Seven years after one of the greatest events in Jamaica’s history - Independence - Denbigh High School was born. The year 1969 marked the dawn of hope for youth in the community. The school’s motto, 'Learning for Living' served as a lamp that would steer boys and girls with curious minds along the right path.
From humble beginnings…
Then known as Denbigh Secondary School, the institution started with a population of 810 students, drawn from three feeder schools: York Town, Four Paths and Denbigh Primary. Mr. Arthur Garson Bryant (now deceased) and Mr. Sylvester Bryan served as Principal and Vice Principal respectively. The academic, administrative, and ancillary staff consisted of 27 persons, including Herdsman ‘Moses’ Hyatt who is now the longest serving ancillary staff member from inception to 2010.
Even from that early stage the school revealed its limitless potential performing well in the Grade Nine Achievement Test and earned for itself the reputation of being one of the better Junior Secondary Schools. The programme expanded significantly over the years by adding Grades 10 and 11 in 1974, receiving its first set of Common Entrance Awardees in 1995 and instituting a 6th Form Programme in 2004. Currently, Denbigh High School has students ranging from Grades 7 to 13. The institution has operated on an extended day since 1998 in an attempt to maximize space.
In a bid to make tertiary education more accessible to the community, the school expanded its role in 1996 to become a Distance Education Centre for the University of the West Indies, now known as UWI Open Campus. This was made possible through the instrumentality of the Honourable Mike Henry, Member of Parliament. This move positioned Denbigh High among the ranks of few schools where a student could enter at Grade 7 and depart with a Masters Degree.
Denbigh High School, like others of its kind, experienced several name changes, from Junior Secondary School, to Secondary School in 1974, then Comprehensive High in 1995 and finally to High School in 2000.
The academic and physical transformation of the school was pioneered by first female Principal Mrs. Joan L. Wint, who joined the staff in 1973 and served as classroom teacher and Senior Teacher before serving as Principal from 1983 to 2008. Under her leadership the school took bold strides to now being classified as one of the best upgraded high schools in this country. In September 2008 the baton was seamlessly passed to current Principal, Mrs. Jean A. Porter who has served the institution since 1976 in the capacity of classroom teacher and Vice Principal, the latter for over 20 years. In her capable hands the school continues to experience noticeable growth, unearthing and harnessing potential talents of the students.
In January, 2009, our beloved Vice Principal, Mr. Ashton Johnson passed away suddenly. The longest serving chairman, Mr. Maurice Azan, was also tragically killed. Their contribution to Denbigh High School will long be remembered.
Although limited by financial constraints, the growth of the school plant has been steady. The problem of limited classroom space was remedied somewhat by a block built to house Grade 8 in 2010. An addition to the Library now houses the Multimedia Room and the previous 6th Form Rooms were renovated to become the e-Learning Labs. Having long outgrown the small auditorium now used as classrooms, the school is in dire need of a Multipurpose Auditorium. The PTA has been working assiduously to raise funds to finance this, but skyrocketing building costs continue to undermine the dream. However, as the school looks back on its remarkable achievements, we remain undaunted by the challenges and resolute in our goals.
Our historical roots have cultivated the zeal and vision we portray today in equipping our students to persevere down the path of success, always striving for excellence.