HISTORY OF ZEPHYRHILLS HIGH SCHOOL
Highlights of 2002-2003
Area Soldier Is Injured while involved In Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq, Pasco News, April 10, 2003
By Mary A. Harman
Zephyrhills—PFC Mary Katherine Mason, daughter of Pam Mason of Dade City and Jim Mason of Indiana, serving with the 6th Motor Transport Bulk Liquid Company, Operation Enduring Freedom, In Iraq, suffered a broken ankle, while refueling in Iraq during the week of March 24th. Following her injury she endured a 16-hour trip to Camp Viper, where she was airlifted to Kuwait City hospital and then air evacuated to Lan-Istuhl, Germany, an army hospital, where she underwent surgery on her ankle.
Pfc. Mason left Germany on April 4 for Camp Pendleton and Balboa Hospital in San Diego, California. She was expected to arrive at Balboa Hospital on Monday, April 7 and will be required to stay off of her ankle for at least three months. PFC Mason is the first local military person to return back to the United States.
In talking with her mother, on Saturday, Pfc. Mason said, “If I had a choice of having a broken ankle and staying home or staying with my company, I would have stayed with my company.”
Pictured above (left) with Andrew Prilliman, the son of Mike and Lani Prilliman of Zephyrhills, prior to the accident, Mary Katherine was certainly in good spirits at that time. The last time PFC Mason saw Prilliman was within the week prior to her injury.
Both Mason and Prilliman are 2001 graduates of Zephyrhills High School.
Foot In a Cast, Pasco Marine, St. Petersburg Times, April 13, 2003 by Jamie Jones
Mary Katherine Mason did what most college students do. She partied. She studied. She hung out in coffee shops.
It was boring, Mason said, I like an exciting life.
After her Freshman year at University of South Florida, Mason, 20, joined the Marine Corps Reserves. She learned to throw a grenade. Dig a manhole. Ambush soldiers.
Lance Corporal Mason’s reserve unit was activated in January. She flew to Kuwait and waited for war…
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, November 6, 2002
Rob Brown was named Teacher of the Month at Zephyrhills High School. Sonia Dudley was named School Related Person of the Month. Top Dogs: Kristi Beinhaur, Tyashia Black, Jessica Gay, Cassie Seekins, Tony Ford, Michael Johnson, Terra Rosenweig, Jamie Bair and Morgan Griffin. Diana Roshell received a Top Dog Award for being one of nearly 5,000 high school seniors whose 2001 PSAT/NMSQT scores placed them among the top 5 percent of more than 115,000 black Americans who requested entry to the 2003 Achievement Program.
Christopher Rodgers, a student at Zephyrhills High School, was named a Commended Student in the 2003 National Merit Scholarship Program for placing among the top 5 percent of more than 1-million students who entered the competition by taking the 2001 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying test.
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, October 9, 2002
Bill Boots has been named Teacher of the Month at Zephyrhills High School. Tina Marie Gaskin has been named School Related Person of the Month. Top Dog Awards went to the following students: Chandel Freirmuth, Vantisha Knowles, Samantha Smith, Josh Smith, and Michael Hogard.
Pierson Is Eyeing His First Medal Series, St. Petersburg Times, July 25, 2002
Consistently good for one of the lowest scores in the North Sun coast Junior Golf Association, Dade City’s Kyle Pierson has finished second three weeks in a row. Next week’s 36-hole Tournament of Champions at World Woods Golf Club is his last chance at medalist honors, but a good one, if a practice round Saturday is any indication. “I just haven’t quite gotten there, always a stroke or two away,” said Pierson, 17, a senior at Zephyrhills. “I feel like I’ve really come around a lot with my game this summer. I don’t think I’d be playing nearly this well going into the high school season without this summer.” Pierson played World Woods’ Pine Barrens course Saturday and shot 4-under-par 67, a score that would be hard to beat when the juniors tee off Monday and Tuesday.
“I just went up there to take a look and see how the course was, but I played pretty well,” said Pierson, who followed with 75 on Monday at Black Diamond Ranch to miss medalist honors by a single stroke in the NSJGA’s final regular-season event. Five county golfers qualified among the 76 in next week’s Champions field by finishing in the top three in their age group in a tournament this summer. Dade City’s Cameron Knight and New Port Richey’s R.C. Hyatt (Boys 14 Advanced), Zephyrhills’ Erick Dokendorf (Boys Intermediate 13-18) and Wesley Chapel’s Brandon Mumaw (Boys/ Girls 8-9) will tee it up. Dokendorf, 15, a sophomore at Zephyrhills, has fared well in his first year of NSJGA play. He shot 45 over nine holes Monday to win his age group for the third time in five tournaments and said one of the things he’s enjoyed most about league play is trying new golf courses. “Black Diamond, I really liked how it was laid out, the water and the sand, and the greens were really nice,” Dokendorf said. “I’m looking forward to playing at World Woods.” Knight shot 79 at Black Diamond to tie Spring Hill’s Austin Grey for first in the Boys 14 Advanced ranks, the sixth time he’s finished with at least a share of first this summer. After next week’s play at World Woods, the NSJGA will convene at Sugarmill Woods Country Club for its postseason awards banquet. A player of the year and low-stroke award will be given in each of 11 age groups. In addition, one golfer will be chosen as the circuit’s overall player of the year. Divots: Land O’ Lakes’ Todd Webster and Wesley Chapel’s Peter Dachisen are among 90 players registered for the Florida State Golf Association’s Public Links Championship next month at Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club in Haines City. In the North Florida Professional Golf Association’s Club Professional Championship in Brooksville last week, Zephyrhills’ Fred Bender missed qualifying for the national tournament by seven strokes with a two-round 152. New Port Richey’s Brian Richter (153) and Wesley Chapel’s Vince Buelk (154) were close behind, along with Zephyrhills’ Tim Polce (161).
Newsmakers, St. Petersburg Times, August 28, 2002
Pasco Education Foundation Scholarship winners from east and central Pasco: These students are the inaugural graduates of the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program: Land O’ Lakes High: Heidi Wyka; Pasco High: Wesley Frye, Michelle Rubio; Wesley Chapel High: Laura Lee, Michael Roth, Doris Towner; Zephyrhills High: Valerie Beverlin, Marc Kiesel, Tabitha Masters, Ariel Rothschild Goldman. Memorial Scholarship: Justin Wortley, Wesley Chapel High. Pasco County Fair Association Scholarship: Charles Abraham, Pasco High; Marie Risavalto, Zephyrhills High. The Keith Isaac Phillips Memorial Music Scholarship: Kyle Small, Land O’ Lakes High. DSBPC Wellness Team Scholarship: Christina Craig, Land O’ Lakes High. Nick Walker Memorial Scholarship: Justin Wortley, Wesley Chapel High.
Ambitious Season Series, St. Petersburg Times, by Michelle Miller, August 13, 2003
There’s no official theme, but lots of rock n’ roll for the Zephyrhills Marching Bulldogs. About 73 band members will blast out Chicago’s Make Me Smile, followed by Beatles tunes, Eleanor Rigby and I Saw Her Standing There. A medley of Earth, Wind & Fire songs will finish the halftime show.
“It’s a pretty good gamut of the best rock we have to offer,” director Russell Schmidt said.
Besides getting his band into shape, Schmidt is working on plans for a trip to this year’s Smokey Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, January 15, 2003
At Zephyrhills High School, Maggie Mead, Ashley Millim. Andrew McKay, Melissa Workman and Wilma Naber will have their art work displayed from Feb. 6-17 in the Youth Fine Art Exhibition at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. Top Dog Recipients from the principal included: Andrew Counsel, Dean Marshall, Demetrick Searight, Jonathon McCullough, Christian Malter, Heather Brodeak, Karen Hogard, Corey Harris, Anthony Price, and Michael Carter.
Jubilation Punctuated By Hesitation, St. Petersburg Times, by Cory Davis, May 25, 2003
For a moment, you got the sense that J.J. Jivan, valedictorian, wouldn’t be able to do it. He had worked so hard to earn the privilege of giving this speech, and now that the moment had arrived and he was standing before a standing-room-only crowd, the words wouldn’t come. “Whew,” he said.
“You can do it!” yelled a fellow graduate. Something must have stirred J.J. He came on strong.
“We came, we saw and we conquered!” he said, his voice rising in a crescendo. Zephyrhills High School graduated 267 bright-eyed seniors Friday night in a 90-minute ceremony filled with celebration and promise, flashbulbs and teenage stunts.
There was not an empty seat in the school’s gymnasium as proud relatives and friends scrunched together to make room for the overflowing crowd. Even the rafters were packed with standing well- wishers – 15 minutes before principal Jim Davis took the stage to kick off what turned into a sometimes reflective, sometimes raucous ceremony. The ceremony was interrupted about 8:30 p.m. when a woman walked to the stage as a school administrator was speaking to the graduating class. Police identified the woman as Deborah Louise Mosley, 37, and said she stepped to the microphone and told the audience that her son had not been allowed to participate in the ceremony. Mosley, who appeared angry, was arrested by a Zephyrhills police officer as she walked off the stage. She told police: “I wanted recognition for my son,” according to an arrest report. Mosley was arrested on a charge of disrupting a school function and was held in the Land O’ Lakes jail Saturday on $250 bail. The night offered plenty of speeches, music and tassel-turning, as well as the usual garden-variety graduation stunts: the volleying of an elusive beach ball, air horns blaring, cow bells ringing (this is Zephyrhills, after all), and one boy’s celebratory dance across the stage with diploma fresh in hand.
Kyle Pierson, in his salutatorian speech, set the bar high for his classmates. He challenged each of his fellow graduates to make a difference in the world. “We are not given our talents to let them go to waste,” he said. “We all have something we can give to society. . . . Commit yourself today to be a giver to society, not a taker.” Jivan said the significance of the evening “fills me with joy and relief.” He probably wasn’t alone. Just then, an adult confiscated the beach ball, and the Class of 2003 booed in unison. Class president Taleesha Powell asked her fellow graduates to turn to their left, then their right. Good-byes, she said, are not easy in a small town where so many friendships begin in first grade, if not before.
But if the past is any indication, she said, the future holds great things for the Class of 2003.
“We were unstoppable.”
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, May 7, 2003
The Valedictorian is Ashik (J.J.) Jivan with a GPA of 4.5 weighted.
Clubs/Extracurriculars: Interact Club, National Honor Society. Volunteer service at a library and hospital.
Plans: I plan to attend the University of Florida, then medical school. I plan to work in the medical field.
Ideal career: surgeon (neurological or cardiology).
Favorite place on campus: Cafeteria
Most inspirational person: My parents are the most inspirational people in my life. They have given me all I need to succeed in life. They have encouraged me to do my best at all I do.
What kind of legacy would you like to leave? To be able to help people live their lives to their fullest; to give them the opportunity to live a healthy life; to give back to the community the chances it has given to me.
Salutatorian is Kyle Pierson with a GPA of 4.16 weighted.
Clubs/Extracurriculars: Interact Club, National Honor Society, golf team, volunteer at Woodland Elementary School, church and various community events.
Plans: Attend Florida College in Temple Terrace to obtain an associate’s degree, then attend the University of Florida and enter the premed department pursuing a career in dentistry.
Ideal career: orthodontist.
Favorite Book: the Bible
Favorite place on campus: cafeteria.
Most inspirational person: My parents because they set an example for me of how to act and live. They have taught me well through their good example.
What kind of legacy would you like to leave? To be able to help people in whatever career I pursue. To be known as someone who gave back to his community and made it a better place.
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, June 4, 2003
River Ridge student Doug Webber was named the 2003 Outstanding Senior Student of the Year. Nominees were: Ruth Vaughn, Gulf High; Tarah Marinelli, Hudson High; Ian Jurgensen, Mitchell High; Nicole Naar, Land O’ Lakes High; Amanda Newsome, Pasco High; Cathy Kelly, Ridgewood High; Rhiannon Loomis, Wesley Chapel High; and Kyle Pierson, Zephyrhills High.
These students from Zephyrhills High School were recently honored at the annual JROTC Awards Ceremony: Senior Book Awards: Tabitha West, Lisa Chaika, Christopher Tassallo, Chandel Friermuth, Ricky Valentine, Matt Flanagan, Vantisha Edgecombe-Knowles, Derek Martell, Charles Poole, Danny Huffman, Jaclyn Conklin, Michael Hogard, Anna Strait and Karen Hogard; Varsity Letters (earned for participating in rifle drill team, color guard, Raiders or Rifle Marksmanship for two years, participating in 75 percent of the events): Ryan Johnson, Robbie Bice, Matt Kuykendall, Rickey Valentine, Nicole Mears, Jonathan O’Neil, Corey Morrissette, Tony Price, Josh Smith, Ashlee Malone, Michael Carter, Anna Strait and Michael Hogard; Most Improved Cadet: Corey Morrissette; Distinguished Cadet Award for Academic Excellence: Dustin Barber; Academic Excellence Awards: Matthew Flanagan, Geoffrey Leach, Chandel Friermuth and Dustin Barber; American Legion for Academic Excellence: Shawn Mears; American Legion for Military Excellence: Thomas Flannery; AMVETS: Vantisha Knowles; The Association of the U.S. Army: Josh Smith; Daughters of the American Revolution: Anna Strait; Daughters of the Colonists: Matthew Flanagan; Order of the Daedalians: Matthew Mickle; 82nd Airborne Division Association: Tony Price; Military Order of World Wars: Corey Harris; Military Order of the Purple Heart: Bethany Wiltrout; Purple Heart Certificates: Chandel Friermuth, Robert Bice, Nicole Mears, Thomas Flannery, Corey Harris, Trina Lynch, Matt Kuykendall, Ryan Johnson and Michael Carter; Noncommissioned Officers Association: Matthew Kuykendall; 101st Airborne Division Association: Ricky Valentine; Reserve Officers’ Association: Angel Stewart; Military Officers Association of America: Terry Compton; Senior Army Instructor Leadership: Tiffany Woods, Steven Wolf, Michael Carter and Derek Martell; The JROTC Booster Club presented the following awards: Black Beret Plaque – Ryan Johnson; Leadership Development Plaque – Nicole Mears; Golden Rifle Plaque – Michael Hogard; Bullseye Award – Ashlee Molone; Colonel Michael J. Cockill Leadership Excellence Plaque: Jacklyn Conklin; Scottish Rite of Freemasonry: Robert Bice; National Sojourners: Stephanie Straw; Sons of American Revolution: Jonathan O’Neil; United States Army Recruiting Command: Jason Herndon; Veterans of Foreign Wars: Trina Lynch; Department of the Army Superior Cadet: Karen Hogard, Ryan Johnson, Nicole Mears and Nelly Guzman.
Top of the Class, St. Petersburg Times, May 21, 2003
These students were named winners of Art Beat 2003, the Pasco County high school exhibition sponsored by The Pasco Arts Council: First place: Jeremy Paulin, Mitchell High; second place: Jon Poe, Zephyrhills High; third place: Thomas Lawson, Zephyrhills High; merit; honor: Melissa Workman, Haley Smith, Allison Beasman, Ashley Millim, Desiree D’Alessandro, all of Zephyrhills High. Art departments from each school were awarded a materials grant for participating.