Monthly Newsletter = December 2008 =

Dear All,

I wish all of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2009. Let us all go and get what the Lord has in store for us!

A word of Gratitude

Our first gratitude is to our God throughout Jesus Christ for another exciting year and for many more blessings to come.

We are grateful to all who are continuing their support to St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School by responding with generosity to our book drive. The proof of this success is that we are adding more shelves to our library!

We are also grateful to all those who contributed to the preparation of the WASC Report. It has been submitted before the deadline of December 31, 2008. We will communicate to all stakeholders the specific date of the initial visit in due course.

The First STA Christmas Program was a success! We have now established a new tradition: ?A Coconut Tree Christmas Celebration in the Prayer Garden?. Thank you to all performers and our guests. You may reserve your free ticket for next year.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School held its third Strategic Planning Session on January 8, 2009 at the MRC. Mr. Peter Barcinas and Mr. Tim De La Cruz from the University of Guam Cooperative Extension Service guided us through the process with enthusiasm. We were delighted to have for the first time, a representative from Ordot Mayor?s office. The next step now is for the Advisory Board to review the priorities and validate the findings and finalize the report.

The first STA Science Fair took place at the MRC on December 18, 2008. All six judges came from the College of Natural and Applied Sciences of the University of Guam. We extend our appreciation to the judges in helping our students engage in the scientific method and to prepare them in becoming the scientists of tomorrow. An award ceremony was held during the Eucharist Celebration of January 9, 2009 in honor of all the participants and especially the top four research projects.

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School started the New Year with a faculty development on ?Emergency Procedures? conducted by Guam Homeland Security. The workshop will allow us to revisit our emergency procedures to include lockdown, bomb threat and earthquake drills, and to address weaknesses of our school readiness in case of an emergency. We are grateful to the team from Homeland Security for sharing their expertise in this matter.

Student Life

Freshmen/Sophomore Retreat
The first hike and retreat for freshmen and sophomores took place on December 12-13, 2008 in Malojloj. Students had the opportunity to rediscover the natural environment of Guam, learn about botany, collect trash and know their physical strength during a five hour hike. The second part of the program was a spiritual retreat wrapped with the Eucharist Celebration on December 13 at 2:30 pm. All students expressed their appreciation and satisfaction for attending these memorable events.

Cathedral-Basilica Youth and Young Adults Choir
St. Thomas Aquinas students who make up the majority of this choir continue to shine at the Cathedral-Basilica every Sunday at 11:30 am. The choir is open to anyone 14 years and older who would like to join this music ministry. Please call Lucas Shimizu, Choir Director at 988-1234 for more information.

Mock Trial
After several weeks of hard work and training, our representatives of the Mock Trial Team will engage into competitions starting January 10, 2009 in the morning in the Court House. Please come and support our future lawyers. We extend our appreciation to the Law Firm of Civille & Tang and Mr. Andrew Mojkowski for coaching the team and the many hours dedicated to training.

Upcoming Events

QBase Training
Administrators and our Development Director will participate in training for our web based fundraiser campaign on January 14, 2009.

Faculty vs. Student Game
The second faculty vs. student game will take place at Leo Palace Resort on January 28, 2009 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, on the main baseball field. Parents are welcome to join us.

Catholic School Week
Faculty and Staff of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School will attend the Catholic Education Conference on January 30, 2009 at the Hyatt Hotel. This conference is organized by the Catholic School Office of the Archdiocese of Agana.

End of Second Quarter
The second quarter ends at St. Thomas Aquinas on January 30, 2009. Report cards will be mailed.

New Students
Two new students, Cameron Masnayon and Sean Rodriguez joined the class of 2011 this January 2009. This brings the total enrollment to 23 and one withdrawal.

Thank you,

Hauhouot Diambra-Odi, Ph.D.

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