History of Holy Cross College of Sasa, Inc.
Holy Cross College of Sasa, Inc. was founded through the dynamism and leadership of the PME Fathers with the unrelenting support of the parishioners and church workers. The pressing need for a Catholic Education and Evangelization for the young inspired them to establish this Catholic Institution of learning to help educate the youth of Sasa and its neighboring communities.
In 1964, the PME Fathers through the help of the Legion of Mary of Sta. Ana Parish and Ms. Monina Rodriguez acquired a hectare of land donated by Don Julian and Doňa Pilar Rodriguez, the parents of Ms. Monina Rodriguez.
Mr. Vicente Hizon, Jr., who owned a parcel of land adjacent to the land of the Rodriguez family, also donated another hectare of land when asked by the Rodriguez family and Msgr. Maurice Michaud, PME. The acquisition of two hectares paved the way for the establishment of a secondary school which was consequently named Holy Cross Academy of Sasa.
The Legionaries of Mary started recruiting prospective students in 1966. One Hundred students were enrolled in Holy Cross Academy of Sasa during the first year of operation. Mr. Artemio Solitaria then donated a three-room one-storey school building. Since the construction was still in progress, the Immaculate Conception Chapel served as a temporary classroom for the whole day. Soon a bigger chapel was erected (the present Fr. Joseph Godbout, PME Pastoral Center).
Rev. Fr. Joseph Godbout, PME managed the school at the start. He was the first Director and administered the school from 1966 to 1969. Later, Mrs. Florentina Racho was hired as the first School Principal. She managed the school with the help of two faculty members, Mrs. Virginia Merecido and Mrs. Priscila Limbo.
In 1969, Rev. Fr. Richard Vanasse, PME took over the administration up to 1972, followed by Rev. Fr. George Courchesne, PME who became director. He was succeeded until 1974 by Rev. Fr. Conrad Lafortune, PME in 1974 to 1978. It was in 1974 that Mrs. Teresita Mancio took over as the School Principal succeeding Mr. Nipolo Sabas. Rev. Fr. Joseph Godbout, PME was reassigned as Director in 1978 until 1981. In 1981, Rev. Fr. Donald Bouchard, PME became the director. He was the last PME Father to administer the school. Rev. Fr. Donald Bouchard, PME worked hard to improve the school. He worked in line with the congregation’s vision and mission to “build a Catholic Education that would provide, develop and mold the youth of Sasa and its neighboring communities”. During his administration, a perimeter fence was constructed to separate the school from the parish properties. It was also this time that the school produced two alumni who heeded the call to the priesthood: Rev. Fr. Hover Jocson and Rev. Fr. Ricky Flores.
Due to the felt need of a Religious Congregation to run the school, Rev. Fr. Donald Bouchard, PME requested the Teresian Daughters of Mary through their Bishop-Founder, the late Most Reverend Archbishop Antonio Lloren Mabutas, JCD. DD. Since then, the TDM sisters assumed the administration of the school.
In 1982, Sr. Ma. Cristina Cachero, TDM became the first Directress with Rev. Fr. Guy Lamoureux, PME as Spiritual Director of the School. She was followed by Sr. Ma. Gertrudes Neri, TDM in 1984. When Sr. Ma. Luz Liza, TDM took over as head of the school, a Filipino Spiritual Director of the school was assigned, Fr. Hermie Ceniza, who also became the first Filipino Parish Priest of St. Joseph Parish. Through the leadership of Sr. Liza, the building of a better administrative office, library and several classrooms was concretely realized.
From 1988 to 1989, Sr. Ma. Charito Galendez, TDM took over as the School Directress followed by Sr. Ma. Lourdes Paclibar, TDM who managed the school until 1992 with Fr. Julius Rodulfa serving as the Spiritual Director.
In 1991, the school celebrated its 25th foundation anniversary. It was in this year that the school was declared the grand champion during the Drum and Bugle Corp competition in Manila. It was a great honor for a provincial educational institution to garner such a national award.
The timely arrival of Sr. Ma. Cecilia Palomo, TDM in 1992 had brought aesthetic changes in the physical plant and facilities of Holy Cross Academy of Sasa, Inc. A covered court was constructed to accommodate students’ outdoor learnings and sports activities. It was during this year that a cemented path walk connecting Doña Pilar Road was constructed to help students during rainy days.
To respond to the need of integrating technology in the curriculum, Computer and Electronics subjects were incorporated in the Technology and Livelihood Education program in 1995 and 1996 respectively. It was in 1995 that the school began its progressive construction of a concrete three-storey building to replace the old wooden building thereby improving service delivery. By the end of Sr. Palomo’s term, the first floor was completed and half of the second floor was already occupied by the students for actual classroom instruction.
From 1996 to 1997, Sr. Ma. Nena Heramil, TDM took over as the school Directress/Principal, with Rev. Fr. Florencio Acedo as the Spiritual Director.
In 1997, Sr. Ma. Lydia Famor, TDM was assigned as Directress/Principal of Holy Cross Academy of Sasa, Inc. with Rev. Fr. Paul Dagangon as Spiritual Director. The completion of the second floor and the improvement of the Computer Laboratory came as the stand-out features of the school at this period of the school’s history.
When Sr. Ma. Evelyn Tago-on, TDM became the school Directress/Principal in 2000 with Fr. Pedro Lamata serving as Spiritual Director, a new office was created, the office of the Coordinator of School Social and Religious Ministries. This office took charge of the School’s Extension Program and the person assigned functioned as a liaison officer to the parish and all government and non-government agencies.
It was this time that the administration pursued the completion of the third floor of the three-story building giving priority to the inclusion of the Science Laboratories, AVR and computer laboratories. On the 35th Foundation Anniversary of the Holy Cross Academy of Sasa, Inc., the third floor of the concrete building was blessed. The Rodriguez and the Hizon families were among the invited guests to witness the infrastructural development of the school. New equipment were then purchased to make the audiovisual room, speech laboratory, computer and science laboratories functional.
During the special corporate meeting, on May 29, 2002, Most Rev. Fernando Capalla, DD, turned over the ownership of the Holy Cross Academy of Sasa, Inc. to the Teresian Daughters of Mary Congregation thereby giving the TDM sisters autonomous power and responsibility in making decisions to meet the operational needs and define the direction of the school. Sr. Ma. Gertrudes Neri, TDM, the Superior General was also directed to name the positions involving the governance of the school which include: Superior General, Four Council Members of the Congregation, General Treasurer of the Congregation, School Treasurer of the Holy Cross Academy of Sasa, Superintendent of the Archdiocesan Schools of Davao, Vocational Technology Feasibility Study in Charge and Parish Priest.
In 2005, the administration applied for the opening of a College Department. Sister Ma. Rebecca Palomo, TDM was tasked to process the application for Government Permit/Recognition for Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Marketing Management and Financial Management. These two programs were chaired by Dr. Noel Caballes and Sr. Ma. Concepcion Mendez, TDM respectively. Three pioneers manned the College Department. They were Dr. Oscar Cervales, Dean of College, Ms. Ligaya Marquez, College Librarian and Mrs. Erlinda Aguilar, College Registrar. In the same school year, Holy Cross Academy of Sasa, Inc. applied for the offering of a Sunday high school to accommodate working students who cannot attend regular daily classes.
The Sunday High School department was granted authority to offer First Year and Second Year level on January 2, 2006 with government permit (R-X1) NO. 01, series of 2006. It acquired a renewal permit for First Year and Second Year levels and a new permit for Third Year and Fourth Year levels on October 17, 2006 with government permit (R-XI) No. 39, series of 2006.
Sr. Ma. Nena Heramil, TDM was replaced by Sr. Ma. Evelyn Tago-on, TDM as Directress/Principal in 2006. This was the first year of the operation of the College Department. At this time, the College Department applied for another course, the Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management major in Food and Beverage Services.
The offering of Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management started in S.Y. 2007-2008. The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) changed the name of Bachelor of Science in Commerce into Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. In 2009-2010, Bachelor of Secondary Education (BSED), chaired by Dr. Bernardita Aberion and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT), chaired by Mrs. Mary Ann Faustino, were included in the school’s list of curricular offerings.
During the corporate meeting in 2009-2010, the new members of the Board of Trustees (BOT) were elected and named Sr. Ma. Rebecca Palomo, TDM as Directress of the Holy Cross College of Sasa, Inc. Sr. Ma. Nena Heramil, TDM was retained as Principal of the High School Department.
On February 2, 2009, the Sunday High School department obtained its Government Recognition for Sunday High School effective School Year 2009 – 2010 with Government Recognition (RXI) No. 02, series of 2009.
In May 2009, School Year 2009 – 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the amendment of the Articles of incorporation and By-Laws authorizing the changing of the school’s name into Holy Cross College of Sasa, Inc., and the operation of Technical-Vocational Education and Training Program which would help in the technical education of both in and out of school youth. It was in this school year that the program Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management program gained its Government Permit to operate issued on March 2, 2010 by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED R-XI).
In 2010-2011, three programs received Government Recognition namely Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, Bachelor of Secondary Education, and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.
Presently, the school continuously looks for ways to consolidate all its priority programs and activities to ensure that all the services offered are relevant and responsive to the needs of the community.