Ridgewood High School (Florida)
|Ridgewood High School|
|New Port Richey, Florida
|Motto||"Pride of Pasco"|
|Founder||Wendell L. Krinn|
|School district||Pasco County|
|Color(s)||Orange and Blue|
|Mascot||Rocky the Ram|
|SAT average||473 verbal
Ridgewood High School is a four-year public high school serving residential suburbs in New Port Richey, Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. It is part of the Pasco County Public School System in Pasco County, Florida. The school was founded in 1978 as a junior high school with the intent of it becoming the third high school in western Pasco County.
The Pasco County School Board approved creation of a new junior high school north of the City of New Port Richey in response to population growth in the area during the 1970s, with the expectation that the school would ultimately become west Pasco's third high school. Superintendent Thomas Weightman had Ridgewood built to senior high specifications and purchased extra land near the school for the future expansion and conversion. The school was built for $3.2 million and opened in 1978. Wendell L. Krinn became the first principal of the school and would serve in that position for 20 years. The St. Petersburg Times proclaimed Ridgewood, "The new home of education" in Pasco County because of its state of the art facilities and unique architecture. Rowe Holmes Associates designed the main building of Ridgewood High School after the Tampa Bay Center in Tampa, Florida, with its courtyard, high ceilings, and second floor overlooking the building.
On August 5, 1981 the school board voted to convert Ridgewood to a high school. The first freshman class started in 1983, and one grade was added per year, until the 1985-1986 school year, which was the first graduating class. As part of the transition to a high school, Ridgewood underwent a $1.6 million renovation project, which included a gym added to the back of the main building, a stadium built by the football field, as well as a new weight room and tennis courts.
After winning the "Pride of Pasco" academic award, in 1988, the title stuck as the nickname of the school. Ridgewood High School excelled during this period, leading the county in HSC Test scores four consecutive years under the leadership of Krinn.
In 1998, Dr. Arthur O'Donnell became the second principal in Ridgewood's history after transferring from Hudson High School. In 2003, he retired after working for 35 years in the Pasco County School system. Randall Koenigsfeld succeeded O'Donnell as Principal of Ridgewood High, a position he held until July 2009, when he was transferred to Schwettman Education Center. Angie Murphy, principal of J.W. Mitchell High School was named principal of Ridgewood.
During the establishment of the school in the late 1970s, the student body at Ridgewood voted to make the official nickname and logo the Ram, "which symbolizes the endless determination of our spirit to strive for high standards in every aspect within our institution." At one time a real ram was brought in as a mascot for sporting events who would soon be replaced by the present day Rocky the Ram.” The colors orange and blue were adopted, matching those of the University of Florida Gators.
Ridgewood High School has a graduation rate of 80%, exceeding the Pasco County average of 72% and state of Florida average at 68%. RHS's dropout rate is 2.2%, which is lower than both the district and state averages.
RHS curriculum offers 14 classes of Advanced Placement, an honors program, and many Dual-Enrollment options due to the proximity to Pasco-Hernando State College. Likewise, Marchman Technical Education Center resides next door to Ridgewood High giving students even more options. Ridgewood is the pilot school for a new wellness program in Pasco County, attempting to improve and teach good habits for now and in the future. 80% of Ridgewood High School students move on to post-secondary education.
Ridgewood High School won its first Pasco County All-Sports Trophy in 1986 after winning the district title in cross country, track, baseball and soccer. "The other schools kid us a lot," said Principal Wendell Krinn to the St. Petersburg Times in 1986. "They call us the University of Ridgewood or the Taj Mahal of the county." 
RHS continued this success and won two state titles in Cross Country under then Coach Glenn Cable in 1991 and 1999. Ridgewood won the Class 3A state title in Fast-Pitch Softball in 1992, led by coach Marlyn Bavetta, defeating Berkeley Preparatory School by a score of 7-6. Ridgewood achieved success in both sports during the 1990s with victories at both the district and conference level.
Competing in a group of 61 high schools in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, participating in 19 different sports, Ridgewood High School was recognized in 1992 as a winner of the fourth annual St. Petersburg Times All-Sports Championship, paced by state titles in boys cross country and softball. The football stadium is also the winter and spring break home to the Phi Delta Theta cycling team from Indiana University. The Phi Delta Theta team has won the Little 500 3 times, in 1982, 1996, and 2001.
Julie Stenger - Graduate of West Point
- Profile for Ridgewood High School: Improvement and Self Study Report for Accreditation, accessed January 11, 2007
-  [St. Petersburg Times], accessed May 25, 2009
- The Written History and Story of Ridgewood High School, accessed January 5, 2007
-  [St. Petersburg Times], accessed May 25, 2009
-  [Odyssey of the Mind Results 2006], accessed July 1, 2007
- The kings of cross country, St. Petersburg Times, November 25, 1991
- Boys Cross Country 2006-07 Championship Records, Florida High School Athletic Association, accessed January 5, 2007
- Ridgewood wouldn't be denied Series: SOFTBALL, St. Petersburg Times by Jim Carson, May 10, 1992
- Softball 2005-06 Championship Records Archived October 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Florida High School Athletic Association, accessed January 5, 2007
- Ridgewood, Berkeley share all-sports crown, St. Petersburg Times by Tim Looney, May 17, 1992
- http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/players/playerpage/292723 Player page on CBS Sportsline.com.
- Ridgewood High School website
- Data for the Ridgewood Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics
- History of Education in Pasco County - Ridgewood High School