Trivia about Negros Occidental High School (NOHS)
On March 1, 1901, the Philippine Commission authorized provincial boards of all provinces in the Philippines to provide funds from their own resources for the establishment of secondary schools through the passage of Act No. 372.
In early 1902, leaders of the short-lived Republica de Negros led by former provincial governor Melecio Severino and former Minister of Justice Antonio Jayme, together with George W. Bettie — the division superintendent of schools — exerted efforts to open a public secondary school in Negros Occidental. Despite the indifference of provincial governor to the idea, the school — originally named Instituto Rizal– was established due to the influence of the American provincial treasurer over the provincial board.
Classes began on July 1, 1904 with 125 students taking up academic and normal courses under the tutelage of three American teachers. Ray B. Howell, the first principal, was one of the Thomasites assigned throughout the country to introduce the new public school system patterned after the American educational system.
To emphasize that it is a public secondary school funded by provincial funds and distinguish it from other secondary schools organized by private individuals, the Bureau of Education officially designated Instituto Rizal as a “provincial high school” in 1903.
Strategically located in Bacolod City, the school was chosen during World War II by the Japanese occupation forces as their provincial headquarters. Tragically, its hallowed grounds were used as the temporary graveyard for hundreds of soldiers and guerrilla fighters. Through the years, the school has nurtured generations of community, civic business, government leaders and other responsible citizens. Its alumni include men and women who have occupied high positions in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the government. Today, it is known as the Negros Occidental High School and remains to be the premier public high school in Bacolod City and Negros Occidental. It has 7,000 students with 272 faculty and staff.