Our History

SOUTH BOSTON HIGH SCHOOL 1901-2005

1901: Mayor Thomas N. Hart presides over the opening of South Boston High School on Telegraph Hill. It was the first high school built in the South Boston neighborhood of Dorchester Heights, located in the central area of South Boston. The school is located at the summit of Telegraph Hill and boasts commanding views of both Boston Harbor and Downtown Boston.

1974: During the Boston busing crisis in the 1970s, several racial incidents took place at the school On September 12, 1974, the first day of school, only 124 students attended. The school anticipated an enrollment of about 1,300  On that day, hundreds of angry white residents hurled rocks and bricks as buses arrived at the school, carrying black students from Roxbury. Although police in riot gear attempted to control the demonstrators, eight black students on buses were injured

1975: The Boston School Committee was stripped of most of its control over Boston school integration. Judge W. Arthur Garrity Jr. said that desegregation was not working at South Boston High School and accused the School Committee of thwarting his court order. The Boston School Committee consistently disobeyed orders from the state Board of Education. Garrity’s ruling, upheld on appeal by conservative judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and by the Supreme Court led by Warren Burger, required school children to be brought to different schools to end segregation and led to the Boston busing crisis of 1974-1988.The school was placed into receivership that year under the administration of a district superintendent. By the final Garrity-decided court case in 1988, Judge Garrity had assumed more control over a school system than any judge in American history.

1976: Jerome Winegar is appointed Headmaster and for only the second time in this country’s history, a public school was placed in “receivership.” A search committee appointed Winegar, at the time a 38-year-old assistant junior high principal in St. Paul, Minn., to head up an eight-person team to run the school. 

1988: Judge Garrity remained at the center of a contentious battle over desegregation busing in Boston from the 1970s to the 1980s. He found a recurring pattern of racial discrimination in the operation of the Boston Public Schools in a 1974 ruling. Garrity’s ruling found the schools were unconstitutionally segregated. As a remedy, he used a busing plan developed by the Massachusetts State Board of Education to implement the state’s Racial Imbalance Law that had been passed by the Massachusetts State Legislature a few years earlier, requiring any school with a student enrollment that was more than 50% white to be balanced according to race.

1990: The school building, is renamed the South Boston Education Complex, and houses Excel High School, Monument High School, and Boston Green Academy. It is located on 95 St. South Boston, MA.

2005:  Monument High School, and Boston Green Academy are relocated to other buildings in the district and South Boston Educational Complex is officially renamed Excel High School.