The Genesis of Ave Maria School
Mrs. Mary Ama Kyem Antwi of blessed memory popularly known as Aunty Mary, founded Ave Maria School. The late Mrs. Antwi obtained her Teacher’s Certificate at the Holy Child College Takoradi in 1958. She started her teaching career at the Roman Catholic School at Bone near Bekwai in 1959. She soon had to join her husband in the United Kingdom in London.She enrolled at the Chiswick Polytechnic in 1961 for a two-year Diploma course in Home Science. Having successfully completed this course, she entered the Garnet School University of London for another course leading to the award of a Technical Teacher’s Certificate. After completing this course she was oppointed a Teacher at the Harrow Technical School, London. The Antwi’s returned to Ghana in 1966 and Mrs. Antwi was immediately appointed a tutor at the Kumasi Polytechnic. In 1970, she was transferred to the Accra District Office of the Ministry of Education. She was promoted to Principal Superintendant in 1975 and transferred to the Greater Accra Regional Office of the Ministry. She was again promoted in 1982 as an Assistant Director and made Head of Private Schools Unit. As Head of the Private School Unit, a main part of her work schedule was going round visiting Private Schools. She assessed and graded them and gave recommendations to the various Headteachers, Proprietors, Proprietresses etc. about how to improve teaching and learning in their schools. During these visits she became increasingly interested in establishing a school herself. In 1982 she retired voluntarily as an Assistant Director from the G.E.S to enable her put into practice what she had been directing and supervising others to do. She mooted an idea of opening a nursery school from her garage at South Odorkor Estates, to cater for working mothers who had no house helps. She started initially with three (3) pupils but gradually as the good name of the school spread, so did the number of the little ones grow. After completing their early childhood education at about 4-5 years, the nursery pupils entered Kindergartens in various Primary schools in Dansoman and its surrounding areas. Soon parents were having problems getting vacancies for their wards in the schools. To solve this problem Mrs. Antwi decided to establish a Primary School so that after completing the Nursery here children could have easy and continuous access to primary education.
The Primary classes, KG and Stage 1 begun on the same premises as the Nursery School. Meanwhile land for the Primary School was acquired with the inspiration of a parent by name Mr. Carl Reindolf of blessed memory and the PTA. After completing the ground floor of the building, the KG and Stage one (1) classes were transferred. On 5th October 1992, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Thornton SVD dedicated the school. The Primary School was started with three classes, Kindergarten, Stage one 1 and Stage two 2. Mrs. Antwi appointed Mr. S. K. Nartey as the Assistant Headmaster of the school. The members of staff were Betty Duah in charge of KG, Mr. Morgan in charge of Stage one 1 and Mr. Nartey in charge of Stage 2 in addition to his administrative duties. In January 1993 in the second term, Mr. S. M Jehu Appiah and Miss Joyce Manu were employed to strengthen the teaching staff. Every year one more class was added to the school.
Unfortunately in 1998 on May 28, Mrs. Antwi passed away. At this time, the school she started with just three pupils and two teachers had developed to stage 5 with 480 pupils and fourteen teachers. The number of administrative, teaching and non teaching staff for the Nursery, Primary and JSS was fifty seven. Looking ahead it was our aim to finally have a three stream school with all the facilities needed to groom children into well developed individuals both academically and socially. At this time the number of pupils in the Nursery, Primary and JHS was about One thousand one hundred. In 2002, the inevitable happened the death of Mr. K. Antwi the Managing Proprietor and his daughter Ms Gloria Antwi the assistant Headmistress, may their souls rest in perfect peace. At this point the school has became a three streamed school up to JHS 3 which is the final class in the Junior High School Education Programme.
2002 to 2005, Board of Directors were put in place to steer the affairs of the school. The Board comprise, Mr. Joseph Sam of Legfield Associates, the schools lawyer and Board Secetary, Mrs. Kate Cobbinah retired Educationist Board Chairman, Mr. Mensa Bonsu CEO Prime Time, and Mr. Kwasi Boadi Boateng, became the acting Managing Proprietor.
July 2005, saw the relocation of Mr. Michael Sarfo Antwi to Ghana from UK as the substantive Managing Proprietor of the school and Mr. Boadi Boateng was appointed the Registrar.
Though we still have a long way to go we can confidently say that a lot has been achieved. The school has added to its many facilities, a school canteen, a pick and drop school bus service, a second to non Nursery Complex and a mordern boarding facility to commence next academic year, January 2009.
Hurray to Ave Maria and a big thank you to you all that have contributed to make this school what it is today. Finally we give thanks to God and pray for His continued guidance. We also ask for the blessing of the Virgin Mary whose name the school bears.