Learn About Our History

In the early 1970s, English-speaking families in Alberton either had to travel to Germiston every day so that their children could go to an English-medium high school, or they had to enrol their children into boarding schools. And as the number of English-speaking households grew, the need became evermore apparent: Alberton needed an English high school. And so, the Alberton community, including Mr D Harris, Mr P Stathoulis, Mrs J Poltera, Mr J Scott and Mr R Greyling, came together to lobby for a new school. In January 1974, Alberton’s very first English-medium high school opened its doors. Even though there were no desks or chairs for the first three weeks, it didn’t stop over 200 learners and a small staff of 9 incredibly tenacious teachers from streaming into Alberton High School, eager to learn, and eager to teach. Mr Tobias was the school’s first acting principal, and it was he who created the Latin motto we still live by today. In the hustle and bustle of the early mornings, the learners, still in all their different uniforms from their previous schools, created the illusion of a vibrant patchwork quilt, which inspired Mr Tobias to see that “the whole is the sum of the parts”, or Totum ex Partibus.

The Official Opening

Alberton High School was officially opened in 1975 with Rod Conacher as the first Principal. By now, the staff had already grown from 9 teachers to 28, and the learner enrolment from 200 to 400. And while it’s a fun fact to know that the stage room was the tuckshop in those days, and that the sports “field” was a piece of open ground down the road, it’s also incredibly inspiring to know that even then, nothing was going to hold this school back. It was in this first official year that the school badge made its debut, the uniform was designed, and the school started to assume its own unique character. And just one year later, in 1976, the first group of Alberton High learners sat down to write their senior certificate exams – with excellent results! Over the next few years, Alberton High saw remarkable growth and accepted as many as 1,100 learners in 1980. In fact, the school’s numbers started increasing with such rapidity that it became necessary to build the prefab classes in the F-block, and later in the G-block too.

Winning Since Day 1

Even in its early days, Alberton High School made its mark as the school of excellence. Already boasting a broad selection of sports and sporting activities, and winning many a league in the sporting arena, Alberton High quickly became a force to be reckoned with.

Alberton High’s tradition of excellence has also always shone through the persistently brilliant results of our learners and teachers in the academic field as well as in the award-winning legacy of our cultural activities, which include school plays, house plays, the Eisteddfod, choirs, and many, many more.

The History and Symbolism of Our Badge

Our school badge was designed in 1975 by the late Mr IJ Joubert, former Head of Department in Educational Guidance.

Let’s explore the symbolism, which is still incredibly relevant to this day. The key in the top left is our key to life and opportunity, while the eland in the top left honours the name of the original farm our school was built on: Farm Elandsfontein.

The dominant inverted “V” in the centre of our school badge represents the arch of heaven and a striving for ideals, while the waves beneath it symbolise transformation.

The Legacy of Our Leaders

Our first principal, Mr Conacher, was succeeded by Mr Gerald Kallman in 1980. He retired when Mr Minnie took the post in 1994 – the most monumental year of transition for our country. Today we are steered by the wisdom of Mr JS Olivier with Mrs N Le Grange, Mrs L De Bruin and Mr J Venter firmly at his side as deputy principals.

But our principals and deputies aren’t our only leaders. We continue to honour the legacy of teachers like Mrs Jardine, who only retired in recent years after being with the school since the 70s. She still recalls pilling hockey players into her little (original) Volkswagen Beetle to take them to the nearby fields for practice in the afternoons.

And to this day, our teachers continue to build the legacy of our sought-after school in their own unique ways, dedicated to the excellence and service that will be the foundation for years to come.