There is a strong sense of pride flowing through the hallways of Milton High School campus as the school celebrates their centennial anniversary. Panther pride in celebrating the 100 year milestone continues to be in full swing, according to MHS Principal Tim Short.
“There are things planned throughout the year,” Short said. “(The students) have a school that has a lot to be proud of here.”
Prior to serving in his first year as the school principal, Short served as a teacher and coach at Milton from 1994 to 2009. Short said the school’s success in academics and athletics particularly stands out in his mind.
“The success we had in basketball and football during that time was unparallel,” he said. “While we didn’t win a championship, it seemed like we were in the playoffs every year.”
Short said the merit scholars who have passed through the school have gone on to be very successful.
“There are people who have done some amazing things, who have graduated from this school over the years, from judges to astronauts to lawyers (and) successful businessmen,” he said.
The school is in celebration mode and has since last year, when Panther athletic teams wore the throwback school color of orange. The same color has also been featured in pep rallies and will more than likely be featured in the school’s homecoming festivities.
While current MHS students and staff are in commemoration, the Alumni Centennial Celebration committee is organizing a community event which will continue to honor the school’s history by each decade along with alumni, former educators and staff. The ‘Milton High Centennial Celebration’ will take place at the MHS Rosser Gymnasium on Saturday, October 24.
“We are trying to get back as many alumni, teachers and administrators as we can,” Short said. “We are going to fill that gym up.”
Carol Jones, a recently retired history teacher at Milton, is heading the committee. Jones, a MHS alumna with the graduating class of 1968, said the committee has organized the event for past year and a half.
“We have people flying home for this,” she said.
Despite retiring from teaching just last year, Jones continues to be hard at work at the MHS campus by organizing the school’s museum currently in the media center.
“My last day to work was August 10 of this year and I just felt like I had unfinished business,” Jones said.
Jones is currently organizing many MHS artifacts collected during her lengthy teaching tenure in the museum. Several items can be traced back to the school’s original location on Canal Street, which now serves as the Santa RosaCountySchool District’s school board office. The two story building is where Santa RosaCounty’s first accredited high school originated on November 1, 1915.
From student newspapers to sports trophies and school memorabilia, the museum offers different aspects of the MHS history, which is now being passed down to a younger generation of panthers.
“I have a lot of students that come and they are just mesmerized…they just want to read everything,” Jones said. They are very curious about what is in this room.”
Jones,who knows a great deal of MHS and Santa Rosa County history, hopes the museum will continue serves as a source of knowledge for the future.
“I just hope there will always be somebody that cares enough about this enough to keep it here,” she said.
In addition to being a proud MHS Panther herself, Jones is glad to have witnessed how the school has progressed through time.
“It’s been a source of pride over the years, because every year you see it get better and better,” Jones said. “I have watched the facilities go from having very little heat and no air conditioning to (having) carpeted floors to central heat and air.”