HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Highlights of 1967

Zephyrhills High School Learning, Creativity, Living And Values Topics of Speakers—At ZHS Commencement, Zephyrhills News, June 15, 1967

Parents and friends of the Zephyrhills High School Class of 1967, who attended commencement exercises in the high school gym, heard four excellent graduation addresses by four of the outstanding seniors in the class.

The News, because of lack of space, was forced to omit reports of these remarks last week, but wishes to share the thoughts of the class spokesmen with readers this week.

In welcoming the audience, Miss Joan Thompson, class salutatorian, and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Thompson, paid tribute to the teachers who have “guided us when we were uncertain or in difficulty and shown us how to bridge the gaps of thought along the way. Most of their help has been taken for granted but we are grateful for your passing on to us the culture which is America…for building patterns of morality as well as bridges of thought and for teaching character in our daily lives.”

Continuing with her topic, “The Significance of Learning,” Miss Thompson said, ‘Our teachers are not totally responsible for what we are. They have given us the bet they know to prepare us for the learning which continues, because learning is living and the educated person is one who recognizes that significance.”

In conclusion, the salutatorian quoted a Chicago professor as having told his pupils they were not really educated unless they could answer “yes” to these questions: “Has your education given you sympathy with all good causes and made you espouse them? Has it made you a brother to the weak? Have you learned how to make friends and keep them? Do you know what it is to be a friend y yourself?  Can you look an honest man or pure woman straight in t he eye? Do you see anything to love in a little child? Will a lonely dog follow you down the street? Can you be high-minded and happy in the meaner drudgeries of life? Do you think washing dishes and hoeing corn just as compatible with high thinking as playing the piano or playing bridge? Are you good for anything to yourself? Can you be happy alone?  Can you look out on the world and see anything but dollars and cents? Can you look into the sky at night and see beyond the stars? Can your soul claim relationship with the Creator? This then is education,” she said.

Class President Speaks

Miss Alice Back, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Emmanuel Back, chose, “The Creative Drive,” as topic for the traditional address by the class president. She reviewed events leading up to the present state of automation, recalled developments in the field of motion pictures, radio, television, automobiles, airplanes, freeways and missiles, and said, “behind all the development has been the natural urge which people have to make things, for people want to use their knowledge and abilities in the most satisfying way they can find—the creation of new things and ideas.”

Recalling the time when people lived and died within a few hundred miles of the place of their birth, Miss Back said, “The automobile changed the private, social, industrial, and political life of the nation…leveled hills, extended horizons, created new opportunities. And just as the automobile was and is a factor in our world of mechanics and automation yesterday and today so will be nuclear energy in the tomorrows. In creased leisure time coupled with the creative drive within people will make for greater advancements in many fields…it is our responsibility to preserve what we have inherited, to become good Americans, to oppose any doctrine which attempts to destroy o our heritage…By continuing a love for our country and her ideals, we will prosper and experience an even greater evidence of the creative drive.”

Valedictory Address

Miss Marcia Deming, Valedictorian, chose “A Life Well Lived Is An Art,” as topic for her address. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Deming.

“We must learn to rise above the conflicts and tensions so prevalent today and keep in mind that all these conveniences and improvements of the modern age do not provide solutions to our personal problems,” she said and continued with, “We are not satisfied to think of our lives as just short periods in an eon of time…we want to live deeply, learn, grown and be proud of our accomplishments. Each of us must find our own way to live, become involved and contribute to our civilization.”
Miss Deming went on to say we “wish to mold our everyday experiences into rich, meaningful lives…to make an art of living, to show respect for the rights and interests of other people and to stand up for our rights lest they not be respected.”

“What’s Important”

In developing his topic, Richard Kinney, Student Council President and son of Lt. Col. And Mrs. James F. Kinney, said every person should ask himself, “What is most important?”

“We are God’s children and here on this earth to do His will. In making important decisions our first consideration should be
‘What would God have us to do?’ Our lives must be based on principles, Our American ancestors sacrificed their most precious possessions, even their lives for what they thought was right.”

Kinney quoted General Douglas MacArthur on important principles when MacArthur said, “Duty, honor, country: These three hallowed words reverently dictate what you want to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, and to create hope when hope becomes forlorn,” Kinney said, “this is our legacy.”

He listed knowledge as the key development of strong characters to progress, self-discipline, deep thinking and right living as being among things of importance in every life.

Members of the junior class served as ushers were: Laura Achillich, Donna Bales, Linda Duckett, Sharon Jefferson, Sharon Sabo, Cliff Cooper, Acie Ellerbe, Douglas Gall, Riki McGinnis and Larry Miller.

PHOTOS with above story have the following captions—Photo 1—Sandy Simons, Joan Thompson lead first graduation march into new gym; Photo 2—Charlotte Blessing, Dick DeLard lead graduates from diploma presentation.


Cast of the junior class play, Desperate Ambrose, April 28, 1967. Wayne Bodiford, Lonnie Hughes, Tom Hayford, Patrick Penn, Ryan Gray, Arthur Chadwell, Gregg Atkinson, Janete Dunnifan, Linda Duckett, Olivia Woods, Loretts Coumbs, Vicki Kingston and Shron Sabo. The play was directed by Miss Marion Ditter and setting is the Dead Man's Gulch Hotel.


FFA Delegation Is Now Attending State Convention, Zephyrhills News, June 15, 1967

Seven Zephyrhills Future Farmers of America members with their sponsor, W. R. Jeffries, left Saturday afternoon for Daytona Beach to attend the 39th annual state convention and leadership training conference of the Florida FFA Association.

In the local delegation were Richard Kinney, who is a candidate for state president, Van Gray, candidate for second vice president from 5th district, Ryan Gray, Arthur Chadwell, Tom Hayford, Doy Smith, and Mike McCreadie. Van Gray also is to compete in the state harmonica contest.

Theme of the convention, sessions of which are scheduled in the Peabody Auditorium is “Agriculture Strength of America.”

The event will be concluded tomorrow.

Included in the agenda for the 5-day convention-conference were presentation of awards, contests, addresses by notables—including Paul (Tony) Tarpley, 20 of Trout, La., national FFA secretary and guest of honor—plus committee sessions, business meetings and election of the new corps of officers.





Home Economics Instructor Now at State Meeting, Zephyrhills News, June 15, 1967

Mrs. Robert H. Johnson, home economics instructor at Zephyrhills High School and district advisor, is in Daytona Beach attending a future Homemakers of America Council meeting. The Zephyhillsian left Saturday to join members of the State Department, state FHA officers and district advisors form throughout Florida for the week-long conference.



Awards Ceremonies, Zephyrhills News, June 1, 1967

Principal Raymond B. Stewart presented special medals for outstanding service to Zephyrhills High School to Marcia Deming and Sandy Simons Thursday morning at the school’s annual awards assembly held in the new Bulldogs gymnasium.
Richard Kinney, president of the Student Council, presented at the assembly and Miss Eugenia Moshonas, guidance counselor, served as mistress of ceremonies for the event which featured recognition of achievements by many students. Sandy Simons also was recipient of the Student Council service award while Thea Dunnigan and Alice Back each were awarded $50 Student Council College Scholarships. Awards were made by Student Council President Richard Kinney.
Marcia Deming, senior class valedictorian and Joan Thompson, salutatorian, were presented $25 U.S. Savings Bonds from Zephyrhills Rotary Club by President R.H. Johnson who, in his capacity as Florida Power Corporation district manager, also presented $25 bond to Dorothea Dunnigan as winner in the FPC essay contest which had as theme “Individual Responsibility In Community Development.”

Danforth Foundation “I Dare You” awards went to Richard Kinney and Alice Back, with Mrs. Jesse Kaylor making the presentation. Mrs. Kaylor also presented the Reader’s Digest award to Marcia Deming.

Miss Back also was recipient of the Betty Crocker Homemakers of Tomorrow award, presented by Mrs. R. H. Johnson.
Commander D. Howard Rhodes presented the American Legion’s Award for all around American citizenship to Linda Kay Stewart and Jefferson Charles Brown.

Marcia Deming, Raymond Hodges and Dorthea Dunningham were presented a $25 Savings Bond, $10 and $5 respectively, by President W. A. Worthington as first, second and third place winners in the Civitan’s Club’s “Building Good Citizenship for Democratic Living Today and Tomorrow” essay contest. Miss Deming, also 7th place winner in statewide competition was recipient of a $50 Savings Bond from Worthington.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary cash awards of $10, $3 and $2 were presented by Mr. Horace Finfrock and Mrs. Jack Selzer to Nancy Bentley, Marcia Deming and George Simons as first, second and third place winners in the organization’s “Young America Speak” Contest.


Reports Heard by Legion, Auxiliary Members, Zephyrhills News, September 28, 1967

Mary Eloise Hall, Danny Pollock and Acie Ellerbe were given a standing ovation at the American Legion Hall Wednesday evening after reporting on their attendance at the 1967 sessions of American Legion Auxiliary-sponsored Girls State and American Legion-sponsored Boys State.

The Girls Stater accompanied to the meeting by her father, Victor Hall, had been sent to the event held annually at Florida State University in Tallahassee by the local auxiliary.

Pollock, whose mother, Mrs. H. D. Pollock was a special guest at the Wednesday opening of the season meeting, had been sent to Boys State also at FSU to by Zephyr Post while Ellerbe whose parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Ellerbe also were special guests, had been sent to the weeklong session in American Citizenship training by the Zephyrhills Civitan Club.


Commencement Friday in Gym for 63-member Class of 67, Zephyrhills News, June 1, 1967

The new Zephyrhills High School gymnasium will be the scene beginning at 8 p.m. tomorrow of commencement exercises for the 63-member senior class.

It will be the first community activity, excepting basketball, to be held in the structure which was dedicated earlier this year.
Principal Raymond B. Stewart will preside at the annual event which is expected to attract a large attendance by relatives and friends of the graduates. It will afford many a first opportunity to see the long-awaited new physical education facility.
Mrs. Monroe Treiman, general supervisor of Pasco County Schools, is to make awards presentations and Mrs. V. E. Witt, Zephyrhills member of the Pasco County Board of Public Instruction, will deliver diplomas to the graduates.

Miss Joan Thompson, Class Salutatorian, will speak on “The Significance of Learning” and Miss Marcia Deming, Class Valedictorian, has chosen as her topic, “A Life Well Lived Is An Art.” Other speakers include Miss Alice Back, class president who will use as her topic, “The Creative Drive,” and Richard Kinney, Student Council President, chosen by the class to make the fourth address. His topic is to be “What’s Important?” The Reverend Richard Pollard, vicar of the St. Elizabeth Church, is to give the invocation and the benediction will be given by the Reverend Millard Mount, pastor of the First Christian Church. Mrs. Julia Miller will be the organist.  

After commencement exercises, parents will be hosts to graduates at a buffet supper and swimming party at the VFW Hall and Municipal Pool.


Zephyrhills Has 4 Winners in Science Fair, Zephyrhills News, March 16, 1967

Zephyrhills captured four awards in the annual Orange Science Fair in Sebring and three of the winners will advance to the state Science Fair in Miami.

Charles E. Floyd, a senior at Mickens High School in Dade City was overall first place winner in the regional event at Sebring. His exhibit entitled, “Molecular Approach in Systematics of Higher Organisms.” Pasco High School’s Odos Young placed second over-all with an exhibit entitled “Intra-uterine Chormatin Analysis.” Six counties were entered with 143 contestants. Fifty-three ribbons were awarded in six categories and 30 will go on to the Miami fair April 5-8. Zephyrhills winners going to the Miami event include Andrij Neczwid, who won a second in junior high physics; Joan Thompson, who won a third in high school zoology; Lonnie Hughes who won a third in senior high physics. Karl Wickstrom won a third in intermediate physics, but intermediate winners end competition with the regional fair and do not go to Miami. In all 12 of the 53 ribbons went to Pasco County entries.

Wearing Their Scrimmage Suits, Zephyrhills News, January 12, 1967
Wearing their Scrimmage suits but proud of their runner-up trophy are members of the 1966-67 ZHS Bulldog basketball squad, who finished second by one point to Tarpon Springs in the Christmas Invitational Tournament there. The trophy is shown on the floor in front of the team. Kneeling left to right are: Ricky McLellan, Doug Prowant, Danny Blessing, Riki McGinnis, Larry Miller and Steve McGinnis.  Standing are Manager—Rodney Price, Wally Reeves, Dale Palmer, Randy Sperry, Richard Kinney, Ronnie Hodges, Roy Hutto, Richard Back and Coach Morris McHone. Hodges is new to the squad, a sophomore transfer from Kathleen High School in Lakeland.


Open House Tours of New Gym for Everyone At ZHS Tonight, Zephyrhills News, January 12, 1967
A rare opportunity to visit those areas of a gymnasium usually restricted to physical education students and coaches will be afforded the public today (Thursday) when open house is held in the new gymnasium-classroom on the Zephyrhills High School campus.

The open house is at 7:30 p.m. beginning in the high school cafetorium. Following a brief meeting of the Parent-Teacher Association, co-sponsor with the ZHS athletic department of the open house, parents and other interested citizens will be broken up into tour groups of about 20 members each, and each group will be assigned a coach-guide.

Following the tour of the $300,000 plant, including the dressing, shower, drying, equipment and training rooms, and of offices and remodeled girls’ physical education building, those making the tour will be invited to return to the cafeteria for refreshments.

A committee headed by Mrs. Robert Chadwell is arranging the social hour for the PTA.

Haste To Get Ready

A crew arrived late last week to begin erection of folding bleachers, but had to return to Miami over the weekend. Foreman of the work returned to Zephyrhills Tuesday evening and it is expected that all will be in readiness for the opening game in the gym Saturday evening against Tampa Catholic. Another coat of sealer was to be spread on the playing floor prior to Saturday’s game, and it is doubtful that tour groups will be permitted to walk on the playing surface proper tonight. Walking around the edges of the floor may be possible, however, Principal Ray B. Stewart told the News.

He repeated the invitation of the PTA and the school to all members of the general public to gather in the cafeteria beginning at 7:30 p.m. prior to the forming of tour groups about 8 or 8:15 p.m.


Zephyrhills High School Arleis Ross, West Principal Dies; Established New School (Former Assistant Principal at ZHS), Zephyrhills News, May 4, 1967

Arleis Edward Ross, 51, principal of Zephyrhills West Elementary School since it was opened eight years ago, died Tuesday morning at Lakeland General Hospital. He had been in ill health for several months, suffering from a brain tumor. Services are to be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the Sanctuary of the first Methodist Church in Dade City with the Reverend James R. Crook, pastor of the First Methodist Church of Dade City, officiating.

All three Zephyrhills schools will be closed Friday morning during the funeral. Students will not report to homerooms until 11 a.m., it was announced Wednesday morning by Ferd Renninger, principal of East and acting principal at West during Mr. Ross’s illness.

Burial will be at 3 p.m. Friday at Palm Memorial Gardens at Sarasota with Coleman and Ferguson in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Ross was born August 17, 1915 in Whitley County, Kentucky of Frank Ross and Mary Ellen Davenport Ross. He came to Pasco County 13 years ago from Pine Knot, Kentucky, where he taught after receiving both the bachelor of arts and masters degrees in education from Eastern Kentucky Sate College. He resided at 512 West Southview in Dade City. Mr. Ross served as Assistant Principal at Zephyrhills High School prior to assuming the principalship of West Elementary.

He was a Methodist, a member of the National Educational Association, Florida Education Association, and the Principal’s Association of Pasco County. Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Verna H. Ross of Dade City; a son, Ralph E. of Melbourne; his mother, Mrs. Mary Ellen Ross of Pine Knot, Kentucky; two brothers, Smith of Pine Knot and Frank Jr. of Sarasota; a sister, Mrs. Nadine Creekmore of Indianapolis, Indiana; and three grandchildren.


Zephyrhills High School Pfc. Johnny E. Lewis first Zephyrhills Son to Die in Vietnam War Combat (ZHS Grad first to die in combat in 20 years from Zephyrhills), Zephyrhills News, April 13, 1967

Pfc. Johnny E. Lewis, 19, a 1965 graduate of Zephyrhills High School, has been killed in Vietnam where he was serving a 13-month tour of duty with the U.S. Army. He went overseas this past Founder’s Day (March 8) and met his death in combat less than a month later, April 6.

His flag-draped casket was airlifted to the United States and brought to Zephyrhills Wednesday evening following arrival at Mac Dill Air force Base Military escort for the casket is M/Sgt. Raymond Tanguary, who accompanied Pfc. Lewis’ body all the way from Vietnam.

Funeral services for the soldier, the first Zephyrhills military man to die in combat in more than 20 years—since late World War II—will be held in the chapel of Lair’s Funeral Home on Sunday at 2 p.m. Dr. Warren J. Newbern of Tampa will officiate.

A full military burial service will follow in the veteran’s plot of New Oak side Cemetery. Mac Dill will provide an honor guard, a color guard, a firing squad and the pallbearers for the funeral of this community’s first casualty of the Vietnam war.
No information as to how the Zephyrhills man met death has been released by the Army. A letter giving this information from his commanding officer is expected by his wife and parents at any time. All that is known is that he died “in combat.”

Reports that he was “blown up on a bridge” and “shot by a sniper while guarding a bridge,” are not official and apparently were based on supposition following TV news movies of Vietnam action which were broadcast the day the community learned Pfc. Lewis had been killed.

Other reports that a Dade City soldier also had been killed in “the same battle” also are not true, the News learned.

Soldier Was Newly Married

Pfc Lewis was born July 14, 1947 at Inverness and came here several years ago with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Lewis Jr. who reside at 1820 Oak Street in Tyson’s Subdivision.

Some 15 months ago he married Miss Janice Williams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barney V. Thomas, 1707 Fort King Road, and also a ZHS High School graduate in a ceremony in which Dr. Warren J. Newbern officiated at El Bethel Baptist Church in Tampa.

For a time he worked at the Thriftway Supermarket but prior to reporting for military service the couple resided in St. Petersburg where he was associated with a nursery.

He was drafted September 28, 1966. Following basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia, he attended advanced infantry school at Ft. Polk, Louisiana, and was at home in Zephyrhills from Christmas until March 8 awaiting overseas assignment. Pfc Lewis shipped out from Ft. Dix, New Jersey for Vietnam.

Pfc Lewis’ wife was in Tampa preparing to report for work at a grocery store when Sgt. W.D. Allen of Mac Dill field brought her the news of her husband’s death.

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