Steveston-London Secondary School - A Brief History:
Steveston-London Secondary School was formed after the merger of two former outstanding west Richmond high schools. Steveston Junior High School opened in September of 1956 and was home to students in Grades 7, 8 and 9. Steveston graduated their first class of Grade 12s in 1961 and 2007 marked the 47th and final graduating class at the school. Charles E. London Elementary School opened in 1965. In 1974 London became a junior secondary school and, in 1997 the first graduating class was celebrated as all secondary schools in Richmond changed to a Grades 8 to 12 configuration. 2007 marked the 11th and final grad class at London. At their peak, Steveston’s enrollment was over 1750 and over 1150 attended London; however, with enrollment in the area changing and the 50-year old Steveston building in need of significant updating and the two schools only a few hundred meters apart, the Richmond School District decided to add a major addition to the London building that had been completely renovated in 1995, and amalgamate both schools. Steveston-London Secondary School opened with 1350 students in Grades 8-12 on September 4, 2007. All 58 framed grad composite photographs from Steveston and London continue to hang with honour in the halls of SLSS.
The primary goal of schools is nurturing intellectual development through learning, growth and personal success for students. Both schools established renowned traditions of academic excellence and every year, Steveston and London students consistently achieved amongst the very highest in the province in Provincial Exams and Advanced Placement Exams and each year scores of students were awarded Ministry of Education and post-secondary scholarships. More than 17,000 graduates have gone on to live fulfilling and successful lives.
Equally important, Steveston and London students also excelled in many elective programs, extracurricular teams and groups and socially-responsible endeavours. Musical performances were a big part of the school experience, including award winning concert bands, choirs and jazz bands. Live theatre, plays and musicals have been presented for decades, from the 1964 production of Little Women to the 2007 productions of A Christmas Carol and The Wizard of Oz. Steveston-London’s first performances were The Tempest and the school opened their exciting new 160-seat theatre with the musical Guys and Dolls in May of 2008. The first Steveston yearbook was published in 1960 and both schools created a student annual every year and students can look at the complete collection of old yearbooks in the current school library. Steveston-London celebrated their first year as SLSS with a collector’s edition, all-colour yearbook. Over five decades of clubs and elective courses provided thousands of students unique ways to learn and be involved. Steveston’s art, photography, construction & automotive classes and on-site salmon hatchery (built in 1987) saw students create portfolios, construct complete buildings that could be found all over Richmond, troubleshoot and rebuild engines and raise and release salmon. London’s art careers, aviation and broadcasting programs led the way to careers in art, film, media and every area of aviation, from mechanics to grounds crew to pilots. At both schools a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities included student councils, grad committees, school newspapers, dance clubs, championship cheerleader squads, chess clubs, U.N. clubs, International Issues & multicultural clubs, projectionists club, future teachers and future nurses club, computer & web site clubs and volunteer groups such as Charles E. Angels and Packers with Pride all helped give students a sense of belonging and purpose. Students from both schools were involved in exciting travel opportunities (e.g. France, Italy, Japan, Florida, California, etc.) and with many charitable and community events. It was a tradition at Steveston to raise funds and provide technical expertise to assist the Casa Guatemala Orphanage and many student groups traveled to this orphanage in Guatemala to volunteer their time and complete projects. London maintained a relationship with a sister school in Wakayama, Japan and for over 30 years, hundreds of students hosted Japanese students from Joto Junior Secondary school or travelled to Japan in alternating years. This international exchange relationship continues at Steveston-London.