A Brief History of Xavier School
Xavier School (Kuang Ch'i) was founded in 1956 by a group of Jesuit missionaries who had been expelled from China during the Communist takeover, shortly after the end of World War II.
On June 6, 1956, the school opened in a converted sawmill compound on a one and a half hectare lot in Echague Street, downtown Manila,with Fr. Jean Desautels, S.J. as Director, and Fr. Cornelius Pineau as its first Principal. At Echague, famous Xavier Jesuits worked, like Fr. Gabriel Brossarc, Fr. Michael Chu, Fr. Daniel Clifford, Fr. Fernand Faucher, Fr. John Ho, Fr. Joseph Ly, Fr. Louis Papilla and Bro. Louis Tremblay. During the first year at Echague, the school population was only 174 students, 25 of whom were high school students.
Its population then was about 1,000 students. Here, some famous Jesuits joined Xavier, like Fr. Maximo Barbero, Fr. John Ch'I, Fr. Rafael Cortina, Fr. Otto Koenig, Fr. Fernando Larranaga, Fr. Albert Wang, Fr. Nepomuceno Wang and others. The new campus included a sprawling sports complex of tennis, pelota and basketball courts, two swimming pools, three gymnasiums and two football fields. In 1966, Fr. Ismael Zuloaga, S.J. became the school's second Director. Two years later, the school was granted accreditation by the Philippine Association of Accrediting Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU). During Fr. Zuloaga's term, the school expanded in all fields: in numbers, faculty, name among the Chinese community of Manila and for the quality of its education, especially for its mathematics and science departments.
Mrs. Jenny H. Go was appointed the first lay Principal of Xavier in 1968. Under her leadership, teaching and administrative procedures were standardized and a re-examination of the school's instructional approaches was undertaken, which resulted in the adoption of the Individualized Instruction (I.I.) methodology in 1973. The original I.I. approach was called at Xavier, "Personalized Education" and became the distinguished mark of Xavier's education for the next twenty years.
In 1985, Fr. Alberto V. Ampil, S.J. of the Jesuit Philippine Province, became the school's third Director and high school Principal. During his term, and responding to the needs of the increasing school population, the new high school building was erected, some aspects of the administration were standardized and terms of office for all school officials were fixed.
In 1987, Mrs. Norma Sandoval was appointed as Principal for the grade school unit. A year after, Mr. Winifredo Undag was appointed high school Principal. During his term, and as a result of a thorough evaluation of the school's educational system, the Personalized Instruction Approach was further modified, and the two-track system approach (Group Instructional Approach and Individualized Instruction Approach) was introduced.
On September 27, 1988, the former Jesuit Chinese Delegation in the Philippines, was fully integrated into the Jesuit Philippine Province, and all the former delegation's works were placed under the care and control of the Philippine Jesuit Provincial, thus ensuring Xavier's continuity as a Jesuit institution.
In 1991, Fr. Rodolfo Eugene Moran, S.J. was appointed as the fourth Director of Xavier School and Mr. Robert Suntay as Principal of the High School department. During Fr. Moran's term, the new Early Education Unit was built with complete, modern facilities for the youngest members of Xavier.
In 1995, Mr. Marc Hernandez was appointed as grade school Principal. During his term, the grade school made a transition from "Personalized Education" to the "Personalized Eclectic Traditional Education" approach which entailed a curriculum improvement process and eventual adoption of a team approach towards student formation.
In 1998, the Multi-Purpose Center Building was erected, housing an expansion of the grade school cafeteria, the school chapel, classrooms, and on top of it, the new residence for the Jesuit Community. In the same year, Ms. Eva Baquirin became Principal of the High School and Mr. Marc Hernandez was re-appointed for a second term as grade school Principal.
As Xavier celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1996, it renewed its commitment to the mission and vision of forming the Filipino youth, endowing them "with the skills and tools for development," whose values and ideals reflect a genuine concern to participate in the task of nation building, and whose lives, hopefully, are inspired by the personal example of Christ our Lord, and -because of him - earnestly strive to become truly "Men for Others".
In 2000, Ms. Rosie Moscoso was appointed as the Acting Principal for the High School.
In 2001, on the 45th anniversary of Xavier School, Fr. Johnny Go, SJ was appointed as the fifth Director of Xavier School. He became the first alumnus to serve as School Director. The beginning of his term focused on the renewal of the school to its mission. To achieve this, a series of Ignatian in Education Spirituality Workshops (ISEW) was conducted for all Faculty and Staff to "revisit the roots" of the school. Afterwards, the school underwent a process of articulating and interpreting the school's Vision, Mission, and Goals in preparation for a curriculum improvement process.
Appointed as Principal for the Grade School was Ms. Eve Baquirin, and for the High School, Ms. Rosie Moscoso.
As Xavier School looks forward to its 50th Anniversary, it is already making preparations to build a second and larger 15-hectare campus in Canlubang/Sta. Rosa in response to the growing demand for the Xavier Education.
• Mateo Ricci, SJ
• Jesuits in China
• Early Jesuit Tombs
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