Type: Public Grades 9-12
Principal: Dr. Chris Dunning
Founding Principal: Wendell L. Krinn
Faculty & Staff : 120
Colors Orange & Blue
Mascot Rocky the Ram
The Pasco County School Board approved the 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, FL, with its courtyard, high ceilings, and the second floor overlooking the building.
The official conversion occurred on August 5, 1981, by a majority vote of the school board. Ridgewood began operating as a high school in 1983 with a freshman class, adding one grade per each year, until it had a full four-year complement in 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. Andy Frelick, principal of WCHS was named principal of Ridgewood and transferred to Zephyrhills High School in October of 2012. Angie Murphy, assistant principal at J.W. Mitchell High School was named principal in November of 2012.