HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Highlights of 1988

St. Petersburg Times by Stephen Hegarty, Section: Pasco Times, Page 1, May 30, 1988

These are the students who teachers and principals live for. They're bright, talented, motivated. They consistently do their work and do it well. Every once in awhile they amaze their teachers. Now after four years of hard work - and some fun, as they'll be quick to point out - these students are being rewarded for their efforts by being designated the valedictorians and salutatorians of their classes.  It's a strictly academic designation, based on a formula using cumulative grade point average (based on a 4.0 scale, although some students have averages higher than 4.0 because of extra points for advanced courses) and a standardized test. But these students are just as accomplished outside the classroom in areas such as sports and music.
Without exception, these students have been busy during the last four years, and they've accomplished much. And all along, they've managed to keep those grades up.

Here are brief profiles and brief comments from those students - the valedictorians and salutatorians for each of Pasco's six high schools.

Zephyrhills High Valedictorian: Jeanine Boyd-- Age: 17 GPA: 4.08 Plans after graduation: attend Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Area of study: mathematical sciences with a minor in music. Extracurricular activities: girls basketball (second team all-state center), tennis team, National Honor Society, voted outstanding student of the year at her school, accomplished pianist. Quote: ``I think it's important to do more than school. I tried to mix the academic with the athletic. They were different kinds of experiences, but almost parallel in a way. The pressure of playing a game is almost like taking a test. And there's a lot of research and work that goes into it beforehand.``

Salutatorian: Christie Spurlock Age: 17 GPA: 3.98 Plans after graduation: attend Florida Southern College. Area of study: pre-med, with plans to pursue a career in psychiatry. Extracurricular activities: varsity cheerleader, president of the National Honor Society, Interact Club, yearbook. Quote: ``Stand up for what you believe in and always believe in yourself.``


St. Petersburg Times by Philip Shaikun, Section—Pasco Times, Page 4, June 4, 19

At times it looked like a Hollywood premiere; at others, a game of charades.

But really, it was just a typical high school graduation.

Friday night, 241 students stepped to the stage in the Zephyrhills High School Activity Center to receive written confirmation they were through with high school.

One by one, the students appeared from both sides of the gymnasium to a flourish of flashes and hand-held video recorders, the brightness outshined only by the beaming faces of parents squinting behind the cameras. After the lengthy procession, the graduates sat and listened to the advice of their class leaders.

Salutatorian Christie Spurlock reflected on the success that unity brought to the Class of 1988, but cautioned that future success must be forged by the individual. ``We've laughed together, cried together and even gotten in trouble together,`` she said. ``But we can't dwell on sentimentality. We have to succeed in life on our own.``

Valedictorian Jeanine Boyd built on the theme of individuality, saying students must pursue their dreams through their own means. ``We should not be afraid to refuse society's conventional ways,`` she said. ``Be yourself, but be your best self.``
After receiving their diplomas from principal Larry Robison, several of the graduates paused on the stage to make a few gestures toward seated classmates that baffled, if not embarrassed, family members.

Sean Mong, a 19-year-old graduate who has decided to attend Pasco-Hernando Community College on a baseball scholarship next year, said graduating brought mixed emotions to many of his classmates, but definitely emotion. ``It's scary,`` he said. ``It seems like the rest of life is summer, but then you realize you have to work or go to college. It's confusing.``

But there is one thing he was sure of: ``I wish I could do it again,`` he said.


Zephyrhills High School

Rooting for Reutimann, Tampa Tribune, July 10, 2007, by Bart O’Connell

David Reutimann has had five months to get used to the Nascar Nextel Cup lifestyle. But even he was shocked by the outpouring of support he received Sunday afternoon.

In his first public appearance in his hometown of Zephyrhills since joining the nation's most popular auto racing circuit fulltime in February, more than 1,000 fans came out to his father Buzzie's auto racing shop on Wire Road to get merchandise, autographs and their picture taken with perhaps the city's most popular celebrity.

"I cannot believe the crowd. I'm completely blown away," said Reutimann, 37, in the middle of signing cards, hats and T-shirts. "I was thinking when they said you're going to have to sign autographs from 1 to 4, I was thinking I'd sign for about an hour and there won't be anybody left in line.

"It makes you feel good, and I'm glad that everybody's coming out. It's a lot of fun. It's great to see people you haven't seen in awhile, and some people you haven't seen before."

Even the cashiers in the merchandise trailer were surprised to learn that a team record was set for single-day retail sales, breaking the previous mark set during Speed Weeks prior to the Daytona 500, his debut as a full-time Nextel Cup driver. 

The most popular items were hats and white T-shirts with the logos of his two primary Nextel Cup sponsors, Burger King and Domino's Pizza, and die-cast models of his No. 00 Toyota Camry.

But what the fans seemed to want most was a minute to chat with the 1988 graduate of Zephyrhills High. Reutimann was glad to oblige, even after the autograph session went two hours past the scheduled end. Despite the heat, the line to meet him stretched more than 100 fans long throughout the afternoon. Autograph requests went from routine to wacky, including on a shoe and a cell phone.

There was also a line to get autographs from Buzzie Reutimann, Wayne Reutimann Sr., his uncle, and Wayne Reutimann Jr., his cousin. David Reutimann's NASCAR Busch Series car, the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine, was on display as well.

Many fans congratulated David Reutimann on his 26th-place finish in last weekend's Pepsi 400 at Daytona. He started 42nd, and it was the first Nextel Cup race this year in which he has finished on the lead lap, despite hitting the wall with 28 laps to go.

While Reutimann was appreciative of the support, he continues to be tough on himself, still hoping to become more of a contender on the circuit. He sits 41st in the Nextel Cup points standings.

"We're making huge gains and we've come a long way in a short amount of time, but we've still got ground to cover," he said. "Everybody did a great job [Saturday night], but the simple fact is we didn't finish as well as we could have."

David Reutimann appeared to receive some encouraging news last week, when a story in Friday's Tribune quoted team owner/driver Michael Waltrip as being "99 percent sure" he will race three cars next year, with David Reutimann joining Waltrip and Dale Jarrett as the drivers.

That news wasn't satisfying for one fan who brought up the story.

"Come on, it should be 110 percent," the man said while getting an autograph. "You're the best one on the team."

Of course, David Reutimann was a little more diplomatic.

"That's good to hear, although [Waltrip] and I haven't talked about it," he said. "I know they still have stuff to work out. I mean, when you're busy trying to race, sometimes you don't think about what's coming up. [Waltrip] doesn't anyway, but I do, because my deal's for one year. … If I've learned anything in racing, it's that there's no sure thing at all."

Well, maybe one - the support the Reutimann family will continue to receive in Zephyrhills.

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