is one of two main secondary schools, along with Riverview
Riverview Rural High School is a secondary school located in Coxheath, Nova Scotia, Canada, a suburb of Sydney, Nova Scotia. It is attended by approximately 1000 students in grades 10 to 12...
, for the city of Sydney
Sydney is a Canadian urban community in the province of Nova Scotia. It is situated on the east coast of Cape Breton Island and is administratively part of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality....
, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...
Its building at 49 Terrace Street is an educational facility that houses the G. G. Campbell Memorial Library, opened in 1989.
It has a history of being the oldest school in Sydney, once even being a private school at the end of the 19th century. Sydney Academy is the inner city school of Sydney, but also offers the IB (International Baccalaureate) program to any student wishing to partake in it. The IB program has been part of the Academy since July, 1987.
Sydney Academy offers education for students in grades 10-12, with the Pre-IB courses in grade 10, and full IB courses in the last two years of high school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....
. The school offers co-ed classes in all the grades.
It is estimated that in its first 150 years, Sydney Academy graduated over 25,000 students.
The school is infamous for its "Special Needs Bright Future Labour Program" which allows less fortunate students to prepare for a more task oriented life, through the delivery of papers and laundry throughout the school.
The First Building
In 1835, an act was passed by the General Assembly of Nova Scotia authorizing the Lieutenant Governor to appoint trustees and to make a grant of land for school purposes in Sydney. In a grant dated October 25, 1836, land located north by DesBarres Street, south by Amelia Street, east by George Street, and west by Charlotte Street was designated for the new Sydney Academy.
The two-storey school was opened on July 1, 1841, with Rev. O.S. Weeks as the first Headmaster. Campbell Street was opened up at that time through the property and the portion not required for school purposes was divided into lots. Some of the lots were sold to provide funds to pay for the new building, which cost $2800.
The original building, a tiny schoolhouse, eventually ceased to be used as a school. It was turned into a dwelling. Later, a part of this building was moved to 78 George Street, where it still stands with alterations.
The Second Building
Demands for a new building were met in 1864, when the new Education Act provided for the construction of a new school. The Sydney Board selected a site on Pitt Street, where the present telephone office now stands. This building was officially opened on May 1, 1866 and cost $3600. It was used until 1882, at which time larger accommodations for educational work were needed. Unfortunately the second Sydney Academy building was destroyed by fire in 1901.
The Third Building
In 1882, a new eight-room building was erected on the corner of George and Dorchester Streets for a cost of $6000. It was architecturally one of the finest wooden buildings for its purpose in the province. The grounds, containing about three acres, were divided into separate areas for boys and girls.
The Sydney Academy Debating Society was formed in 1884. The school continues to gain much recognition for the success of its debators.
In 1888, the Academy yearbook was established and was given the name "The Record".
The first Burchell Gold Medal was awarded to the top senior student in 1891. This medal is still awarded today and is one of the oldest continuing prizes for high school students in Canada.
The Academy's first Model Parliament was formed in 1892, under the direction of E.T. Mosley.
In 1900, music and painting were added to the school's curriculum.
The third building served as Sydney Academy until 1901.
The Fourth Building
Due to the influx of people arriving in Sydney to work at the Steel Plant, a new Academy had to be built to accommodate an increasing number of students.
Built in 1901, this three-storey brick and stone building was located next to the previous Academy and contained modern facilities such as a Chemical and Physical Laboratory as well as an Assembly Hall capable of seating up to 500 people.
The $30,000.00 building later became Central School. It currently houses senior administration of the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board.
The Fifth Building
Overcrowding soon resulted in the need for yet another Academy. So, a fifth building was built in 1911 for $53,000. Located in the Ashby area at the corner of Terrace and Park streets. This building later became known as "the Old Academy" and eventually became Park Junior High.
In 1912, the Sydney Academy hockey club defeated Glace Bay High School, 5-0, on a game played on the frozen Glace Bay harbour. The hockey club went on to win the Cape Breton High School Championship in 1923.
The Governor-General's Medal was awarded to the top student in the graduating class for the first time at Sydney Academy in 1922.
In 1935 Dr. George Graham Campbell became the principal. Serving from 1935–1968, he was the longest-serving principal of Sydney Academy. Under his leadership, Sydney Academy became one of the most outstanding high schools in the Atlantic region.
During the Campbell era, the school experienced an exponential growth that came from the coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...
boom in Cape Breton
Cape Breton Regional Municipality often shortened to simply CBRM, is a regional municipality in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton County.According to the 2006 Census of Canada, the population within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality is 102,250...
. This meant that a great deal happened at the school.
In 1932, Sydney Academy began to educate senior high students only.
In 1934, three of SA's boys from the track team were chosen to compete in the British Empire Trials in Hamilton, Ontario as part of the Maritime Track Team. They traveled there on one of the Dosco coal boats that was headed for Montreal.
In 1935, the Glee Club was formed.
In 1937, a representative of Sydney Academy was selected to attend the coronation of King George VI in London, England.
On December 23, 1942, the Academy Rink opened its doors to students and the public for the first time.
In 1947, a Guidance Counsellor was appointed for Sydney Schools for the first time. He was Don MacAdam.
In 1950, the boys' basketball team won their 6th consecutive Maritime Juvenile Championship, under Pat Paterson and Joseph Chiasson.
The Sixth Building
While Dr. George Graham Campbell was still principal, the present-day steel and glass Sydney Academy was built at 49 Terrace Street. This school was officially opened on September 8, 1959. At the time it was built, the gymnasium was said to be the best in the Maritimes with a seating capacity of 2400. The cost of this building was $1,250,000.
In 1959, the first Head Boy and Head Girl from the senior class were elected by the student body. This tradition continues today.
In 1963, the Academy Soccer team played a game with the crew members of the German freighter Klaus Leonhardt
. The German team presented an autographed picture of the ship to the school.
In 1968, the girls' basketball team won the provincial title for the first time.
In 1968, a 16-room addition, still known as "the new wing", was constructed to accommodate business education students.
In 1971, the Academy Debating team tied for first place at the Canadian High School Championship held at McGill University.
In 1972, Sydney Academy its largest class ever with 394 graduates.
In 1974, a record enrollment occurred as a total of 1,517 students registered for classes at the Academy.
That same year, the first G. G. Campbell Memorial Medal was awarded to a male and female student of the senior graduating class.
In 1976, the first Shauna MacFadyen Memorial Award was awarded to a senior student of the graduating class.
In 1979, the Boys hockey club won the Cape Breton Metros National Invitational Hockey Tournament for the 7th time in 8 years.
1980s and 1990s
In 1986, the Academy got its first football team. Only one year after being formed, the football team won first place in the Gallivan Bowl.
In 1987, another team was born, when male cheerleading began.
In January 1987, Sydney Academy became only the second public school in this province to be accredited as an IB school by the International Baccalaureate Organization of Geneva, Switzerland.
In 1989, Sydney Academy graduated its first French Immersion class.
In 1991, Sydney Academy celebrated 150 years by holding a very successful all-years reunion.
During the 1998-1999, the Academy debating team won first place in three different tournaments: the Canadian High School Championship held at McGill University, the Queens University High School Nationals, and the Nova Scotia Provincial Championships. The team also took home the prize for top speaker in the latter two tournaments.
In recent years, the school has experienced a lag in numbers, as graduates emigrate and families from Cape Breton move to other parts of Canada in search of employment.
In 2011, partially with thanks to Citadel High School
Citadel High School is a Canadian high school located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.The school opened in September 2007 on the site of the former Bell Road Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College...
's incredible moral support, the Sydney Academy debating team managed to place first in the Provincial Debating Championships. This was a great departure of their usual tradition of only winning moral
A moral is a message conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim...
| 1841-1845 Rev. O.S. Weeks
|| 1845-1847 J. Dunlin Parkinson
|| 1847-1849 Samuel Richardson
| 1849-1850 G.B. Watson
|| 1850-1865 Isaac McKay
|| 1865-1865 Wm. Street Harvey
|| 1865-1869 H.C. Creed
|| 1869-1870 John Sievewright
|| 1870-1870 John Harper
| 1870-1872 W.T. Pipes
|| 1872-1873 J.A. Gillies
|| 1873-1874 Aenease Cameron
| 1874-1875 Lewis MacInnes
|| 1875-1877 Rev. James Christie
|| 1877-1882 Burgess McKittrick
| 1882-1883 Hector McInnes
|| 1883-1889 Burgess McKittrick
|| 1889-1898 E.T. MacKeen
| 1898-1904 F.I. Stewart
|| 1904-1907 J.A. Armstrong
|| 1907-1909 C.L. Moore
| 1909-1910 G.W. MacKenzie
|| 1910-1922 Dr. W.A. Creelman
|| 1922-1935 Russel Ellis
| 1935-1968 Dr. George G. Campbell
|| 1968-1984 Dr. Robert Chafe
|| 1984-1989 Edgar MacTavish
| 1989-1998 Peter Mombourquette
|| 1998-2006 Brian Dwyer
|| 2006-2010 Kevin Deveaux
Sydney Academy has an alumni association, with the oldest member having graduated in 1939. Alumni occasionally gather to mark significant class reunions.
- John Buchanan served as Premier of Nova Scotia and graduated from SA in 1948.
- Guy McLean served as President of Mount Allison University and graduated from SA in 1948.
- Sir John George Bourinot was Clerk of The House of Commons from 1880–1902 and author of "Bourinot's Rules of Order" which is still used in Canada and other Commonwealth Countries as the Standard Parliamentry Manuel.
- The Honourable Kevin Lynch (Class of 1969) was Clerk of The Privy Council, Government of Canada 2006-2009 and is now Vice Chairman of the BMO Group.
- Dr. Arthur MacDonald, Physicist and Professor. Founder of the world's first and only Nutrino Lab in Sudbury, Ontario. Member of the Canadian Engineering and Science Hall of Fame and receipient of dozens of scientific awards and honours.In 2007 he won the Benjamen Franklin Medal for Physics. Previous winners include Albert Einstein(1935) and Stephen Hawking (1981).