History of Mountainview High School

Mountainview High School has a rich history as a school that provides quality education for the young people of South Canterbury.

Timaru Technical School was founded in 1901 as a co-educational evening school for those who normally worked during the day. This was at a time when only a very small proportion of teenagers attended secondary day schools. It began with classes in Latin, French, English, Arithmetic, Mathematics, Shorthand, Printing, Cookery and Dressmaking operating in a building loaned from Main School. There were 212 enrolments with Mr J. A. Valentine BA was the superintendent.

In 1909 the Minister of Education, G. Fowlds opened purpose-built new buildings on Arthur Street for the expanding Timaru Technical School. By then, evening classes in ambulance work, Art, Bookkeeping, drainage, elocution, electricity, German, building construction, home nursing, carving, Photography, plumbing, typing, wool classing, and Woodwork were also operating, with a total of 417 students. In 1913 sheep shearing classes began.

The school became Timaru Technical College in 1918. Mr W. Fossey was director of the college when day classes began. By the mid 1920’s more than 80 classes were underway. Winter games were held in competition with Geraldine High School and Ashburton Technical School. A fire in 1925 destroyed the school’s woodwork shop. In 1927 the Minister of Education, R. A. Wright, opened a two-storeyed engineering and blacksmiths workshop and drawing office, facing Arthur Street.

The College became Timaru Technical High School in 1934. New rooms for Art and Dressmaking were built in 1935, and an assembly hall was added in 1949. In 1945 the school band and orchestra was established, under Mr H. C. Dephoff and Mr Inglis Todd.

During the 1950’s the school gained considerable success in school and local sports competitions in Rugby, Basketball, soccer, tennis, athletics, boxing and swimming. A new Engineering block was opened in 1954 for day training of apprentices and the Centennial Wing, a two storey classroom block was added in 1959.

In the mid 1960’s the school had over 600 students working towards School Certificate and University Entrance, All Black, Alan Stewart (26 games as lock), was a member of the teaching staff.

Under the 1964 Education Act, technical high schools were officially to become secondary schools, hence the school was renamed Timaru College in 1967. Apprentice training was still held in the evening using the school’s facilities, but was now regarded as post-secondary education. The range of sports played widened to include hockey, cricket, cross-country, table tennis, gymnastics and volleyball.

1984 saw the opening by the Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, of the new Mountainview High School at Pages Road, as a site for Timaru College’s secondary section. The post-secondary technical section of the college remained at Arthur Street and became Aoraki Polytechnic in 1987. Mountainview High School was built on a whanau or extended family system with expansive common areas for students and a four hectare agriculture-horticulture block. The three whanau were named Hiwi, Moana and Whenua after their outlook towards the mountains, land and sea, respectively.

Mountainview High School continues to look to the future – to provide its students with innovative and engaging learning.