr. Cornelius, Vice Admiral; the trustees and wives, Lt. Commanders; the faculty and wives, Commanders; special guests, Ensign; Seniors, 1st Class Seamen; and the Juniors served as Gobs. The waitresses, Dolores Ferguson and Mary Hart and waiters, Bill Duey and James Richberg, were dressed in sailor suits of red, white and blue. The welcome toast to Seniors was given by Irene Lefler. It was responded to by Gilbert Chenkins. Corabelle Storms gave a toast to Zephyr High and Mrs. Craig bid farewell to the Seniors.  Afterwards, the music began, more guests arrived, and the prom was under way. The whole affair was enjoyed by all and everyone is looking forward to having another one next year.

Note that Thomas Burch Cornelius did in fact have a future date with naval experiences in his career. His daughter, Catherine Cornelius and grandson, Will Cornelius, shared the following biography/obit. Published in the Tampa Tribune on February 3, 2001:

Thomas Burch Cornelius-“Born in Nashville, Tennessee on December 2, 1909, he moved to Florida at the age of ten. After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Florida, he served as principal of the public high schools in Alachua, Hardee, Madison, and Pasco Counties and culminated his 46 year career as Headmaster of the Sanford Naval Academy in Sanford, Florida. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Sanford and a member of the Kiwanis Club for over 40 years.”



High Schools To Aid In the War Program, Dade City Banner, September 4, 1942

Burch Cornelius and Miss Nina Percival Attend University of Florida Program.

Tallahassee—September 3—Florida’s high school pupils were urged today to face the future by selecting “those so-called hard subject which make good soldiers and skilled workers—mathematics and physical science.”

This “call to the colors” on the part of pupils is made by 66 high school teachers and principals who spent the month of August at the University of Florida studying ways of making mathematics and physics of greater value in the war effort. Most of them have been studying theory of flight, the weather and air navigation.

This group of teachers along with others doing similar work at other colleges was commended today by State Superintendent English for their active assistance in adjusting the public schools to war needs.  

Pasco County Schools were represented by T. Burch Cornelius of Zephyrhills and Nina Irene Percival of Dade City. This program was sponsored by the State Department of County Superintendents. Paul Eddy of the State Department was organizing chairman. A report of recommended policies includes the following:

Wartime Physics and Mathematics Essentials should be taught this year in all senior high schools and should be considered as basic pre-flight education.

Physics: A Wartime course in physics should be taught to all senior and junior boys and is recommended for senior girls.

The schools which have inadequate equipment there should be a discarded gas engine taken apart and cleaned up for detail study of physical principles. Teaching should be for mastery of essential concepts rather than covering the whole book with special opportunities for more talented pupils.

Mathematics: In general, algebra should be required as a ninth grade subject and the course should be adjusted for the practical wartime needs of the pupil. Second year algebra and geometry should be taught in the tenth and eleventh grade. Trigonometry should be required of all senior boys who have had one year of algebra and one year of plane geometry.
Mathematics Essentials should be required of all senior boys and recommended for all senior girls who have not had algebra…




Musical Comedy Presented, Zephyrhills News, April 10, 1942

Mrs. Mildred Byrd, Director, Promises A Good Performance


The Glee Club of the high school will present the musical comedy, “Pickles,” on Friday evening, April 17 at 8:15 EWT in the high school auditorium. Admission will be 15 cents and 25 cents, tax included.

Following a synopsis of the comedy and the cast of characters.

Jonas H. Pennington, an American millionaire, with his daughter, June, arrives in Vienna amidst preparations for the annual carnival. To his consternation, he finds Jones, his advertising expert advertising Pennington’s Plater Piper Pickles too well. An old acquaintance, Lady Vivian, a wealthy English woman, also arrives on her annual quest in search of her daughter, who was lost near Vienna at carnival time when a baby. Kinski, the pompous police chief, plots to substitute the lost child of Lady Vivian and marry her for the fortune.

A band of Gypsies visits the carnival lead by Jign, the chieftain, and his supposed daughter, Iona. Events lead all to the Gypsy camp, where a magic pool reveals the face of Lady Vivian’s daughter. Arthur Crefont, a poor artist, wins recognition for his act and also the hand of June Pennington. Lady Vivian consents to become Mrs. Pennington; Kinski’s plot is exposed; Ilona is restored to her mother and Jones is rewarded with success in his campaign for the hand of Iona. Cast includes:

•   Hans Maier, Proprietor of the Surtzelpraeter Inn, played by Norman Turner.
•   Louisa, a waitress, played by Dena Royal.
•   Captain Kinski, chief of detective bureau of Vienna, played by Willie Smith.
•   Bumski, Kinski’s faithful sleuths, played by Billy Womack and Billy Duey.
•   J. Jennison Jones, an advertising expert, played by Sanford Delk.
•   Jigo, a Hungarian Gypsy, played by Billy Green.
•   Dona, a Gypsy Girl, played by Mary Hart.
•   Arthur Crefont, a young American artist, played by Bobby Kersey.
•   June Pennington, an American heiress, played by Corabelle Storms.
•   Jonas H. Pennington, proprietor of “Peter Piper Pickles,” played by Ruby Jane Snider.
•   Viennese girls and Gypsies are Roberta Branch, Evelyn Dorman, Delores Ferguson, Dorothy Gonzales, Barbara Ann Hammett, Mildred Jones, Christine Krusen, and Isabelle Baggett.
•   Viennese men: Theodore Mayor, Dickie Lippincott, Dick Green, Albert Royal, Ralph Mott, Buddy Nickerson and George Snider.
•   Waiters played by: Billie Hamilton, Billy Parsons and John Price.
•   Tourists played by Normanell Clardy, Joy Holden, June Eply, Irene Lefler, Lucile Mayor, Mary Eloise Pollock, Betty Lee Rawlinson, Edna Thornberry, Kathryn Wright and Dorothy Lowe.



Bulldogs Step Up to the Plate, St. Petersburg Times, May 13, 2000, Section: Pasco Times

The Zephyrhills High School baseball team has a chance to make history next week - its first state championship. Maurice Humphries admits his strength was as a fielder when he played high school baseball more than 50 years ago. "I was a very poor hitter," he said, "but I was really good defensively." And his team?  "We were fair," Humphries said. "I can't remember us ever setting the world on fire." On Friday, the former Zephyrhills infielder and outfielder came out to see his old team.
Humphries was one of about 75 fans who watched this season's Zephyrhills baseball team, which is headed to the state final four for the first time since 1970, during fan appreciation night at John F. Clements Field. "They're the best," said Humphries, who graduated in 1942. "I've really enjoyed it. They're all good boys. I've enjoyed watching them and have been following them for years."

The Bulldogs, who will play Bishop Kenny in a Class 4A semifinal at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Legends Field in Tampa, took batting practice, held a home run-hitting contest and scrimmaged while fans watched and answered trivia questions to win whole watermelons.

"I haven't missed a home game in 10 years," said 78-year-old Art Fish, who's followed Zephyrhills baseball the last 20 years. "This is the best team I've ever seen."

The home run contest was the obvious highlight of the evening because Zephyrhills, which has a 31-2 record and a No. 8 national ranking, has hit a state record 63 home runs this season.

Junior outfielder Danny Wardell won the contest by launching 15 home runs, some flying as far as the football field well beyond the left field fence and others hitting the top of portable classrooms set behind the right-centerfield fence. “They're all hitting the ball, not just home runs," said Humphries, who is hosting a dinner for the team after practice on Tuesday. "They all hit the ball well. Usually there's one or two that slumps at times, but they're coming through when they need to."

The Bulldogs' historic season has gripped not only the fans who came out Friday but the community as well, from the lunch counters to the pulpits to City Hall. Everywhere you go, people in town are talking about the team and speculating about its chances for bringing home the school's first state title in baseball. Win or lose, said Mayor Roy Burnside, the team has made Zephyrhills proud.

"People really get behind winners," said Burnside, whose grandnephew, Brooks Boyette, is the team's catcher. "Especially when it's your hometown. "They're a great part of Zephyrhills, and we need to crow about them." From Gary Coon, who came out Friday with a camera to take pictures of any future professional baseball players who might be playing for Zephyrhills right now, to the drivers who drive slowly on the road outside the stadium to the Rev. Buddy Hollyfield of the First Presbyterian Church, the team's fan base extends beyond Zephyrhills High School's parents and students.

"People are really getting excited," Hollyfield said. "I hope they go all the way."

Hollyfield said the Bulldogs have more on their side than prolific home run hitters and dominating pitching. "I've been praying for them all along," he said. "Why do you think they've gotten this far?"


Seniors. Maurice Humphries, Tommy Dowell, Corabelle Storms, Alice Ryals, Jean Ann Mundy, Carol Baroge, Sponsor; Alice Jenkins, Marjorie Sanders, Laurence Ferguson, Vernon Shaffer, Merrill Cherry, Eloise Green, Hermon Stone, Alden Poehner, Maurice Chancey, Mildred Warnook, Gilbert Chenkin, Emma Kemp and Velcon Arnold


Seniors. 1. Alice Jenkins, 2. Peggy Shafer, 3. Jean Ann Mundy, 4. Emma Kemp, 5. Alice Ryals, 6. Corabelle Storms, 7. Alden Poehner, 8. Miss Charlotte East, Sponsor/Teacher, 9. Vernon Shaffer, 10. Merrill Cherry.

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