HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Highlights of 1954

The Zephyrhills News lists Helen Wells as Salutatorian. It also lists graduation speakers including George Neukom.

Upon interviewing George Neukom on 1/11/2007 about who the Valedictorian was for his graduation year, he said his recollection was Dick Braden. He stated however that Helen Wells was now Helen Wells Winter of Winters Trailer Park

Business and she would most likely remember. Both George and journalist, Chris Drews, indicated that Helen was about to turn age 70.  



Annual Exercises Held Last Night at Home Theatre, Zephyrhills News, June 4, 1954

I.A. Krusen, school trustee, presented diplomas to 31 members of the Zephyrhills High senior class at the annual graduation exercises conducted last night in the Home Theatre building.

The evening’s program was centered around the theme, “Faith in Tomorrow,” and featured speeches by outstanding members of the graduating class including Helen Wells, George Neukom Jr., Dale Vought, Paula Staples, and Richard Braden.

Also on the program was the presentation of awards by Mrs. V.E. Witt, school board member and D.G. McPherson, school principal. Mrs. Witt presented the valedictorian award to Richard “Dick” Braden and the salutatorian award to Helen Wells and the D.A.R. good citizenship medal for girls to Anna Greene.

McPherson presented five awards to honor students selected by the members of the school faculty. Richard Braden received the best all-round student award; George Neukom Jr. the citizenship award; Dale Vought, the best school spirit award; Helen Wells, the most outstanding girl athlete award and H.C. Nesbit, the most outstanding boy athlete award.
Members of the graduating class and what each says he or she plans to do now that high school is complete (is continued on page 6)

Picture caption on this page has the following caption message: “Picture above are the award winners of the 1954 Zephyrhills graduating class named at graduation exercises last night. They are, left to right, Richard Braden, son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul P. Braden; Helen Wells, daughter of Mrs. J.D. Wells and the late Mr. Wells; Anna Greene, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hy Greene, George Neukom Jr, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Neukom Sr; Dale Vought, son of Mr. and Mrs. Grant Vought; and H.C. Nesbitt, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Nesbit.

Honor Students of 1954 as published in the May 8, 1954 Zephyrhills News are: Valedictorian, Richard Braden, Salutatorian, Helen Wells and Dorothy Austin, Lloyd Davis, Anna Green, Bobby Lou Hormuth, Patsy Kline, Joan Lefler, Paula Staples, George Neukom Jr., Phyllis Locke, and Bill Turner.


ZHS Graduation Exercises Planned Thursday Night, Zephyrhills News, May 28, 1954

Commencement exercises for the 1954 graduating class of Zephyrhills high school will get underway tonight at 8 o’clock in the school auditorium when class night will be observed.

Sunday night baccalaureate services will be held in the First Baptist church with Rev. E. C. Tyner, Dade City, delivering the message. Also appearing on the program will be the trio composed of Mrs. Roy Beddingfield, Mrs. Charles Campbell, and Mrs. P.H. Murphy Jr; musical selections by the Z.H.S. Glee Club.

Graduation exercises will be conducted in the Home Theatre Thursday night, June 3, at 8 o’clock. The theme of the program will be “Faith in Tomorrow,” and includes:

The processional, “March of the Priests;” national anthem by congregation; invocation by the Rev. Harry Box; “Faith in the People” by Helen Wells, salutatorian; “Through Social Ideals” by George Neukom, Jr; senior quartet composed of Richard Braden, George Neukom Jr., Norman Pricher and Bill Turner.


Pasco School Board Holds Special Meet Last Monday, Zephyrhills News, May 28, 1954

The Pasco County School Board meeting in special session Monday, heard further discussion concerning the proposed purchase of an elementary school site in Dade City.
A plot of land on the Ft. King road, which was appraised by the Pasco County Board of Realtors at $750 per acre, has been offered the board for $600 an acre. There are 30-34 acres in the plot. The other site under consideration is on 14th street containing 15 acres at a price of $25,000 although the realty board appraises it at $13,000.


School Daze By Miss Shirley Dixon, Zephyrhills News, May 7, 1954

School seems so dull after the exciting events of the prom and banquet. You really have to hand it to the Juniors for decorating. They did a beautiful job. Of course, as everyone by now knows the theme was Hawaiian. The Juniors had Palm trees, leis, colored crepe paper streamers, vivid flowers, and silver stars at various points around the hall. There were even a few beaches lying around. The menu consisting of fried chicken, diced beets, fruit salad, mashed potatoes, tossed salad, rolls, tea, ice cream, and cake was delicious. Those who served did very well.

In the mock election for governor held last Monday, Oldham won. I don’t know how many votes he did receive, but he was way out in front. It will be interesting to see how the real election comes out. How near it will be like the student election, I wonder?

The band will be away today. They have journeyed to Tampa where they will compete in the state band concert. At the district contest last March they received high enough merits to enter the state contest.

Last Wednesday Mr. Brantley and his physics class took a field trip to Oldsmar. They toured the Florida Power Plant there. On arrival the class was divided into three groups and guides took them through the different machine chops, explaining the purpose of each machine. The laboratory and control room were gone through also. One student told me he thought the canal and filter were interesting. After seeing everything the students had cokes and a discussion period. A very educational day I’d say.

The baseball tournament has begun. The first game was played at Brooksville with New Port Richey. We won with a score of 2-1. An excellent beginning.

Juniors are chiefly concerned about getting their class rings.  The rings will arrive any day now. Some of the students are really going to have to dig to pay for them, as the prom and banquet left some of our pockets empty.
Graduation is almost upon us. The seniors however, go about their placid ways unperturbed. They are a busy class these days with last minute preparations for everything. There has been a lot of rivalry between the Seniors and Juniors. Actually I think that the Juniors will sincerely hate to see the Seniors leave. We all shall miss the spirit of rivalry between the two classes.



Zephyrhills News, July 30, 1977

Another enjoyable and successful Zephyrhills High School Alumni and Friends Reunion was held at the Zephyr Park Community Center.  

….New officers elected for the ZHS Alumni Association are: Mrs. Sam (Dena Royal) Craparo, class of 1943, Tampa, President; Mrs. Wayne (Irene Leffer) Fausset, Class of 1943, Brandon, Vice President; Mrs. Bryon (Anna Greene) Farmer, Class of 1954, Zephyrhills, Secretary; and Albert Royal, Class of 1946, Tampa, Treasurer. They will be in charge of the 1978 Reunion and will be assisted by interested alumni and friends in Zephyrhills.


Bulldogs Lose 5-4 Game in Brooksville in WCC Tourney, Zephyrhills News, May 7, 1954

An error in the bottom of the seventh inning last night knocked the Zephyrhills Bulldogs out of the West Coast Conference tournament play in Brooksville.

The Bulldogs, playing top-seeded Brooksville in the semi-finals tied up the ball game in the top of the seventh by pushing across two runs. The first batter up in the seventh walked, reached second on a passed ball, went to third in an infield out, and scored when Kearse booted a slow roller down second base, giving the Leopards a 5-4 victory.

Sapp, besides hurling three hit balls for the Bulldogs, blasted two doubles. Patrick, the winning pitcher was tagged for five hits.

The Crystal River Pirates reached the finals by blanking Wildwood in an afternoon game yesterday. The Leopards and Pirates will meet Saturday night at 8 o’clock on Emerson Field.

In the first round of the tournament the Bulldogs defeated New Port Richey by a 2-1 score, picking up a single runs in each of the first two innings. Kearse hurled four hit balls for the bulldogs and connected for two of the local nine’s six hits.

Next week the Bulldogs will enter the sub-group tournament to be played on Massey Field next Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They are slated to meet Wildwood Thursday night at 8 o’clock, Dunnellon and Crystal River will play Thursday afternoon at 3:30 o’clock. Top-seeded Brooksville and second seeded Dade City drew first round byes and will play the two Thursday winners Friday.


Old Memories Enjoyed at Reunion of Zephyrhills High Class of 1954, Zephyrhills News, June 21, 1979

The reading of the class will and prophecy for the 1954 Zephilsco yearbook was one of the highlights of a 25th anniversary reunion enjoyed Saturday night by 1954 graduates. Twenty-one of the 36 members of the Class of ’54 were on hand for the festivities, highlighted by a banquet at the Holiday Inn in Plant City, and a banquet program.

Norman Pricher of Orlando who served as emcee, gave the banquet welcome while Dale Vought, who for the past several years has been a missionary in Sevilla, Spain, and who was class president, made comments and delivered the banquet invocation.

Following the dinner the material from the Zephilsco was read by Helen Wells Winters of Zephyrhills while Phyllis Geiger Locke of Zephyrhills introduced the graduates attending. Comments about the 15 missing graduates as he remembered them were made by emcee Pricher and the evening closed with fellowship. Special guests of the class of 1954 included Dr. D.G. McPherson of Lake Placid, principal of ZHS in 1954, who has now retired after serving his years (following his time in Zephyrhills) in Georgia, north Florida and on the east coast and at Lake Placid. His wife when he lived in Zephyrhills later died of cancer and his current wife, a former Lake Placid school teacher, accompanied him to the banquet Saturday night. Those attending the reunion and their current locations included: Jimmy Baggett, Lakeland, real estate and insurance; Bill Baker, Atlanta, middle school teacher; Tom Bright, Odessa, engineer with Honeywell; Floyd Cherry, Zephyrhills, DOT, Brian Daniels, Brandon, civil engineer; Anna Green Farmer, Zephyrhills, accountant and EMT; Joan Lefler Glaeser, Gainesville, homemaker and owner of jewelry firm; James Ira Hill, Dunedin, Florida Highway Patrolman, Bobby Lou Sibley Hormuth, Zephyrhills, Pasco County School Supervisor; Phyllis Geiger Locke, Zephyrhills, Flagship Bank Vice President; Louis Loysch, Zephyrhills, Parks Department; H.C. Nesbit, Tampa Supervisor for Weyerhaeuser Company; Eddie McClellan, Tampa, Heritage Ford; George Neukom, Jr, Zephyrhills, Citrus/Merchandising and Banking; Gordon Pitcher, Tampa, accountant; Norman Pricher, Orlando, Certified Public Accountant; Betty Jo Boyette Rickard, Zephyrhills, housewife; Paula Staples Sholly, Santa Ana, California, fourth grade teacher; Dale Vought, Sevilla, Spain, missionary; Helen Wells Winter, Zephyrhills, housewife; Lonnie Whitworth, Zephyrhills, carpenter.

Of the 15 who missed the reunion, their address and occupations, as could be learned are: Dick Braden, Fairborn, Ohio, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel; Nola Howell Clark of Buena Vista, California; Dorothy Austin Dolby of Williamsburg, Pennsylvania; Patsy Ryals Tillis of Seffner and Beulah Arnold Wood of Williamsport, Tennessee, all housewives; Jeanette King Crawford, Zephyrhills, medical secretary with Watson Clinic; Lloyd Davis, Clearwater, accountant; Harold Hinsz, Zephyrhills, owner of steel erection firm; Gerald Jackson, Thonotosassa, estimator; John W. Johnson, St. Petersburg, Art Supervisor for Pinellas County Schools; Kenneth Keen, Bogart, Georgia, life insurance sales manager; Elmer Sapp, Dade City Building Contractor and Bill Turner, Wilson, North Carolina, oil company distributor. There were two graduates of 1954 the group could not locate, Patsy Kline and Keith Witham.

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