Located in the scenic east coast fishing village of Dennery, Clendon Mason Memorial Secondary School (CMMSS) is one of the Secondary Schools found on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. The institution was named after former parliamentarian and Dennery native, the late Honourable Clendon Mason.
The school first opened its doors as the Dennery Junior Secondary School (DJSS) in September 1974 with Mr Luke Vaughn Girard at the head as Principal. That period saw the birth of a new class of secondary schools called “Junior Secondary Schools.” Other such institutions were, Micoud, Choiseul, Entrepot, Vieux Fort and Corinth. All of the aforementioned have since been upgraded to full secondary school status. At the time, these Junior Secondary Schools provided additional opportunities for Saint Lucian Students to attend secondary schools – albeit for only three years, the highest level was form three instead of five.
DJSS had a small initial intake of students in its early years and offered a limited number of subjects. These comprised Mathematics, English, Social Studies, French, Science, Health Science, Agriculture, Home Economics and Industrial Arts. Extra and Co-curricular activities complemented the curriculum. A modest but effective staff of seven teachers taught the curriculum. Most of the students at the time hailed from Dennery and the Mabouya Valley. Later, the catchment area stretched from South Castries to Desruisseaux.
By the 1980s a single Common Entrance Examination enabled Primary School students to gain entry into Secondary Schools – both Junior and full-fledged Secondary Schools. Later on, with the advent of the Common Middle School Examinations, students from Junior Secondary Schools such as DJSS were given the opportunity to progress to the full-fledged Schools such as St. Mary’s College and Castries Comprehensive Secondary School.
Just after 1988 Mr Luke Vaughn Girard brought his sterling career as Principal of DJSS to a close and Mr Egbert “Tappie” James took over the helm as Acting Principal. In that period most of the Junior Secondary Schools were being upgraded to full Secondary School status.
DJSS was the last surviving Junior Secondary School on the island and in 1990, Mr Egbert James felt that the moment to upgrade the institution to the next level had arrived. This sentiment was communicated to the Ministry of Education.