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 25 January 1965. The Department of Education appointed Mr James Bourner, a Queensland Teachers’ Training College graduate who had taught since 1949, as the first principal.
Original administration building and classrooms in 1965. Now B block.
Mr James Bourner was the first of 11 principals:
|Mr James Bourner||1965-1968|
|Mr Keith Faulkner||1969 – 1973|
|Mr Rex Proctor||1974 – 1976|
|Mr Barry Molloy||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 - 2019 |
|Ms Heather Murry ||2020 - 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, Miss Dale Somer, Mr Kevin Murgatroyd, Mr Frank Rich, Ms Margaret Gardner and Mr David Kidd.