Director’s Update for Beginning of School Year 2015-2016

September 3, 2015

Xavier Micronesia Director’s Update

Greetings from Xavier!

As we move into the 2015-2016 school year I would like to first report on some other moving that has occurred this summer. That is the international movement of so many members of the graduating class of 2015. This year Xavier has the highest number of graduates attending colleges and universities internationally in its history. This is thanks to the hard work of our students, faculty and administration and the great generosity of the schools they are attending. I am humbled by the support these schools have given to our students. Along with generous merit based scholarships and financial aid provided by all of these schools, two alums will attend Universities on full academic scholarships. Risa Oue will be attending Sophia University on a four-year scholarship. The APIC/Yukigaya scholarship is a coordinated effort between the Association for the Promotion of International Cooperation (APIC) and Sophia University, the Jesuit University of Tokyo. Mr. Mitsuhiko Sakamoto, owner or the Yukigaya Corporation, funds this scholarship through a generous donation. We were also blessed to have Keen Sakuma receive the Gates Millennial Scholarship. Keen is attending the University of Scranton. All told, 22 students will attend college internationally and 15 will attend the various campuses of the College of Micronesia and other local colleges. Every member of the class of 2015 has been accepted to and enrolled at a college or university. The breakdown is as follows:

International:

Cardinal Stritch University (USA)-5

University of Guam (Guam)- 4

University of Hawaii at Hilo (USA)-3

University of Scranton (USA)-3

Park University (USA)-2

Sophia University (Japan)-1

Leeward Community College (USA)-1

Canisius College (USA)-1

Mount Mary University (USA)-1

Oklahoma City Community College (USA)-1

Local:

College of Micronesia-12

Caroline College and Pastoral Institute-2

College of the Marshall Islands-1

 

With the class of 2015 on its way we welcome 51 new students to the class of 2019. This year’s freshmen class breaks down as follows:

Gender:

Male-29

Female-22

 

Demographics:

Pohnpei-19

Chuuk-16

Palau-8

Kosrae-4

Marshall Islands-2

Yap-1

USA-1

Many of the students accepted to Xavier are introduced to us through our summer programs. Xavier runs faculty directed, student staffed, Higher Achievement Programs (HAP) on Chuuk and Pohnpei. This summer, forty incoming 7th and 8th grade students from Chuuk and forty from Pohnpei attended HAP. Students were given enrichment classes in Math and English to help them prepare for the Xavier entrance exam. HAP students also engaged in sports activities in the afternoon. We were also blessed, thanks to alumni support and student gumption to offer student directed HAP programs on Kosrae and the Marshall Islands over the summer.

Through our ICU program, Xavier also provided and opportunity for twenty 8th grade students, from Chuuk, who came close to passing the entrance exam an opportunity to take enrichment classes and retake the exam. Eight of those students entered Xavier this year. Mr. Glen Parado and Ms. Sachiko Hoshide, educators from Northern California, staffed our ICU program this summer and are interested in returning next year. Our summer programs are made possible through the generosity of many supporters of Xavier and we are humbled and grateful for your support!

We are also blessed this year to have recruited our largest faculty to date. We begin the 2015-2016 school year with 17 faculty members (3 Jesuit Volunteer Corps., 1 JICA volunteer, 4 independent volunteers, 2 Jesuit Scholastics, and 7 independent teachers) and 3 new mid-level administrators to work with Principal Carl and me to continue Xavier’s tradition of academic excellence. This year’s faculty and new administrators are:

Annie Kraus (Samford University, Alabama)-College Counseling **
Adam Somers (Franciscan University of Steubenville)-English Skills **
Dodo Hinganaday SJ (Driyarkara School of Philosophy, Jakarta, Indonesia)-Latin, Campus Ministry **
Catrina Matos (Brigham Young University)-Math *
Joseph Lenz (Villanova University)-Religion, Music, College Counseling *
Bryan Alamillo (Loyola Marymount University)-English Skills, Computer Skills, Campus Ministry *
Nathalia Sacks (Canisius College)-Literature *
Manuel Alex Moya (UCLA, University of Chicago MA)-Religion, Micronesian Studies *
Sage Ezell (Creighton University)-Science *
Zachary Jambor (The Pennsylvania State University)-Math, Science *
Ha’Ani Artero (Chaminade University of Honolulu)-Literature **
Ean Tierney (Canisius College)-English, History *
Marshall Davidson (Santa Clara University, Notre Dame MEd, Harvard MA)-History, Civics *
Allison Braun (Canisius College BS, Canisius College MS)-Science, Health *
Eriko Akaishi (Rykkio University, Boston University MS)-Japanese Language *
Toshi Shitamori (Hiroshima Institute of Technology BS, Southern Colorado BS)- Art *
Ardi Jatmiko SJ (Driyarkara School of Philosophy, Jakarta, Indonesia)-Religion, Biology, Campus Ministry *
Kevin Gerike (University of Wisconsin Madison)-Dean of Students ****
Meghan Murphy (University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign)-Assistant

Principal ****

 

Ricky Rikat II-Boy’s Dormitory Moderator *

 

* (first year) ** (second year) ****(fourth year)

Well before Xavier’s September 1st start date, our faculty and staff were hard at work preparing for the upcoming school year. Our faculty engaged in two weeks of intensive teacher training guided by Principal Martin Carl, Assistant Principal Meghan Murphy, and Fr. Tom Benz SJ, superior of the Jesuit community, Xavier board member and former teacher at Fordham Prep and St. Peter’s Prep. We were also blessed to have a two day session in Curriculum by Design presented by Juan Flores, former Superintendent of Schools on Guam, as well as a seminar on classroom teaching and assessments presented by Roberta Abaday, teacher at John F. Kennedy High School on Guam and instructor at the University of Guam. This is Roberta’s fourth consecutive year offering a Labor Day weekend seminar to our faculty. We are grateful for the generosity of all those who help us train our faculty to continue providing the best education in the possible to our multinational student body!

 

Throughout the summer our construction and maintenance staffs worked diligently on many projects. In wake of Typhoon Maysak, repairs to residences and classrooms were abundant.   Most notable was the need to rebuild our boy’s shower house. A tree crashed through half of this building during the typhoon rendering half of the shower house unusable. The summer break afforded us the opportunity to tear down and rebuild the shower house. Thanks to generous donations from around the world we have been able to continue repairing our campus. We have also supplied food and construction materials to our workers, host families and neighbors in the village of Sapuk. This has truly been a global effort and evidence of God’s Spirit alive and present in our world. The most recent article about Xavier’s efforts after Typhoon Maysak can be found on page 25 of the latest Northeast Province magazine at: http://image.jesuits.org/NYKNENPROV/media/JES_Mag_Summer2015_Final_USNE%20copy.pdf

The first floor of our new faculty house has opened and is currently housing six of our female faculty and staff members. The second floor is on schedule to be completed by end of October and will house six male members of the faculty and staff.

Following our Mass of the Holy Spirit on September 2nd the school gathered to bless our new twenty-passenger school bus. This bus was purchased by a generous gift to Xavier by the Stokes Family Charitable Fund of the Greater Saint Louis Community Foundation earmarked for Xavier’s transportation needs. There are sections of Chuuk not accessible to our larger yellow school buses. In the past a flatbed truck was used to transport our girls to their host families in these areas. This new bus will allow safe and secure transportation to and from Xavier for these young women.

As I come to the end of this first update of the 2015-2016 school year, I feel a great, palpable, sense of consolation. Xavier continues to do great service here in Micronesia. We continue to fulfill our mission of “educating students to be competent, conscientious, and compassionate leaders, whose lives are guided by the Christian call of service.” We do not do this alone. We are graced with the gift of each and every one of you.   Whether through the gift of you time, treasure, talent, or prayer you continue to sustain us and make all the good that comes out of Xavier possible. If you would like to see a recent seventeen-minute video made by our two Indonesian Scholastics last year you can click the following link:

https://youtu.be/b1d5I3jd474

Know that you are prayed for throughout the school year at our daily masses.

God bless you all!

Fr. Bob

 

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