5th SMSSAFF Conference in North America

Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 – Sunday, August 7, 2011

Conference HQ: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church

304 South Prospect Avenue, Park Ridge, IL 60068

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Schedule of Activities

August 4, Thursday

 01:00 -  05:00 Registration and issuance of name tags

 05:00 -  06:00 Vespers

 06:00 – 10:00 Dinner and welcome party

 
 August 5, Friday

 08:00 - Golf Tournament at White Pines Golf Course, Bensenville, IL

 09:00 - City Tour

 05:00 – 06:00 Vespers

 06:00 -  07:00 Awarding golf prizes

 07:00 – 10:00 School Dance and Crazy Night Party

August 6, Saturday

 07:00 - 08:00 Breakfast

 08:00 - 09:00 Alumni Mass 

 09:00 - 09:15 Brief instructions on the day’s activities

 09:15 -10:00 Break/Picture- taking

 10:00 -11:00 DVD/Slide show viewings > move time slot to 1:30 - 02:30 PM

 11:00 -12:00 Sponsor A Faculty Chair eview /   >  change to "Sponsor a Scholar" review ?

 12:00 - 01:30 Lunch

 01:30 - 02:30 Power Point Presentation by Philippine Delegation  > move time slot to 10:00 - 11:00 AM

 02:30 - 05:30 Business Meeting:
                             Discussion/Approval of Minutes on 2009 Vancouver Conference
                             Adoption of amendments to the Constitution and By Laws 
                             Report by the SMSSAFF Treasurer
                             Report of Endowment Fund Committee Chairman 
                             Report by the SMSSAFF President/Chairman
                             Election of Vacated BOT seats
                             Other matters including decision on date and location of the next conference
                             Closing remarks by the SMSSAFF President/Chairman

 05:30 - 07:00 Dinner

 07:00 - 11:00 Cultural Presentation for the Public: A Tribute to the SMSS Missionary Teachers

August 7, Sunday

  07:00 - 09:00 Breakfast 

 10:00 - 11:30 Mass with Parishioners 

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the following comments are copied from the stmary's mailing list:

Manong Andrew and all,

With the end of the 1st SMSS 5-year development plan, the Sponsor A Faculty Chair Project has been winded down [ended] - Dennis or manong Rufino, correct me if I am wrong. If I am correct, then it would be more relevant to review the SMSS scholarship developm ent program [which, I think, is a centerpiece of the school's 2nd 5-year development plan] in lieu of the Sponsor A Faculty Chair Review, scheduled 11: 00 - 12:00, on Saturday, August 6, 2011. If the completion of the SMSS gymnasium remains a concern in the school's 2nd 5-year development plan, then the status of this project could also be reviewed during the Chicago conference.

It may take more than an hour to review and kick-off some pledges towards these projects so may I suggest that the "DVD/Slide show viewings" be moved in the afternoon [1:30 -2:30]; while the Power Point Presentation by the Philippine delegation be moved to the morning session [10:00 - 11:00]. I am presuming that the Power Point Presentation by the Philippine delegation will touch on the scholarship program and the completion of the gymnasium. As such the review and/or discussion of said projects will take at least more than an hour [10:00 AM -12:00 noon].

The fund-raising activities of the Chicago SMSSAFF reunion and business meeting can then be focused on the scholarship program and/or the completion of the SMSS gymnasium.

Just thinking out loud.

Lambert
Dear Andrew, Lambert, SMSSAFF BOT members, and other SMS alumni,

Yes, the faculty sponsorship program was supposed to end this year. This is what I had told my friends who are not SMS alumni but have generously supported our faculty sponsorship program in whole or in part over the last three years. Among them are (a) Rick Crabb, Chairman of Otto Energy, in his personal capacity; (b) Otto Energy; (c) Kris Fellowes for Middle East Petroleum Services; (d) Dan Chalmers, Chairman of GN Power, in his personal capacity; (e) Cornelio Casido, Chairman/President of Heritage Australia in his personal capacity; and (f) Trinity University of Asia. With their support complementing the faculty sponsorships among the SMS alumni, SMSSI has been operationally in the black for the last three years.With the supposed termination of the faculty sponsorship program, they have all ended their support at the end of school year 2009-2010.

However, in the last meeting of the board of trustees of SMSSI, now headed by Nellie Ballola as Chairperson with Nellie Pit-og as Vice Chairperson, we were told that SMSSI still needs some faculty sponsors at least for the following year, or the school will incur a deficit of about one million pesos by the end of the school year 2010-2011. Firstly, the school had to hire a Guidance Counsellor and a Chaplain, both positions unbudgetted, but necessary. Secondly, the sponsors of the librarian's salary have ended their sponsorship even before the last school year. Thirdly, one of the non-alumni faculty sponsors (not among the six earlier mentioned) also stopped paying due to the said sponsor's own financial problems. Thus, I have been asked once again to appeal to prospective faculty sponsors for at least another year. Hopefully by then the donated property of Dennis Faustino shall have been sold to constitute the bulk of the endowment fund, the interest of which can then be used to cover a substantial part of the SMSS operating budget. I understand the property is currently estimated to have a market value of 26 million pesos

I have already convinced Mr. Cornelio Casido to continue as a faculty sponsor for the school-year 2010-2011 and I am confident I can get him to continue for possibly another year. I should be getting his check this week. Nellie Pit-og is currently talking to some alumni to possibly sponsor the chaplain. Assuming she succeeds, the school will still need at least two more sponsors. It is going to be difficult for me to go back to my other friends, but I will try. It will make it easier for me, however, if I can tell them that SMS alumni have also agreed to continue supporting the faculty sponsorship program for at least anothe year.

Dennis, please correct me if I am wrong. You may also want to clarify further why SMSS still needs faculty sponsors.

You all have a good day.

Rufino
Dear Andrew, Lambert, SMSSAFF BOT members, and other SMS alumni,

Yes, the faculty sponsorship program was supposed to end this year. This is what I had told my friends who are not SMS alumni but have generously supported our faculty sponsorship program in whole or in part over the last three years. Among them are (a) Rick Crabb, Chairman of Otto Energy, in his personal capacity; (b) Otto Energy; (c) Kris Fellowes for Middle East Petroleum Services; (d) Dan Chalmers, Chairman of GN Power, in his personal capacity; (e) Cornelio Casido, Chairman/President of Heritage Australia in his personal capacity; and (f) Trinity University of Asia. With their support complementing the faculty sponsorships among the SMS alumni, SMSSI has been operationally in the black for the last three years.With the supposed termination of the faculty sponsorship program, they have all ended their support at the end of school year 2009-2010.

However, in the last meeting of the board of trustees of SMSSI, now headed by Nellie Ballola as Chairperson with Nellie Pit-og as Vice Chairperson, we were told that SMSSI still needs some faculty sponsors at least for the following year, or the school will incur a deficit of about one million pesos by the end of the school year 2010-2011. Firstly, the school had to hire a Guidance Counsellor and a Chaplain, both positions unbudgetted, but necessary. Secondly, the sponsors of the librarian's salary have ended their sponsorship even before the last school year. Thirdly, one of the non-alumni faculty sponsors (not among the six earlier mentioned) also stopped paying due to the said sponsor's own financial problems. Thus, I have been asked once again to appeal to prospective faculty sponsors for at least another year. Hopefully by then the donated property of Dennis Faustino shall have been sold to constitute the bulk of the endowment fund, the interest of which can then be used to cover a substantial part of the SMSS operating budget. I understand the property is currently estimated to have a market value of 26 million pesos

I have already convinced Mr. Cornelio Casido to continue as a faculty sponsor for the school-year 2010-2011 and I am confident I can get him to continue for possibly another year. I should be getting his check this week. Nellie Pit-og is currently talking to some alumni to possibly sponsor the chaplain. Assuming she succeeds, the school will still need at least two more sponsors. It is going to be difficult for me to go back to my other friends, but I will try. It will make it easier for me, however, if I can tell them that SMS alumni have also agreed to continue supporting the faculty sponsorship program for at least anothe year.

Dennis, please correct me if I am wrong. You may also want to clarify further why SMSS still needs faculty sponsors.

You all have a good day.

Rufino
comments on deficit by Dennis Faustino:

Dear folks:

I am writing this upon the request of Rufino for my comments regarding the impending deficit and the factors that led to this.

In the second year of my administration, I and Rufino came up with the 3-year faculty chairs scheme that would buy the school time to increase the tuition level to the point that operational income would meet operational expenses. The tuition then was P3,000 a year, increasing to P5,000, to then P7,000, P9,000 and finally to P11,000 which is the current tuition for this school year. The scheme, thanks to SMSSAFF, alumni, individual and corporate donors, the school broke even in the past 4 years. The proposal had several vital assumptions: 1) the alumni would continue supporting the infrastructure projects beyond the expiration of the faculty chairs scheme; 2) the alumni would continue to support the scholarship fund for deserving scholars and financially needy students.

It has been a delicate balancing act for the past five years. The number of faculty chair sponsors gradually diminished from 18 in the first year to about 6-8 in the 2009-10 school year, some of which were not the full amount and/or delayed. Some pledges were not met because of the financial crises that affected our donors from US and other countries. Other sponsors shifted to smaller amounts for the scholarship fund, which was never enough to cover the tuition of our roster of scholarships and grantees. Nevertheless, I am thankful that in the final run, “it all ends well in the wash,” meaning we were able to meet all financial obligations on time (we have never missed payroll deadlines) without sacrificing educational quality.

This school year (2010-2011) is the test case for financial viability, because we aimed to rely on tuition and fees to meet payroll and other expenses. Several factors led to my prediction of a major deficit. 1) The government raised the starting salaries of public school teachers from P8,000 monthly in 2005 to P14,000 last year, to P16,000 this year. I started losing teachers for whom we had spent time, money, and effort for training. Many private schools are now suffering because of this government move. However, the government has not raised the subsidy for private schools accordingly. To address the problem of losing teachers, I started increasing teachers’ salaries at SMS, so that a three-year tenured teacher would receive P16,500 monthly. I had not taken these increases into consideration when I made projections in 2005.

A second factor is the hiring of four personnel which are required and vital for accreditation: the guidance counselor, the chaplain, the librarian, and the assistant principal whom I am training to succeed me. As outlined in the 2nd strategic plan, we also hired a math and science curriculum consultant for this year, as part of the curriculum review cycle. At P10,000 monthly + benefits, the unbudgeted amount for these positions would amount to at least P600,000 this year.

A third incident that happened at the beginning of this school year was the sudden withdrawal of at least 16 students (14 of which are seniors, and 2 juniors.) because they did not want to take the board-mandated 5th Year of study because of age. Although they have been appraised of this policy since their freshmen year, they made the decision transfer to the public schools so they can graduate from high school in March 2010. Ironically, the government has officially mandated a fifth year to be added to the high school program, but this will affect the freshmen class this year and other subsequent classes. The withdrawal cost the school about P250,000 in income from parental tuition counterparts and government subsidy.

Finally, the scholarship fund needs to cover about P450,000 to meet our current obligations to scholars and financial grantees. I know campaigns and initiatives are being set by Nellie Pit-og, and the organizers of the Chicago reunion, I tend to look at the possibility of deficits.

All in all, I see a possible total deficit of P1 M, which hopefully can be remedied before it happens.

On the brighter side, Evelyn Forbes is moving to sell the land in Pampanga, for at least P26 M. If we net P20 M, and place this in a trust fund that would yield an interest income at 10% or P2M, the school would really be financially stable. The sale would cover about ½ of our yearly operational budget of P4M.

As you are all probably aware, SMS topped the NAT in the Mountain Province for the second time in a row. This achievement test is administered to all 2nd Year students nationwide. Our 4th Year students have also topped the NCAE in the Mountain Province for 2 years. This year’s seniors will take the NCAE in September, and results will be known in February. The picture is also very bright for our graduates regarding college acceptances. The specifics are

In the Principal’s Report in the annual general meeting minutes (posted in the website). At the risk of seeming overconfident, I am proud to say that we have achieved much in five years. I believe we have the strongest educational program in the region, and we have the results as evidence. I also believe that this current crop of faculty is strong, dedicated, and progressive, and I do not want to lose them to public schools because of salaries. Lastly, I believe that we have restored the confidence and reputation that SMS has had in the glorious past.

In your deliberations, please consider our appeal for financial support to make it operationally through this year. Should the land be sold, and the number of students increase because of the mandatory 5th Year, the school will be truly self-sustaining.

Thank you.

Dennis Faustino
(from sms mailing list)

Here is another reminder. If we still do not have a conference theme for the Chicago reunion, let us better be thinking about one. A conference theme will be good for the souvenir program as well as the cultural night, if not the entire conference proceedings.

As regards the souvenir program, it may also be good to start looking for a picture to depict in the souvenir program cover page. Perhaps a picture of the Chicago skyline together with the conference venue. They say a picture says much more than a thousand words.

Lambert
Hi All:

Thanks again Lambert for the reminder.

For an overall theme, what about something that captures what has happened to the Igorots from the World Exposition in 1903 to the present. I originally thought of paying to the missionaries as the theme but this is really a sub-theme which will be very appropriate for the cultural presentation. In this regard, I would like to receive suggestions for the wording of the overall conference theme.

As for the front cover page, perhaps a picture from the 1903 exposition would be appropriate. Again, your suggestions are welcome.

For emphasis. I would like suggestions for the following:

a. Overall conference theme.
b. Cover picture.

Andrew B.
new schedule update..

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