Past Presidents of the Yallahs High School Alumni Association have come together to commemorate the St Thomas institution's 50th anniversary.
The festivities, which are being done under the theme 'Celebrating our Legacy - Engendering Visions of Future Excellence', started last Sunday with a service of thanksgiving and an awards luncheon.
Seventeen person were awarded, including long-serving members of the current ancillary, administrative and academic staff of the institution; as well as to some past teachers.
Founding president of the alumni association, Webster McPherson, told Rural Xpress that he is extremely pleased with the progress the school has been making over the years. "Over time, Yallahs High has produced thousands of graduates who have gone on to make contributions locally and in the diaspora. We have medical doctors, lawyers, professionals from every field you can think of," he said.
McPherson revealed that he was among the first students at the school, as he recalled that the institution started as a junior secondary school with eight teachers, a secretary, five ancillary workers and 593 students.
"The institution is now a full-fledged high school so it has come a far way," he remarked. "I think the school has served its purpose as it has been doing a lot and the alumni are working to ensure that it does more."
The alumni president admitted that, though the school has come a far way, it still has not outgrown the stereotype which ties it to a perception of underachievement. "We still have a long way to go in assisting with the improvement of the infrastructure and students' experience to make it into the school that students are targeting. The labs need upgrading and we need to look at the calibre of the teaching staff," McPherson disclosed.
"I don't think all the teachers appreciate the fact they need to intellectually stimulate and inspirationally motivate the students. They look at it as a regular job," he argued, adding that such teachers are present in every school.
McPherson was keen on making it known that, as a graduate of Yallahs High, he doesn't consider himself less than others who attended traditional high schools in the parish.
The institution's golden anniversary celebrations also included a commemorative tree-planting ceremony and Past Students' Day interactive activities held on the school grounds.