The New John Gray High School (JGHS) officially opened on Monday, 20 March, with a formal ceremony in the gymnasium.
Ministry of Education (MOE) Acting Chief Officer Lyneth Monteith welcomed the guests, saying, “The new facility will undoubtedly provide students with a state-of-the-art learning environment that will inspire and challenge them to reach their full potential.”
During the celebrations, Governor Roper urged students to make the best use of the new facility. He stated, “I encourage you to take advantage of all the new facility offers. Use the extra space and resources to explore your passions, challenge yourself academically, and engage in extracurricular activities that will help you grow as individuals.”
The Premier, Hon. Wayne Panton, further called on students to take care of the new facility, saying: “I encourage you to care for it, be proud of it, to protect it from those within and outside who would try to tarnish its reputation. Take ownership of it because it was built with your well-being and security in mind and to help you, as your school motto says: “Hold fast to that which is good”.
For her part, Minister for Education, Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, encouraged students to take advantage of the many opportunities they have presented. “We [past and present government] have provided you with everything you need to succeed. It’s now up to you to knock it out of the park when the next results come in so you can move from being a good school to an excellent one.”
Minister O’Connor-Connolly also implored parents to support the school every step of the way. At the same time, Principal Jonathan Clark thanked all those instrumental in ensuring the new school became a reality.
The Education Minister later cut the ribbon to officially open the new school building. She was assisted by His Excellency Governor Martyn Roper and The Premier Hon. Wayne Panton.
Governor Roper sealed the time capsule and unveiled a plaque to signify the momentous occasion.
The event culminated with tours of the new school and a cocktail reception catered in part by the JGHS Home Economics Department.
Among those in attendance were House Speaker Hon. Katherine Ebanks-Wilks, Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson, Minister for Home Affairs, Youth, Sport, Culture & Heritage, Hon. Bernie Bush, Former Deputy Premier Hon. Chris Saunders, Minister for Tourism Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Health & Wellness Hon. Sabrina Turner, Minister for Financial Services, Commerce, Investment, Innovation & Social Development, Hon. Andre Ebanks, Minister for Border Control & Labour Hon Dwayne Seymour, Attorney General, Hon. Samuel Bulgin, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism & Social Development, Ms. Heather Bodden, Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs, Planning, Agriculture, Housing & Infrastructure Mr. Isaac Rankine and Department of Education Services Director, Mr. Mark Ray.
Other notable attendees included MOE Deputy Chief Officer Mr. Joel Francis, Acting Deputy Chief Officer Mr. Adrian Jones, DES Deputy Director Mr. Elroy Bryan, Senior School Improvement Officers, Former Education Minister Ms. Tara Rivers, Former Chief Officer Mr. Christian Suckoo, members of the Education Council, Mr. John Gray Jr. and family, representatives of McAlpine & Public Works Department, several civil servants, parents, teachers, students and other stakeholders.
The purpose-built facility, designed to ensure the efficient delivery of teaching models and create more significant opportunities for vocational pathways which features a state-of-the-art performing arts centre and automotive shop, special labs for clothing and textiles, food and nutrition, and design and construction technology, has been fully open for student use since January and aims to provide a safe, modern and comfortable learning environment.