Charlemont High School - Blazing a trail


Chad Bryan, Youthlink Writer

It is the alma mater of 100-metre sprinter and former world-record holder Asafa Powell. It was founded by a former member of parliament, the late John 'Jack' Stephenson, and it is located in the North St Catherine constituency. If you haven't guessed the identity of this school by now, here's a further hint. Its emblem is an eagle and its motto is 'Striving for Excellence'. It is none other than Charlemont High School.

The school came about because Stephenson saw the need for a secondary-level institution in North St Catherine. Thus, via assistance from the Lions Club of North St Catherine, the Soroptomist Club of Linstead, private business persons, Alcan Jamaica Company and the Norwegian government, funds were realised for the erection of a school building on property that had been bequeathed by the late Custos McGrath.

Founded on September 1, 1978, the first batch of 240 students was taught by 12 teachers under the leadership of Principal Ruel Forsythe. In 1981 and 1998, major expansions took place, thus meeting the growing demands and needs of students. October 5, 1998, saw the first batch of 42 sixth-formers admitted to the school.

Since 2008, Charlemont High School has surpassed the national average in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination and Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations in subjects including home economics, visual arts, history and others, achieving 100 per cent pass rates. 

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