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Brief History of Bassa High School

 

The institution known as Bassa High School today was constructed in 1905 and operated by the Methodist Episcopal Church Overseas in joint cooperation with their Liberian counterpart. It was called Hatzel Academy. In 1926 the institution was turned over to the Liberian Government under a joint agreement signed between the foreign board of the Methodist Church and the Government of Liberia. In short, the funding aspect was still supported by the Church while the operational duties were the responsibility of the Liberian Government.

 

The funding gradually transitioned from the Methodist Church to the Liberian Government over the years. By the end of the school year 1943 a request was made to change the name from Hatzel Academy to the Bassa High School, a move aimed at establishing the first and only public high school in Grand Bassa County.

 

In February of 1944, the Department of Public Instruction of Liberia, now the Ministry of Education, approved the request. At the end of academic year 1944, Mr. Henry Kparkay Weah became the first graduate of the Bassa High School. He was a class of one.

 

Since 1944, the Bassa High School has been on an upward thrust, forging ahead in spite of many mounting difficulties and shedding its rays of literacy in every direction of human interest and concern. Today, the Bassa High School Association, USA has joined forces with the Principal, faculty, staff and student body, to continue to be that beacon of light known as Turris Lucis, (Latin for Tower of Light). 

The physical structure that housed the institution was originally a frame building located near where the current facility is.

It partially collapsed during a graduation program, causing several persons to sustain injuries. The school then moved into the John Dunnnon Building nearby. In 1957 the school moved into the G. Flamma Sherman's residence until mid 1959 when the current main building was completed under the administration of Joshua Harmon as Superintendent of Grand Bassa County. The building was a three-storey structure with the third floor being a terrace. It was during the administration of Charles H. Williams when the terrace was converted into the auditorium, principal and registrar offices in 1966.

Over the years, the institution has graduated scores of individuals who have risen to positions of prominence at home and abroad. In appreciation of the solid foundation laid by the institution, graduates and former students residing in the United States united themselves to pool and mobilize resources to aid in making the Bassa High School second to none among public and private schools in Grand Bassa County and the Republic of Liberia as a whole.