HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Highlights of 1955

Twenty-Seven Boys Receive Belts And Badges As New School Safety Patrol Takes Obligation of Office, Zephyrhills News, October 18, 1955

James Jarrett, Jr. as captain headed the 26-member Zephyrhills School Safety Patrol in receiving obligations of office in the school auditorium Monday night. Sam. A. Bennett, representing the Tampa Motor Club, was in charge of the impressive installation ceremonies.

Introduced by Assistant Principal, E.L. Kretschmar, patrol teacher-supervisor, Bennett said the Motor Club is proud to provide belts, AAA patrol badges, membership cards, safety patrol handbooks and standard rules for operating school patrols to units on the 19-county area served by the organization.

He commended city officials, Police Officer Bill Cook, school authorities and 24 civic and fraternal organizations with representatives seated on stage for their interest in the welfare of the children of the community.


Heads Educators, Zephyrhills News, October 18, 1955

Mrs. Rosemary Wallace Trottman, a resident and native of Zephyrhills and prominent in Pasco County and Florida educational circles for many years, has been selected president of District 8 of Florida Education Association. District Eight comprises Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando Counties. Elected at the annual meeting in Tampa last Friday, Mrs. Trottman had served during the past years as associational vice president. The new president is a graduate of Zephyrhills High School. She received the LI degree at the University of Florida, the Bachelor of Arts degree at Florida Southern and a Master’s Degree at Florida State University.


School Daze by Susanne Coolidge, Zephyrhills News, October 21, 1955

The ZHS Bulldogs suffered a 41-14 defeat last Friday night from the Pasco High Pirates of Dade City. Their one great consoulment, however, is that they were the first to score against the tough Dade City team so far this season. The boys played a fine game (as they always do) and it was greatly enjoyed by the many enthusiastic fans who were there.

The dance, sponsored by the junior class, was well attended by both ZHS and Dade City students. The cake walk winner was Coach Thomas Webb. He received a very delicious looking coconut frosted cake. J.W. Wells was the highest bidder for the second cake, which looked equally as inviting as the first. In fact it looked a little too inviting. I’m afraid because all the kids practically trampled poor J.W. who was trying to preserve at least a crumb of his “much bickered over” prize. The lucky guy of the evening was Charles Bloom who won the door prize.


Route of Hallowe’en Costume Parade from Downtown to School Announced, Zephyrhills News, Oct. 21, 1955

The PTA Hallowe’en Carnival Costume Parade will assemble at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, October 29 at the corner of 5th avenue and 8th street. It will march to the City Hall, proceed up 5th Avenue to 11th Street, and move north to the school grounds, where the judging will take place The parade will be lead by the Zephyrhills High School Band under the direction of John T.V. Clark, the band master. It is hoped that the band members will appear in Hallowe’en costumes.


Six Seniors Win High Honors, Zephyrhills News, June 3, 1955

Top scholarship honors in the 1955 senior class of Zephyrhills high school went to Bunnie Sue Sibley, who won the valedictorian medal, and Ruth Aldacosta, salutatorian medal. It was revealed last night at commencement exercises. Miss Sibley’s average for four years was 3.91; Miss Aldacosta’s was 3.85.

Awards presentations were in charge of Mrs. Margaretta C. Witt, Pasco County School Board member, assisted by Supervising Principal D.G. McPherson. High honors went to:

-Citizenship—Shirley Potter

-School Spirit—Ruth Aldacosta

-Athletics (boys)—Arnell Canaday

-Athletics (girls)—Donna Daniels

Miss Shirley Ann Potter and Irwin Wheeler were named queen and king of the Zephyrhills school annual, Zephilsco, in ceremonies presided over by J. Marion Brantley, annual staff adviser.  

The selection of annual royalty, an innovation here, was made from photographs submitted to a panel of judges headed by Al Riley of Van Dyke Studios of Tampa. Apparent personality, poise, character, scholarship, beauty or handsomeness were used as measuring sticks for judging.


Just Around the Corner at ZHS by Shirley Dixon, Zephyrhills News, May 27, 1955

The Girl’s State Representative is Sarah Peck. The Boy’s Sates Representative is James Jarrett. Congratulations to you both.

The Seniors had a fine time on their class trip to St. Augustine and Daytona Beach.

The Student Council will hold its first primary election today. Those competing for offices are as follows: President Lamar Massey, Curtis Craig; vice-President: Ada McAllister, Joe Thorne; Secretary, Martha Brown, Ruth King, George Trebour; Treasurer, Silvia Sutton, Richard Kirk

The Juniors have been very busy preparing for the Prom and Banquet which is tonight at 7:00. “By the way, I know the theme, but I won’t tell—Honest.”

The band did a swell job at the State Contest in Jacksonville May 12-14. Superior ratings were received in sight-reading and marching. Excellent was received in concert music. Louise Thompson and Darby Witham, both received excellent in student conducting. Joe Thorne received superior for his tuba solo and Melba Atkinson received excellent for her sax solo. Congratulations band.


ZHS Junior Class Play Slated Tonight in Auditorium, Zephyrhills News, April 15, 1955

Tonight, Friday, April 15, at 8:00 o’clock, the Junior Class of Zephyrhills is presenting a rib-tickling mystery comedy entitled, “Finders Creepers,” in the high school auditorium.

The story of the play concerns two boys, Wilbur Maxwell and Hercules Nelson who wanted to spend the week-end with Hercules’ aunt and uncle. So, with suitcases in hand, the boys arrive at Uncle Bob’s set for a big weekend. What the boys don’t know is that Uncle Bob is a mortician. Needless to say, the boys are terrified. When dead bodies start walking around, it’s not long till things start happening in ways that would put most brave men to flight. Wilbur and Hercules decide to find out what is going on, and matters soon go from bad to worse to terrible.

The cast of characters is as follows: James Jarrett as Wilbur Maxwell, a pocket-sized version of the atomic bomb; Alex Allen as Hercules Nelson, Wilbur’s bosom pay; Gail Smith as Celeste, the object of Wilbur’s affection; Nell Locke as Nina Quigley, the bright spot in Hercules’ usually blackened eye; Margaret Seppanen as Frankie, a live wire whose main love is mystery stories, Kay Crawford as Aunt Mary, the one stabilizing factor in the whole household; Richard Mattingly as Uncle Bob, the jovial mortician; Voncell Clardy as Granny, a real “ball of fire” and hep-cat; James Jones as Mr. Quigley, and a hep-cat who falls head over heels in love with Granny; Lamar Massey as Dr. Brown, a very handsome man with a winning smile and cordial disposition; Natescha Betterman as Madeline, possesses very penetrating eyes and gives the impression that she has never smiled; Curtis Craig as Harry Schuster, a very suspicious looking and acting fellow; Ellen Heath as Daphne, always wearing a smirk on her face with a very forlorn look; James Dennison as Claude, a friendly person who loves to talk and joke. Prompters are Carol Sibley and Lillian Cone. Other members of the Junior Class have helped with this play as stage managers, ticket sellers, and other very important parts of making this production a success. The Junior class is very grateful to Mrs. Constance Kaylor for directing and guiding them in this play, and also to Mr. Brantley for contributing his time and efforts to our cause.

Thanks also go to Cunningham Furniture for supplying us with the lovely furniture.


Zephyrhills News, July 30, 1977

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

….The pledge to the flag was led by Major George McGavern, Class of 1955 of Lompoc, California, who was the graduate who had come from the farthest distance. The Class of 1955 with George McGavern; Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Partridg, his wife and daughter who are leaving soon for three years duty with the Air Force in Athens, Greece.


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……

H.D. Pollock of Zephyrhills, Class of 1935, was elected President of the 1979 ZHS Alumni and Friends. Serving with him will be R.A. “Bob” Booth of Dade City, class of 1946, Mrs. Arneta Howard Ferguson of Zephyrhills, Class of 1955, Secretary; and Mrs. Martha Mae Keller of Zephyrhills Class of 1951, Treasurer.


Local PTA Meeting March 17 to Feature Student Program, Zephyrhills News, March 11, 1955

The Zephyrhills Parent-Teacher’s association particularly urges the parents of high school students to attend the regular monthly meeting of the organization on Thursday, March 17 at 8 p.m. in the High school auditorium.
Shirley Dixon and Cullen Smith are co-chairman of the student program about vocations. Working with them are two high school faculty members, J. Marion Brantley and Mrs. Florence Brown.

Original skits contrasting the right and the wrong way of selecting one’s life work will be presented. These skits will tell about vocations that boys and girls may follow upon graduation from high school. These should prove a valuable source of information as well as an entertainment. We hope that a great number of parents will attend.

Mrs. Esther Fedor, the local president, announces that three important items of business for the meeting include: l) the selection of the nominating committee; 2) the choice of the P.T.A. project; and 3) the reading of the changes in the by-laws.
John T.V. Clark, the bandmaster, states that Joe Thorn, sousaphone player and Melba Adkinson, baritone saxophone player will give the selections played at the band contest in Clearwater. Joe, accompanied by Miss Dorris Gorrecht, has chosen Romance and Scherzo as his number. Melba, accompanied by Bunnie Sue Sibley will play Jota.

We urge you to support our P.T.A. and our schools by coming to hear what the students have prepared for Students’ Night on the P.T.A. program.


PTA Reception for Faculty Held Thursday Night, Zephyrhills News, September 24, 1954

The reception at which the Zephyrhills PTA honored the 1954-55 faculty on Thursday evening was thought to be one of the nicest ever held here.

Following the Star Spangled Banner and a salute to the Flag, Mrs. Clyde Morrill gave the devotional. Mrs. Charles Campbell, accompanied by Miss Alice Zimmerman sang, “Bless this House” and “The Builder.” Mrs. Esther Fedor, president, presided over a short business session during with Mrs. W.B. Hill was selected secretary-treasurer and committee chairmen were introduced.

Julian Baggett, membership chairman, announced 500 members as the goal for the year and invited the cooperation of parents and teachers in attaining this goal; Blue Ribbon Chairman Kenneth Higginson pointed up the need for enrolling as many fathers as possible. Mrs. Ben Jones told of carnival plans. Mrs. Fred Gill of study groups to be held and nursery service was announced to be supervised by Mrs. John Urban and the Camp Fire girls.

Mrs. Mabel Campbell won the elementary and Mrs. Frances Brown the ‘High School Room Counts’ and the Good Luck seat prize, a year’s subscription to the PTA magazine went to Mrs. E.A. Roder.

An interesting informative program entitled, “What’s new In the Little Red School House” featured Mrs. Theo Ashley and Robert Mills, Pasco County speech and reading specialists, respectively. Merle Bright was master of ceremonies-Pointing up speech disorders and causes for reading failures the specialists conducting the two phases of the exceptional child program being tried out in this county gave detailed explanations of their work and told of the need of cooperation by both parents and faculty members to make this work successful. Additional phases are to be incorporated in the program from time to time.


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 Community Center, first-comers set up tables, food and drinks, directed by a planning committee that had established an agenda and had worked long hours on planning the event. They included Mr. and Mrs. Jack Greene and Mrs. Ray (Anna Greene) Farmer, secretary of the ZHS Alumni and Friends and a member of the Class of 1954.


FFA News by David McKee Reporter, Zephyrhills News, September 24, 1954

The Zephyrhills Chapter Future Farmers of America, elected officers by secret ballot last week and a general membership meeting was held Tuesday night. Officers selected for the year are as follows: President: Edward Massey; Vice President: John Partridge; Secretary: Monroe Boyette; Treasurer: Nathan Geiger; Reporter: David McKee; Sentinel: Frank Weicht; Advisor, Robert C. Brown, Agricultural Teacher.

At the meeting Tuesday night, membership dues were established and November 1st was set as a tentative date for the initiation of new members. Several possibilities for social events were discussed, but a decision was postponed until the next regular meeting. Nathan Geiger, Treasurer, reported on the financial condition of the Chapter.  After the meeting adjourned, Lamar Massey entertained the group with his guitar.


Founder’s Day Letter to the News Editor, Zephyrhills News, March 8, 2007
By Janet Johnson Cruver, 1957 Zephyrhills High Graduate

Dear Editor:

It was 1955. The ZHS 10th grade history class was buzzing with unrestrained chatter. When the tardy bell rang, the door opened and the decibel level dropped instantly. All eyes swung toward the doorway where Coach (Thomas)Webb ushered a strange man into the room. We had seen this stranger in the hallway, but this was our first close-up view. His feet CL-UMPED across the wooden plank floor with an extra offbeat clump added by his cane. One leg was encased in a metal brace that fastened under his shoe and extended over his knee. A special cane embraced his arm above the elbow. As the braced leg was shorter, he walked with a deliberate rock to one side and then a normal step.

We all looked at one another questioningly. What was this man doing here? Had coach asked him to talk to us about the war? None of us knew. Then our teacher turned to the class.

“I’d like to introduce you to Stanley B. Kendrick. He will be student teaching during the next six weeks and I trust you will all co-operate fully with him as he is completing his last requirement toward his teaching degree.”

A number of years later at our 25th high school reunion, Mr. Kendrick sat in an honorary seat, tears on his cheeks as one after another young men stood and gave him credit for keeping them in school through graduation. In those two years after student teaching, he was entrenched in the lives of the students in his charge. His love and compassion overshadowed the CL-UMP, CL-UMP of his unnatural gait. It was common to see him standing in a corner of the hallway, his arm slung over the shoulders of a young man, deep in conversation. At the time of that high school reunion, he was still doing the same for our children and his name was synonymous with respect.

In 1955, because of his disabilities, some of us had assumed he had been wounded in the Korean conflict but at our reunion that year, I learned the rest of the story. Our assumptions had been wrong. It seems that while serving in the military, he had contracted polio, a dreaded disease at the time, with no cure. Dr. Saulk had not yet discovered the vaccine that saved millions of lives, most of them children. Medical professionals had no idea what caused the deadly disease. Those who contracted it, both children and adults, and who survived, either lived out their lives in an iron lung, which breathed for them, or left them paralyzed, blind or with multiple other disabilities. In Mr. Kendrick’s case, his legs and arms were affected. His face was drawn, much the same as if he had suffered a stroke.

It could have been easy for him to have said, “Teaching? I can’t do that! Look at my face. And I can’t walk right. How could I control a classroom? I don’t want to be pitied or laughed at.”

But he chose not to do that. Instead, he enrolled in college, and ended up in a small school system where he became a giant in the eyes of thousands of students.

Because of his big heart and enormous love for children and young people, his disabilities didn’t matter. They didn’t see his problems; they felt his concern and the fact that he truly cared about them. Thus they responded to his care with respect.
Speaking for the thousands he mentored, thank you Mr. Kendrick and may there be more like you!

Janet Johnson Cruver, 1957 Graduate of Zephyrhills High


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.


Class of 1955 Reunion Draws 15 with 3 Out of State, Zephyrhills News, July 3, 1980

The graduating class of 1955 held its 25th year reunion at the Community Center, Zephyr Park, Saturday. Fifteen class members were welcomed by Ernest Peeples, Class President to an evening of food fellowship and 1950’s music.
Attending from out of state were Bunnie Sue Sibley Wheeler of Cabot, Arkansas; Sylvia Hill Street and husband, I.C., of Port Neches, Texas and Jerry Braxton and wife, Gloria, of Townsend, Georgia.

Attending from out-of-town in Florida were Billie Jane K’Lapp Barone and husband, Johnny of Cocoa Beach; Harold Daniels and wife, Jorja, of Tampa; Robert Frost and wife, Louise of Riverview; and Ralph Ross of Indialantic. Attending from Zephyrhills were Sarah Humphries Weicht, Louie Sellars, Duane Lorenz and wife, Jan, Craig Miller and wife, Liz, Floyd Kersey and wife, Barbara; Edward Massey and wife, Donna; Ernest Peeples and wife, Jimmie; and Louise Thomson Lashley and husband, Howard.

Special guests for the evening were Coach Johnny Clements and wife, Beanie. Recognition was given Bunnie Sue Sibley Wheeler for having traveled the greatest distance.


New ZHS lunchroom building constructed in 1955


Zephyrhills High School “Mr. Mac” Closes 27-Year Career to Begin New Duties, Zephyrhills News, June 17, 1955

D.G. McPherson, supervising principal of the Zephyrhills Schools for the past four years and Mrs. McPherson will leave Wednesday for Tampa, where they will reside.
A native of Greensboro, Gadsden County, Florida, “Mr. Mac” as he is familiarly known, received his higher education at Florida Southern College in Lakeland and his master’s degree from the University of Florida. After teaching in Mulberry, Wauchula, Gadsden County, Port St. Joe, Cottondale, Webster, Dade City, and Zephyrhills for 27 years, he is retiring and will manage the River Terrace Housing Project in Seminole Heights, Tampa.

McPherson served in the army for a year. He is a deacon of First Baptist Church and has taken an active part in civic affairs. A member of the Lion’s Club, he was chairman for the 1966 Pioneer Day, held annually under the auspices of the club, and also served as co-chairman of the club’s eyesight conservation program. He is a mason and a member of the Quarterback Club.

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