Zephyrhills Schools – Timeline



Key events in the history of Zephyrhills

  • Spring of 1910—The three one-room school houses in the Zephyrhills area known as Independence School, Childers School and Union School were closed and a consolidation took place.
  • September 1910-The first ZHS opened at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Sixth Street—M.L. Gilbert, the County Superintendent, gave a presentation and school opened with 61 students.
  • 1911-ZHS grew to 79 students.
  • 1912-The first ZHS Principal, J.W. Sanders is elected Pasco Superintendent at age 25 and served until 1920.
  • 1912-The first ZHS graduation but for eleventh grade only. Total students at ZHS were 103.
  • 1913-The first official ZHS graduation. Total students at ZHS were 71.
  • 1914-Total ZHS students were 185.
  • 1919-Principal Walter Roberts coached the first ZHS basketball team.
  • 1919-The Senior Class presents the play, “Her Honor the Mayor” (a satire on women’s suffrage) as the 19th amendment was passed granting women the right to vote.
  • 1925-Voters of School District 5 passed a bond issue for $50,000 to build a new ZHS building.
  • 1926-The first ZHS building burned to the ground.
  • 1926-(September 10)-State Superintendent of Education, W.S. Cauthorn dedicated the new school building.
  • 1926-(September 23)-New ZHS is opened as “real factory for efficiency and thoroughness—contains all the modern facilities and advanced knowledge of school architecture.”
  • 1926-(September 24)-Principal M.P. Geiger initiated the first ZHS P.T.A. with Lucious Sibley as its first president
  • 1929-ZHS Basketball team went to State and was the runner-up
  • 1931-Diphtheria outbreak resulted in the death of a student and school was closed for two weeks from Thanksgiving vacation onward
  • 1935-Fire severely damaged the ZHS plant.
  • 1935-37—Classes for ZHS were held in area businesses—high school students attended classes in the old bakery, 7th-8th in New England Hotel, 6th in grocery store and 3rd-4th-5th in city hall and 1st – 2nd in schoolhouse annex.
  • 1937—New ZHS building was opened with the help of WPA funding.
  • 1941-First ZHS Football team is organized and coached by ZHS Principal, Thomas Burch Cornelius.
  • 1946-Senior class purchased airplane and an aeronautics course was offered at ZHS.
  • 1948-Student Council was organized; Zephilsco Yearbook was named. Johnny Clements, professional baseball player, was hired as ZHS coach and will stay until 1983.
  • 1949-ZHS purchased first band uniforms—used from Lakeland High School; band director, John T.V. Clark was determined to form a marching band.
  • 1950-ZHS opened on September 11th with 673 pupils.
  • 1961—55 seniors graduate from ZHS.
  • 1963-42 seniors graduate from ZHS.
  • 1964-ZHS won state basketball championship in class B.
  • 1964-Raymond Stewart was recruited from Palmetto High School as the new ZHS principal while Mr. Henderson went to UF to principal P.K. Yonge Lab School on the UF campus.
  • 1965-81 seniors graduate from ZHS.
  • 1967-Open house for the new basketball gymnasium was a community celebration.
  • 1968-ZHS teachers strike on February 29th.
  • 1970 (November 26th)-P.H. Murphy, school board member from Zephyrhills, proposed the board sell 40 acres of their Hercules tract property to fund the building of a new ZHS on the Hercules property.
  • 1972—Pasco was urged to adopt a year-round school system to accommodate the growth and eliminate double sessions. Enter “45-15” extended year-round school system.
  • 1973—Raymond Stewart was appointed by Florida Governor Reuben Askew to fill the superintendent’s term of Rodney B. Cox who died suddenly. James E. Davis took over as principal.
  • 1975-ZHS moves into new $3 million educational plant on Hercules property on 12th street.
  • 1978-188 seniors graduate from ZHS.
  • 1979-New Football stadium was opened and dedicated to Johnny Clements.
  • 1980-New ZHS Activity Center was opened and hosted 1980 outdoor graduation.
  • 1995-First 10-0 season for ZHS Football Team in school history.
  • 2002 ZHS graduate, Ryan Pickett, played in the Super Bowl.
  • 2010-ZHS celebrates 100th anniversary.

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