Tarrant High History


Tarrant High School started as the Tarrant Senior School and was designed to serve the needs of the 11-15 years old students of the neighbouring All Age Schools which were converted into junior Schools.
      The school was erected on lands originally known as Tarrant Pen comprising of Jasicera Park, the former Public Works Training School and the National Water Authority Substation.
      The school designed by the building section of the Ministry of Education, was built by the Firm of Vaccino Brothers and was considered then, to be the most modern design of the period with ranch type building. The decorative blocks allowed for maximum ventilation. The school was also believed to have at that time, the largest auditorium in the island and the best pavilion. It was completed in March 1961.
      Rev.J.T. Clarke, B.A. was selected as the first Chairman and Mr.J.W. Davis, then Principal of Half-Way Tree All-Age, was appointed as the first Principal. A staff of fourteen (14) was selected and the first staff meeting was held on 10th April, 1961. The school’s Admission Register shows that registration of students was done on the 17th April 1961; Six Hundred and Seventy one (671) students were admitted. Classes started officially a week later.
      The school was officially opened on March 8, 1962 by the then Minister of Education, the Most Honourable Sir Florizel Glasspole.
      For the first term, the school operated without the Home Economics and Industrial Arts Block, as these buildings were not completed. In 1963 the U.W.I. assisted in establishing a citizens’ study centre at the school. The centre participated in cultural activities. In 1964 a group from the centre won a Shield for Quadrille (a popular Jamaican dance form) at the 1964 Festival of Arts.
   In 1965 the Government’s policy was that all Senior Schools be converted to Junior Secondary School. These changes took place in 1967. In May 1967, the then principal, Mr. J.W. Davis, went on Vacation Leave and retired at the end of the school year.Mr Donald Collins was appointed Principal on September 1, 1967. The new Principal introduced a number of changes, which in due course established the pattern of Secondary School System.
     Among the important changes were:
(1)         The appointment of a Bursar and Administrative Staff
(2)         The addition of an Ancillary Staff
(3)         The introduction of Departments and Subject Teaching  
(4)         The introduction of a Vice Principal
          As a result of the Principal’s interaction with the Ministry of Education Officials, the problem of inadequate student accommodation not only at Tarrant but throughout the island was a point of focus, and a decision was taken to experiment with the Shift System. Tarrant was selected as the pioneer for Secondary Schools. The Shift System started 1972 with approximately 1,350 students and a teaching staff of 70.Six (6) classrooms, a Science Laboratory and an Art and Craft room were added to accommodate the Shift System. The colour of the uniform changed from gray and white to blue and yellow to show different the shifts


      In 1974, with the introduction of the Grades 10 and 11 Programme, the school became known as “New Secondary School” with the aim of preparing students for the “world of Work”. In keeping with the expected increase in numbers, two high rising building with sanitary conveniences were constructed. The students’ population fell when the High Schools started implementing the double shifts as pioneered by Tarrant. It would be correct to say that Tarrant successfully experimented with the “Shift System accommodation in Secondary Schools”. In September 1992 the Back and White uniform came into being 


    Dr. Donald Collins retired in 1996 and Miss Eulalee Henry was appointed to the post of Principal where she served until 2000 when she retired from active service. She too brought her own flair to the operation and organization of the school.
     In September of 2000 a young energetic and dynamic man, Mr. Albert Corcho assumed duties as the new principal. He remains Principal up to the date of this writing. He has embarked on new changes of his own. The school continues to be a beacon in society, it has improved and excels in a number of areas such as sports, discipline, performing arts and academics .We can now boast of our six form programme which is in its third year. The school created history at this years’ graduation exercise when the first batch of six formers graduated.
      The school’s Motto “Learning For Service”, provides a challenge to every student and teacher. The school is especially proud of the number of teachers and students who have gained higher education and are serving in key positions in education and other organizations throughout Jamaica and the world. In the year 2011 Tarrant will celebrate 50 years of service to education ant the nation of Jamaica.