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​Buff Betz and Paul Rubens honored at the 2019 Sarasota High School Hall of Fame

The mission of the Sarasota High School Hall of Fame is to preserve and promote the history of what it means to be a "Sailor."  Nominations are dedicated to honor former students, faculty, and community leaders. Sarasota High held its third-annual Hall of Fame ceremony at Michael's on East on Sept. 25, 2019, once again honoring six of its alumni for their contributions to the school and community.
Our class is so proud that among the honorees are TWO of our classmates.

 
Buff Betz
Buff Betz
Buff Betz was the SHS Cheerleading Coach and led the program to multiple championships. She was also an accomplished horse trainer, specializing in eventing. Alongside business partner Traci Mollohan, Buff started the Sarasota Equestrian Center. She passed away in July, 2019. The award was accepted by her sister, Kim Betz. 
Paul Reubens
Paul Reubens

Paul Reubens, perhaps better known to most as a character he created, Pee-wee Herman, could not attend the event because of work obligations, but sent in a video message thanking the school for the honor. Paul was the president of the Sailors Drama Club and starred in productions like "My Fair Lady" and many others. He received our Senior award of "Most Talented."


 
Photo by Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald Tribune, 2019
Photo by Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald Tribune, 2019

Breathing new life into an architectural landmark...

Built in 1926 in the Collegiate-Gothic style, the Sarasota High School was designed by esteemed Florida architect, M. Leo Elliott. The 57,000 square foot building opened its doors to students from the 7th-12th grade in the fall of 1927 and flourished for almost 70 years. In 1984 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Although the school closed its doors in 1996, members of the community felt attached to the building and inspired to find its new purpose.

Fast-forward to 2002, the start of a two-year process of community involvement and consensus-building known as the Sarasota High School New Life Initiative. Funders of the New Life Initiative included the School Board, the City of Sarasota, Sarasota County, the Selby Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and private donors. More than 200 potential uses of the historic building were considered.

In October 2004, the School Board voted to lease the historic Sarasota High School to Ringling College of Art and Design to transform the building into the Sarasota Art Museum. Fast forward to December 2019...the doors are OPEN!



 
Photo by Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald Tribune, 2019
Photo by Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald Tribune, 2019
Photo by Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald Tribune, 2019
Photo by Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald Tribune, 2019
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From Sarasota Herald Tribune 2015
From Sarasota Herald Tribune 2015
Photo by Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald Tribune
Photo by Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald Tribune