The History of
Cayman Prep & High School
In 1946, when the centenary celebrations of the Presbyterian Church of Jamaica were held in Cayman, it was suggested that a secondary school with a preparatory department should be established in these islands. The Synod agreed and the Reverend John Gray arrived here in 1948 to begin work as headmaster. The school opened its doors for the first time.
Parents helped the school, as they do today, and they clubbed together to buy a school bus. Before the bus arrived, Benson Ebanks, Rupert Moxam and Craddock Ebanks had been amongst those who assisted by letting children travel in their own trucks.
A list of the first Governors of the school includes many of the important figures in the history of these islands in the 20th century and includes names such as Dr. Roy McTaggart, Mr Clifton Hunter M.B.E., and Mr. Ernest Panton I.S.O. M.B.E. with Mr. Desmond Watler C.B.E., Mr. Lee Ebanks M.B.E. and Mr. Clarence Thompson as treasurers. The school thrived and the first successes in the G.C.E. examinations were in 1951. After this time, the Cayman Government began to grant a sum of money each year to the school. In 1960, the Administrator, Major Alan Donald, indicated that the Government wanted a High School. Negotiations began to have the older students in Government High School while the Prep School remained under the Church. The Prep School was fortunate that two Governors of Jamaica and the Dependencies took a keen interest in our situation and were heavily involved in these deliberations. For a time the Prep School was housed in Mrs. Olive Cuthbert’s land which was on Jennett Street. This was later sold and the school moved to its present site on Walkers Road. Progress continued until the mid 1970s when school enrolment dropped.
This was because of the economic recession affecting these islands and also at the same time the development of the Government schools. As usual, parents volunteered to help by teaching and by helping to run fund-raising activities such as a Fair and the newly introduced ‘Cycloprep’. Other attempts to raise money were a school concert, a school play and a school magazine. The school enrolment began to pick up because of the high standard maintained by teachers and students and when the Government introduced Middle School in 1980, the Prep School was able to add two more year groups which would allow students to go straight to the Government High School. In 1997 the school extended into High School once again and students began to take the I.G.C.S.E. examination in 1999 and then in 2003, the school’s first A-levels. Space for this expansion of secondary education was made possible because of the new Infant school that was built on Smith Road in 1997. The new wing built for the secondary school is a continuation of the work of the United Church in Jamaica and the support and commitment of parents and teachers over many years.
Despite the growth of the school it remains, as the Mission Statement says, firmly rooted in Christian principles. Students are taught to respect the achievements of important figures in the school’s history and the three school houses are named after the Ministers who were instrumental in its origin and progress.