Zephyrhills 100th Anniversary: ZHS in 1968

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School Days for 93 Graduates, Zephyrhills News, June 6, 1968

The ZHS gymnasium was the scene last evening of commencement exercises for the 93-member senior class. Jimmy Simmons played an organ prelude, then “March of the Priests” as the processional during which the white capped and gowned graduates filed into the hall and took their places.  The Rev. James Smith, pastor of Double Branch Church of which the class president is a member, gave the invocation.

Acie Ellerbe, president of the 1968 graduating class spoke on the topic, “Using Our Education.”

Class Salutatorian, Rene Geddes used as her topic, “The Value of a True Teacher” and H. Daniel Pollock, valedictorian, chose the class motto, “Today’s Challenge is Tomorrow’s Quest” as topic of his address.  Mrs. V.E. Witt, longtime member of the Pasco School Board who is retiring after 20 years of service, presented special awards.

John Neal, with a 486 score out of a possible 495, won the Scholarship Award and Ryan Gray won the Athletic Award. School Spirit awards were presented to Acie Ellerbe and Janette Dunnigan.  June Standland won the Citizenship Award. Riki McGinnis won the Best All-Around Boy Award and also was the recipient of the Jaycees Athletic Scholarship. June Standland also was recipient of the Best All-Round Girl Award. Ferd Renninger, President of Zephyrhills Rotary,  made the presentations of bonds from Rotary.

Chester Taylor, Superintendent, assisted by Principal Raymond B. Stewart, presented diplomas to the 93 graduates.  Ushers were members of the junior class including: Sue Douglas, Melanie Massey, Cathy Muse, Barbara Rooks, Sue Thompson, Joe Ahrens, Richard Back, Rodney Price, Jerry Pricher, and Doug Prowant.

Following the conclusion of the commencement exercise, a reception for the graduates, their dates and parents was held in the gymnasium. Mrs. Owen Gall, in charge of decorations, used a white lace cloth over French blue on the refreshment table to carry out the seniors’ color scheme. Red and white roses, class flowers, also were featured in the motif, as were figurines of boy and girl graduates.

School Daze by Janette Dunnigan, Zephyrhills News, 1968

Oh my goodness: I have graduated. And just last night. Where has the year gone? Into the past—and very swiftly at that. Well, that is what I said just yesterday that I –oh, I’d better not get started on that. I’d be talking for a year!

Would you believe—Class Night was a success? Even with all the censors, we still came out with a pretty decent Class Night Program. It seemed to be a combination of the “Smothers Brothers Show,” and Rowan and Martin’s “Laugh In”—two very popular television series with our generation!

Speaking of success and also of juniors—wow! That’s about all I can say about the Prom. The theme was “Gone With the Wind,” which was carried out beautifully with “ho

me” made,” fantastic murals relating to the novel and it’s been a long time since the Municipal Building looked so good. Even with the rainy weather once you got inside the entire mood changed and it was as if you were back in time. Extra special congratulations go the Mighty “69ers”. That was one beautiful job!

To top the Prom off to a tee, the 1968 Royalty were crowned. No one even knew who was nominated for the honors, but the president himself, Dale Palmer. About halfway through, he introduced Mr. John Geiger, who did the honors of crowning Cliff Cooper as King and Laura Achillich as Queen. Laura and Cliff looked great, proving that the juniors do have good taste even when it concerns us seniors.

Countdown to Centennial

Countdown to Centennial
By Madonna Jervis Wise and Clereen Morrill Brunty of the 100th Anniversary Committee, ZHS. Article originally appeared in the Zephyrhills News on June 11, 2009.

All rights reserved. Photos © Madonna Jervis Wise

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