SBCS, DCS receive full six-year accreditation from WCEA

Santa Barbara Catholic School principal Sister Maria Rosario Gaite, RSM, and assistant principal for Curriculum and Grants Mrs. Arleen Suplido hold the letter and certificate from WCEA. (Photo courtesy of Santa Barbara Catholic School)

By John Michael D. Pineda
Umatuna Si Yu’os

Santa Barbara Catholic School in Dededo and Dominican Catholic School in Yigo recently received full accreditation from the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA), a private educational accrediting agency for Catholic elementary and secondary schools.

Both schools were granted the full six-year accreditation through June 30, 2025 as stated in a letter from WCEA executive director Nancy J. Coonis received early this month.

“What a feeling! My heart is bursting with happiness and pride in our school community,” shared SBCS principal Sister Maria Rosario Gaite, RSM.

Moments after Dominican Catholic School’s accreditation report of findings on Feb. 8, 2019, DCS educators gather with their principal Sister Esperanza Seguban, OP, top row, sixth from left; along with Superintendent of Catholic Education Richard Alvia, left-most side; his staff and the WCEA accreditation team composed of, seated from left to right, St. Anthony Catholic School’s Angie Susuico; team leader Dr. Tim Uhl of WCEA; St. John’s School’s Robert Kelley; and San Vicente Catholic School principal Nelba Aquino. (USY photo/Tony C. Diaz)

“We have been blessed with God’s guidance and inspiration throughout the self-study process and the preparation activities leading up to the visit. We are grateful to everyone for their hard work, support and encouragement,” continued Sister Maria Rosario.

DCS principal Sister Esperanza H. Seguban, OP expressed her gratitude for the great news, “We thank the catholic schools office especially Mr. Alvia in helping us with the accreditation. This will help us direct the school for its future, such as the development of the school’s physical education program, and with the new gymnasium, the Veritas Hall to improve our sports program.”

Superintendent of Catholic Education Richard Alvia, left, reviews documents during one of his sessions in February 2019 with the SBCS accreditation team’s co-chair Bernadette Alcantara and chair Arleen Suplido. (Photo courtesy of Richard Alvia)

“I would like to extend this congratulations to the entire Santa Barbara Catholic School community and the entire Dominican Catholic School community with the recent announcement affirming their WCEA six-year accreditation. A job well done!” said Catholic education superintendent Mr. Richard Alvia.

“All the good work of the entire community at SBCS and DCS is a mirror reflection and living testimony of WCEA’s mission. This great news from WCEA is a celebration and a witness that students learn that excellence is a response to God’s blessings. Congratulations to all faculty and staff, and most importantly the accreditation leadership team of both SBCS and DCS.”

Alvia, who served as WCEA local commissioner, stated, “The mission of WCEA is to promote quality Catholic education for students in member elementary and secondary schools through an accrediting process that assures the primacy of faith formation and educational excellence.”

The accreditation visit was held in February by a team led by Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent for Catholic Schools in Montana.

A full six-year accreditation is the highest a school can achieve. SBCS has consistently received the highest accreditation rating from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since 1983 and then WCEA in 2013. DCS received its initial accreditation from WASC on May 2010 and was effective until June 30, 2013. On July 3, 2013 WASC through the recommendation of the WCEA Elementary Commission granted Dominican Catholic School a six-year accreditation for Pre-Kindergarten to eighth grade, effective through June 30, 2019, according to DCS website.