Zaragoza HS History

Opened: 1960
Closed: 1992

Zaragoza High School was located on Zaragoza Air Base which was in northeastern Spain on the main road between Madrid and Barcelona. The school was referred to as Zaragoza American High School, Zaragoza Junior/Senior High School, and Zaragoza High School. Zaragoza American High School opened in 1960 when Zaragoza American School became two schools for the 1960-61 school year.

The school mascot was the Zebra until 1964, and then the teams became the Toros. The school colors were crimson and black.

When the school opened, the principal was Dale Clark and there were seventeen faculty members for the 187 students in grades seven through twelve. The first yearbook, Zaragon, was published in 1961. The school had numerous activities for students. The boys’ basketball team played twelve high school games and fifteen games against military squadrons from the base. There was a baseball team and cheerleaders. Clubs were established for National Honor Society, Science, Photography, and Spanish. A Letterman’s Club recognized outstanding athletes and a Pep Club supported cheerleaders and school spirit. The first school newspaper, Zebette, published four issues.

There is a picture of the school in the 1962 yearbook on pages 2–3. Mr. Charles Johnson was the new principal and Charles Wyche was the acting principal in the principal’s absence. The enrollment was over 220 and there were nineteen faculty members. The music program included a band and a string group, as well as a Girls’ Chorus. A Junior Red Cross group that provided items to a local orphanage was established. The junior high had its own activities including a National Junior Honor Society and a newspaper. The school held its first Academic Fair and had its first football team. The school newspaper’s name was changed to Spirit and was published weekly.

The school had its first drama production for the 1962-63 school year when the school’s drama club and the base theatre group presented “The Christmas Fable” at the school and base clubs. The school enrollment peaked at 240 students. For the 1963-64 school year there was a junior varsity football team and Candy Stripes provided community service. The last annual before the first closing of the school in 1964 was published.

Zaragoza Junior-Senior High School was reopened for the 1970-71 school year. The base was reactivated when Wheelus Air Base in Morocco was closed. Mr. John Middleton was the principal, and the school now had a dormitory. There were twenty faculty members for the approximately 280 students enrolled in grades seven through twelve. Cross country and wrestling were added to the athletic schedule.

For the 1971-72 school year Zaragoza High only had students in grades eight through twelve. The five grades had almost 300 students. The principal was Mr. Peterpaul. A chess club and Future Teachers of America were added to the extracurricular activities. The next year, 1972-73, the yearbook was titled Toroscope and retained this title until the 1980’s. The athletic offerings expanded to include golf, track and field, tennis, and soccer. Girls had a gymnastics program, and the Girls Athletic Association was begun. A junior high student council was started. There were eight dorm counselors for the school. Mr. Locker was the vice principal. Girls’ basketball was a traveling competitive sport beginning 1975-76.

Mr. Lyons was principal for two years beginning the 1973-74 school year, and then Mr. Rex Burgett became the principal. The enrollment continued to rise, reaching 320 students for the 1975-76 school year. After the dorms were closed at the end of the 1976-77 school year, the enrollment dropped to under 250.

The 1976-77 yearbook highlighted the sports teams. The football and teams had their best season ever and won the Spain championship. Local sports included competitions between the “dormies” and the “daysies”.

For the 1976-77 school year, the newspaper was again renamed and became Toro Talk.

Mr. Gerald Ludwig became the school’s assistant principal for the 1980-81 school year. During the 1980’s the school’s enrollment went from a high of 250 students to 145 by the end of the decade. The drama department presented as least one production each year, including “West Side Story” for the 1983-84 school year.

The new administrators for the 1984-85 school year were principal Dr. Royal La Plante and vice principal Robert Marble. The school’s football and wrestling teams were champs for Spain and the girls’ basketball team was undefeated. The school hosted a combined concert for the bands and choruses of Zaragoza, Rota, and Torrejon. Students participated in Model United Nations during the 1985-86 school year, and Mr. Joe Davis was the vice principal. Ms. Genevieve Rucker became the assistant principal for the 1987-88 school year.

The school newspaper’s name was changed one last time to The Bull for the 1989-90 school year and the yearbook had its first color photos. The new administrative team was Frank Calvano, principal, and Joseph Cardone, assistant principal. Ms. Susan Simmons was the assistant principal for the last two years of the school.

The sixth grade became part of the school for final school year. The school was closed in 1992.

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