Chad Bryan, Youthlink Writer
Geographically, McGrath High is located in northwest Clarendon, in a district called Treadways, which is about two kilometres from Linstead. It sits on approximately 15 acres of land, which was donated to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture by Custos George McGrath.
To honour the custos, McGrath Comprehensive High School was named after him. It began in 1970 with 590 students. Now upgraded to McGrath High, the school accommodates approximately 1,200 students. In 2005, a sixth-form programme was introduced and, to date, the students have achieved 100 per cent passes in food and nutrition, integrated science, principles of accounts and business.
Outside of academics, McGrath has received the Marcus Garvey Award for 'Best Male Vocals' in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's competition and it placed third in the I3 competition, orchestrated by the Business Lab. Other accolades include second place in the School Garden competition in 2011, cricket zone winners of the 2011 Headley Cup, and pride of place as being the first school to be incorporated into the Centres of Excellence programme, which was organised by the Mutual Building Societies Foundation.
Principal Claudeen Panton, who took office in September, told Youthlink that as part of her tenure, she plans to institute new and far-reaching measures geared towards charting the progressive and successful journey of the school. She is pleased with the discipline which her students demonstrate and strives to ensure that each student is outfitted with the core values of the institution: commitment, respect and responsibility.
"We have instituted a ticketing system. Each time a student comes to school late, he or she is given a ticket which will amount to penalties, the more tickets accumulate," she explained.
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