Saint Augustine Academy
It was in 1946 when Saint Augustine Academy, formerly Palawan North School came to existence. Coron District Supervisor Melquiades Abrera, with his interest as an educator, initiated the first move to develop an academe for the continuing education and welfare of the future generation. This earned generous support from the well known families of the town and some teachers of Coron Central School, now Claudio Sandoval Elementary School.
The School was then operated by the Coron Modern Educational Association. There were 47 first year students housed at Burgos Street (residence of Pablo Echague), school year 1946-1947. The operation continued and Palawan North High School was transferred to the residence of Alvaro Sandoval at Calle Real, school year 1947-1948. The school operated through the permit granted by the bureau of Private Schools.
In 1951, the name of the school was changed to Palawan North High School, Inc., under the management of the Board of Directors headed by Manuel Romasanta. Because of the need to increase its capital, that same year, the Securities and Exchange Commission had a go sell shares to the public.
On September 16, 1951, the Board of Directors approved the petition of Msgr. Nieto, Prefect Apostolic of Palawan, to subscribe to its capital stock. The school was renamed Northern Palawan Academy, Inc.
On September 23 of the same year, the school began to accept the subscription of bigger shares which made P.A.P. the majority stock holder. In 1952, the administration of the school was transferred to the Augustinian Recollect Fathers. After three consecutive changes, the school became Saint Augustine Academy in April 1953 in Honor of the Patron Saint of Coron town.
May 17, 1954 marked the funding for the construction of an eight-room building through the influence and guidance of Bishop Gregorio Espiga. The school has a lot area of 10,001 square meters situated at National Highway, Sinamay, Coron.
By June 1, 1955, the school has gained government recognition for the complete academic secondary course with vocational subjects.
The following undertook the school management since its foundation:
Coron Modern Educational Association, Palawan North High School (PNHS) 1946-1951
The Board of Directors, Palawan North High School Inc. (PNHSI) 1951
The Board of Directors, Northern Palawan Academy (N.P.A.) 1951
Order of the Augustinian Recollect (OAR) Fathers, Saint Augustine Academy 1952-1965
Augustinian Recollect (AR) Sisters, Saint Augustine Academy 1965-1988
Apostolic Vicariate of Palawan, Saint Augustine Academy 1988-2002
Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay, Saint Augustine Academy 2002-present
Rev. Fr. Nito Bundac, the parish priest, became the first director with Seminarian Romeo Artazo as Principal (1988-1991). Fr. Bundac had the school improved by providing convenient facilities for better learning like books and encyclopedia; classroom, chairs and other equipment. He provided the teaching staff with opportunities for professional growth.
Rev. Fr. Camilo C. Caabay was installed as Parish Priest and consequently became the director of the academy (1991-1997). Fr. Caabay envisioned the growth of the school with the construction of the three-room concrete annex building and separate comfort rooms which were simultaneously erected in 1994. He had worked to keep the school in touch with the time and the new trends in education. He entered into contract with a computer company in 1995 with the provision to own the computer units at the end of five year contract.
Rev. Fr. Leovigildo Magbanua was installed Parish Priest on 1997 and consequently became the successor of Fr. Caabay as director of the academy. He also dreamed to improve the facilities of the school.
Having felt the need for a priest to give full attention to the needs of the school, the Apostolic Vicar of Palawan (Most Rev. Pedro D. Arigo, D.D.) in consultation with the Presbyteral Council for the first time assigned a priest whose sole ministry is to serve as director of the school. Hence on April 2002, Rev. Fr. Val Gabriel R. Rodriguez was appointed as the first fulltime director.
In August of 2002, the Apostolic Vicariate of Palawan was divided into two local churches: Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa and Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay with Most Rev. Pedro D. Arigo, D.D. and Most Rev. Edgardo S. Juanich, D.D. as the Apostolic Vicars respectively. The academy being located in the North of Palawan became part of the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay. Bishop Juanich reaffirmed the appointment of Fr. Rodriguez envisioned SAA to be an institution of academic excellence and integral human formation. He held a workshop-seminar with the faculty and all those involved in the formation t come up with a holistic plan for the school. The group started to formulate a new vision-mission apt for the local situation. Fr. Rodriguez also labored to improve the facilities of the school. He constructed the library, multi-purpose hall, one classroom, faculty comfort room. A mini-apartment made of local materials is also built (with five individual rooms) where teachers coming from different municipalities could stay while they teach at SAA, and other infrastructures. He also undertook the general renovation of the stage.
In August of 2003, the administration of Saint Augustine academy Learning Center was also transferred to Fr. Rodriguez. He decided to make the learning Center part of the whole academy.
Saint Augustine Academy will soon become a great school of learning where students’ minds are sharpened and values inculcated.
The Elementary Department was opened in 2004-2005. The first group of Grade I pupils were accepted and the other grade levels up to the present.
Rev. Fr. Roderick Y. Caabay took the place of Fr. Rodriguez as School Director after a three year stint starting school year 2005-2006 up to the present. He initiated the conduct of strategic planning, together with administration, faculty and staff which took place September 2005 thereby formulating a five year development plan for the school. The strategic planning sessions revisited the current vision-mission of the school, attuned and finalized it by incorporating the thrust of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines and the local Church. There are two major area or goals the new administration wanted to accomplish: a) Institutional, which involves the administrative concerns on school promotion, finance, plans on physical plant and facilities, student support services, personnel support services, and greater involvement of parents and alumni association; b) Instruction, which involves ensuring that quality education is given to students, faculty development, students development program, research and community extension services. School year 2005-2006 watched the formation of a newly constituted Board of Trustees under the leadership of Most Rev. Edgardo S. Juanich D.D., the Vicar Apostolic of Taytay, Chairman of the Board. Two structures were also constructed, one classroom for pre-school part of the proposed new building and the two storey-six room guest house. In the same year, the school formally adopted Sitio Banaba Community as its extension community. Before the year closed, the Parents Teachers’ Association approved of a 26% tuition fee increase in response to the call of the School Director to hire new and competent teachers for the coming year. School year 2006-2007 saw a new beginning with new teachers, additional two classrooms for the two classes of the first year high school, the Educational Consortium between Bulacan State University and the School for a Graduate Program offering Master of Arts in Education and Public Administration, and the beginning of a school sponsored scholarship program for the poor and indigenous children. In the same year, Saint Augustine Academy became a member school of the Manila Archdiocesan Parochial Association (MAPSA). The arrival of School year 2007-2008 gave the school greater hope in assuring the community of Coron of its quality service for education and evangelization. The first floor of the new building, six classroom in all, is finished, the scholarship for the poor and indigenous children is expanded, the consultancy with St. Pedro Poveda College, Center for Educators Formation in the faculty development trainings and the teachers’ retirement program is formalized with MAPSA. To highlight the new school year, the school welcomed the coming of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. With the presence of a new principal, in the person of Sr. Eufemia Volpane, DC and a religious education coordinator and institutional formator, Sr. Prescilla Floresca, DC, the school is indeed on the march to achieve its mission for the service of the Church, the community of Coron and the Calamianes Islands.
SCHOOL HEADS (1955-to Present)
Rev. Fr. Jose Diaz, 1955-1957
Mr. Tomas Y. Sandoval – Principal, 1956
Rev. Fr. Joaquin Fernandez, 1957-1960
Rev. Fr. Anesio Villanueva, 1964-1965
Mrs. Eugenia L. Fernandez
Mrs. Erlinda Perez
Atty. Luis Bacosa
Mr. Pablo Nañgit
Mother Conception Balin, A.R.
Sor Ines de Padua, A.R.
Sor Corazon Marcia, A.R.
Sor Faustina Nirza, A.R
Sor Ma. Fortunata Gaspillo, A.R.
Sor Ursulina Balading, A.R.
Sem. Romeo Artazo
Rev. Fr. Camilo C. Caabay
Rev. Fr. Leovigildo Magbanua
Rev. Fr. Valerio Rodriguez
Rev. Fr. Roderick Y. Caabay (2005-present)