FOR SEVENTH YEAR IN A ROW
Marking a seventh year in a row of enrollment increases, Mount Carmel School opened its doors to the new 2018-2019 school year with over 600 students—up from a historic low of 260 seven years ago.
In addition to the enrollment increase, the school launched the year with some new additions, including new teachers, new courses, and new solar panels.
School president Galvin Deleon Guerrero credited the school’s teachers with the enrollment increase.
“When we launched our 2017-2020 Strategic Master Plan last year, one of our top priorities was improving instructional quality, and that’s exactly what our faculty have done,” he said. “Under the leadership of our principal, Frances Taimanao, and our vice principal, Barbara Merfalen, who bring a wealth of experience and expertise with them, our teachers have used assessment data to drive what they teach and how they teach. Using a blend of innovative techniques and tried and true methods, our teachers are helping our students shine.”
One student who has shined is Student Council president Dayna Macaranas, who is enthusiastic about the new school year. “I’m excited about us coming together as a family with a lot of school spirit.”
Of what she and the council want to accomplish this year, Macaranas said, “We want to get students more involved in the school and in the community.”
While the school’s enrollment increased, the school is still committed to keeping class sizes for optimal learning environment. This is why the school hired several new teachers. In the elementary level, Kimberly Tentia will teach K4, Tasia Sablan will be a teacher aide in K4, Kimberly Tudela will teach second grade, and Zyron Castillo will teach third grade. In the upper grades, Keiko Yamagata, who used to be the school’s business manager, is returning to teach social studies, Sarah Johnson will teach English, and Leeani Villagomez, the school’s secretary, will teach high school and elementary art.
In addition to new teachers, the school is introducing new courses in creative writing and media communications and launching a number of new programs. The school’s information management system has been enhanced to include new human resource processes, such as digital timesheets. As reported recently, the school will also open the new year with 548 solar panels.
The first day of school started with the annual opening day Mass, the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which was celebrated by Fr. Allan Cabatian. After the Gospel, school employees had a Commissioning Ceremony of Catholic Educators, which is held every start of the school year during the Mass of the Holy Spirit. The ceremony highlighted the commitment of faculty, staff, and administrators to the school’s mission and philosophy.
While there has been a substantial enrollment increase, the school still has limited slots available in a few grade levels. For more information, call 234-6184 or visit mountcarmelsaipan.com. (MCS)