It is with much pleasure and a sense of honour that I extend to the Board of Management, past students, present staff and students, my gratitude for their continuous support since 2014 when I assumed the position of Principal. There is no doubt that St. Mary High School is a prestigious institution with outstanding present and past students. We are proud of the contribution that our past and present students are making to national development in keeping with the core values of the school.
Our past students continue to epitomise our motto of Faith and Courage by excelling despite the great financial challenges they face, even becoming leaders of significance in the process. We are happy that you have embraced your civic duties with such great enthusiasm and fervour. We are proud of you and your achievements. We encourage you to continue Raising the Bar to Exceptional as we celebrate sixty years of existence since the school started in January, 1960. It is fitting that as we approach our anniversary in January that one of our past students, Patrick Clarke, from Batch of 2017 should provide us with a website. We extend thanks while we acknowledge that our fathers who conceptualized the idea of creating an elite school in the parish of St. Mary, have accomplished their mission.
Our present and past students have served us and nation well. We continue to regard our responsibility of creating teaching/learning environments that will cater to all learning styles as paramount to our existence as this will lead to confident young ladies and gentlemen who contribute positively to community building.
We encourage our students to grasp all opportunities for positive growth with Faith and Courage. Work steadfastly to achieve the Impossible Dream. Be focused, purpose-driven, intentional climate changers as your founding fathers envisioned you to be, when they created St. Mary High School.
We apprecite the support of parents in reinforcing the values of St. Mary High School and ensuring that our children never waver despite the obstacles they may encounter in life. Let us continue to partner in the interest of advancing the mission and vision of St. Mary High School. To all other stakeholders,we extend thanks for the partnerships that have propelled us along a positive path of development. Those leaders who have served as leaders of this noble institution before I started,we applaud the sterling contribution and the legacy establised. We pledge to continue playing our part to build on this solid foundation with Faith and Courage.
The portals of St. Mary High School opened on January 12, 1960 at 8:30 a.m. to 69 pupils (31 boys and 28 girls) and four teachers including the principal, Mr. L. W. Brown, S.Sc. Parents and students assembled, anticipating the beginning of the new school term. The campus is located in St Mary, Jamaica. St Mary High began on a little mound, a little mound which was originally part of the Constantine Lands. Then, Mitzi Seaga (née Constantine) lived in a house on that little mound and that house on the mound became St. Mary High. Presently on that historical site is the music room, the netball / volleyball court and a beautiful garden.
At that time, there were three forms, 1-1, 1-2, and 1-3. The aforementioned house accommodated the three classrooms, the bathrooms and the kitchen, but was converted into an Assemble Hall, a sewing room and a library, after the building of new classrooms. Currently there are 1,714 students enrolled inclusive of CAP students and 89 teachers. There are six classes in each grade from grade seven to sixth form. The school compound is maintained quite well and this is a direct result of the discipline and school pride that is instilled from grade seven upwards. In 1960, the school began with only five clubs (including the popular Glee Club) and offered nine subjects, including Latin. The school now has thirty two clubs. The curriculum comprises 30 subjects at the CSEC level and twenty three subjects at the CAPE Level.
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 second principal, the late Mr. E. U. Cargill and the Clarke House was named after the late track coach, Mr. Douglas Clarke. St. Mary High School's campus has grown considerably since the time of its opening in 1960 and has the largest campus of any high school in St. Mary. Expansions in the form of a 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.
The school has a large auditorium, cafeteria/lunch room, computer and science labs, a library which used to be adjacent to the sixth form block, in addition to numerous classroom blocks and several staff-rooms. Although St. Mary High School is not a boarding institution, six teachers cottages on the school compound, provide accommodation for teachers who do not reside in the parish. The school has a spacious volleyball / netball court that is often called the Parade Square and a football field across the main roadway that runs parallel to the campus.
The school believes in the holistic development of all of its students therefore it hones their talents not just by integrating co-curricular activities but by participating in many external activities in which they compete are debating (winning many national competitions) athletics (present Eastern champions) tennis, chess, music, speech, cadet (the first Cadet inspection was held in February 1966. The Unit has grown over the year and has come to be the most successful in the nation), football, cricket. This builds their self-confidence.
Faith and Courage is the school's motto and students are encouraged to demonstrate this daily through their activities and interactions. They exhibit discipline, diligence, decorum, dedication, decency in all their endeavors in order to become excellent citizens.
To date, the school has had five principals: Mr. L. W. Brown, Mr. E. U. Cargil, Mr. P. N. Hamilton, Lt. Col. E. V. Johnson and currently Mrs. J. Frazer-Sadaar. Uniforms are worm, which for girls is a green tunic with white blouse, and for boys, khaki pants and shirt. Green epaulettes with white or yellow stripes indicate grades. Female students at the sixth form level wear green pleated skirts along with short sleeved white blouses, a school crest attached to blouse, and a green, white and yellow striped tie. Male sixth form students wear the traditional khaki pants along with a white short or long sleeved shirt, school crest attached to front pocket, and a similar tie worn by their female counterparts.