Brief History of Maryknoll College of Panabo Inc.
It was in the summer of 1960 that Panaboans saw the rise of the first and only Catholic school in the town, Maryknoll College of Panabo Inc.
The idea of putting up a Catholic school came upon the prodding of some citizens. Fr. Leo McCarthy M.M, a Maryknoll father and the parish priest then, took the actualization of the matter into his hands with the support of his Congregation and
the townspeople. The Maryknoll missionary sisters were invited to run the school as they had been administering Maryknoll College (now Miriam College) in Quezon City.
Founded in February 1960 and granted government recognition on August 3, 1964, Maryknoll College was named St. Mary’s High School with Sr. Mary Rhoda as its first principal. Along with Sr. Corde Maria, she launched the school to a remarkable start even with just a plain two-story building. The original structure of the school housed two classrooms provided for the first batch of first-year students, a little office for the principal, a small library, and the Sisters’ Convent on the second floor.
On April 3, 1965, Maryknoll College of Panabo was renamed Maryknoll High School of Panabo, in honor of its founding Maryknoll sisters, allowed under the provisions of the Corporation Code, Republic Act 1454. Sr. Corde Maria became the second principal.
After a decade of service to the Panabo community, the Maryknoll sisters began to evaluate their apostolate and decided to focus their mission on social work. They saw the capability of the Filipino laity to continue the educational mission which they had started. In 1971, the management of the school was turned
over to a lay administrator.
Mr. Pio Galagala was appointed as the first and only lay principal of the school. He continued the Improvement of the school’s facilities considering the enormous increase in the school population during his time. His laid-back but charismatic leadership strengthened the school’s reputation as a leading educational institution in the locality.
The school was handed back to a religious order, the Daughter of the Assumption with Sr. Ma. Aurelia Bardenas, FMA, as principal in 1978. In her time, an annexed five-classroom building was constructed. A new canteen was also built connecting the main building. The science laboratory was
renovated and additional library references were purchased.
In 1980 the rein of the school was turned over to the Dominican sisters of the Most Holy Rosary with Sr. Ma. Virgilia Rivero, OP, as principal. She initiated the renovation of the old building, library, faculty room, and classrooms. A mini
auditorium and faculty dormitory were constructed. Kindergarten classes were opened as an initial step towards the opening of the Elementary Department. The kindergarten program was granted government recognition on June 17, 1985.
Sr. Mary Laurencia Camayudo, OP, took charge of the school in 1985. A fifteen-room building was constructed to formally open a complete Elementary Department which was granted government recognition on March 15, 1989. This expansion gave impetus to the re-organization of the management setup.
Another principal in the person of Sr. Ma. Teofila Frondozo, OP was assigned to take care of the Elementary Department. To cope with the increase in enrollment the following school years, a two-story building was built in 1990 for the high school department with eleven classrooms, school offices, a bigger faculty room, and a new library.
In 1989, Sr. Laurencia was appointed as the school director. Sr. Teofila remained the elementary school principal while Sr. Amata was designated as the high school principal in the school organization.
In 1992, Sr. Ma. Lolita Llaso, OP was appointed as principal. She started an overall face-lifting of the school, literally painting the entire school campus green; repairing the dilapidated building and classrooms; constructing drainage at the back and front of the elementary building; improving water facilities and comfortable rooms, and putting up the spacious canteen and Home Economics building. The following year, the school population increased to 2,418 students and pupils, thus another two-story building was constructed housing thirteen classrooms with the second-floor convertible into a mini auditorium. The science laboratory, school clinic, and other offices were also improved. To keep abreast with modern technology, Sr. Lolit started a computer literacy program by initially purchasing twenty-five units of computers and another twenty-six units the next school year to ensure one student-one keyboard training. All of these units were linked in a network system. Overhead projector, photocopier, and printer machine was also purchased.
Sr. Ma. Juanita Veniola, OP, acted as principal after the term of Sr Lolit in 1999.
The next school head, Sr. Ma. Melodina Dabuco, OP, held the fort of the school from the year 2001 to 2009. She continued the school’s computer literacy program by upgrading the computers and installing new programs. Moreover, CD ROM lessons were integrated into English, Science, and Math in elementary. In her time fifty brand-new computers with colored monitors were acquired totally replacing old units. These new computers were installed with upgraded Windows and Linux programs modifying the school’s computer curriculum. New campus pathways were also constructed outside the school gate.
Sr. Ma. Melodina was able to propel the school to an unprecedented height in this school year. The three-story commercial and high school building was built in front of the school campus. The structure consists of eight classrooms, nine commercial rooms, five offices, a new computer laboratory room, a new faculty room, and a comfortable room on each level. Old school buildings were also renovated to make them on par with the new building. To keep updated with today’s state-of-the-art facilities, the new computer laboratory was equipped with 72-inch colored television, and computers were all hooked to the internet for more challenging and skillful in-demand computer training. The speech laboratory was wholly renovated totally replacing old facilities with state-of-the-art technology equipped with video cameras and television sets to effect modern and technologically advanced education. Moreover, the school created a computer-assisted Instruction room with internet-ready computer units. Additional computers were installed in the library and other offices were constructed with the purpose of improving the quality of instruction.
Remarkable changes and school improvements marked the stewardship of Sr. Ma. Edna A. Billones, OP, from 2009 to 2019. Under her administration, the school adopted the online student information system (OLSIS) in data management in the registrar’s and cashier’s offices.
Construction of the school gym was completed in her second year in office and the building of a three-story edifice in 2014 paved for an independent campus for the elementary.
Placing a high premium on computer-aided instruction and computer-related lessons, the principal reconstructed all the school laboratories.
In partnership with TESDA the techvoc department opened in 2015 with five qualification offerings: Bartending NC ll, FBS NC ll, Housekeeping NC ll, Cookery NC ll, and SMAW NC l and ll. and became also theOn November 21, 2017, the institution reached one important milestone in its quest for excellence as its Basic Education Program was granted PAASCU Level I accreditation for 3 years until November 2020.
Coinciding with this development was the opening of the senior high school program in the SY 2016-2017 with the
academic (ABM, GAS, HUMSS, and STEM) and TechVoc (Automotive, Home Economics, CSS, and SMAW) programs.
The last infrastructure project seen in the administration of the last Dominican to run the school is the 6-story building. Its first phase houses the senior high school; the second phase awaits occupancy pending completion of safety requirements.
The arrival of Bishop Medil S. Aseo, D.D, as the new Bishop of Tagum in June 2018 ushered in a new chapter for the school as the Diocesan clergy took over the full administration of the school starting the School Year 2019-2020.
Fr. Allan O. Alindajao, JCL, was appointed as the first school president of MCPI under the new administration. With him at the helm was Fr. Tomas P. Avila, DCT as vice president.
In October 2019, Fr. Emerson B. Delos Reyes, Ed.D. succeeded Fr. Allan in the school presidency upon the appointment of the latter to the vice presidency and installation as parish priest of San Pedro Quasi-Parish.
Fr. Florendo M. Cimafranca, a 1967 alumnus of the school and the parish priest of the Sto Niño Parish, was appointed as chief financial officer.
The status of Maryknoll College became official this year with the opening of its first offering – the Bachelor of Technical-Vocational Teacher Education Program major in Food and Service Management.
Now in its 60th year and in the hands of the new Administration, Maryknoll College of Panabo Inc. stands stronger on the very grounds that witnessed its glorious birth in 1960.