Our Past Principals

Names

Dates

Major Highlights

Mr. Bolton

1738

The first Principal of Wolmer’s. Had 10 boys in the beginning. Began as a Grammar School.

Rev. William Alcock

1743

Oversaw the construction of the school buildings at upper Duke Street.

Rev. Dedsbury

1744

Died within 3 months of becoming Principal.

Michael Mill

1745

Died in 1755, upon which the school was temporarily closed until 1757. The school had 30 Foundation Scholars in 1755. The building was leased to the Government, as storage for public records.

Rev. Isaac Taaf

1757

The school resumed in rented quarters, probably at Parade.

Samuel Evans

1757

Died

Francis Grant

1759 - 1774

 

Walter Gibbs

1774

Children of Jews and Free Coloureds attended the school, during his reign. Psalmody (sacred vocal music) was introduced as a subject in 1776. The teaching of Mathematics, French and Spanish were introduced, during his reign.

Rev. Dr. Morgan 

1777

Was Principal when the Trustees passed a resolution that “none but children of white parents be admitted into this school...” The school moved to premises on Church Street. Ordered 38 books for the school library, including Rudiments of Latin, French dictionaries and prayer books.

Rev. Alexander Cummins

1779 - 1789

Co- Principal. Wolmer’s occupied land at Church Street and South Parade, beside Kingston Parish Church (Old Wolmer’s Yard). A female division was first introduced in 1779. Resigned to become Rector of Spanish Town.

Thomas Downes

1787

Co- Principal. Was given special responsibility for all scholars in writing and arithmetic. Resigned in 1793 after complaints of absenteeism and the children under his care appearing “to be idle.”

Rev. Robert Stanton Woodham

1789 - 1791

Resigned to become Rector of St. Thomas in the East.

Rev. James Dymoke

1791 - 1799

Had special responsibility for all classical scholars on the foundation and to teach the reading of English. Dismissed by the Trustees for “not complying with various orders made by them for the management of the school...”

Rev. David Duff

1799 - 1803

The first Principal to undergo a rigorous interview by the Trustees, before being appointed. Resigned to become Rector of Portland.

John P. Nugent

1803 - 1812

Cousin of Governor Nugent. Lady Nugent considered him “dull and boorish.” Operated the school from Coke Chapel, between October 1811 and August 1812.

Bartholomew Owen Williams

1812 - 1815

His memorial is to be found in the Freemason’s Chapel of Kingston Parish Church.

Rev. Thomas Pearce Williams

1813

Received permission from the Trustees to conduct public Divine Service in the schoolroom every Sunday. Eventually became Archdeacon of Cornwall.

Rev. Ebenezer Reid (Snr.)

1815 - 1843

The longest serving Principal. The first non-Anglican minister (he was a Presbyterian) to serve as Principal of Wolmer’s. Restrictions on Jewish and Coloured children attending Wolmer’s were removed during his reign (1815). School hours were set between 8 A.M. and 4 P.M. The Girls’ division grew and developed rapidly. Black children were admitted after emancipation in 1838. The school population in 1843 was 269 boys and 238 girls. Died. A monument was raised to him in Kingston Parish Church. 

Ebenezer Reid (Jnr.)

1843 - 1847

Son of Ebenezer Reid Snr. Attended Wolmer’s. School’s population grew to 681 students.

William Augustus Hunt

1847 - 1852

Died. A memorial to him was raised in Kingston Parish Church.

Rev. Charles P. Street

1852 - 1855

Attempted to give the school a higher Anglican profile, with the use of the Church catechism and prayers. The first recorded signs of conflict between the boys’ and Girls’ divisions appeared. The school facilities appeared to be in a state of decay, with teacher absenteeism and unpunctuality being major problems. Resigned to become the Stipendiary Curate of Kingston.

Solomon Myers

October 1, 1855 – October 15, 1855

Appointed as Principal, but there was opposition to it, as he was a Jew. Resigned for unexplained reasons.

William Carter

1855 - 1862

He was a bachelor who lived at the school. Kept birds and a snake as his pets. The school population was 555 students, but daily attendance was 250. School standards appeared to have fallen under his regime. Died in office.

Rev. Robert Gordon

1862 - 1867

The first Black Principal of Wolmer’s. He was a disciplinarian, who sometimes fell into conflict for flogging white boys. Conflicts with the head of the Girls’ division deepened, during his reign. An inspector for the school (Rev. Mr. Milne) was appointed by the Trust, which lead to conflicts over authority, with Rev. Gordon. He had problems of staff illnesses and absences. He was dismissed over allegations of being rude to inspector Milne and refusing to apologise. Wolmer’s became an Elementary school after his dismissal.

John Tillman

1868 - 1895

Principal during the Elementary years of the school. Showed interest in expanding the library and was keen on industrial education. The school population declined to 240 students by 1894.

Albert Dews B.A.

1895 - 1901

Principal of the Boys’ school, when the school returned to Secondary status. Students were entered for the Cambridge external exams for the first time.

William Cowper

1901 - 1915

Principal during the 1907 earthquake and removal of the school to its new site at Quebec Lodge (National Heroes’ Circle) in 1909. The “new” school opened with 10 scholars. The sixth form was prepared for the Jamaica Rhodes Scholarship during his time. Attributed with starting the Wolmer’s Old Boys’ Association. Attributed with creating the school motto.

F.M. Peachell 

1915 - 1917

 

Rev. Symms

1917 - 1919

 

F.W. Day

1919 - 1920

Acting.

Reginald Murray

April 1920 - 1933

The first Rhodes Scholar to become Principal of the school.

Philip Sherlock

1933 - 1938

Made physical training compulsory for all forms. Introduced the House System and new subjects such as Current History, Civics, Citizenship and World Affairs.

Lewis Davidson

1939 - 1942

Introduced the khaki uniform with epaulettes. The science block donated by Edward Hanna, a small library, staffroom and Headmaster’s office were built during his reign. Inaugurated the P.T.A. his contract was not renewed as he was seen as too “liberal”, by the Trust.

J.R. Bunting

1943 - 1949

 

Dr. Simpson

1950 - 1953

The block of buildings west of the playing field was built during his reign. Appeared to be unpopular with the students and the Trust. His contract was not renewed.

Norman Jackson

1953 - 1964

 

H.N. Walker

1964 - 1966

The Walker Cup football competition was named in his honour.

Donald Bogle

1966 - 1971

The first Old Boy of Wolmer’s Boys’ School, and fifth Jamaican to be appointed Principal of the school (Rev. Robert Gordon, Reginald Murray, Philip Sherlock and H.N. Walker being the others). The three storey Industrial Arts block was built during his time and he introduced Business Administration as a new subject.  Encouraged greater integration of classes with the Girl’s school, at the sixth form.  

Richard Morris

1971 - 1978

Increased the number of streams to 6 and increased the class sizes to 40. Resigned under controversial circumstances.

Gilbert Smith

1978 - 1979

Acting.

E. Coleridge Barnett

1979 - 1998

The longest serving Principal of Wolmer’s Boys’ School (and the second longest serving overall). Guided the transition to the C.X.C. Examination and pioneered the introduction of Information Technology. Introduced the subject pool system.

Mrs. DeAnne Robb

1998 - 2000

Acting. The first female to do so.

Dave Myrie

2000 - 2007

Introduced the blue report reward system and the red, yellow and green cards system of discipline.

Mrs. DeAnne Robb

Sep. 2007 – Apr. 2008

Acting.

Dr. Walton Small

2008 - 2019

Current Principal. Undertook major building expansion, with the construction of the external stairs for the Junior Science Block, the upper floor classrooms of the Second and Third Form Block, the gazebo dining areas and the construction of the School Auditorium (2014). Improved the information technology capability of the school, with the introduction of wireless internet (wi-fi), installation of an electronic surveillance system and the school’s electronic report card (Renweb). Installed the solar panels for electricity generation. Under his administration, the academic and sporting standing of the school improved significantly.

 

2019 -