PEARSON HIGH SCHOOL : HISTORY

In January 1926 the P.E. Secondary School was opened in the old hospital buildings on Richmond Hill, with an enrolment of 35 pupils, both girls and boys. The founder principal was Mr Leo Deary. The school moved in July 1927, to the Grey Institute buildings on the Donkin. In January 1928 the school was named Pearson High School after the Hon. William Pearson, who served as mayor of Port Elizabeth for 16 years..

Afrikaans was recognized as a medium of instruction in South African schools until standard six, but in 1928 fifteen Port Elizabeth pupils wished to continue their schooling further through the medium of Afrikaans. Pearson was the only school in Port Elizabeth able to manage this. In 1938, under the headmastership of Mr H. Bezemer (1938 - 1947), the first Afrikaans-medium class passed the Senior Certificate examination. At this stage our enrolment figure stood at 575 and Pearson was the only parallel-medium high school in the Eastern Cape and Border area with classes offered in both languages in all standards.

Pearson had become the high school with the highest enrolment in the province. As extra accommodation was needed, a new school was built in Bayview Avenue (now Erica Girls' School). The school moved to this site in 1941.

Mr D.J. Rossouw was principal from January 1948 to May 1952. On Wednesday, 18 October 1950 the war memorial was erected in honour of Pearson old scholars who had given their lives in the 2nd World War. Since then, Remembrance Day has been part of the Pearson calendar.

1953 to 1957 is known as the Bruwer era. During this time, every book in the Pearson library was sent to a bookbinding firm in Bath, England, to ensure a long shelf-life for them.

Mr J.P. Wait (1958 - 1965), who took over the reins from Mr Bruwer, ensured that there was good balance between cultural and sporting activities. Music (the choir and musicals) flourished.

Mr Muller du Plessis (1966 - 1980) took an already successful school to greater heights. Pearson was undeniably the leading school in Athletics. The enrolment rose to over 800. As there was no room for expansion in Bayview Avenue, and, as a result of 2 fires in the 1970's, the school moves to Summerstrand in July 1976, its Golden Jubilee Year.

Mr P.R. Visser (1981 - 1985) the 7th principal of the school, had to deal with the issue of decreased pupil enrolment which was attributed to the school's geographical position on the edge of the city. As a result the 3 traditional houses, Brown Clarendon, Elton-Wallis and Pearson-Donkin were changed to two houses, namely Deary House and du Plessis House.

Mr J.L.P. Heath (1986 - 1990) was instrumental in the decision taken to open Pearson's doors to all races. Under his leadership the groundwork and preparation was done for becoming a Model B school. Pearson would once again be a pioneer - this time providing education for all races.

Dr J.R. Ilsley (1991 - 1992) was the principal when we opened our doors, in January 1991, to pupils of all racial groups. During this time the school quickly adjusted to being a unique microcosm of South African society - a multi-cultural, parallel-medium school for boys and girls.

Ms E.D. ffolliott (1992 - 2004) became the first female principal of a co-educational high school in the Cape Province. This change in school leadership coincided with the transition on 1 May 1992, from the so-called Model B Pearson to the new Model C Pearson. We adjusted easily to the microcosm of society that it is today – a multi-cultural, parallel-medium, co-educational facility. Under Ms ffolliott’s leadership, the Reg Anderson Room (Old Scholars’ lounge), the Rendezvous (Learners’ cafeteria), the Information Technology Centre and the Estate Manager's cottage became reality.  She was also the driving force behind the resurrection of the Past Pupils' Association. Pearson once again has 3 Houses: Deary House, Du Plessis House and ffolliott House.

Mr André van Staden (2004- ) took over the reins as 11th principal in March 2004, after having been the Deputy Principal since 1995. Since then he has initiated the upgrading of all the sports facilities, and the building of a school shop, the Eve Alexander Music Auditorium and a new sports clubhouse. With his drive and dedication, he is leading this institution, with its proud and long tradition, to ever-greater heights. We have enrolled a record number of grade 8s in 2009 - 175!! Our total enrollment also reached an all-time high since our move to Summerstrand - 765 learners! New classrooms were created within the existing building to accommodate this growth in numbers. The Olympic-size Waterpolo Pool - the most ambitous project ever tackled by Pearson has been completed; 6 new cricket nets have been added and the tennis courts have been resurfaced. Most recently the go-ahead has been given for the upgrading of the pavilion which will include a new Old Scholars’ Clubhouse and Gymnasium. The Astroturf remains a future dream.

Pearson continues to be a busy and happy school of excellence, where we strive to educate the whole person – spiritually, academically, culturally and physically. Pearson was the first in Port Elizabeth to start the JOT (Jesus our Teacher) ministry programme. At Pearson learners are presented with a wide variety of options and opportunities to become involved in extra-curricular activities. A wide variety of educational programmes aims at equipping learners for a challenging future. A healthy code of conduct inculcates good values. Pearson is the ‘school that cares’.

HOëRSKOOL PEARSON : GESKIEDENIS

In Januarie 1926 is die "P.E Secondary School" in die ou hospitaal se gebou op Richmondhewel geopen met 'n leerdergetal van 35 leerlinge, seuns en meisies. Die stigtershoof was mnr. Leo Deary. In Julie 1927 het die skool verskuif na die Grey Instituut-gebou op die Donkin. In Januarie 1928 het die naam Hoërskool Pearson 'n werklikheid geword - vernoem na die agbare raadslid, mnr. William Pearson - burgemeester van Port Elizabeth vir 16 jaar.

Afrikaans is as onderrigmedium in Suid-Afrikaanse skole erken tot en met standerd ses, maar in 1928 het 15 Port Elizabeth-leerlders verkies om hulle skoolloopbaan deur die medium van Afrikaans te deurloop. Pearson was die enigste skool in P.E. was in staat was om dit te kan doen. In 1938, tydens die skoolhoofskap van mnr. H. Bezemer (1938 - 1947), het die eerste Afrikaans-medium klas die Senior Sertifikaateksamen afgelê. Pearson het op die stadium 575 leerlinge gehad. Pearson was gedurende hierdie tyd die enigste parallel-medium hoërskool in die Oos-Kaap en Grens-gebied met klasse in beide landstale vir alle standerds.

Pearson het die grootste hoërskool in die provinsie geword. Omdat daar nie genoeg plek vir die leerlinge was nie, is 'n nuwe skool in Bayviewlaan (nou Laerskool Erica) gebou. Die skool het in 1941 die "groot trek" gehad.

Mnr. D.J. Rossouw was skoolhoof vanaf Januarie 1948 tot Mei 1952. Woensdag, 18 Oktober 1950 is die oorlogsplaat opgerig ter ere van die oud-skoliere wat hulle lewe in die tweede Wêreldoorlog verloor het. Sedertdien is Herinneringsdag deel van die Pearson-kalender.

1953 - 1957 staan bekend as die Bruwer-era. Tydens die tydperk is elke Pearson biblioteekboek na 'n boekbinder in Bath, Engeland gestuur om die raklewe van die duur boek te verleng.

Mnr. J.P. Wait (1958 - 1965), wat by mnr. J.J. Bruwer as skoolhoof oorgeneem het, het verseker dat daar 'n balans tussen die kulturele ontwikkeling en sportontwikkeling plaasgevind het. Musiek (koor en blyspele) het floreer.

Mnr. Muller du Plessis (1966 - 1980) het reeds die florerende skool tot verdere hoogtes gevoer. Pearson was die onbetwiste Atletiekreus!

Mnr. P.R. Visser (1981 - 1985), die sewende skoolhoof van die skool, moes die kwessie van dalende leerdergetalle hanteer, as gevolg van ons geografiese posisie. Gevolglik is weggedoen met die 3 tradisionele huise - Brown-Clarendon, Elton-Wallis en Pearson-Donkin. In hulle plek het Dearyhuis en Du Plessishuis ontstaan.

Mnr. J.L.P. Heath (1986 - 1990) het 'n vername rol gespeel in die besluit om Pearson se deure vir alle rasse oop te stel. Die aanvoorwerk en voorbereiding om die Model-B-skool te word is deur hom gedoen. So was Pearson weer eens die baanbreker - om onderwys aan alle rasse te bied.

Dr J.R. Ilsley (1991 - 1992) was die hoof toe ons in Januarie ons deure vir alle rassegroepe oopgestel het. Gedurende hierdie tyd het die skool vinnig en maklik aangepas om 'n "unieke kosmos van die Suid-Afrikaanse gemeenskap-" multi-kulturele, parallel-medium skool vir seuns en dogters - te word.

Me. E.D. ffolliott (1992 -) word die eerste vroue-skoolhoof van 'n ko-ed skool in die Kaapprovinsie. Hierdie verandering in die skoolleierskap het hand aan hand gegaan met die oorgang van 'n Model B na die nuwe Model C-skool. Ons het maklik aangepas by die mikrokosmos van die huidige samelewing – ‘n multikulturele, parallel-medium, ko-ed fasiliteit. Onder me. ffolliott se leiding het die Reg Anderson-lokaal (‘n oud-skoliere lokaal), die Rendezvous (die leerders-kafeteria), die Rekenaarsentrum, en die terreinbestuurdershuis ‘n werklikheid geword. Die Oud-Skoliere Vereniging het vanweë haar dryfkrag weer na vore getree as ‘n sterk entiteit. Pearson het ook weer gespog met drie huise – Dearyhuis, Du Plessishuis en ffolliotthuis.

Mnr. André van Staden (2004 - ) het in Maart 2004 as die 11de skoolhoof van Pearson oorgeneem nadat hy by die skool as Onderhoof in 1995 aangestel is. Onder sy leiding is alle sportfasiliteite opgradeer, die skoolwinkel gebou, het die Eve Alexander Musiekouditorium die lig gesien en is die sportklubhuis opgerig. Vanweë sy dryfkrag en toewyding, word Pearson met sy lang en trotse tradisie tot steeds hoër hoogtes gelei. 'n Rekord getal Graad 8-leerders is in 2009 ingeskryf - 175!! Ons leerdertal is ook die hoogste ooit sedert ons trek na Somerstrand - 765 leerders! Vier nuwe klaskamers is binne die skoolgebou geskep om hierdie toename in die leerdertal te kan hanteer. Ons Olimpiese-grootte Waterpolo-swembad - die grootste projek wat nog ooit deur die skool aangepak is, is voltooi, ses nuwe krieketnette is aangelê en die tennisbane en netbalbane is hervlak. Net onlangs is die opgradering van die pawiljoen, wat ‘n nuwe Oud-Skoliere Klubhuis en Gimnasium sal insluit, die groen lig gegee. Die astrobaan bly steeds 'n toekomsdroom.

Pearson bly 'n besige en 'n gelukkige skool van uitmuntendheid. Hier strewe ons om die persoon in sy totaliteit op te voed - geestelik, akademies, kultureel en op sportgebied. Pearson was die eerste skool in Port Elizabeth om die JOT (Jesus our Teacher) bedieningsprogram aan te bied. By Pearson word leerders ‘n wye verskeidenheid keuses en geleenthede gebied om in ekstra-kurrikulêre aktiwiteite betrokke te raak. ‘n Wye verskeidenheid opvoedkundige programme is beskikbaar om leerders vir ‘n uitdagende toekoms toe te rus. Vanweë ‘n gesonde gedragskode word waardes by ons leerders ingeskerp. Pearson is ‘die skool wat omgee’.