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Prior to 1963, students wishing to continue to secondary education from Gordonvale and Edmonton areas had to either enrol at a boarding school or catch each day the rail motor to Cairns State High School.   By the end of the 1950s, the first of the so called ‘baby boomers’ were nearing the end of their primary school years and the demand for a secondary school in Gordonvale increased.  The Queensland Minister for Education at the time, Honourable Jack Prizzey, in response to this increased demand, opened a State School ‘High Top’ at the Gordonvale State Rural School (present day Gordonvale State School) in 1963.  But by the start of 1964, a new site (native bushland) at the end of Sheppards Street had been earmarked for the construction of the new State High School.  The first school building on the new site contained a store room, office, one classroom, a science laboratory, and a typing room. Teachers and year 10 students, usually on bicycles would commute between the new site at the end of Sheppards Street and the ‘High Top’ at the Gordonvale State Rural School in the course of their daily lessons. 
Gordonvale State High School officially opened its doors to 234 students on the 25th January 1965.  The Department of Education appointed Mr James Bourner, a Queensland Teachers’ Training College graduate who had taught since 1948, as the first principal. 


original GSHS 1965.jpg
Original admininistration building and classrooms in 1965.  Now B block.

Mr James Bourner was the first of 10 principals:


Mr James Bourner              1965 -1968
Mr Keith Faulkner               1969 – 1973
Mr Rex Proctor                    1974 – 1976
Mr Barry Molly                    1977 – 1978
Mr George Cominos           1979 – 1986
Mr Ken Rogers                     1986 – 1988
Mr Terry Austin                   1989 – 2000
Mr Daryl Exelby                   2001 – 2007
Mrs Kate MacDonald          2008 – 2012
Mrs Jan Carr                         2013 - present                         
In 1965 there were just 10 teachers appointed to Gordonvale State High School:
Mr Brian Young, Mr Alan Broughton, Ms Suzanne Morrison, Ms Jennifer Whitney, Ms Carolyn Smyth, Mr Dale Somer, Mr Kevin Murgatroyd, Mr Frank Rich, Ms Margaret Gardner and Mr David Kidd.

In 2017 the staff at Gordonvale State High School includes a Principal, two Deputy Principals, nine Heads of Department, a HOSES, a Master Teacher, a Business Services Manager, a guidance Officer, two Youth Support Counsellors and approximately 140 teaching and non-teaching staff members.


Junior secondary buildings 2014.jpg

Junior Secondary precinct - opened in 2014.


School uniforms.jpg

School uniforms - old and new.