The Isaac A. David Sr. Memorial School (IADSMS)


The Isaac A. David Sr. Memorial School, owned and operated by Mrs. Sadie L. DeShield and Mrs. Christine T. Norman, was founded in 1968 as the Paynesville Private School. Classes began on March 3, 1968 in a building rented from Hon. Charles Snetter. Eleven students enrolled in grades kindergarten second, with three teachers (Mrs. Emma Cassell, Mrs. Williette Hall, Mrs. Evangeline Kiawu). Very soon, it was apparent that bigger and more suitable facilities were needed.


Construction

IAD Cornerstone
IAD Cornerstone

With the help of the late Commissioner J.C.N. Howard of Paynesville, land was acquired for constructing new buildings. Commissioner Howard also personally donated two lots. The late President William V.S.Tubman, Sr. made the initial financial contribution to the building which was renamed the Isaac A. David Sr. Memorial School in 1971.

 

Construction on the new building commenced in December 1969 under the leadership of the late Mrs. Victoria A. Tolbert (Chairman of the Board of Trustees), Mr. Luc Mathelier (construction supervisor), and Mr. David Gbandi (mason). The Parents-Teachers Association, under the leadership of its first and second presidents, Mrs. Clora Hamelberg (1969-1971) and Mrs. Jackie Marstiller, (1971-72), planned a series of fund-raising activities to assist with expenses. On October 25, 1970, the cornerstone was laid and in March 1971, the building was ready for occupancy.

 

By the end of 1972, the number of students in the preschool had so increased that it was necessary to provide larger work and play facilities. The Board decided to take another bold step to construct the Nursery-Kindergarten annex. This project was undertaken by DENSCO Construction Company operated by Mr. Amos Smith and Mr. Laurence Norman. On June 10, 1973, the building was 
Jr. High Building with Library annex
dedicated by the Rev. Bennie D. Warner.  Portion of Pre-school Bldg.
Portion of Pre-school Bldg.

 

In 1976, the founders and parents felt the need to expand the school from Elementary level to Junior high level. This necessitated the third construction project. Construction on the junior high building began in early 1977 and by September 1977, the building was completed and ready to house the junior high school classes, which were already meeting in the elementary building.


 

Standing on a Firm Foundation

When the Liberian military coup d'etat occurred in April 1980, the school had graduated two classes of ninth graders. Amidst all the violence and uncertainty, the school reopened a few weeks after the coup with its dedicated group of workers. Between 1980 and 1990, tremendous changes occurred but despite all the struggles, the Isaac A. David Sr. Memorial School endured against great odds. With the dedicated leadership of the Acting Chairman of the Board, the late Hon. Leonard T. DeShield, Sr., and members, Mr. Laurence Norman, and Mr. Jonathan Harmon, the school continued to flourish with a standard of academic excellence. In 1988, ground was broken for a new library building which is now constructed.  


Mrs. Lottie Harmon

President Sirleaf at Groundbreaking.
President Sirleaf at Groundbreaking.

Ms. Rachel Teah
Ms. Rachel Teah
In 1990, the longest serving principal at the time, Mrs. Lottie Harmon, hesitantly fled Liberia due to the Civil War which commenced in Dec. 1989. After Mrs. Harmon's departure, the school continued to flourish; first, under the guidance of the late Mr. D. Blamo Woods and then under the leadership of Principal Rachel S. Teah, its current principal. The process to attain senior high school status began in June 2008 under the steadfast and visionary leadership of Mrs. Christine T. Norman. With assistance from Principal Teah, Vice-Principal Mr. Konah Parker, and encouragement from the Ministry of Education, the school was granted senior high status in September 2008 and the first senior high students were enrolled. In November 2009, ground was broken by her Excellency President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and construction of a new annex began which would eventually house senior high classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab, and an auditorium. On January 17, 2011, phase I of the annex was ready for occupancy and the building, named after the late Hon. Leonard T. DeShield, Sr. was completed in 2012.
New Beginnings

The Leonard T. DeShield Sr. High School Bldg. (also houses the computer lab and multi-purpose room)
The Leonard T. DeShield Sr. High School Bldg. (also houses the computer lab and multi-purpose room)

The Isaac A. David School proudly graduated its first 12th graders ("Genesis"),

on June 23, 2011, a class of 13 students. This is yet The Late Mrs. Victoria A. Tolbert
The Late Mrs. Victoria A. Tolbert
another step on the road to educate, liberate, enlighten, and empower future leaders of Liberia in a clean, secure, and loving environment. With Christ as the great architect, so shall it be and in the words of a former Chairman of the Board, the late Mrs. Victoria A. Tolbert, "This school must become the best in the country".  

 

 

 

 

                                  6th graders 2012
6th graders 2012
                   

First 12th grade graduates, June 2011 with Mrs. Norman
First 12th grade graduates, June 2011 with Mrs. Norman

Mural gift from 2002-03 graduating 9th graders
Mural gift from 2002-03 graduating 9th graders