San Pedro High School is only 35 years old. In terms of schools it is a pretty young school with some over one hundred years old like SJC and St. Catherine’s Academy. But in terms of accomplishments, San Pedro High has got its share to show.
As you can see in this photo taken some 31 years ago, San Pedro High started in the community center, now the Town Hall. The school borrowed the building from the village council and set up tent to start secondary education in San Pedro. The big hall served as its first classroom as you can see in this photo taken by Mr. Al Felly, a benefactor of SPH from Madison, Wisconsin.
You can see the first set of students like John Halliday, Efrain Guerrero, James Azueta, Abel Guerrero, Mito Paz, Carmelita Vasquez (wife of area rep), Dilly Nuñez and Landy Trejo.
A very slim and young principal, Yours Truly, keeps watch from behind like a good guardian. In this hall you can see a complete classroom, a typing room at the rear, and sewing tables and machines at the extreme back. That is why I say, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” San Pedro High has had to make do with little resources, but once its doors were opened in 1971, there was a full-fledged educational system for the young people of this community.
Sponsors have always played a major role in this and all educational systems in Belize. San Pedro High was lucky to have met a young florist from Madison Wisconsin whose heart went all out for San Pedro High. His name was Albert Felly, Al Felly he was called, but the students called him Tio Felly.
Notice the fine metal desks that he donated. We had about one hundred of them, too many so we donated some to the R.C. School. We also received some fine equipment like typewriters, sewing machines, the first mimeograph printing machine to the island, calculators (the first to the island) and other school equipment. A few years later Felly was shipping locks, hinges, paint, light bulbs, electrical wire and all sorts of building materials for the new building which started in 1981, just ten years after the school opened its doors.
The founder and the administration Board were not sleeping either. They were dreaming and planning for a typing room, carpentry shop, a science lab, a basketball court, a library, more classrooms, a computer lab and even dreaming of an auditorium. Everything came in one step at a time, never too late and never too early. New sponsors have come and gone. Some were big and some were small. We have worked with Lions International, The German Embassy, Michael Ashcroft, The British Embassy, Jimmy Buffet, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Peace Corps Organization, The Canadian High Commission, Shannon Volman Metropolitan Preparatory Acadamy in Canada, and most recently Mel Spain and the PUP government.
Many have come to the assistance of San Pedro High and San Pedro High has never let anyone down. From a tiny seed to a great organization because “WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY.”
– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist