(Extensions of Remarks - September 13, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1515]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []




                    of the northern mariana islands

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, September 13, 2012

  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, sixty years ago, Capuchin priest Father 
Arnold Bendowski together with a convent of the Mercederian Sisters of 
Berriz and the parishioners of Mount Carmel Church established Mount 
Carmel School, which became the very first school in the Northern 
Mariana Islands to graduate a class of students from high school.
  Today, I ask you to join me in celebrating this 60th anniversary of 
the founding of Mount Carmel School and to recognize the school's proud 
history of educating Northern Marianas students from their elementary 
through high school years.
  Enrollment steadily increased throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. 
Building s success, in 1993 Bishop Tomas A. Camacho hired Sister Mary 
Angela Perez of Religious Sisters of Mercy to be President of Mount 
Carmel School and gave her a broad mandate to lift the standard of 
education at the school to a new level. Under her leadership, Mt. 
Carmel was incorporated; and in 1994 a review team from the Western 
Association of Schools and Colleges granted Accreditation Candidacy 
status. Eventually, this action led to the school becoming the first 
non-public school in the Northern Marianas accredited for a full six-
year term.
  Throughout these 60 years of development and growth Mount Carmel 
School has garnered a reputation for academic excellence, sending many 
graduates to top postsecondary institutions. Mount Carmel maintains 
this commitment, announcing this year that the school is adopting the 
National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and 
Secondary Schools, formulated by Catholic educators from across the 
  Supporting the academic, Mt. Carmel has also developed a diverse 
range of extracurricular activities, which have led to acclaimed 
theatrical productions and championship teams participating in the 
Academic Challenge Bowl, the Attorney General's Cup, Forensics, Mock 
Trial, and We the People programs. In line with findings of the 
National Center for Education Statistics, the school has decided now to 
grant academic credit for student participation in this kind of 
extracurricular activity, a policy that has been linked to improved 
attendance, academic achievement, and a commitment to continuing 
education beyond high school.
  In addition to shaping the minds of our future leaders, Mount Carmel 
School has helped mold their spiritual conscience and social 
consciousness. Leadership at the school continually impress upon 
students their personal responsibility as members of a community. The 
school recently launched a service learning program, to augment its 
theology curriculum, and also introduced an innovative anti-bullying 
program, all to guide student awareness of how best to participate in 
the larger society of which they are a part.
  Mt. Carmel understands its own social responsibility, too. The 
Northern Marianas community today faces the same financial challenges 
as Americans elsewhere in our nation. In response, Mt. Carmel has 
committed to new initiatives offering financial assistance to families 
that want a Catholic education for their children.
  From its humble beginnings in 1952, the school has evolved into an 
institution whose name is synonymous with excellence in our community. 
Mt. Carmel has cultivated many of our islands' most notable business, 
government, and community leaders. Alumni from all walks of life stand 
as inspiring pillars in our community.
  I offer my congratulations to all those who have been affiliated with 
the school over these past 60 years--teachers, staff, students, alumni, 
and parents. I am confident that the next 60 years will be marked by 
the same level of accomplishment.
  Congratulations, Knights!