Bundaberg State High School has a proud history of public education and celebrated its centenary in 2012.
Bundaberg State High School opened on 1 January 1912 in premises initially erected for the Sugar Bureau on land bordered by the Burnett River, Maryborough Street and Quay Street. The school formally opened on 31 January 1912, with an enrolment of 59. By the end of the first quarter the number had risen to 76, and at the end of 12 months the school boasted a population of 90. The average number of students for 1912 was officially quoted as 64.7.
At the time there was only one course, the Professional or Academic Course; and subjects taught included English, Latin, French, German, Mathematics, Algebra, Geometry, Physics and Chemistry.
For sport the school offered tennis for girls and cricket for boys, although initially there was no land set aside for sporting activities. Vacant land opposite the school, adjoining the old Labour Bureau, was to be acquired for use as a playing area.
Because of the school's position, pupils often arrived in the horse drawn cart which brought the daily supplies of milk to the nearby butter factory.
On 20 December 1920, Bundaberg State High School was transferred to its new quarters – a site it was to occupy continuously until the present day. The decision to move the Technical College was deferred until a later date for a number of reasons, not the least of which was additional cost.
The official opening of the new High School took place at a public ceremony on 24 January 1921. The Minister for Public Instruction, the Hon. A.J. Huxham, declared the buildings open. In his address, the Principal, Mr. Krone, revealed that the department had refused to provide a cricket pitch, although a tennis court might be put down. He announced that the school motto would be 'Per Ardua ad Astra' (Through hard work to the stars). Mr. Krone suggested that this might be interpreted as 'It's a rough road to the stars' or 'If you want to get to Heaven, WORK'.