How school started and what it stands for
The name CedarBridge Academy was decided via a competition.
It symbolises the history of Bermuda because of the cedar trees, which are indigenous to Bermuda. Cedar is robust and attractive, hence the rich heritage of the “cedar” lives on.
The bridge symbolises the bridge of bringing together the former five secondary general schools. As an “academy” it offers an education associated with scholars, artists and technicians. It is a cornerstone belief of CedarBridge Academy that a quality education is available to all students.
Cedarbridge is situated on a few acres of property in the heart of Prospect. The senior school was purpose built in 1996. It is located on the site that used to house the former Robert Crawford, previously the Elliott School, and the Ruth Seaton James Theatre. The school was designed to include the Ruth Seaton James Theatre, to provide a continuous venue for all of the performances put on by CedarBridge's Fine Art Department and other activities co-ordinated by the school.
Prior to the establishment of the three schools, the British Army Barracks inhabited the Prospect area.
As the army was phased out, barracks were gradually upgraded and inhabited by single police officers who originated from the Caribbean or United Kingdom.
In The Royal Gazette supplement dated Tuesday, July 2, 1996, the Canadian educator Ernest Payette, the school's first principal, was quoted as saying: “Bermuda is moving in the right direction with its plans for inclusive education.
“The island has a much clearer vision of inclusive schools, which we believe is going to be the way of education in the 21st century. What you are doing in Bermuda is consistent with what they are trying to do in North America, the United Kingdom and Germany.”
The school opened with approximately 1,100 students on November 20, 1997. The government of the day was the United Bermuda Party. Their mandate at the time was to review the system of public education and to reflect on the most effective measures that could be implemented to provide better quality for all learners.
CedarBridge Academy and The Berkeley Institute became the two senior schools for the five newly created middle schools.
The new principal, Mr Payette, welcomed a new administration team consisting of Kalmar Richards, Carlos Symonds and John Walsh, a new staff of approximately 100 teachers.
The students arrived wearing a brand new uniform. They also arrived laden with traditions and loyalty to their previous secondary high schools. Some were reluctant as they feared the size of the school, and there was much negative press.
With the school motto — Unity, Understanding, Success — CedarBridge boasts a wealth of alumni and excellence. Nineteen years on, with Kalmar Richards at the helm, CedarBridge Academy has helped build our leaders of today.
Next Monday, November 20, the school will be celebrating its twentieth year anniversary.