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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 7, 2010

$10M campaign launched to restore Maui Catholic school 'gem'

The Maui News

WAILUKU, Maui - St. Anthony Junior Senior High School has launched a $10 million capital and endowment campaign that aims to provide tuition assistance and raise teacher salaries.

At a kick-off dinner held late last month, Hawaii Bishop Larry Silva emphasized the importance of a Catholic education.

"The Catholic values of faith formation, leadership skills, and service and justice are all taught here at Saint Anthony Junior Senior High School every day. This school is a gem that we need to work together to polish and restore to its luster," Silva said to a crowd of more than 120 people at the event.

A portion of the money raised in the campaign will build an endowment for student-tuition assistance. More than 44 percent of St. Anthony's students receive financial help, according to a school news release. Tuition costs $9,200 per year.

The campaign also will help provide competitive salaries for St. Anthony teachers, who, according to school officials, earn approximately $6,000 less on average than a public school teacher. The average starting teacher's annual pay in the state Department of Education is $45,000. St. Anthony school officials plan to establish a separate endowment that would increase faculty salaries by 24 percent in six years.

There are no plans to construct new buildings on the Wailuku campus.

"The endowments will allow the school to retain and reward talented teachers while enabling us to provide more assistance to students interested in a quality education," said the Rev. Jim Orsini, St. Anthony's principal.

Another $500,000 of the campaign's $10 million would be designated for the school's other needs, including building maintenance, adopting green initiatives, enhancing athletic programs and expanding technology.

The capital campaign already has raised more than $2.2 million from 70 donors. A $1 million contribution and another $500,000 donation were made by anonymous donors.

David "Buddy" Nobriga, a 1951 alumnus of the school, said he feels encouraged that St. Anthony will raise the $10 million based on the monetary pledges made thus far.

"We have over 5,000 St. Anthony alumni all around the world, many living here on Maui," Nobriga said. "If each of us did our part to give back, to pay it forward, we could reach our goal."

St. Anthony Junior Senior High School is the only Catholic high school on Maui. It currently has 185 students in grades 7 through 12.

For more campaign information, contact Kathleen DeLima, St. Anthony development director, at 244-4190, ext. 268, or send e-mail to kdelima@sasmaui.org. More information can be found at the school Web site at sasmaui.org.