A BRIEF HISTORY OF SAINT FRANCIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL
On September 1949 Saint Francis Catholic School opened its doors with an enrollment of 301 students. The School was established after the arrival of seven School Sisters of Notre Dame to Guam. Father Cyril Lanheim, OFMCap. administered the School and Sister Mary Eucharita, SSND was the School Principal. The original school buildings were of Quonset hut structures located in the heart of Yona village by the old ball field. The mission of the School is to provide academic learning in a Christian environment. The charisma of Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger who is the Foundress of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and SINT Francis of Assisi are integrated into the school curriculum. Due to an increased enrollment, expansion was inevitable. Father Alvin La Feir, OFMCap. with Father Canice Cartmel, OFMCap. and the people of Yona plunges=d into building a new School situated behind the Parish Church. Financial and material red=sources came from many generous people who gave everything they could or offer especially their unselfish free labor to make the project possible. On August 10, 1058 the new School was dedicated and staffed with twenty more School Sisters of Notre Dame. Primarily, at the opening of the School in August 1958, classes from kindergarten to 10th grade were filled with an enrollment of one thousand-one hundred students. In 1962, Typhoon Karen severely damaged the School as well as other typhoons in the 1990’s which cased extensive structural damage. On December 16, 1997, Typhoon Paka completely destroyed the main campus structures except for the administration building which was later gutted by fire in November 1999. Through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance, funding for a temporary school site along with approval for additional funding for permanent buildings was made available. The temporary campus for Saint Francis Catholic School was the Long Term Care Facility located in Barrigada Heights. The School suffered a significant drop in enrollment but persevered. In April 1999 the School relocated back to Yona to where the original campus was built in 1949; near the old ball park. FEMA had funded a temporary school site at this location with eight butler-type metal building structures. FEMA funded originally in 1998 for permanent school buildings for Saint Francis Catholic School with a projected date of completion for July 31, 2003. It was not till August 2003 that the new School campus was completed and its doors were swung open at the beginning of the 2003-2004 school year. The new campus sports a multi-purpose building, a state of the art kitchen, a performance stage, computer lab, science lab, administrative offices, and classrooms for Pre-Kindergarten thru 8th grade. Additionally, there are structures housing the music department and school library. The campus also serves as physical security because of the design or configuration of the campus. In retrospect to the history of Saint Francis Catholic School despite its destruction and devastation, the School is blessed in holding fast its clear vision and conviction in transforming a child to love and bring justice to the worlds. This is so embedded and enfleshed in living the mission of the School. Sister Marsha Nededog, SSND is the current Principal who has seen the completion of the School. It is through her beliefs in the power and strength of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and all who have been blessed by God as instruments of this reconstruction that completion has become a reality. In God’s time and through all the hard work and patience, the students have enjoyed learning within a new atmosphere and continue to walk the campus in the Spirit of God these past years. Currently, Saint Francis Catholic School has thirty-two employees and approximately 250 students from Pre-K3 thru 8th grade and is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
MISSION OF ST. FRANCIS CATHOLIC SCHOOL
In the Spirit of Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Francis Catholic School strives to continue his work and spread the Word of God through his message of “PEACE.” It is this word that best describes Saint Francis and thus our School endeavors to shadow his teachings and his spirit in every function and aspect. With this in mind, the School has formulated an acronym that best summarizes this spirit.
Preparing Everyone for Academic and Christian Excellence