About DeLand High School
DeLand High School is located in DeLand , Florida , which is
just minutes from Daytona Beach. Since 1961 it has been
located on the corner of Plymouth and Hill Avenues. It was
originally designed to hold 1,200 students. For the past
several years, DeLand High School has undergone many changes.
Presently DeLand High School, "Home of the Bulldogs", has an
enrollment of approximately
2,700 students. Because of the influx of students, all of the
buildings have been renovated. Portables are about to become
obsolete. A new gym, cafeteria, and auditorium
have been added along with a new softball field. The old
weight room and dance room have been torn down. The old
auditorium has been converted into the new dance room. New
student parking was added when the new gym was constructed.
Aerial shots of DeLand High
School courtesy of
DeLand High's History
|DeLand High School began as the DeLand
Public School, a wooden structure built in 1898, on the northwest corner
of Clara and Rich Streets. An addition was constructed in 1907
consisting of 14 classrooms and an auditorium which seated 600. Some of
the funding for the addition was raised by the Ladies Improvement
Society. Mrs. John B. Stetson contributed $1,000. At that time, the
school served students in grades one through ten. Because of the DeLand
Public School’s affiliation with Stetson University, students seeking an
eleventh and twelfth grade education could attend classes at Stetson.
In 1917, a brick building was constructed on the same site, to house the
junior high and senior high students. Enrollment for that year reached
509 pupils, 104 of those were in the high school. The first High School
Graduation was on May 24, 1918, when twenty four students received their
high school diplomas. Dr. B. F. Ezell was Principal of DeLand Public
School. During World War I, DeLand students assisted in the war effort
by planting gardens. Every student joined the Red Cross for a $.25
membership. Students also bought Liberty Bonds at $50 each for the
DeLand school by each contributing $.05 per month.
In 1920, a new wing was added to the school that included a library and
a new auditorium. Students in the outlying areas, like Orange City, were
bused to DeLand. Students from DeBary had to ride the train or find
lodging in DeLand during the week. The school didn’t have a cafeteria
but they did have a lunchroom. Alice Wyatt, a former student and
teacher, remembers buying mashed potatoes and cabbage for $.05 a
Before the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredited
DeLand High School, many students had attended the Stetson Academy
(later Stetson University) for their high school education. In 1924, the
first Athenian, DeLand High School yearbook, was published and dedicated
to the Superintendent of Volusia Schools, George Marks, a former
principal at DeLand High School. The Growler, school newspaper, also
made its debut in 1924. At about this time the school colors were
changed from orange and black to purple and white. During the 1920’s,
proms were held at either the Benson Springs Hotel or the Country Club
in DeLeon Springs. Football games were played at Stetson Field and
basketball games were held in a “ramshackle” building nearby.
In the 1930’s, the school had a full time dean, a director of student
services, a band and a glee club. In the 1950’s and 6 0’s students spent
their after school hours at the Sugar Top on the corner of Amelia Avenue
and Highway 92 (now Hampton’s Restaurant) and the Donut Shop.
DeLand High School Band Master, John Heney, was a member of John Phillip
Sousa’s band where he played the xylophone. He brought his experience to
his Deland High band students who won numerous awards throughout the
state. In 1955, a cafeteria was added to the facility.
In 1961, a new DeLand High School was constructed on the corner of
Plymouth and Hill Avenue. It was designed to hold 1200 students. The new
school was originally scheduled to open in the spring but did not open
until December. There was no heat for a while because birds were nesting
in the heating system.
When the Librarian, Alice Wyatt moved into the new library, her only
equipment was a record player and film projector. After the move to the
new facility, the colors were changed to green and gold. Many students
and parents remember a yardstick in the administrative offices used to
measure a girl’s skirt length. Short skirts were frowned upon in the
In 1969-70, Southwestern High School students were integrated into
DeLand High School. Dr. Chris Colwell was a student at that time. He
later served as Principal from 1991-1993.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, DeLand High was the only high school on the
west side of the county, except for Taylor Junior Senior High in
Pierson. At one point enrollment topped 3,000. When Deltona High opened
in 1988, it temporarily alleviated the overcrowding. Presently DeLand
High School, “Home of the Bulldogs”, has an enrollment of approximately
Today, many alumni work at
the school - teachers, clerical, custodial, and cafe sta ff.