Alberton High School: A History
In the early 1970s it became apparent that due to the growing number of English families in Alberton that there was a need for an English High School in Alberton. Up until this time the closest High School for English speaking learners was Germiston High School and many families sent their children to English medium boarding schools. It took a tremendous campaign by a group of involved English-speaking parents to have the province build a High School to serve the English-speaking community of Alberton.
Associated with those first moves were Mr D Harris, Mr P Stathoulis, Mrs J Poltera, Mr J Scott and Mr R Greyling and a host of others. Alberton High became the first English medium High School to serve the Alberton community in 1974.
Alberton High School opened its doors in January 1974 to about 230 learners.
The school started with nine teachers and approximately three hundred learners, with Mr Tobias as the acting principal.
For the first three weeks there were no desks and only nine chairs, which were kept in the staff room. The learner had to sit on the floor around the class room walls.
Learners of the school came mainly from Germiston High School.
At this stage there was no set uniform and learners wore the uniform of their old school. It was from this very varied uniform collection that Mr Tobias decided on our school motto “Totumex Partibus” which means “The whole is the sum of the parts”. The four houses as selected by Mr Tobias were Jupiter, Neptune, Pluto and Vulcan; which were later changed to Walker, Struben, Harrison and Robinson in the 1980's.
Alberton High School was officially opened in 1975 with Rod Conacher as the first Principal.
There was a staff of twenty eight and a learner enrolment of just on four hundred. At this stage room E3 was used as a tuckshop and the rest of the E block was unused. There were no sports fields at all and sports practices used to take place on the piece of open ground two streets down from the school.
By the start of 1975 such things as the school badge and uniform had been designed and registered and the school began to assume its own character. The late Mr I J Joubert, a former Head of Department, Educational Guidance, designed our badge. The symbolism of the elements are: Key: Knowledge, the key to life and opportunity; Eland: The school stands on what was a portion of the farm Elandsfontein; Inverted V: The arch of heaven and a striving for ideals; Waves: The waters under heaven i.e. of the fountain. The first matriculants wrote the Senior Certificate Examinations at the end of 1976 and achieved remarkably well.
During the next few years the school saw remarkable growth and touched on 1,100 learners in 1980. That was about the time Bracken High opened as the second English High School in Alberton, which took a lot of pressure off Alberton High School’s numbers and our enrolment returned to reasonable proportions.
In 1980 Mr Conacher was succeeded by Mr Gerald Kallman. After 14 years in the ‘hot seat’ Mr Kallman retired and Mr Minnie our present Principal, took the post in 1994.
Mr Minnie has been on the staff at Alberton High since the 70’s. Another staff member who has been at Alberton High since the 70’s is Mrs Jardine.
This year, 2013, sees us celebrate our 39th anniversary.
Alberton High continues to uphold the standards and traditions which began thirty seven years ago, and will continue to do so right into the next century. As, in the past, the school has been committed to excellence and service, we trust that this will be the basis on which to build for the next 40 successful years.