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.
Philosophy, Mission, Vision Statement
(Updated Dec. 11, 2014)
We, the faith community of Saint Francis School, believe that we are called in mind and heart to foster the apostolic spirituality of Jesus Christ, our Lord. We also believe that the integration of this same apostolic spirit into the educational process is both vital and necessary. This belief has become the school’s philosophy and, to ensure that this philosophy is imbued in every aspect of the school life community, it has become the school’s mission to – proclaim the Gospel of Christ through our words and actions, to continue to develop and to nurture our school faith community, and to educate, for the intention of service to humanity by integrating the Catholic faith with the entire learning process, so that our ultimate goal is the attainment of the Kingdom of God.
Saint Francis School fulfills this mission by continually striving for excellence in education with the intention of attaining the highest form of academia through the knowledge and wisdom of God our Father; by developing and nurturing the character of the human person whom God created; by forming the values and traditions the human person brings to school; by living out and practicing the Catholic faith; and by promoting and nurturing good discipline. These educational opportunities are extended to all our students regardless of their linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic background and race.
The mission of Saint Francis School is achieved through the collaborative efforts of the Archdiocese of Agana, Saint Francis School, Saint Francis Church, and the wider community. It is also achieved through the imitation of the examples and teaching set by Saint Francis of Assisi, the school’s patron Saint. Saint Francis affirmed God’s presence in all of creation and he attested that each follower of Christ must become an instrument of God’s peace, in order to exude peace in the world.
Therefore, the word PEACE is used as the acronym to best describe and summarize the philosophy and mission statement of the school. PEACE:
Preparing Everyone for Academic and Christian Excellence
Positive Thinkers, Effective Communicators, Academic Achievers, Committed Christians and Exemplary Citizens.
Our Vision Statement
Rooted in the Person of Jesus Christ,
Students will use their Gifts and Talents
To Know, Love, and Serve God and Neighbor
According to His Divine Plan.
Schoolwide Learning Expectations
The School strives to continue the work of Saint Francis of Assisi in spreading the Word of God through Francis’ message of peace. St. Francis believed that “ Peace comes from God.” This message of peace is a crucial component of the school’s Mission and the learning expectations of each of its students. Thus, the school endeavors to follow Francis’ teachings and convey God’s love and peace in every function and aspect of the school’s learning process. To further reinforce St. Francis’ teachings, the entire school community strives to become God’s “Instruments of Peace”. Therefore, upon completion of Saint Francis School, all students will be filled with God’s PEACE and become:
Positive Thinkers by:
- Accepting and understanding that developing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and experiencing God’s unconditional love will ultimately bring each of us to our fullest human potential. “Hayi Si Yu’os” Or “Who is God?”
- Demonstrating self-esteem with confidence and perseverance through Christ. “Hayi Yu?” Or “Who Am I?”
- Acknowledging and praising God’s goodness in every person and in everything. “Hayi Hao?” Or “Who Are You?”
- Utilizing and sharing our God-given gifts and talents and faith-growing experiences, in order to bring others closer to Christ, and to nurture, love and respect all creation. “Hayi Hit?” Or “Who are We?”
Effective Communicators by:
- Demonstrating self-expression, critically, and in a dignified and Christian manner, through listening, speaking, reading, writing, and/or through the use of visual and performing arts;
- Graciously respecting the varying viewpoints of others despite their opinions and beliefs;
- Sharing the Gospel message of Christ through our actions, thoughts, and word.
Academic Achievers by:
- Developing the desire to continuously seek the wisdom of God and His truth;
- Building proficiency in academic and co-curricular areas of education relevant to the content standards and practices prescribed by the Archdiocese of Agana;
- Recognizing that parents/guardians are the first teachers in the educational process and that the collaborative efforts between home and school, is necessary, in order to attain the school’s educational goals.
- Becoming critical thinkers and self –learners who will make sound decisions based on Gospel values, in order to transform and enlighten our community and the world.
Committed Christians by:
- Proclaiming the Gospel of Christ and the love of God through our words and actions;
- Answering the call to holiness, and continuously seeking God’s Wisdom and Truth;
- Serving humanity as Christ served others through the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as “Instruments of Peace”.
Exemplary Citizens by:
- Learning to make ethical decisions, based Building communities that are grounded in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the love of God and neighbor;
- on Gospel values that will help transform and enrich our society and world;
- Respecting and protecting all of God’s creation and upholding and defending the dignity of the human person in all its stages of development;
- Providing, as Christ demonstrated, loving service to all human-kind, especially the poor and marginalized (as demonstrated in our “Instruments of Peace” program).