The Immaculate Conception High School has always had a tradition of women indomitable spirits at the helm. This precedence existed even in the years when the school had its debut on Duke Street in downtown Kingston.
Sister Davidica, the first head of the school to be called principal, occupied the position from 1922-1962. It was under Sister Davidica's watch that the school was relocated to its present home in Constant Spring.
She was to be succeeded by another champion lady in the person of Sister Maureen Clare who served in the period 1963-1991. She is fondly remembered as lovable but strict in her role as administrator. She is the current head of the Franciscan Sisters in Jamaica.
Upon Sister Maureen Clare's retirement, Mrs. Jean Fong Kong Geography teacher and Vice-principal for eighteen years acted as principal. Sister Mary Catherine, principal since 1992 until 2004, has exemplified herself to be as eminent and impressive as her predecessors and has inspired admiration, love and support from both pupils and staff.
The retirement of Sister Mary Catherine in 2004, saw alumnus Bridgette Pinto assuming the role of acting principal. Miss Pinto had served Immaculate since 1985 and had been Vice-principal since 1999. Franciscan Sister Angella Harris, former principal of Mt. Alvernia High and also a former teacher at Immaculate, is the current principal since September 2005.
Sister Angella Harris
Born in the sleepy town of Spaldings, Manchester to parents both employed in the education sector, Sr. Angella Harris has dedicated 25 years of service to the development of education Jamaica.
In 1964, Sr. Angella's father, the then principal of a school, moved his family to the bustling city of Kingston in order to fill a vacancy in Kingston. Sr. Angella attended the Harbour View Primary School and later on Providence Primary. From the latter school, she graduated to St. Hugh's High School where she proved to be an excellent student. Her comportment propelled her to the rank of Prefect, Student Council Representative and Form Captain. She was also an active member of several extra-curricular activities such as Girl Guides, Netball, hockey and track and field.
Sr. Angella Harris is an extraordinarily energetic individual whose energy has intensified over the years. Subsequent to her graduation from St. Hugh's in 1979, she went on to successfully pursue a degree at the University of the West Indies. On completion of the degree, she went to study at the Sam Sharpe Teachers College and the Central Connecticut State University. Her academic development paralleled her religious maturation and in 1982 she was converted to Catholicism, and decided to enter the convent.
Following her conversion, Sr. Harris taught at the Hillel Academy for a year prior to teaching at Immaculate Conception High School for five years. Subsequent to leaving Immaculate, she went to fill a vacancy at the Mount Alvernia High School where she spent an impressive 16 years, the last ten of which she served as principal beginning in 1995. Sr. Harris returned to take over the reins of Immaculate Conception High School where she currently serves as principal.
Sister Mary Catherine
Sister Mary Catherine is the third principal of Immaculate Conception High School, adding to the tradition of outstanding women who have headed the institution.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, the second of five girls, Sister Mary Catherine is a graduate of Immaculate Conception High School. Having joined the Franciscan Order at age 17, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from St. Bonaventure University in New York. She pursued higher degrees; receiving a Master of Arts degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont (USA) and a Master's degree in Education from Boston College (USA). She also studied on scholarship at the University of Madrid in Spain and the Catholic University in Puerto Rico.
Sister Mary Catherine's invaluable commitment to teaching is reflected by the various positions she held in several institutions, among them St. Aloysius Boy's school (Kingston), Mount Alvernia High School (Montego Bay), and Immaculate Conception High. In Bolivia, she also served as the Principal of the Colegio Fatima in 1982 and Seminario de Espititu Santo in 1983. Sister is committed to bringing out the best in everyone. Her many and varied talents also include playing tennis and the violin for recreation.
Sister Maureen Clare
Born of the Hall family and christened Clare, she entered Immaculate at an early age, and proved to be a brilliant scholar. Sister sat the Senior Cambridge Certificate (similar to the G.C.E O'Level) when she was only 13. She passed with flying colours and then took the highest Schools Certificate (A'Levels) at 15.
After her outstanding high school career, Sister entered the convent as she had decided to become a nun many years before. She did her undergraduates studies at St. Bonaventure University in the U.S.A., La Valle University in Quebec, and returned to St. Bonaventure to read for her Masters in Educational Administration. Later, Sister also did Masters in Catholic Liturgy at Catholic University in Washington. Here she again distinguished herself in these varied disciplines.
However, academics were not Sister's only indulgence, as she was involved in extra-curricular activities. She was a member of the Glee Club, Prefect of the Sodality, House Captain, member of the sports teams, and also Head Girl. Sister Maureen Clare is an accomplished musician, and has a beautiful singing voice.
During her 28 year tenure as headmistress from 1963 -1991 Sister developed a reputation as a disciplinarian who despite her heavy schedule, always made time for those in need of help.
Since the inception of Immaculate Conception High School, the first head of the institution to be referred to as Principal was Sister Davidica. She succeeded Mother Alacoque in 1922 and served until her retirement in 1962. She led valiant recovery of the school after the second devastating fire that totally destroyed the Duke Street facility.
Sister Davidica can easily be referred to as mother of modern Immaculate as it was during her stewardship that Immaculate was reincarnated at its present location.
It is also worth mentioning that Sister Davidica served as Principal when both Sister Maureen Clare and Sister Mary Catherine, (the principals of Immaculate) were students at Immaculate.
Principals 1857-1921 (The Early Years)
In the early years, it is not certain whether or not the heads of the Immaculate Conception High School were referred to as principals.
However, the first person to head the school was co-founder Sister Veronica. Mother Paula, who guided the Sisters through the disastrous earthquake of 1907 and the ensuring fire that totally destroyed the buildings on Duke Street, succeeded her. Under Mother Paula's tenure, the Sisters began to rebuild their shattered schools, and before Mother Paula's death in 1914, nearly all had been reconstructed.
Mother Paula was succeeded in office by the Allegany Sister Mother Veronica, who spent forty-two years in the Jamaica mission. Her successor was Mother Alacoque. Under her direction, schools opened at Montego Bay and Highgate, and Immaculate Conception High School expanded as a grant-aided school.
Mother Alacoque was succeeded by Sister Davidica, under whose tenure the Immaculate conception High School was relocated to its present location.