Pasco's County school kicks off 50th anniversary celebration

Amanda Gibson, 11, a sixth grader and member of the Challengers Team at Gulf Middle, cheered Friday at a pep rally celebrating the golden anniversary of the school campus, which opened in 1961 at the dawn of the peace and love era.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Amanda Gibson, 11, a sixth grader and member of the Challengers Team at Gulf Middle, cheered Friday at a pep rally celebrating the golden anniversary of the school campus, which opened in 1961 at the dawn of the peace and love era.

It's a few weeks into the school year and fall sports are under way. So it's once again time to don the school colors, maybe paint your face or dye your hair — and most definitely get ready to scream your lungs out. As pep rallies go, there was a lot of the usual stuff going on Friday at the Gulf Middle School gymnasium, where the Bears were getting revved up for their first home game scheduled for Tuesday evening against Hudson Middle. The football and volleyball players were introduced. "Grizwald" the school mascot made the rounds while some took part in silly relay races. The band played The Hey Song and this year's new cheerleading squad cued groups of students in competition for the spirit flag.

Friday's pep rally also kicked off a yearlong celebration of the golden anniversary of the dedication of the campus on Louisiana Avenue. Back then, it was a brand new high school.

According to The New Port Richey Press, on Sept. 9, 1961, Thomas D. Bailey, the state superintendent of public instruction, presided as a special guest at the dedication of New Port Richey's new 16-unit Gulf High School building. That historical tidbit came courtesy of Gulf High math teacher Jeff Miller, who maintains the www.Fivay.com website that chronicles the history of Pasco County.

Gulf Junior High, which later became Gulf Middle, used several facilities over the years, taking over the Louisiana Avenue campus in 1977.

"This commemorates 50 years of educational excellence of the Louisiana campus," said Gulf Middle principal Stan Trapp, who invited parents, alumni and New Port Richey Mayor Bob Consalvo, to join students and faculty for the 50th anniversary kickoff.

It's the first of a few commemorative events planned throughout the year. Events will be held at each of the four honor roll assemblies, Trapp said.

A Home Football Game Alumni Invasion will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23. Gulf Middle/High alumni are also welcome to dust off their musical instruments for an Alumni Band Concert at 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Pasco Schools Center for the Arts at River Ridge.

Pasco's County school kicks off 50th anniversary celebration 09/13/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 3:53pm]

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