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St. Augustine Academy Floridablanca Pampanga

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A Brief History of St. Augustine Academy

Borrowed from Jojo Chavez's Floriblancan Website

One year after liberation in 1946, Floridablanca still bore the imprint of poverty and the ravages of war, the result of atrocities and exploitation on a conquered people. There was an urgent need for education and moral regeneration. As if in answer to the prayers of the people, a U.S. Army Chaplain, Reverend Father Joseph A. Devlin, assigned at the Palacol Airbase, came and proposed to the Parish Priest, Reverend Father Lucinio Valles, OSA, the opening of a Catholic high school for the parish in Floridablanca. The townspeople received the proposal with joy. They gave him not only, moral support, but also their time and effort.

Thus was born the SAINT AUGUSTINE ACADEMY, a NON-STOCK Catholic high school in the Perish of Saint Joseph, Floridablanca, owned by the parishioners.

The school formally opened in July l, 1946, with one hundred thirty five students enrolled (mostly in their twenties). For lack of room facilities, classes were held at the sacristy and inside the church too. Handling the classes were Father Devlin, Director, Mr. Mariano Sagad as the Acting Principal, Miss Gregorio Dychitan, Miss Dolores Enrile, and Miss Nunilon Vitug as classroom teachers, and Mr. Felipe O. Tungol as the acting Treasurer. Mr. Sagad later resigned in October 1946 and Mr. Fermin L. Loredo was appointed the permanent Principal.

To obtain formal government recognition and correct the physical deficiencies in facilities and other requirements to upgrade the school standards, the school was formed into a corporation. Incorporators signed the documents of incorporation. His Grace Archbishop Michael J. ODoherty, Archbishop of Manila, Msgr. Rufino J. Santos, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, Reverend Father Lucianio Valles, OSA, Parish Priest of Floridablanca, Dr. Ramon J. Mendiola, Mr. Dominador D. Songco, Mr. Geronimo D. Coronel, and Mr. Teofilo Gutierrez.   The government approved the incorporation papers of the Saint Augustine Academy, as a non-stock private catholic school on April 20, 1948. By this time the school is now firmly established.  In the same year the Schools Founder, Reverend Father Joseph A. Devlin returned to the United States to serve as parish priest in one of the parishes for farm workers.

Since its foundation in 1946, the following have served as school directors:

1946 1948 Rev.Father Joseph A. Devlin

1948 1960 Rev.Father Lucinio Valles, OSA

1960 1968 Msgr.Crispiniano Y. Gopez

1968 1974 Msgr.Vicente R. Navarro

1974 1987 Msgr.Felipe C. Pangilinan

Enrollment at the opening of the school in 1946 was 135 with a part time teaching staff of 5 teachers only.  Since then, the following data show the progress attained in its enrollment and graduates:

Freshmen       School Year           Graduates ( Seniors )
135              1946-1947                      5
225             1948-1949                      21
703              1963-1964                    105
1436           1974-1975                     284
2029           1980-1981                     480
2346          1986-1987                     540

In March 1987 Reverend Father Joseph A. Devlin returned to the SAA 40 years after he founded it. During his sentimental visit he was adopted as "A Son of Floridablanca" by the Municipal Council, participated in the unveiling of a marker for the School, festive celebrations & finally a motorcade around town.