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A School is Born - STETHS

The idea of building a Technical High School in Santa Cruz was initiated by the Santa Cruz Citizen's Association in 1958. Various representations were made to the Ministry of Education and Kaiser Bauxite Company. These institution soon realized the importance of a Technical School and the latter donated twelve acres of land and a grant of Ten thousand Pounds from the Ministry to start the project.

The then Minister of Education, Hon F. L. Glasspole decided that Saint Elizabeth Technical High School be built, opening date being early 1961. The first batch of students were even chosen before the ground breaking ceremony.

Before the physical school existed Mr. E. G. Roper was appointed Principal as of January 1st, 1961. The school opened with 110 students on October 10, 1961 housed in one building. Under the direction of Mr. Roper a School Choir and a sports program was developed.

The school encountered problems in the early years, such as lack of equipment, insufficient water supply and insufficient boarding accommodation in the community. The members of staff together with Kaiser Bauxite Company contributed Twelve thousand Pounds to help alleviate the problems.

In 1962 evening classes commenced with an enrollment of 36 students. A year later Kaiser Bauxite Company lent tents and the second intake of students was made possible. At the end of the summer term the Workshop, Arts and Craft, Laboratory, and Home Economics blocks were added to the school building.

On January 27th, 1964 112 new students were admitted and in September that year a new classroom block was completed and for the first time, students registered on the first day of the term. In 1962 the Administrative staff moved from two to four and the Academic staff from seven to twenty-five.

Esso Standard Oil Company donated funds for a Movie Projector, Power Saw and other equipment. The Emanuel Brothers of Santa Cruz gave two scholarships, one for a boy in Agriculture to the Jamaica School of Agriculture and the other for a girl to pursue Home Economics at Church Teachers College, Mandeville.

In 1966 Mr. E. G. Roper left to take up a position as Headmaster at Kingston Technical High School and was succeeded by Mr. J.C. Wray. Mr. J. A. Pottinger was appointed principal in 1970 to replace Mr. J. C. Wray who left for Alcan.

The student enrollment rose to Five hundred and thirty-eight with Fifteen Forms. In 1971 the Ministry of Education started construction of the Junior Secondary Department. In 1972 the student enrollment stood at Eleven hundred with the completion of the Junior Secondary Department. The curriculum was consequently widened to include such subjects as Arts, Science, and other Industrial and Vocational areas. The Board of Governors allocated funds for the construction of a road, the installation of electric fans in the auditorium, and the fencing of the playing field.

In 1982, Mr. B. St. Clair Burton, a past student took over the reins from Mr. John A. Pottinger who served meritoriously for twelve years. Mr. S. U. Watson is the current principal, since 1987.


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