Latara Boodie: Youthlink Writer
The Performing Arts Club.
Merl Grove Student Council.
Situated at 77-79 Constant Spring Road in St Andrew is a school whose motto, Labor Omnia Vincit, is used to motivate young women to go after their dreams. The vibrant atmosphere given off by a sea of enthusiastic ladies accentuates the blue-and-gold décor of the facilities on the property. Guided by the hands of warm, welcoming-yet-stern teachers, the students of Merl Grove High School are in an environment in which an unforgettable journey of sisterhood takes place.
The vast number of extra-curricular activities within the school gives these young ladies different platforms for self-development. These activities range from The Performing Arts Club, Spirit Club, Key Club, Cheerleaders, Quiz Team, Choir, Student's Council and Cadet, to Volleyball, Netball, Hockey, Sign Language and Tourism clubs.
10 facts on Merl Grove High School
1. Merl Grove High changed from a preparatory to a private secondary school in 1924.
2. During the early days, Merl Grove school was housed in a small, two-storey building known as the 'Little Red House', which had accommodation for about 50 students.
3. There used to be a Merl Grove Boys', which Lloyd Redwood attended from 1953 to 1958. Other males who attended Merl Grove were Douglas Carter, Eric Richards, Roy Leon and Vivian Smart. The co-educational status was phased out and the institution became an all-girls' school in 1961.
4. Merl Grove is the flagship school of the Associated Gospel Assemblies (AGA). In 1955, the school entered into an agreement with the AGA for sponsorship by the church.
5. Merl Grove High School was the first to form a parent-teacher association.
6. Merl Grove recently celebrated its 92nd anniversary.
7. Many past students have become principals, teachers and members of staff. Merl Grove was one of six schools to start an Inter-Schools Christian Fellowship group in 1952.
8. Mrs Speid, mother of Miriam Speid, coined the name 'Merl' after her five children: M-Miriam, E-Effrey, R-Reginald and Ruth, and L-Lucille. The property was filled with trees, from which the name 'Grove' came.
9. A dental clinic was established in 1987 during the Enid Kerr era (1980-1993) and was named the Ellorine Walker Health Unit.
10. Merl Grove was the first all-girls' high school to offer agricultural science.
From left: Second deputy head girl Anatassia Balfour, head girl Ashante Watt and first deputy head girl Jennell Moodie.
The Sign Language Club.
The Quiz Team.
The Spirit Club, where building school spirit is a priority.
Guess the action by this mime.
Principal Dr Marjorie Fullerton.
The Tourism Club.
Shaquinna Davis, voted most outstanding student said, "In whatever you are doing, put God first". This exceptional young woman has exceeded her peers by not only doing well in schoolwork, but also in taking part in several extra-curricular activities.
"I love hockey and I am also an executive member on the Tourism Club board," she said. The driving force behind this lower-school student is her mother, who motivates and propels her to always do her best.
"My main focus is school and everything I do is centered around it," she said, when asked how she balances her social and school life.
This will forever be instilled within the young women of Merl Grove High School: 'Through Hard Work Overcomes All Difficulties'.
The outstanding Shaquinna Davis.
The Merl Grove cadets.
The volleyball team.
The netball team.
The hockey team.