SM St Michael excels for more than a century

KOTA KINABALU: SM St Michael, Penampang marked its 120 years milestone Sunday, 13 June 2010, with a gala dinner at the Putera Ballroom Theatre. The theme of the celebration was “120 years in Excellence.”

Founded in 1890 by the Mill Hill missionary, St Michael was a humble school built of bamboo. “Though its physical features have undergone much change over the years, SM St Michael’s drive for accessible quality education has not withered, whether in the hearts of the school’s educators nor its Board of Governors,” said Anne Lasimbang in her address as organizing chairperson of the anniversary celebration.

A long list of movers and shakers in Sabah were Old Michaelians who were leading lights in shaping the destiny of the state and country. They occupied positions of influence in politics, civil service, business, academics, medical and legal to social activism, since before the formation of Malaysia until today, Anne, who is also the chairperson of the school’s Parent-Teacher’s Association (PTA), added.

“Under the able and dynamic leadership of Marie Yong Pik Hua as the school principal, St Michael continues to scale greater heights of achievement, receiving several awards and recognition,” Anne hailed.

Last year the school was bestowed the School of Excellence under the rural category at the national level for its brilliant academic performance.

St Michael achieved 91.4 per cent passing rate for PMR (Lower Secondary Assessment) with 21 students scoring straight As, while its SPM results saw 97.3 per cent passes.

“These achievements have earned St Michael a credit status for the National Key Results Area (NKRA) by the Malaysian Ministry of Education,” said Anne in congratulating the principal and her dedicated staff.

St Michael is one of the top ten schools in Sabah. The PTA chairperson hoped that the school would go on to be one of the best schools in Malaysia one day.

The school was the national and state champion in the “Edible Landscape’ competitions. In the 3K (cleanliness, environment and safety) nationwide inter-school contest, it was placed third.

The school would strive to enlighten its students to be environmentally conscious and the target for 2010 was to become an outstanding ‘Lestari’ school. Through its endeavours, it had already being awarded par excellence on environment since 2007 consecutively.

St Michael was in the Malaysian Book of Records for having the largest collection of flower pots from coconut shells in 2008, and the largest collection of aluminium cans last year.

Its string of successes had not gone unnoticed at the international level, especially Japan and South Korea. Yong Ho High School from South Korea has a student exchange programme with St Michael.

In recognition of St Michael as a school of fine repute, the Ian Ferguson Foundation donated RM83,100 for the purchase of a van to transport students.

In propelling St Michael towards excellence, Anne noted the role played by the surrounding communities, especially from Penampang. She expressed her deepest appreciation of the close cooperation and commitment given by the school’s Board of Governors and the PTA, not forgetting the principals and teacher – past and present – who selflessly upheld St Michael’s spirit.

Donald Mojuntin, Assistant Minister of Finance, was the guest of honour at the function. Also present were State Director of Education Dr Muhyiddin Yussin, St Michael’s Board Chairman Donald Malinggang and Monsignor Primus Jouil. Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, Federal Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, was represented by his son Carl Dompok, as he was on official duty in Shanghai.

Among the 1,000 guests were leading Old Michaelians such as Datuk Philip Lasimbang, former Assemblyman for Moyog and present Political Secretary to Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Chairman of Institute of Studies (IDS) Datuk Seri Panglima Clarence Bongkos, Tan Sri Simon Sipaun who was the former Suhakam Commissioner and Tan Sri Herman Luping.

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