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Almaguin Highlands Secondary School is a new school with a long and interesting history, located in South River, Ontario. The school was first opened in 1959 at a location in between Sundridge and South River; 144 students were enrolled in 1959 and were taught by 8 teachers. The school was renovated and expanded in 1966-1967 and enrollment grew to 571 that year, and hit capacity a year later, in 1968 with 750 students. The school was officially opened by the Honorourable William G Davis, Minister of Education, and received its official name of Almaguin Highlands Secondary School at that time. The word Almaguin is a combination of letters from the words Algonquin and Magnetawan, and was created years earlier during a local contest to boost tourism. Renovations continued and in 1969 and 1970, Powassan and Burks Falls students joined Almaguin Highlands Secondary School respectively; the school burgeoned to a population of 1397 students and 84 staff members in 1978. Almaguin became one of the first schools to introduce the credit system.
After many years of providing a high level of education to students from over 20 different communities, a new building was erected and opened in September of 2011. The new building boasts state of the art technologies and the continuation of traditions established over the long history of the school, including the naming of hallways in the new building after Scottish clans that reflected the heritage of much of the population of the area years ago; the hallway names also paralleled the names of the halls in the old school. Over the years, students at Almaguin have found their individual pathways to success in areas like Drama, Music, Art, Sport, Technology, Academics, and Community Leadership. Today, two Specialist High Skills Major programs are offered including studies in Media Arts and Outdoor Education. If you would like to learn more about us, please come and visit; we would love to give you a tour!
Source: “History of the Original Almaguin Highlands Secondary School” by John A McDermott