View a history of the Ferny Grove and surrounding areas.
Discussion about the need for a High School in the Ferny Grove area started in 1974, even though student numbers at the time were not significant. The table below shows student numbers in the local suburbs for 1975:
In the same year, Mitchelton State High recorded a population of 1317 students and was predicted to grow to 1600 by 1982 unless a new school was built. Pressure to build a new school continued until the State Government announced that a 13ha site in McGinn Rd had been purchased and that construction would comprise four major buildings. The original Ferny Grove State School, just a few doors away, was built in 1875 of timber slab construction and almost closed in the 1930s when enrolments dropped below the minimum of 9 students.
By 1979, there were an estimated 6700 children aged under 18 in the local area. In February 1979, a $939,000 tender for the construction of a Year 8 teaching block consisting of 8 classrooms, and one each for Home Economics, Manual Arts and Music, and Administration with office and staff accommodation was accepted. The school opened on Tuesday, 29th January 1980 with an enrolment of 220 Year 8 students under Principal Mr Keith Tabulo.
Almost immediately, stage two comprising a new Arts and Craft centre, a Natural Science building and a Multi-purpose Shelter got underway at a cost of $710,000. The following year, a new Year 8 intake saw the population grow to 436 students with 16 additional teachers appointed to take the staff up to 31. In 1982, further development plans worth $860,000 were announced for a Social Sciences block, a Music block and a Library, with expansions of the existing Arts and Crafts, Manual Arts and Science blocks.
Further additions to the Home Economics block were to proceed in 1983 with an additional building housing a kitchen and dining/seminar room along with offices and a pantry.
Mr Tony Marsland was appointed principal in 1983 and the enrolment growth which had amazed the school community continued with some 800 students enrolled and record enrolments in Year 8. Tenders were called for the construction of an oval along with basketball and tennis courts.
Growth in student numbers continued with the enrolment exceeding 1000 including 317 year 8s in 1984. This year also saw the first group of 108 Year 12s, with inaugural School Captains elected to represent the student body. This also meant that the school could conduct its first annual Speech Night, an event described by Principal Tony Marsland as the school’s coming of age. Awards were presented to the school Dux, Sportsperson of the Year as well as for Citizenship. Itchika House won the Interhouse Sporting Competition having most points in swimming, cross-country and athletics.
Principal Tony Marsland was promoted to school inspector and replaced by Mr Ralph Took in 1985. Student numbers continued to grow with enrolments close to 1200 and teacher numbers also increasing to cater for the additional students. Further expansion saw the approval in 1987 for the construction of a Performing Arts block with tiered seating for 300 people and a stage for performances along with classrooms and storage facilities. The building program was nearly complete with the opening in 1991 of the Agricultural Science building with classrooms, laboratories and a workshop.
In 2000 Mr Ralph Took was appointed to the Education Queensland Central Office to oversee Secondary School Renewal, the statewide school facilities refurbishment program, and Mr Chris Rider was appointed Principal. By 2006, the school had grown to over 1600 students and the long-awaited opening of the Auditorium to house the Music and LOTE departments took place. Our longest serving Principal was honoured with the building being named The Ralph Took Auditorium.
Mr Chris Rider was appointed to Head Office to oversee the OneSchool program and Mrs Kaye Gardner was appointed Executive Principal in July 2007. In Term 2, 2010, Mrs Gardner was appointed to another school, and Mr David Sutton became Acting Principal for a term, prior to the appointment of Mr Mark Breckenridge as Principal in July 2010. He then became our Executive Principal at the beginning of 2016 and remained with us until he was appointed President of the Queensland Principal's Association in January 2018. Mr John Schuh was then appointed the new Executive Principal at Ferny Grove SHS. In 2021, Mr Joseba Larrazabal was appointed Acting Executive Principal for Term 1 and 2 and Ms Janelle Amos is currently the Acting Executive Principal.
In 2015 the historic education reform transferring Year 7 to high schools in Queensland resulted in Ferny Grove High's student population increasing to approximately 1700. In 2016, an Enrolment Management Plan was implemented at the school due to its enrolment reaching near capacity. We currently have over 1800 students at our school.