St Mary High School
Classes Of 1960 - 2014
HISTORY OF ST. MARY HIGH SCHOOL
Do you know where the school began?
On a little mound, a little mound which was originally part of the Constantine Lands. Then, Mitzi Seaga (nee Constantine) lived in a house on that little mound and that house on the mound became St. Mary High.
The Portals of St. Mary High opened on the 12th of January 1960 at 8:30 a.m., to sixty-nine (69) pupils – of which 31 were boys and 38 girls; four (4) teachers including the principal, Mr. L. W. Brown, B.Sc. Parents and students assembled, anticipating the beginning of the new school term. At that time, there were three (3) forms, 11, 12, and 13. Currently we have one thousand six hundred and sixteen (1,616) students enrolled and eighty-three (83) teachers on staff. The aforementioned house accommodated the three classrooms, the bathrooms and a kitchen. But the house was soon converted into an Assembly Hall, a sewing room and a library, after the building of new classrooms. Presently on that historical site is the music room, the netball, volleyball and basketball courts and also a beautiful garden.
Expansions did not stop, as the World Bank project extended the “B” Block which housed the Home Economics and Business Departments. Since then, three other blocks have been added, with the most recent addition being the Sixth Form block which was relocated and expanded in 2007.
In 1960, the school began with only five (5) clubs (including the popular Glee Club) and offered nine (9) subjects, including Latin. The curriculum now comprises twenty-six (26) subjects at the CSEC level and thirty (30) units at the CAPE Level. The Co-Curricular activities have also increased to twenty-one (21). During lunch time, students dined under an air of classical music; a tradition that still remains today, but in a more modernistic form. A more recent tradition has also been embarked upon, the playing of the National Anthem at the beginning of school.
The House system was introduced in January 1962; two years after the school first opened its doors and the first inter-house sports competition in March 1962. The four houses then: Harry, Henry, Stanley and Whitehorne competed. Harry house won that event. Cargill and Clarke houses were later added. Cargill House was named after the 2nd Principal, the late Mr. E. U. Cargill and Clarke House after the late track coach, Mr. Douglas Clarke.
The first Cadet inspection was held in February 1966. The Unit has grown over the years and has come to be the most successful in the nation.
To date the school has had four (4) Principals: Mr. L. W. Brown, Mr. E. U. Cargill, Mr. P. N. Hamilton and currently Lt. Col. E. V. Johnson.
St. Mary High has travelled a long fifty (50) years – explored, expanded and excelled.
By: Olivia Derrett
A CELEBRATION OF EXCELLENCE
St. Mary High is no ordinary institution
Through its gate comes the crème de la crème,
Where we sit on the wheel of the potter
Becoming refined young ladies and men.
Here we are groomed for excellence
To be proud, outstanding and bold
Like our athletes who were in Beijing,
Our aim is always for Gold.
We are taught not to settle for normal
We are a cut above the rest
We’ll conquer with faith and courage,
When the world puts us to the test.
We’re trendsetters in every arena
Five decades going steadfast and strong
And in fifty more years we’ll still be here
Singing our lovely school song.
By Janell Kelly – Grade 111
1: God gave a vision, to men of great pride,
A school to establish to serve far and wide,
And those who enter all boldly venture,
A name to hold high – ST. MARY HIGH
CHO: St. Mary High, forward we go,
St. Mary High, let others know,
With faith and courage our school will grow
St. Mary High – we love you so.
2: Through years of toil to be the best
Teaching and moulding, we stood the test,
Hurdles we conquered while others wondered
This name we hold high – ST. MARY HIGH.
3: With Faith and Courage, or motto guides
Our goals pursuing, whate’er betides,
To those who follow these halls to hallow
Be loyal and true to ST. MARY HIGH.
Lyrics by V. Bedward
ST. MARY HIGH SCHOOL
ACHIEVEMENTS – 1960-2010
TRACK & FIELD:
**St. Mary High boasts four Olympians:
1) Lilieth Hodges - 1976, Montreal
2) Jacqueline Pusey - 1976, Montreal; 1980, Munich
3) Nikole Mitchell - 1992, Barcelona (Bronze Medal, Relay Team)
4) Percival Spencer - 1996, Atlanta
The diminutive Lilieth Hodges ran at the Olympics while still a student and remained one of the world’s Top Sprinters for many years winning the A.A.U. Championships in the 100 metres. She was noted for being the fastest female sprinter out of the blocks.
1965 – first athlete to score points at Boys’ Champs for S.M.H.S. was Norman Sinclair. He placed third in the Class 3 - 100 yds. (The winner for the event was Donald Quarrie).
1968 – S.M.H.S. had 2 finalists in the class 2 - 100 metres and 2 finalists in the Class 2 - 200 metres.
During the decade of the 70’s S.M.H.S. experienced its greatest success in Track & Field. In 1972 the school sent the smallest team of the 28 schools competing at Girls Champs and placed 8th with 42 points. Lelta Simms gave the school its first gold medal in Class 4 - 100 yds.
1972 – Andre Gillette was the first athlete to win a track event at Boys Champs – the Class 3 100 metres, breaking the record in 11.4 seconds.
1974 – 9 boys were sent to Boys Champs – S.M.H.S. placed 6th out of 40 schools.
1974 – Three S.M.H.S. students represented Jamaica at the Carifta Games.
1975-1977 – St. Mary High athletes comprised 1/3rd of the Carifta Team. The St. Mary High Coach, Mr. Lister Haughton-James was one of the coaches to the event.
St. Mary High sent teams to the Pennsylvania Relays in 1974 (boys), 1977 (girls) and 1982 (girls).
1977 – Girls 4 x 100 - gold plaque
Girls 4 x 400 - silver plaque
1982 – S.M.H.S. sent the youngest team ever to those relays.
Girls 4 x 100 metres – gold plaque
Girls 4 x 400 metres – Trophy
1975 – 2nd place (88 points)
1976 – winners (103½ points)
1976 – winners (146 points)
Won most improved school Trophy (103½ - 146 points)
Won Champion Trophies – Classes 4 - 1
Champion Girls – Kay Allen – Class 4
Doreen Small – Class 2
Jacqueline Pusey – Class 1
S.M.H.S. won the High Jump in all classes.
**Jacqueline Pusey became an Olympian as a Class 2 athlete.
** During the mid to late 1970’s Kay Allen and Doreen Small were the Nation’s fastest Junior hurdlers.
- Nikole Mitchell – World Junior Games – Silver Medal – 100 metres – Bulgaria
Gold Medal – 100 metres (11.3 secs.) – Seoul
Female - 1964, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2010
Male - 1969, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010
Female - 1964, 1997, 2006, 2010
Male - 1996, 2006
1997 - Ziska Stennett
2006-2010 - Tracey Ann Dattadeen
2006-2009 - Shane Frost
2007-2010 - Sheldon McIntosh
A force to be reckoned with at the Zone Level.
Zone Winners – Senior Team – for 5 decades
Three students – Shakera Beale, Camelia Whyte and Honisha Richards – made the National Squad and represented the school in St. Lucia.
Rich tradition in Public Speaking and Debating
Optimist Club Oratorical Competitions – Jamaican winners and representatives to the Caribbean Competition
- Jose Mair Edward Case
- Jason Brown Diandra Isaacs
- Garfield Burford
1983/1985 – The J.I.S. Debating Competition Champions
The National Debating Competition:
1989 – Champions (Irvin Forbes, Denise Walfall (best debator), Robert Johnson, Floyd Lewis)
1995 – 2nd Place
1996 – Champions (Jason Chambers (best debator), Monique Cohen, Faith Mullings)
1998 – Champions (Kadyll McNaught (best debator), Gareth Irvin, Nora Davis)
2005 – Champions (Ruth Howard (best speaker), Shyann Edwards, Melissa Beckford)
The school reached the Quarter Finals on ten occasions.
In the Ocho Rios Public Speaking competitions St. Mary High has held the top 2 positions every year it has entered since 1997.
In 1999 St. Mary High won the George Beckford Foundation Lecture Series Public Speaking Competition for Colleges and High Schools (Corey Williamson, Nora Davis, Khayedon McDonald, Paul Hemmings, Quita Riley).
Familiar names in the media are products of St. Mary High School:
Mr. Irvin Forbes (CVM)
Mr. Rodney Miller (CVM)
Mr. Garfield Burford (CVM)
Mr. Gary Allen (RJR Communications Group)
Mrs. Andrea Williams-Green (IRIE FM)
Mr. Owen James (TVJ)
S.M.H.S. – CADET UNIT:
Through hard work, dedication, determination, the unit has earned the coveted Ruel Vaz Trophy awarded for the best Unit in the island 14 times – 1981, 1984, 1985, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010.
St. Mary High in 1994 was the first school to export bananas to the U.K.
St. Mary High successful at St. Mary Agri Expo since 1989.
St. Mary High has produced three national 4-H Clubbites. A student, Keisha Hall was the
National Representative in 1997 to the Youth Congress in Cuba.
In 1997 S.M.H.S. was the Jamaica Producers Group overall Champion School.
Since entering the JPS Science & Technology Expo in 2004 S.M.H.S. has always placed in the top 3 positions nationally and has won in the category entered every year. In 2004 and 2005 the school had the most innovative exhibition.
In 1994, Ms. Roxanne Mitchell became Ms. Jamaica Farm Queen while still a 6th form student. In 2010 Ms. Olivia Derrett (Deputy Head Girl) became Ms. Jamaica Farm Queen.
ST. MARY HIGH SCHOOL
In the 1960’s the St. Mary High School students had to achieve a higher score academically than the students of all the other parishes, excepting Kingston & St. Andrew, in order to obtain a free place award at S.M.H.S.
In 1996 S.M.H.S. had more students enrolled at the University of the West Indies than any other post Grade 11 high school in Jamaica.
In 2006 a S.M.H.S. student, Wrenford Thaffe, was the top CSEC Science student in the island. In 2006 another S.M.H.S. student placed 3rd in CSEC passes nationally (10 CSEC distinctions).
In 2007 S.M.H.S. received a Special Award from the Ministry of Education for First Place ranking in CSEC Examination in Region 2 (St. Thomas, Portland, St. Mary).
In 2009 a S.M.H.S. student Tamari Miller obtained 5 distinctions at the CAPE level and received a scholarship to Chicago University.
Over the past three years, 7 students have received scholarships to universities abroad via the A-Quest programme.
We have moved from a curriculum of 8 subjects to one that offers 28 at the CSEC level and a 14 two-unit and 2 one unit subjects at the CAPE level.
Over the past 13 years we have moved from obtaining 90% or more passes in 3 subjects to 90% or more passes in 15 subjects at the CSEC level.
In 2010 81% of students passed upwards of 4 subjects at the CSEC level.
In the year 2000 S.M.H.S. entered for one unit only at the CAPE level and obtained a 100% pass. After 8 years, of the 27 units entered, 13 obtained 100% passes.
In 2010 a Grade 7 student – Orville Kirkland – placed second in The Jamaican Mathematical Olympiad.
Dr. Dennis Minott’s analysis of 2008 puts us at #8 in the island for GSAT students’ school of choice.
1: St. Mary High School opened its doors on the morning of 12th January 1960 at 8:30 a.m. to 69 students, 4 teachers and Principal L.W. Brown. There were three forms.
2: The first Chairman of the School Board was Dr. G. V. Harry, Senior Medical Officer at the Port Maria Hospital. The Vice-Chairman was Rev. Abdullah, Rector of St. Cyprian’s Church, Highgate. He later became Bishop of Trinidad. There have been 5 Board Chairmen. Current Board Chairman – Dr. Dane Levy, past Head Boy.
3: The famous Jamaican Artist, Albert Huie perfected the design of the School crest.
4: The St. Mary High School 6th Form was introduced in 1966.
5: In 1983 the St. Mary High School Evening Institute was launched.
6: In 2000 St. Mary High received the National Council in Education School Management Award for placing first in the island.
NOTABLE PAST STUDENTS:
The Solicitor General of Jamaica, Mr. Douglas Leys
Senior Resident Magistrate, Judith Pusey
Mr. Floyd Morris, 1st visually challenged Jamaican Senator
Dr. Morais Guy, M.P. – Central St. Mary
Hon. Robert Montague, Minister of State – Office of Prime Minister – i/c Local Government
Professor Verene Shepherd
– Professor of Social History – U.W.I.
- Chairperson – National Committee to mark the Bicentennial of the Abolition of the British
Transatlantic Trade in Africans
- Appointed to the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Working Group.
St Mary High contact information
Telephone 876-992-2311 or 876-992-2412
Ms Grant (english & literature), LG Robinson (math), Cecile Ellis (latin & spanish), Ron Walters (history), Mavis Dawkins (music), Gloria Bennett (PE & science), HG Campbell (bio & Chem), Inez Dixon (gen science), Mr Walker (math), John Searchwell (geography), Norma Touzalin (english), Thelma Levy (spanish), Mr Chen (geography), Doreen Knight (math), Norma Stewart (math), Ms Morris (math), Dahlia Morris, Mrs Cargill, Mrs Moncrieffe (english), Jackson Wint.
List of Headboys and Headgirls over the years:
1963-65 Claude Turnbull
1965-66 Anthony Skyers Cynthia Chambers
1966-67 Phillip Silvera Cynthia Chambers & Patricia Morales
1967 Peter Gertig Cecelyn Dennis
1968 Roger Schloss Cecelyn Dennis
1968-69 Michael Campbell Yvonne Tai-Sen-Choy
1970-71 Godfrey Gregory Eleanor Chung
1971-72 Barris Malcolm Jaqueline Taylor
1972-73 Robert Ffrench Helen Oswin
1973-74 Dane Levy Roberta Rhoden
1974-75 Cedric Smith Velmore Lyons
1975-76 Charles Rodriquez Pauline Francis
1976-77 Rupert Whittaker Maria Roper
1977-78 Lincoln Wright Karlene Barrett/Judith Pusey
1978-79 Merrick Spence Monica Anderson
1979-80 Keble Rose Michelle Johnson
1980-81 Kenneth Douglas Lisa Searchwell
1981-82 Donovan Thomas Jacqueline Johnson
1982-83 Donovan Thomas Andrea Derrett
1984-85 David Williams/Gary Allen Karlene Silvera
Each year the St. Mary High School PSA (North American Chapter) acknowledge several individuals for their outstanding contributions to the school, the PSA or the community at large. Below are past recipients:
Dr Maria Roper-Kong - Founding member, entrepreneur, philanthropist
Donovan Sanford - Track and field, business manager
Pat Darlington - Founding member Marymount High School PSA
Edith March - Founding member Titchfield High School PSA
Wayne Champagnie - Founding member, journalism
Donna Brown - Founding member
Karen Forbes - Founding member
Claude Turnbull - 1st headboy, entrepreneur
Rosemarie Boothe - Founding member
Ann Spence - Founding member StMHS PSA Jamaican Chapter
Dr Michael Brady - Dentist
Vane 'Harry' Waller - Football
Sherryl Boothe - Founding member Marymount High School PSA