HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Highlights of 1949

News Article from Zephyrhills News, June 10, 1949

Principal is Leon Luckenbach and members of the class are Mary Louise Allen, Gerard W. Bodenburg, Lovie F. Bolden, John S. Bryant, Billy C. Douglas, Mary Ellen Ellerbe, John W.A. Gallagher, Malvin A. Hinsz, Herbert L. McGinnis, Betty Jean Thomas, Patricia L. Thomson and Alton Tyre.

Awards were presented to John S. Bryant for the Student Council Medal and to Valedictorian, Alton Tyre. The Salutatorian, Patricia L. Thomson received the DAR Medal.


ZHS Alumni Boost Stadium Fund, Zephyrhills News, June 9, 1978

Special introductions were made for D.A. Storms of Plant City; the earliest ZHS graduate present, class of 1914 and a longtime school board member, church and civic leader and merchant of Zephyrhills. Among his interesting remarks is a touching comment that “Zephyrhills will always be home.” This sentiment was echoed by many others who now reside away from the old hometown. Storms said he was on the school board when the first school buses were purchased for Zephyrhills schools. Until then pupils were transported in privately-owned trucks and cars and paid on contract. Mrs. Betty Jean Thomas Lott, Class of 1949, remembered that her mother had been one of those contract drivers. Mrs. Grace Cripe Dew, Class of 1921, also remarked that she had been both a teacher and contract driver and was paid more for her job as driver than as teacher!


Junior Class Play To Be Presented Tonight, Zephyrhills News, April, 22, 1949

Tonight the Junior class of Zephyrhills High School will present the annual class play at 8 o’clock in the school auditorium. “Brides to Burn” is the three-act comedy selected this year.

The class players include: Tillie Pracher, Bobby Clardy, Virginia Wasner, Jaynell LeHeup, Jock England, Earl Wells, Jean Lefler, Johnny Jones, Nancy Skinner, Roberta Leeson, and Ronald Bright.


Plea For Help To Get New Uniforms, Zephyrhills News, February 11, 1949
by Leon Luckenbach, Supervising Principal Zephyrhills Schools

Two years ago the Zephyrhills school could not boast of a band. In previous years the school allegedly had a band but the vestige of the organization was very slim. Malcolm Goforth and his wife last year endeavored to create an interest in instrumental music. It was through their unstinting and patient efforts that a nucleus was formed for the present band.

Whereas the band was in its infancy and in swaddling clothes, figuratively, it is now a full-fledged band with over 30 members. The difficulties encountered last year were one by one overcome this near, namely: Lack of pupil interest. This year as a direct result of expert instruction and full-time band leadership a wave of enthusiasm has spurred the students in joining the band.

Lack of instruments. The Pasco County School Board contributed $250 for the purchase of band equipment. The Community Chorus under the direction of M.S. Brooks, donated the proceeds of last year’s performance, $77.50. Using the band money as a rotating fund it was possible to purchase individual band instruments for resale to the children without profit to the school. This fund enabled the school to expedite the purchase of instruments and yet not create a hardship on the parents purchasing the instruments which were paid for by installments by the parents to the school.

Lack of music: The P.T.A. donated $100 to be used for the purchase of music. Furthermore, our present band director can compose or orchestrate music.

Lack of band uniforms. A complete set of 40 caps and capes at a cost of $60 was bought from the Lakeland High School. 

The PTA financed the purchase and renovation of the used uniforms. The inadequacy of the present uniforms has posed a new problem. Are we to buy a new set of military-type uniforms?

Here is our plan:

The visor-type hat will cost approximately $5 each. The City Council has donated $100 and the PTA will contribute. Is the acquisition of these uniforms a temporal need? Are we to wait and casually shrug our shoulders in futile acquiescence and postpone the purchase till a later date? Why, if a financial depression hits this country in the next few years will we be able to buy them then? If we need the uniforms now—let’s get them!

Are you aware that in future years the band will need a repertoire of at least $1,000 worth of music? Do you know the price of large instruments which the students will not be able to purchase, due to the prohibitive prices? One sousaphone, second-hand, costs at least $250.

And last but not least, a matter not to be easily overlooked, will we be able to keep a good bandmaster at this school with a poorly outfitted band?

And in the last appeal, can we overlook the industry and ability of our present bandmaster, John T.V. Clark, Jr? He is directly responsible for the success of the band. He deserves our highest admiration and cooperation. For your information so that you will not question the continuance of the band, Mr. Clark has publicly announced that he will gladly return next year.

If you are convinced that this appeal for contributions for band uniforms is given in good faith, and in urgency, will you please make your contribution to Mr. Clark at the Zephyrhills school.



Dr. Clara Olsen Talks At Commencement On Tuesday Evening, Zephyrhills News, June 10, 1949

—Overflow Crowd Attends Graduation Exercises

Twelve graduates, the smallest class in many years, received their diplomas at exercise in the school auditorium, Tuesday evening.  An overflow crowd attended the commencements.

Presenting the diplomas to the graduates was I. A. Krusen, chairman of the school board trustees. Those receiving diplomas were: Mary Louise Allen, Gerard W. Bodenburg, Lovie F. Bolden, John S. Bryant, Billy C. Douglas, Mary Ellen Ellerbe, John W.A. Gallagher, Malvin A. Hinsz, Herbert L. McGinnis, Betty Jean Thomas, Patricia L. Thomson and Alton Tyre. Mrs. Margeritte Witt, member of school board presented Alton Tyre with a scholarship to Florida Southern College. Mrs. Witt also presented Alton Tyre with a year’s subscription to Reader’s Digest which is given to all school valedictorians by that magazine.

Patricia Thomson was given the DAR medal for good citizenship. The Senior Class president’s medal went to Gerard Bodenburg. John Bryant received the student council’s President’s medal. The American Legion good citizenship awards went to David Vestal and Joan Braden, eighth graders.

Following the presentation of awards, County School Superintendent Mary St. Clair presented certificates for good attendance to Patricia Anne Smith, Beverly Ann Bolt, James Elimaker, Patricia Thomson, Joyce Ida Baker, Helena Mae Rexroad, Mary Green, Anna Green, Loyd Davis and Faye Wetherington.

Dr. Clara Olsen, of the University of Florida spoke to the graduating class on “What Makes an Educated Person.” In her talk, Mrs. Olsen said that people should broaden their lives by believing in other people. She brought out that great academic training and degrees did not always constitute an educated man but that the common man created a great deal to civilization. Mrs. Olsen in her presentation was very informal and appealed to all with her address.

Following Dr. Olsen’s address, Alton Tyre gave a brief farewell address for the Senior Class. John Bryant on behalf of the Senior Class presented gifts to Dr. Olsen, school principal, Leon Luckenbach and O.L. Parker, class sponsor.

The school chorus sang, “The –Chord” at the closing of the exercises. Luckenbach acted as Master of Ceremonies.  Miss Marilyn Skinner, Miss Margaret Hill were pianists and M. S. Brooks served as music director.



Zephyrhills High School Is on Spacious Grounds Near to City, Zephyrhills, 1949.

Generous Welcome Is offered Visitors to School

Ideally located on an elevation several blocks from the business district of the city, the main building of Zephyrhills High School extends across the block from Tenth to Eleventh Streets. On the spacious front lawn is a large attractive fish pond which is a job and a fascination for the children.

And what are all these other buildings grouped about this structure? That delightful modern house at the east is the home of the Principal, Mr. Luckenbach and his delightful family. The roomy cottage next door belongs to the newly-decorated and enlarged Home Economics Department where the girls work so happily under the direction of Mrs. Marjorie Parantha.

Then comes the large, severe appearing Agriculture Building, the domain of the boys. Mr. Gill has charge of the work here. The recently constructed six-roomed Elementary Building completes the row of school buildings along this side of the street. 

However, facing them are the well equipped Lunch Room and Science Building.

Members of the High School faculty not already mentioned are: Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Atwater, Mrs. Kaylor, Mrs. Gill Matthew, Miss Skinner, Mr. Clements, Mr. Parker, Mr. Clark and Miss Clement.

Our very able and active principal is assisted by an extremely efficient secretary, Mrs. Parker.

Recent gifts of a recording machine, an intercommunication system and various equipment for visual and contribute toward the general atmosphere of progress.

The students, many of whom come by bus from country destinations are agreeable, courteous and alert. They appear to have a pride in their school and in its various activities but are eager to secure more adequate playgrounds, laboratory equipment and gymnasium.

The school welcomes visitors and greatly appreciates having the interest of the parents expressed at P.T.A. meetings and at all other school functions. Great gains have been made in our Florida schools during the last few years and credit is due to all the people of the state, school and lay persons.

But what is ahead? Our problems are certainly ones to be solved and we must be ever watchful in leading our youth to an understanding that the problems of human relations an brotherhood is one which their generation must solve in one way or another. They may be amazed to learn that statesmen have known the correct answers for years but have lacked the courage to do much about it. For that reason, we have endured wars and destruction.

Our youth, then, must awaken to the great problem that confronts our nation and the world: that we shall now have “to become one world in reality of have no world at all.”

The community of Zephyrhills realizes that it is its duty, then to train its youth mentally and physically for citizenship in the only country left where liberty and justice are the keynotes of democracy.


Dade City Kiwanis Club Hears Talk by John Bryant, Zephyrhills News, June 10, 1949

John Bryant, member of the 1949 graduating class of the Zephyrhills High School, was invited to speak before the Dade City Kiwanis Club. Tuesday noon.

Bryant spoke on the topic: “To Make Democracy Live.” George C. Dayton Jr., legislative member, spoke briefly of the work accomplished in Tallahassee.

Outstanding Shows to Play at Home Theatre Soon

Sid Landers, Manager, Announces Run of Big Hits

Sid Landers, manager of the Home Theatre, announced this week the scheduling of some late hits and one or two shows playing about the same time they make their first run in Tampa.

Among some of the outstanding hits to play here this month are: “When My Baby Smiles at Me,” “The Paleface,” with Bob Hope and Jane Russell, Gene Autry in “The Strawberry Roan,” and “The Babe Ruth Story.” Hits coming later are” “Connecticut Yankee,” “Little Women,” “Red Canyon,” “Command Decision,” “Sun Comes Up,” “Family Honeymoon,” and “Big Jack” Wallace Berry’s last picture.


Photos from Zephyrhills News:

Caption says: Here are the Zephyrhills High school “Bulldogs” for 1949. Coach Johnny Clements is shown at right and Assistant Coach “Happy” Clark at the left.


High School Seniors Entertained at Supper Last Friday, Zephyrhills News, 1949

Mrs. Fred B. Warren assisted by Mrs. P.M. England, entertained the local high school seniors and guests at a supper served in the social room of the Florida Power Corporation Friday night.

On Mrs. Warren’s guest list were Principal and Mrs. L.R. Luckenbach, Coach and Mrs. John F. Clements and School Secretary and wife of the senior sponsor, Mrs. O. L. Parker.  

All of the thirteen seniors were in attendance, accompanied by their class sponsor, Mr. O.L. Parker. Seniors present were Patricia Thomson, Lovie Bolden, Mary Ellen Ellerbe, Mary Louise Allen, Betty Jean Thomas, John Gallagher, Billy Douglas, Malvin Hinsz, Alton Tyre, Will Tilley, Gerard Bodenburg, John Bryant, and Herb McGinnis.

The supper consisted of baked ham, mashed potatoes, green peas, h’ors d’oeuvres, hot rolls, ice tea, and dessert of ice cream and cake. Bobby Clardy, “Jook” England and Miss Helen England served the guest. Mrs. Warren is the mother of one senior, Billy Douglas, and is a senior home room mother.


Flags Will be Given School Monday Night, Zephyrhills News, February 25, 1949

Business Association to Give Flags During Show

During the intermission of the minstrel show to be given at the Zephyrhills High School Auditorium next Monday Evening, February 28th at eight o’clock, the Zephyrhills Better Business Association will present American flags to the school. This gift will include the harness and belts for carrying the flags.

Mr. I.A. Krusen, a prominent local citizen, who has long been interested in and done much for our school, will present the flags on behalf of the Better Business Association. A cordial invitation is extended to everyone to come to the Minstrel Show next Monday evening and to attend the presentation of the flags.


Commencement To Be Held Tuesday Night At High School, Zephyrhills News—38th year—No. 31, 1949

Baccalaureate Service Will be Held at Baptist Church

Baccalaureate services for the Senior Class will be held Sunday evening at the First Baptist Church with the Rev. W. Page delivering the sermon. Programs for the evening are as follows:

Prelude: “Priest’s March Mendelssohn
Invocation: Rev. Arthur Austin
Hymn 240 “God of Our Fathers”
Scripture Reading Rev. C. G. McGavern
Song—“Praise the Lord”—School Chorus (Solo: Roberta Leeson).
Prayer: Rev Frank Hartmann
Song—“The Stranger of Galilee”—School Chorus (Solos: Joyce Baker, Earl Wells).
Sermon—Rev. Thomas W. Page
Hymn 236—Lead on, O King Eternal.”
Benediction—Rev. C.C. Hammon
Recessional—Marche Ponticale
Music Director—M.S. Brooks
Pianist—Margaret Hill

Commencement Exercises will be held at the high school auditorium Tuesday evening at 8:00 o’clock when Dr. Clara Olsen of the University of Florida will address the class.

Members of Zephyrhills’ smallest graduation class in recent years are: Mary Louise Allen, Gerard W. Bodenburg, Lovie F. Bolden, Mary Ellen Ellerbe, John W.A. Gallagher, Malvin A. Hinsz, Betty Jean Thomas, Patricia Thomson, Alton Tyre. Caps and gown arrived Thursday morning according to announcement made by Leon Luckenbach, school principal.


ZHS Alumni Boost Stadium Fund, Zephyrhills News, June 9, 1978

A large, enthusiastic crowd of home-towners, out-of-towners, and guests picnicked at the 9th annual reunion of the ZHS Alumni and Friends….gathering before noon at the Zephyr Park….

Picture Caption: “Boys” reunited with their old buddies and Gus Royal, Class of 1946, Thurmond Clardy, Class of 1943, Al Royal, Class of 1946, Bill Tilley, Class of 1949 and Ernie Peeples, Class of 1955 enjoyed cutting the fool just like in their school days.


The above inserts are from Skip Riley’s student handbook.  Handbooks (planners, etc) are thought to be inventions of the decade of the 2000s but this 25 page booklet contains rules, game dates, information and guidelines for the school year. The original is housed at the Zephyrhills Depot Museum in Zephyrhills.

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