St. Mary's Academy, Guagua, Pampanga

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St. Mary's Academy in Guagua, Pampanga in the Philippines is a coeducational Catholic school administered by the Religious of the Virgin Mary (the RVM Sisters).

History[edit]

The school was established in 1908 as Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In 1955, the petition of Mother Maria Emilia Romero, RVM, then the Vicar General with some of the alumnae of the school, to reopen the school for the benefit of their children was granted by the Superior General then Rev. Mother Catalina Dychitan, RVM and her council. It started with Kindergarten and a six-year elementary course, under the roof of the old convent beside the parish church. The elementary course was duly recognized by the government on June 10, 1956. The school assumed a new name, Sacred Heart Academy. The High School Department was established on June 13, 1960.

Increases in enrollment paved the way for adding and improving facilities. In 1958, a two-storey high school building was constructed in front of the new building. Other improvements followed: the construction of the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes and the campus gate and again, all these were also made possible through the generosity of the High School alumnae. A fire of mysterious origin reduced the grade school building at the church site into ashes on December 26, 1969. This unfortunate event give way to the construction of a two-storey wooden building at lot formerly own by the Cancios in 1970-1971. The elementary grades then transferred to the San Roque Campus in 1971. More improvements followed; a three-storey concrete building was constructed in 1988 to house (10) classrooms, the high school faculty room, the library and more of the offices and labs. The building was named after the founder of the RVM, Mother Ignacia.

The eruption of Mount Pinatubo on June 14, 1991 caused much havoc to Guagua and its neighboring municipalities. SMAG opened its doors to the victims. After the eruption, another building was built due to termite infestation of the former grade school building. The school had to borrow money from the congregation to build a new four-storey building, named the Assumption Building. It had (20) classrooms, science labs, H.E. room, AVR, faculty, canteen, and comfort rooms and satellite offices.

In the 1996-1997 academic year the school began to accept boys in the first and second year level. SY 1998-1999 saw the first high school graduation of boys. Jubilee year 2000 marked another significant event: Sacred Heart Academy was renamed St. Mary's Academy on June 16, 2000 in consonance with the Ignacian bonding of the RVM schools. In response to the growing population and facility needs, another four-storey building was construct at the lot bought from the Cancios. This building was blessed on June 6, 2003 and named the Beaterio Building. It houses most of the offices and laboratories namely the guidance office, AVR, speech lab, chapel, library, computer lab, and auditorium, as well as the music department.

True to her commitment to continue improving instruction, SMAG ventured into institutional self-survey for accreditation. The school had its visit in 2003. After passing the accreditation St. Mary's Academy of Guagua is the only PAASCU-accredited school in the West Central District of Pampanga.

References[edit]