St. Andrew High School for Girls was born in September 1925. In the first school magazine published in 1940, Rev. E. Armon-Jones wrote, “The birth of a new school is an outstanding event in the history of any community.” “…from the day the school was opened in September 1925 the only embarrassment that the Board of Management has had to face is the embarrassment caused by success.”
Prior to the 1925
Just prior to 1925, the Presbyterian Church and The Wesleyan Methodist Church (both keenly interested in education), joined forces and resources to establish a girls’ school for boarders and day students. Despite limited financial resources, they were able to secure eight acres of land surrounding the spacious Cecelio Lodge House, which was then renovated into dormitories, classrooms and staff rooms.
During the 1920’s
On June 8, 1925, the first Board Meeting was held and the school opened in September with 21 scholars and a staff of six, in addition to the Board of Management headed by Chairman Rev. John Currey. Miss Jenny Garthshore was the first headmistress. The dedicatory service was held on September 21, 1925, and the school opened as The Jamaica High School for Girls. But in 1929 when the school qualified to become a government grant-aided secondary school, the Jamaica Schools Commission asked that the name be changed, and it became St. Andrew High School.
During the 1940’s
The mould for the crest was presented to the school at the Old Girls’ Association’s first reunion dinner on April 6, 1940. To the left of the crest is the white cross on the blue background – the flag of our patron saint, St. Andrew. To the right is the flag of St. George (England) with five pineapples; this being the first coat of arms, given Jamaica in 1661.
The motto, “Life More Abundant” suggested in 1925 by first principal Miss Jenny Garthshore is taken from the New Testament book of St John “…I came that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”