About Us:


Our Story

Jessie Ripoll Primary School opened its doors on September 24, 1979 in response to the burgeoning student and staff population of Alpha Primary with a total of six hundred students and ten teachers. Of these, four hundred students, eight teachers and Sister Shirley Chung, the then principal of Alpha Primary came from Alpha Primary while the remaining two hundred students and four teachers were taken from Franklin Town Primary School. This newly created school was initially named Alpha Primary 11.

Within the first year of the establishment of the school a joint decision by the School Board and the Administrator requested a change in the name of the school so that it could have its own identity. It was only fitting and appropriate that the name selected was JESSIE RIPOLL PRIMARY SCHOOL in honour of the founder of Alpha, Justina Ripoll familiarly known as “Jessie” Ripoll. Alpha was celebrating its 100th Anniversary on May 1, 1980 and what more fitting tribute could we give to this woman whose vision and deep desire was to reach out to the underprivileged especially the uneducated and the marginalized in our society.

Sister Shirley Chung served as principal for twenty-six years. Miss Rena Wolfe (retired) was vice-principal for eighteen years. Phenomenal growth in the school has occurred over the years.

Mr. Michael Brown took up the mantle of principal in September 2005 and served in that position until August 2012.

Mrs. Marcia Detry Fogah retired as principal in 2018 after an illustrious tenure at the school for almost four decades.

Mr. O’neil Stevens is the current principal who has taken on the baton with much earnest.

In our 39 years, Jessie has produced two Rhodes Scholars: in 1996, Richard Thompson and again in 2001, Kim-Marie Spence. In 2009 Kim-Marie Spence at age 30 attempted to become the "first Jamaican" to reach the South Pole. Whilst she was not successful, Kim Marie showed strength and determination. 

In these past thirty-nine years all stakeholders have tried to live out their motto of “Ever To Excel” and this is manifested in their continuous implementation of programmes and involvement in quiz competitions, clubs such as Karate, Environment, Sign Language, Brigadiers, Good Groomers, Spanish, The JCDC festival competitions (dance, music, speech,) sports – football, netball, basketball, track and field, swimming and chess. Educational field trips are also a part of our activities to compliment the curriculum.

The success of Jessie Ripoll Primary School is attributed to the importance of prayer as an integral part of our daily activities. Yes, providing an atmosphere and environment that is conducive to learning is essential to success, but it is the total development of the students that becomes the hallmark of the school and its success over the years.

Today, students who attended this institution can be found in almost every area of employment both locally and overseas. Some are lawyers, doctors, civil engineers, and managers of their own business, the hotel industry, just to name a few.

Some of our students have been awarded with some of the top scholarships in the Grade Six Primary Exit Profile (PEP) while others have done well in the Grade Four Literacy Test (GFLT) & General Achievement in Numeracy (GAIN).

As we look forward to Celebrate 40 Years of Excellence in M.E.R.C.Y we reflect on the lessons learned and opportunities to continue to fashion a canvass for excellence in teaching and learning and ultimately national development. As our school song states, “We strive only for the best, toiling on, no thought of rest”, JESSIE RIPOLL – “EVER TO EXCEL”