As the Saint Tonis College, Inc. celebrated its 45th Founding Anniversary last February 25, 2019, the school hoists both its history and its future hopes to live up to its vision and mission as a Christian school. Truly, Saint Tonis College has undergone many changes from its name and past programs to what it is now. Its humble beginnings trace back when it was an annex of the Tabuk Institute that took its main domicile in Dagupan, Tabuk, Kalinga.
The Tabuk Institute Barrio High School
In 1968, Tabuk Institute started an extension section in Bulanao, south of its main campus in Dagupan, Tabuk. It inaugurated with the financial support of the Tabuk Institute, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), and supporters from the community. Named as Tabuk Institute Barrio High School (TIBHS), it had 43 high school students and 20 students under the automotive class. In 1973, under the leadership of Mr. Lauro Arizala, TIBHS was granted government recognition to operate a high school program in line with the 2-2 plan curriculum of the government. Classes were first held at the UCCP Chapel.Later on, with a Php200, 000.00-grant from the UCCP, the school was able to build a classroom with a partially finished roofing, and a number of classrooms with partially finished walls.
In 1978, the UCCP North Highland Conference and the Tabuk Institute Board of Trustees agreed to separate Tabuk Institute Barrio High School from its mother school. After a time when the school’s own Board of Trustees governed the school, the Board of Trustees appointed Mrs. Presentacion C. Bartolo to be the School Principal. Thereafter, the school continued to expand and develop.
The Kalinga Christian Learning Center
In 1981, the school changed its name to Kalinga Christian Learning Center (KCLC). It accommodated the expansion of school programs both for academic advancement and community development. The school was a non-formal education center for many depressed communities, and so, skills trainings were made available for them. Those skills trainings were catered as a response to the need of parents to earn a decent and meaningful life and to be able to send their children to school. The Evangelische Zentralstelle für Entwicklungshilfe (EZE) of Germany funded these community programs as well as a building grant in 1984.
Also, aside from an increasing number of skills training, the school provided assistance in terms of identifying community problems, providing tools to analyze the cause of their problems, and some forms of aids to enable the community to take action on these problems. One impact of this program was the organized group who finally established a church, the Catao UCCP, that have catered to the rebel returnees under the late Father Conrado Balweg. Later on, the ICCO of Netherlands supported the school’s health program, thus what is now the training center and the dormitory for trainees.
The Elementary Department
Alongside the Community Integrated Development Program (CIDP), the Elementary Program was opened in 1994 until it gradually opened all its grade levels onto what it is now. Orally, the community, as well as the earliest faculty and staff of the school, has passed on the story that the elementary building had been funded by the finances of the school, the Saint Tonis Church in Germany and the pupils who would bring two stones a day. Upon establishment, the elementary department has been accredited for the last seven years.
The High School Department
The KCLC High School Program was first accredited in 1987 and was re-accredited to Level II in succeeding years. The High School Department was the first in the province to be accredited, and for a time, became the only high school in the province to have an accreditation.
Saint Tonis College
In 2004, the Board of Trustees approved a plan to apply for a permit to open a College of Nursing, and that application necessitated the change of name from Kalinga Christian Learning Center to Saint Tonis College, Inc., as required by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The name “Saint Tonis College, Inc.” was the top choice made by students and faculty members, and so it was subsequently approved by the Board of Trustees.
After the College of Nursing, Saint Tonis College, Inc. also began offering other courses like Bachelor in Secondary Education, Bachelor in Elementary Education, Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.
Recently, in 2016, the Saint Tonis College, Inc. was granted a provisional permit to operate Senior High School program with the following tracks and strands:
- Academic Track – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
- Technical-Vocational Strand – that offers Information and Communications Technology and Computer Systems Servicing; as well as Home Economics (specifically, Housekeeping, Caregiving and Commercial Cooking)
As the school populace continued to expand, another major building project was undertaken in the same year with the creation of a three-floor building housing classrooms, science laboratories, and a conference room.
A New Administration
On February 27, 2018, the Board of Trustees elected Bishop Elorde M. Sambat as the new President of the Saint Tonis College, Inc. to serve for a term of five (5) years; that is, from 2018 to 2022.