Monday, September 27, 2010

History Notre Dame of Siena College of General Santos City


The 1950’s and the early years of 1960’s witnessed the enormous development in the city of General Santos. Economic boom became a reality and institutions of learning overflowed with students from all walks of life.

One historic event which stands exceptionally was the foundations of Catholic Education in Dadiangas. In 1953, Brother Damian Teston, FMS, the Director of the Notre Dame of Lagao, opened two extension classes in the old church of the town of Dadiangas near the present site of the Parish Center.

The school progressed with the prosperity of the town and in 1955; eight (8) improvised classrooms of sawali and cogon were built on the location of the present church of our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. The school was named Notre Dame of Dadiangas with Brother Michael O’Keefe, FMS, as Director.

The ensuing year saw the rapid growth of the school. The first concrete building was built through the joint efforts of the Marist Administration who supervised the work of the building and the student body who supplied the much-needed manpower.

In 1958, the Dominican Sisters led by the late Sr. Raymunda Santos, O.P. took over administration of the Notre Dame of Dadiangas Girls Department. In 1959, there was a rapid increase in enrollment. The Marist Brothers moved the boys to the present location of the Notre Dame of Dadiangas College. The original site was left to the Sisters.

The development and expansion of both Notre Dame schools have continued ever since.

In 1959 – 1960, the High School Department had a total of 263 enrollees to start with. The school staff consisted of five (5) Dominican Sisters and seven (7) lay teachers.

In 1966 – 1967, Notre Dame of Dadiangas Girls Department opened the Elementary Department. There were one hundred (100) enrollees for Grades I and II only. Because of the untiring efforts and dedication of the school personnel and the support of the parents, Notre Dame of Dadiangas Girls Department was recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECS) as a separate entity. It acquired a new game, Notre Dame of Dadiangas for Girls.

After Sr. Raymunda Santos, O.P. (1959 – 1961, the following Dominican Sisters served as Directors of the school:

Sr. Resurreccion Galura, O.P. 1961 – 1966

Sr. Ma. Aurelia Navarro, O.P. 1966 – 1969

Sr. Rosario Allado, O.P. June-Dec. 1969

Mother Ma. Cecilia Calaguas, O.P. 1969 – 1974

Sr. Esther Dabu, O.P. 1974 – 1977 (deceased)

Sr. Ma. Estelita Carbon, O.P. 1977 – 1986

Sr. Lourdes Dalwatan, O.P. 1986 – 1987

Sr. Candelaria Samson, O.P. 1987 – 1991 (deceased)

Sr. Felicidad Lipio, O.P. 1991 – 1992

Sr. Edita Abad, O.P. 1992 – 1995

Sr. Ma. Clara Sequito, O.P. 1995 – 1998

Sr. Ma. Estelita Carbon, O.P. 1998 – 2000

Sr. Rosalea Busilac, O.P. 2000 – 2003

Sr. Loreta Oranza, O.P. 2003 – 2004

Sr. Ma. Virginia Balayon, O.P. 2004 to date

To ensure effective and quality education, steps towards an on-going development had been initiated. It started with an evaluation conducted by the Mindanao Institute for the Development of School Administration (MIDSA) Team visit in 1975 – 1976. Recommendations from the visit identified several areas which needed improvement.

Inspired by the results of the MIDSA visit and inflamed by its school philosophy and vision, NDDFG underwent a series of orientation seminars, in- service trainings, and workshops. Lecturers from Manila, Davao, and other Notre Dame schools in the locality were invited to share their expertise and to talk about accreditation.

In 1978 – 1979, NDDFG underwent a self-survey. Recommendations from the first self-survey as bases for more developments. The second self-survey followed in 1980. NDDFG got scheduled for an initial PAASCU visit in November 1980.

School year 1980 -1981, however, became a turning point in the development plan of the school. The Congregation adopted the Catholic Schools System Development (CS – SD) Program with Mr. Feliciano Jimenez as program proponent and consultant. The Orientation Seminar Talk had very strong impact on the personnel that made them decide to go through an intensive development instead of the scheduled PAASCU initial visit.

The CS – SD program triggered a lot of developments. The Foundation Retreat Seminars (FRS) and Personnel Growth Days great contributed to the growth of the personnel in grace as they went through the spiritual, social, professional, and service activities.

Each development cycle, was evaluated by the Congregational Evaluation Visit (CEV) which focuses on the school’s attainment of its philosophy and objectives, classroom observation, and inspection of facilities. The team gives its commendations and recommendations to guide the institution in its program of development for the next development cycle.

To keep abreast with technological advancement, NDDFG integrated Computer Education as an option in its curriculum in 1989 – 1990. Later it became a compulsory requirement for the high school as part of the Technological and Home Economics course. Computer classes got integrated in the school curriculum from grade school to high school. In 2002, the school opened Internet sessions from Grade 5 to fourth year high school.

Other developments in terms of physical plant include, among others the renovation of: the Finance Office, canteen, grade school and high school faculty rooms, coordinators’ office, and fully air-conditioned library and Audio – Video Center, Computer Room and Internet Room.

All offices are provided with computers to facilitate record keeping and documentation of important information.

Armed with the CS-SD Program, the school re- applied for PAASCU accreditation.

In 1983 – 84, the high school underwent the first PAASCU initial survey to give itself a try for initial accreditation. The school got the candidate status for formal accreditation.

NDDFG first became a full-fledged member of the prestigious accrediting association in the 1984 -85 where it earned the status as the FIRST PAASCU ACCREDITED HIGH SCHOOL in the entire NDEA System. The high school was granted an initial accreditation for three years.

It went through a preliminary survey in 1987 – 88 and got its claim – the FIRST PAASCU ACCREDITED HIGH SCHOOL and GRADE SCHOOL in South Cotabato.

The school went through another PAASCU re- accreditation: the first for the grade school and second for the high school. Beset by a fast turnover of the teachers and administrators, the personnel worked doubly hard, got another five year accreditation but had to go through an interim visit on October 27, 1977.

The February 19, 1997 fire which razed down the school’s Audio Visual and Computer rooms did not dampen the spirit of the school community. It was tremendous loss estimated to be about a million and a half damages in school facilities and equipment.

NDDFG hurdled another PAASCU re-accreditation in the SY 1999 – 2000. Both the High School and the Grade School Departments satisfactorily got another five-year accreditation.

The school was challenged to consistently upgrade its academic offerings by adopting a Science-Math Oriented Program that prepares its clientele for higher level of learning and competition. It has also revitalized its school activities giving emphasis on outreach programs that train clientele for genuine service and provide them opportunities to serve the less fortunate member of the community.

In answer to the needs of the changing times, NDDFG went to co-ed in the grade school in 1998 – 1999 starting with twenty-two (22) boys in KD-I. In 2001-2002, boys were admitted for the first time in first year.

As a co-ed institution, Notre Dame of Dadiangas for Girls had to apply for a change name. The SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION (SEC) approved on September 27, 2000 the AMMENDED ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION of the NOTRE DAME OF GENERAL SANTOS CITY, INC. (formerly Dominican Notre Dame of Dadiangas, Inc.) Thus Notre Dame of Dadiangas for Girls has been officially named Notre Dame of General Santos City.

NDGSC believes to adequately equip its clientele with quality education and its personnel with novelty, professional development and technological integration so that they can make a bold leap into the next millennium.

Inspired by the “Dominican Ideals of Passion for Truth and Compassion for Humanity”, NDGSC leads in its commitment and gratitude to the Almighty God. Under the protective mantle of Notre Dame, our Mother, and the inspiration of St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, and Mother Francisca del Espiritu Santo, NDGSC proclaims God’s Kingdom for a transformed society where people become self-reliant and service-oriented.


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