HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Highlights of 1985

235 Seniors At ZHS, Zephyrhills News, June 6, 1985

The ZHS Activity Center will be filled to capacity with parents, relatives and well-wishers Friday evening when the 1985 graduating class of 235 seniors receives diplomas.

Twelve years of public education will come to a close for the cap and gown-robed graduates, a majority of who started their school days here. The ceremony starts at 8 p.m. when organist Joseph Olichney plays the processional, “Pomp and Circumstance” by Elgar.

Following an opening delegation of faculty members, the graduates will march in, led by Miss Kathy Evans, Valedictorian and Miss Cherie Bylaska, Salutatorian.

The opening prayer will be by the Reverend Ron Walker, pastor of the Assembly of God, while the pledge of allegiance to the flag will be led by Larry Robison who also will introduce guests.

Salutatorian Bylaska, who will attend the University of South Florida in the fall will be the first of the three special speakers and her Salutatory will be followed by the address to the Senior Class by class president, Jamie Baker, who also will attend USF in the fall.

Principal Robison will then present the annual awards. These include awards to both boys and girls for School Spirit, Citizenship, School Service, Leadership and Best All-Around.

The Valedictory address will be delivered by Kathy Evans, Valedictorian. She will attend the University of Florida in the fall. Diplomas will be presented by School Board Chairman Janet Tolar, assisted by Dr. John Long, Assistant Superintendent.

The closing benediction by the Reverend Mr. Walker will be followed by the recessional to the strains of “March of the Priest” by Verdi.

Ushers for the Commencements will be selected members of the Junior Class including Jackie Cao, Kelly Davis, Dee Dee Ellison, Cindy Faxon, Jill Finnerty, Sherry Kirby, Bruce Lovins, Annette Pagan, Cherie Peterson, Alicia Piwowar, Michele Pollock, Susan Reid, Anne Spanger, Christy Walls, Tina Williamson and Susan Youmans.

The class flower, the red carnation, will be featured in the decorations. This year’s graduating class ranks as the third largest ever to graduate at ZHS, but in four of the past seven years the total has hovered right around the 235-senior mark.
The last class with a total below 200 was the class of 1978 at 188 seniors. In 1979 the 200-senior mark was topped for the first time with 206….


ZHS Awards Diplomas to 235, Zephyrhills News, June 13, 1985

When the Class of 1985 crossed the stage in the Zephyrhills High School Activity Center Friday evening to accept diplomas marking the end of 12 years of public school education, few complained that pre-Commencement rain had dampened their clothes or harmed their coiffures.

In fact, there was an air of extra happiness at graduation, attributed by many to the drought-breaking downpour that sloshed down about two and one-half hours before the ceremony and made the evening muggy and sultry. Who cared? It had rained at last!

Traditional cheers greeted the 235 graduates as they accepted diplomas from Janet Tolar, School Board Member for District 2, who was assisted by Dr. John Long, assistant district superintendent and Robison.

Almost every seat in the huge hall was filled with relatives and well wishers, many of whom cheered and applauded when their special senior was presented diplomas. But the greatest applause was given to senior Kevin Wheeler, who was blinded in a hunting accident just before entering ZHS three years ago. The entire class rose to its feet in salute of Wheeler and tears crept down the cheeks of many of his classmates. The only totally blind student in Pasco Schools this year, Wheeler turned 18 Sunday. He rehearsed walking across the stage, counting his steps, and then walking to the other side where student aides assisted him down the stairs.

The support shown the blind student by his classmates is an example of the closeness of the Class of 1985, reflected in the speeches by Valedictorian Kathy Evans, Salutatorian Cherie´ Blake and Class President Jamie Baker

Also on the program was the Reverend Ron Walker, pastor of the Assembly of God, who gave the opening and closing prayers. Music for the processional was played by Joseph Olichney. Another annual highlight of commencement is special recognition extended in School Awards. Presented by the Principal were: Best All-Around Boy and Girl—Jamie Baker and Kathy Evans; Citizenship Medals—Rick Daniels and Teena Williams; Leadership Award—Ed Palow and Lisa Cunningham; Service Award—John Mitgard and Kelly Tracy; School Spirit Award—Richard Perez and Leighann Hayward.   Commencement was under the direction of Lorraine Castro of the faculty.


1985-86 Bulldog Booster Dinner: A Time to Reflect, Zephyrhills News, May 22, 1986

If there was a theme for the 38th Annual Zephyrhills High School Booster Club Sports Banquet perhaps it said “a Time To Reflect.” Over 200 parents, students, and athletes attended Monday Night’s spring affair in the brand-spanking new First Church of the Nazarene Family Center.

Before all 35 of the recipients were disclosed the guest speaker was former major league hurler, Jim “Mud-Cat” Grant.

Grant, a native of nearby Lacoochee expounded upon his experiences after graduation from Moore Academy in 1954 through the days of breaking in with the Cleveland Indians in 1958.

“Mud-Cat” spoke of the lessons in life he had learned and asked the athletes present to take note.

The former 20-game winner for the Minnesota Twins, asked those gathered to “take a chance and make a choice of an endeavor and do the best possible job in the field.” With interwoven strokes of humor, he referred to the culture shock he experienced in his first year of rookie ball in Fargo, North Dakota. Grant noted that for as far as he could see he “couldn’t see any of his kind” out there.

Up to then, he’d only known for example, Baptists and Methodists (during his adolescence in the Sunshine State). His tale of his first meeting with an American Indian and Spanish ballplayer had the Zephyrhills gathering doubling over with laughter.

Basically he added, “We may come from different places, but we are all looking for the same thing (salvation).”

Three points he asked the student athletes to consider was never to quit, never give up. Remember, "You’re never better than anyone else.”

Always follow the rules. Stay away from harm’s way. Success can be attained but not necessarily in an instant or in a year or two. Finally have some character. Always remember where you started, where you’ve come from and where you’re going.

People (media included) can call you what they want—what matters is what YOU want to accomplish and strive for.”

The eloquent former American League All-Star hurler also touched upon the ills of society today in drug abuse and need for parents to perhaps give a little bit more for the “most creative minds” are those of this generation. Grant’s mother and family and friends were in attendance and their contribution to “Mud-Cat’s” upbringing underscored his sentiments.

Trophies were then presented to the honored athletes as Grant cheered each recipient:

Cheerleader—Cheerleading awards honored senior—Laurie Mullis and Junior, Stacey Hartley for their exhaustive efforts this year.

Boys Cross Country—MIP Freshman Most Improved Player Junior—Chris Baker and Senior Kenny Poplick garnered
Most Valuable Player

Girls Cross Country—MIP Freshman—Robin Brendle while sophomore Kathy Dunsmore was selected MVP.

Girls Track: MIP Freshman Missy Poppleton and MVP Junior—Mirtza Zelaya

Boys Track: MIP Junior—Danny White and MVP Senior Mark Henry

Football—Best Defensive Lineman Senior—John McDougall; Best Defensive Back Senior—Terry Briggs; Best Offensive
Lineman Senior—Troy Hochstetler; Best Offensive Back Senior—Johnny Clements and MVP went to Senior, Larry Briggs

Volleyball—MIP Junior—Colleen “Col” Ogilbee and MVP Senior—Pam “The Terminator” Knopp

Bulldog Senior, Jeff Hupp inks the letter of intent to attend Central Florida Community College in Ocala.


Highest Honors for Zephyrhills FSC Graduate, Zephyrhills News,

A Zephyrhills woman has been graduated from Florida Southern College as Valedictorian of her class. Julie Marie Cunningham, 21, earned her bachelor or music degree summa cum laude from the Lakeland college at Commencement for 351 classmates in the Branscomb Auditorium. In addition, she was presented one other of the three top awards given, the President’s Scholar Medal, awarded by Dr. Robert A. Davis. Miss Cunningham recorded a 3.9 grade point average during her four years at FSC. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Cunningham.


Ed Palow Chosen as ZHS Student of the Year 1985, Zephyrhills News, May 1985

Ed Palow, the Number 3 ranking student in academics among the 244 members of the ZHS class of 1985 this week was announced as Student of the Year at ZHS. As such he was interviewed Tuesday at the District Office in Land O’ Lakes together with Students of the Year form the county’s other five high schools. The son of Mrs. Anne Palow was chosen after the student body chose 12 finalists from among all seniors who make a 3.0 grade point average and a score of 185 on the state TASK test. Members of the faculty then voted on a ballot to choose five finalists and a special committee then chose the winner.

..He will attend Eastern Nazarene College at Quincy, Massachusetts in the fall and later will apply for a transfer to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, pursuing a career in science.


Banquet Award Winners, Zephyrhills News, by Tony Castro, Sports Editor, May 23, 1985

Over 250 parents, athletes and administrators were on hand Tuesday night at the 37th annual Bulldog Booster Club Awards at Zephyrhills High School. There were few actual surprises in the selection of the honored athletes at the commons area banquet though one of the 34 presented awards finally paid tribute to one of ZHS/ finest athletes in 1984-85 (a standing ovation in fact) as sophomore, Steve O’Neil received a plaque for his outstanding efforts for the Orange and Black basketball and golf squads.

Meanwhile, another annual award, the Dr. John Wilkinson Memorial Scholarship was presented by John F. Clements to senior, Kim Madl, with another senior, Shannon O’Neil was tabbed as an alternate for the $300 assistance to attend college.

It took barely an hour and fifteen minutes for the introductions of the 32 other recipients. Here’s a list of the winners: Boys Cross Country: Most Improved Runner Freshman—Guy Fawkes with the Most Valuable Runner Senior—Mark Kirkland; Girls Cross Country Most Improved Freshman—Kathy Dunsmore with Most Valuable Player Senior—Kathy Evans.

In Varsity Football: Most Valuable Offensive Back Senior, Marty Monbarren; Most Offensive Lineman Senior, Barry Small; Most Valuable Defensive Lineman Senior—Danny Jordan; Most Valuable Defensive Back Senior—Benny Parker and the Dr. Riley Honorary Sportsmanship Award—Marty Monbarren.

Volleyball: Most Improved Player Sophomore—Missy Mikolajczak and Most Valuable Player—Kim Madl.

Boys Basketball: Most Improved Player Senior—Ron Noel; Hustler Award—Shannon O’Neil; and Most Valuable Player Senior—Steve Alexander.

Girls Basketball: Most Improved Player Junior—Pam Knopp; and Most Valuable Player Junior Angie Brooks.

Soccer: Most Improved Player Freshman Eric Smith and Most Valuable Player Junior Bobby Hilton.

Wrestling: Most Improved Wrestler Sophomore Tommy McGavern and Most Valuable Wrestler Senior Don Freiermuth.

Baseball: Most Improved Player Senior—Kenny Boggs and Most Valuable Player—Jeff Hupp.

Golf: Most Improved Junior Alva Travis and Most Valuable Player—Steve O’Neil.

Softball: Most Improved Player Junior Sandy Bunner and Most Valuable Player—Angie Brooks.

Tennis: Most Improved Player—Keith Story and Most Valuable Player Junior Joey Knight.

Boys Track: Most Improved Athlete Freshman—Brad Bishop; and Most Valuable Player—Ron Noel.

Girls Track: Most Improved Athlete Freshman—Suzie Willard and Most Valuable Player Senior—Ashlie Herrmann.

Also a check for $250 was presented by the three winning members of the Gasparilla team race (Herrmann, Evans and Teena Williams) to Booster Club President, Bob Howell.

Perhaps after all the pomp and circumstance of the evening, looking back guest speaker Mike McGinnis may have summed it up best.

Prior to awards presentations he told the gathering of his assent from the roots of Zephyrhills to his Athletic Directorship in Ocala’s Central Florida Community College and what it took for him to be as successful as he’s been. He listed six items each ZHS student should strive for: 1) something to always shoot for; 2) the need to always work hard— sometimes these needs have to be readjusted or rearranged; 3) Need to be lucky—hard work breeds success; 4) Need to have fun in whatever you’re doing—all work and no play dulls the senses; 5) Being in contact with other good people—character at any level is strong indicator of one’s desires. Good coaches and teachers influence one’s upbringing; and 6) Being blessed by the Man for a wholesome person does not attract the “wrong crowd.”


School Daze, Zephyrhills News, March 7, 1985 by Jill McDougall

The DCT Club attended contest two weeks ago where they took several places. In accounting Roberta Reale placed second and Karen Matthews placed third. As cashier Debbie Smith took first place.

In dental Sherry Kirby placed second. Wendy Hendix took first and Kelly Warren took second in food service. In Parliamentary Procedure Teresa Kimbell placed second. In black and white photography Becky Lester placed first and Teresa Kimbell placed second; in color photography Karen Matthews placed Second. Theresa Kimbell placed second in public speaking.

On the recruiting poster Nora Destoeau placed first; Lisa Masciarelli and Teresa Patterson received honorable mention. Karen Mathews placed third in extemporaneous speaking. Karen Warren placed first in free enterprise. Congratulations to these students for a fine job.

The ratings from Solo and Ensemble Contest for band are in. The students from ZHS who earned a Superior rating are: Robin Kelly, Teryl Benjamin, Steve Jensen, Sam Barnard, Yun-Sun Lew, Jeanine Boyd and the percussion quintet which included Mark Purvis, Robert Schekler, Mike Humphries, Brent Dunlap and Ken Gentry.

The students who earned an Excellent rating are: Curtis Bell, Jill Clark, Melanie Smith, Chrisie Sofinski, Michele White, Janell Looney, Don Cox, Kirk Veazey, Jeff Lee, Cherie bylaska, Randy Belasic, Robin Griffin; brass quintet—Robert Griffin, Cherie Bylaska, Curtis Bell, Jill Clark, and Steve Jensen; brass quartet—Randy Bylaska, Randy Belasic, Mike Bodine and Sam Barnard; clarinet trio—Janell Looney, Teryl Benjamin and Leigh Class; flute trio—Dee Ann Atkins, Robin Kelly and Kathy Ostrander; also Stage Band. Congratulations to all of these students.


Crosby, Knight Chosen As Delegates To Boys State, Zephyrhills News, May 9, 1985

Brian Tate Crosby, son of Mr. and Mrs. Larry Crosby and Joseph Lee Knight, son of Mr. and Mrs. Alan Knight, have been chosen to represent Zephyr Post 118, American Legion as Boys State Citizens at the 1985 session of the American Legion Department of Florida-sponsored Boys State at Tallahassee June 16-22.

Alternates selected to attend the weeklong period of intensive training in American citizenship are Ronald Miller, Jr., son of Ronald Miller and Grandson of Lynette Miller; Jeff Hupp, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Donald Hupp; and Bruce Lovins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Lovins.


Baccalaureate for ZHS Class of 1985 Success, Zephyrhills High School, May 1985

The annual Baccalaureate service for the members of the graduating class of Zephyrhills High School will be Sunday evening at the First United Methodist Church. Featured speaker for the inspirational address will be R.W. “Bob” Boyd, ZHS Chemistry teacher. Topic of his remarks is “Seeing That Which Is Best.”  The processional of the 244-member class of 1985 will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. Organist for the service will be Joseph Olichney and the processional will be “Pomp and Circumstance” by Elgar. Leading the march will be Valedictorian Kathy Evans and Salutatorian Cherie Bylaska.


ZHS Artist Winner, Zephyrhills High School, May 1985

Art is his first love and he has hopes of being able to continue to develop what his art teacher at Zephyrhills High School, Debra Gillars calls “a real talent” in art instruction beyond graduation.
He is Robert Searight, a member of the Class of 1985 who was chosen as the Pasco County Winner in the 1985 Congressional Art Competition for the 6th Congressional District.

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