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Jan 20, 2017

Prestigious St. Catherine Academy Marks 134th Anniversary

You probably know or are related to someone who studies or who has passed through the halls of Saint Catherine Academy. The all-girls high school continues as a vanguard institution in education. It currently has an enrollment of six hundred and eighty-five students representing the largest student body in its history.  It’s a milestone that adds to the rich history of S.C.A. which today, is celebrating the one hundred and thirty-fourth anniversary. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Saint Catherine Academy was founded in Belize one hundred and thirty-four years ago. The educational institution is a Catholic all girls’ high school established in the Mercy tradition and has turned out prominent women in society. Alumna as well as the Sisters of Mercy gathered today inside the newly built multipurpose auditorium to reflect on what makes the institution different from other facilities. But the celebration is two-fold because the official inauguration of the multipurpose facility takes place today. Principal Salome Tillett says that the project started over a decade ago.

 

Salome Tillett, Principal, St. Catherine Academy

“The opening of our building, the official inauguration of our building is such a blessing for us; it’s a dream come true. I don’t know if you recall the many years that we’ve been fundraising for this.  Actually I looked back in our records and it started in 2003; so it’s been a long time in the making and I can say that this building belongs to the community of Belize. We had the support of our parents, our students, teachers, their families over all these years that we have been working on it.”

 

There are still some finishing touches being made to the facility that has multiple courts, a stage, as well as changing rooms and other features. When completed, the building will cost approximately three point five million dollars.

 

Salome Tillett

Salome Tillett

“We are still in need of funds, we still have a ways to go but we will start with where we are and we are grateful for what we have. It’s one of the commitments we have to make as a part of this institution along with the complete formation of our young women, looking to empower them and to prepare them for what is ahead. And if you look at our history that is a hundred and thirty-four years old, you know that we have successfully helped to form women who are able now to form women who are able now to look back at SCA and say, I learnt something there that made me who I am today.”

 

A special guest at today’s ceremonies was the Executive Director of the Mercy Education System of the Americas, which governs educational institutions in seven countries. Saint Catherine Academy and Muffles College in Orange Walk are a part of that system. Sister Lisa Griffith says that a new program that will be rolled out in July will ensure the continued existence of the mercy value and tradition.

 

Lisa Griffith

Sister Lisa Griffith, Executive Director, Mercy Education System of the Americas

“The move was really we wanted to strengthen our schools. We know that many of schools are being headed by lay leadership. We know that we need to educate them in what it means to be mercy. We are creating that system to help them some of this came from their desire. So again, it is a way for us to ensure the longevity into the future as mercy. One of the things all of our schools have tried to do is be a place of excellence. We strive to strengthen women and raise women up in our world so that they can be part of our future in making decisions and leading all of our countries.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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