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Chapelton All-Age celebrates 125 years

Published:Thursday | February 4, 2016 | 2:00 AMShanique Samuels

CHAPELTON, Clarendon:

One hundred and twenty-two years ago, the Chapelton All-Age School, located in the town of Chapelton, Clarendon, was first started at the bottom of Salem Hill on January 15, 1894, with 56 students enrolled. Then, it was known as the Salem School. It was relocated several times after it was established before it finally settled at its current location, which was built to be used as a hospital for people suffering from smallpox. Seven years later, the school was severely damaged by an earthquake but was later restored.

In September 1977, the shift system was introduced because of the school's inability to accommodate the steadily increasing student population. As a result, there was a major increase in staff and the construction of more classrooms and other basic facilities over time.

Chapelton All-Age currently has a population of 524 students, 25 teachers, including two vice-principals, one principal, and a clerical assistant. The school has formed the basic academic foundation for many students.

Principal, Christine Munroe Walters, said that she learnt of the school's rich history and pondered why it was not celebrated. "It's a good thing to have, and any school wanting to move ahead would want to have its students know its culture and roots, so I decided that we would want to have a founder's day celebration this year, and even after I'm gone, I would want it to continue."

Munroe Walters explained that having a celebration like this would cause students to love and respect their school and understand and recognise where the school is coming from and what contributed to its longevity. "It's all about standards and excellence, and so we all agreed and went ahead and planned it," she said.

"It feels good to know that

after over a century of its existence, my staff and I were able to stage Chapelton All-Age's inaugural founder's day celebration. The business community and past students have bought into the idea and support the school."

The event was held under the theme 'Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future.'

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