History of Kingsway Academy
Kingsway Academy has always benefitted from the favour of God. Its history was outlined by Mrs. Grace (Tathum) Kemp in her presentation at the school’s golden jubilee anniversary celebration in 2009.
* On a visit to Nassau in February 1957, Mr. C. Ernest Tathum wrote about the exploration for the possibility of a “Christian school. Clarence Lowe and I looked at land for a school”.
* In 1959 the Charles Tathum Memorial School (named for Mrs. Kemp’s grandfather) opened its doors to 4 students with Mrs. Shirley Redpath as the teacher. The one-room school was located on Dowdeswell Street.
* Renamed Kingsway Academy in 1961, the school moved to a four-room building to accommodate its 24 students, just a few yards east of the original site.
* In 1966 a Board of Directors was established made up of members of various Evangelical churches.
* 1967 marked the acquisition of 10 acres of property on Bernard Road for twenty thousand pounds (approximately $56,000). Mr. Dewitt Thompson, Chairman of the Board was instrumental in negotiating this deal. Mr. Roy Beverley, a missionary from Cat Island introduced a volunteer Texan contractor named Chic Anderson who erected the first buildings on the site.
* In September 1968, the school on Bernard Road welcomed students to the new facility, never mind the absence of doors and windows. Mrs. Priscilla (Beverley) Cartwright served as teacher and became the first guidance counselor of the high school. She later served as Elementary Principal.
God has proven Himself faithful to Kingsway Academy especially in the face of financial challenges. In 1973, Mrs. Grace Kemp was directed to the Ministry of Education to secure the school’s first grant-in-aid. Soon, the institution was recognized as the elementary school of academic and spiritual excellence by the Ministry and the community. The school always sought God in its dealings and was literally built on the Word of God, with the Bible buried in the foundation of the first structure. Upon her departure, Mrs. Kemp’s staff presented her with a gold locket; the inscription read, “Kingsway Academy 1959 – 1973. By Faith.”
* 1979 gave way to a new venture when the high school was launched with 26 students, under the direction of Mrs. Carol Harrison and vice principal, Mr. Allan Lane. Mr. Dewitt Thompson, Mrs. Lolamae Rolle, PTA officers and the school administrators led the charge in this feat.
* In 1981, the high school building was dedicated. Over the next two years, two wings were added under the guidance of Mr. Herbert Treco and the late Mr. Ned Wallace.
* The Class of 1984 (the first graduating class) celebrated the historical moment with unprecedented results in the BJC (Bahamas Junior Certificate) examinations and in the GCE (General Certificate of Education) examinations.
* 1989 was another banner year when the Kingsway Saints won the four (4) softball championships sponsored by the BAISS (Bahamas Association of Independent Secondary Schools).
Successive years have seen the growth of the school to over one thousand students and the extensive development of its programs and activities.
* In 2009, the school celebrated the contribution of time, talent and treasure of 12 honorees: Grace Kemp, Dewitt Thompson, Herbert Treco, Kelcine Hamilton, Catherine Benjamin, Ned Wallace, Harry Bunch, Carol Harrison, Grace and Allan Lane, Denise Worrell, Deniz Onac and Priscilla Cartwright. The occasion was complemented by the attendance of the then Minister of Education, distinguished alumni, the RBDF Band, hundreds of well wishes and friends.
* In 2010, the red carpet was rolled out for 3 honorees. The high school building was named the Ned Wallace Building; the newly constructed administration block was named the Herbert L. Treco Administration Building; and the new eight-room classroom structure was named the Grace Tathum Kemp Early Development Center.
Over the past five decades, the school has thrived under the guiding hands of its Administrators: Mrs. Grace Kemp, Mr. Paul Tathum, Mrs. Dorothea Nunez, Mrs. Arlene Ferguson, Mrs. Carol Harrison, Mr. Allan Lane, Ms. Kelcine Hamilton, Mrs. Cynthia Thompson, Mr. Stephen Edgecombe, Mrs. Priscilla Cartwright, Mrs. Cora Cooper, Mr. Patrick Rutherford, Mr. Deniz Onac, Mrs. Denise Worrell, Pastor Joshua Sands, Mrs. Mildred Turner, Mrs. Cassandra Smith, Mr. George Baxter, Mrs. Udean Sattem, Mrs. Jacqueline Ledgister-Bethell, Mrs. Joycelyn Taylor, and Mrs. Chandra Minns.