Dillard High School Class of 1966
Added to the Congressional Record Extensions of Remarks by Congressman Alcee L. Hastings, in recognition of the 50 year reunion of the Dillard High School Class of 1966. The Hon. Alcee L. Hastings of Florida in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
Mr. Hastings: “Mr. Speaker, I arise today to commemorate 50 years since the Class of 1966 graced the halls of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Dillard has a storied past and a bright future. Originally established in 1907 as Colored School Number Eleven, its opening marked the beginning of monumental African-American achievement in South Florida. All that time Fort Lauderdale was a farming region where locals found it unnecessary to educate African-Americans past the sixth grade.
Two decades later, the school progressed under principal Dr. Joseph A. Ely, who added more classes and sought to educate African-American students past the sixth grade. He was also responsible for the school’s current name – a nod to James Harvey Dillard, a white educator from Virginia who was a Black education advocate.
In 1943 Dillard’s well known jazz program was led by Julius ‘Cannonball’ Adderley who later became one of the best-known jazz musicians in America. Adderley brought new life to the school and helped instill the importance of jazz in the students. He taught jazz when it had not yet been accepted as a classical art form and while he was teaching Jazz he was also teaching Bach and Beethoven.
Due to an expanding community, the high school grades were moved to a new facility at 2501 N.W. 11 St. in 1950 where the Class of ’66 attended and graduated. Dillard High School is now one of 62 high schools in the Broward County Public Schools and has become a magnet school open to all of Broward County, hosting three programs.
Performing and Visual Arts where students collaborate and work with artists-in-residence and have the privilege of working side-by-side with the professionals at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and other local arts organization.
Emerging computer technology which offers a state-of-the-art technology curriculum that complements students core academic requirements utilizing computers and the latest technologies to develop higher level thinking skills, critical research and study, communication, and problem-solving.
Digital Entrepreneurship Academy where students understand the essentials for successful business plan development, start-up and operation using digital arts, and using technology to create art, music, multimedia and animation.
Mr. Speaker, clearly all Panthers can be proud of the history and future of Dillard High School. It is my absolute pleasure to wish those Panthers celebrating their 50th high school reunion on June 18, 2016 a joyous and spirited reunion.”