The Genesis Of Ave Maria

Mrs Mary Ama Kyem Antwi, of blessed memory, popularly known as Aunty Mary, founded Ave Maria School. The late Mrs Antwi obtained her Teacher’s Certificate at the Holy Child College, Takoradi, in 1958. She started her teaching career at the Roman Catholic School at Bone near Bekwai in 1959. She soon had to join her husband in London in the United Kingdom. She enrolled at the Chiswick Polytechnic in 1961 for a two-year Diploma course in Home Science.

Having completed this course, she entered the Garnet School University of London for another course leading to the award of a Technical Teacher’s Certificate, after completing this course she was appointed a teacher at the Harrow Technical School, London. The Antwis’ returned to Ghana in 1966 and Mrs Antwi was immediately appointed a tutor at the Kumasi Polytechnic. In 1970, she was transferred to the Accra District Office of the Ministry of Education.

She was promoted to Principal Superintendent in 1975 and transferred to the Greater Accra Regional Office of the Ministry. She was again promoted in 1982 to the position of Assistant Director and made the Head of the Private Schools Unit.

As Head of the Private Schools Unit, the main part of her work schedule was going around visiting the private schools unit. She assessed and graded them and gave recommendations to the various head teachers, proprietors, proprietresses, etc. about how to improve teaching and learning in their schools. During these visits, she became increasingly interested in establishing a school herself.

Before the end of 1982, she retired voluntarily as Assistant Director from the G.E.S to enable her to put into practice what she had been directing and supervising others to do.

She mooted an idea of opening a nursery school from her garage at South Odorkor Estates, to cater for working mothers who had no house help. She started initially with three (3) pupils, but gradually, as the good name of the school spread, so did the number of the little ones grow.

After completing their early childhood education at about 4-5 years, the nursery pupils entered kindergartens in various primary schools in Dansoman and its surrounding areas. Soon parents were having problems getting vacancies for their wards in the schools. To solve this problem Mrs Antwi decided to establish a primary school so that after completing the nursery here children could have easy and continuous access to primary education.

The Primary, KG and Stage 1 classes began on the same premises as the Nursery School. Meanwhile, land for the Primary School was acquired with the inspiration of a parent by the name Mr Carl Reindolf of blessed memory and the P.T.A. After completing the ground floor of the building, the KG and Stage One (1) classes were transferred. On 5th October 1992, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Thornton, SVD, dedicated the school. The Primary School started with three classes, kindergarten, stage 1 and stage 2.

Mrs Mary appointed Mr S.K. Nartey as the Assistant Headmaster of the school. The members of staff were Bettey Duah, in charge of KG, Mr Morgan, in charge of Stage 1 and Mr Nartey, in charge of Stage 2 in addition to his administrative duties. In January 1993 in the second term, Mr S. M. Jehu Appiah and Miss Joyce Manu were employed to strengthen the teaching staff. Every year one more class was added to the school.

Unfortunately in 1995, on May 28, Mrs Antwi passed away. At this time, the school she started with just three pupils and two teachers had developed to stage 5 with 480 pupils and fourteen teachers. The number of administrative, teaching and non-teaching staff for the nursery, primary and JSS was fifty-seven. Looking ahead we aimed to finally have a three-stream school with all the facilities needed to groom children into well-developed individuals both academically and socially.

At this time the number of pupils in the nursery, primary and JHS was about nine hundred. In 2002, the inevitable happened; the death of Mr K. Antwi the Managing Proprietor and his daughter Ms Gloria Antwi, the assistant Headmistress, may their souls rest in perfect peace. At this point, the school has become a three-stream running up to JHS3, which is the final class in the Junior High School Education Programme.

Between 2002 to 2005, a Board of Directors was put in place to streamline the affairs of the school. The board comprised the following:
Mr Joseph Sam of Legfield Associates, the school’s lawyer and Board Secretary; Mrs Kate Cobbinah retired Educationist and Board Chairperson, Mr Kwaku Mensa-Bonsu, CEO of Prime Time; and Mr Kwasi Boadi Boateng became the acting Managing Proprietor.
July 2005, saw the relocation of Mr Michael Sarfo Antwi to Ghana from the UK as the substantive Managing Proprietor of the school and Mr Boadi Boateng was appointed the Registrar.

Though we still have a long way to go we can confidently say that a lot has been achieved. The school has added to its many facilities, a school canteen, a pick-and-drop school bus service, a second to none Nursery Complex and a modern boarding facility for boys and girls which commenced in January 2009.
Currently, the school has over 500 Hundred learner’s populations including 120 boarders with over 100 teaching and non-teaching staff.
We give thanks to God and pray for His continued guidance.

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