“Ask and you shall receive! Seek and you shall find!” We have applied these simple principles of Faith and can now start counting our blessings and see the fruits of sowing!
A team from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School visited several middle schools of Guam in a recruitment campaign and is witnessing a rapid rate of growth with seventy students for its third year. This encouraging growth rate in our student body helps consolidate our programs in the areas of sports and the performing arts.
The scholarship committee of the Advisory Board has approved the STA financial aid package along with the first merit scholarships awarded to more than half of the student population. These programs have allowed STA to attract the most motivated and brightest students on Guam and abroad.
The faculty and staff of STA attended the annual spiritual retreat on August 13-14, at Carmel on the Hill Retreat Center in Malojloj. This event was under the leadership of the school Chaplain, Fr. Val Rodriguez. This annual retreat is an opportunity to refocus our mission based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, and seek spiritual guidance for the new academic year.
STA organized its first open house of this school year on August 20. Approximately eighty percent of parents participated in the event. New parents were introduced to RenWeb, our comprehensive school management system.
The first Advisory Board meeting of the 2010-2011 academic year took place on August 31 at 5:30 PM in the new Mc Lab. Rev. Msgr. James Benavente officially passed the torch to Ms. Pilar Perez Williams as new President and CEO of STA.
The Most Reverend Anthony Sablan Apuron, Metropolitan Archbishop of Agaña, was our guest at STA on September 03, during his annual school visit, where he presided in the Eucharistic Celebration. The Archbishop then met with students in the presence of parents. Afterward, words of wisdom were delivered to the faculty.
The first Parent Teacher Conference (PTC) of the school year was held on September 3rd from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. About seventy five percent of parents attended PTC. This high rate of participation is extremely encouraging and confirms the active role of parents as partners in education.
STA is participating for the first time in the Independent Interscholastic Athletic Association of Guam (IIAAG) with a Girls’ JV-Volleyball team, Boys & Girls Cross Country and Boys & Girls Golf teams. These activities fulfill the dream of a complete high school curriculum that incorporates academic excellence and athletic performance.
The Performing Arts at STA will experience new heights with a joint project involving Yew Chung International School (YCIS) in Hong Kong. Students of both schools are preparing for the production of “Godspell” the musical, under the direction of Allan Nazareno from YCIS, assisted by Norman Babia of STA. Shows are scheduled for Guam on October 23 at Leo Palace, and October 30 in Hong Kong. This is an excellent opportunity for our students to engage in quality artistic production coupled with global outreach.
Three students from the class of 2012 are currently working on a science project in collaboration with Dr. Mohammad Golabi from the College of Natural and Applied Sciences of the University of Guam. The project is evaluating the impact of off-road vehicles on erosion and sedimentation. Results of this investigation will be presented at the Ritsumeikan Super Science Fair in Kyoto, Japan early in November, 2010. Several fundraiser activities were initiated (spaghetti night, plant sale, car wash, silent auction of a golden retriever) to fund the trip of three students and a chaperon to the “City of Temples”.
St. Thomas Aquinas Youth Choir (Concentus) has resumed its community service by performing at the Cathedral-Basilica each Sunday at 11:30 am. Concentus was also invited on September 03, 2010 during the Novena of the Dulce Nombre de Maria of the Cathedral-Basilica.
New clubs are sprouting at STA this year such as Academic Challenge Bowl and Martial Arts. These clubs come in addition to preexisting clubs.
Summary of Upcoming Events
September 24, 2010: WASC/WCEA meeting.
October 8, 2010: End of first quarter. Faculty/Student game (softball) at Leo Palace from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
October 11, 2010: Columbus Day Holiday: No class
October 13, 2010: PSAT (9th to 11th grade)
October 18, 2010: International Travelling Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visit to STA (from 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM)
October 23-30, 2010: “Godspell” Production based on the Gospel of Mathew, by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak.
Hauhouot Diambra-Odi, Ph.D.