A Brief Chronology of Keira HighKeira High School is a comprehensive, co-educational school that has a long tradition of delivering quality education to the community of Wollongong. The school emerged from classes taught on the premises of Wollongong Public School from 1917 as the Wollongong Junior Technical Department for Boys until classes moved to the Wollongong Technical College (built in 1892) in Gladstone Avenue in 1929. Manual arts classes were taught at the Wollongong Trades School in Smith Street.
At some point the name changed to Wollongong Secondary Junior Technical School. In 1939 land was purchased near the Princes Highway, Fairy Meadow on which new school buildings were later to be built but the Gladstone Avenuse/Smith Street arrangement remained until 1948. In 1948 temporary portables were erected at the Lysaght Street site. In 1954 the school moved onto this site following completion of the main block, gymnasium and manual arts block. At some point between 1954 and 1960 the school's name was changed to Wollongong Secondary Technical School. In 1960 the school was renamed Keira Boys' High School.
New buildings were added including:
1963 - shared auditorium for Keira Boys' High School and Wollongong High School (now Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts)
1964 - new science laboratory and classroom block
1971 - new wing including science laboratories, classrooms (including Art) and canteen
The school was renamed Keira High School in 1979 in preparation for the move to co-education. In the early 1980's, remodelling and building programs occurred to facilitate this and the first female students enrolled in 1984. Girls in Years 7,8,9 and 11 first attended Keira at the beginning of 1985. In 1990, the school became a technology high school. The name was restored to Keira High School in 2005.
Today, Keira High School is proud of its rich history and traditions but looks to the future as a confident innovative and dynamic school.
The School Crest Explained
The school’s crest is a traditional shield designed and adopted in 1984 when the school became co-educational. It represents both strength and protection. The school’s motto since 1917, Excelsior, is the comparative form of Excelsus, Latin for high or lofty, Excelsior then means Reaching Higher. Longfellow, the American poet, provided Keira’s first teaching staff with the inspiration to adopt the word Excelsior as our motto. Longfellow wrote a poem on the incessant aspiration for youth to achieve, ending with the line, “A voice replied, ‘For up the height, Excelsior’”.
A more detailed chronology of education in early Wollongong and in particular the various guises of Keira can be found here.