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.