Yap Catholic High School

       "Education in the Service of God and Others"


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YCHS Hosts 5th Annual Robo-Day

Posted on May 27, 2016 at 3:00 AM

On Tuesday, May 24th, Yap Catholic High School hosted the annual “Yap Robo-Day” thanks to donations from the Habele Foundation. “Yap Robo-Day” was held at the Community Center from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM. Despite the torrential downpour, the twenty-five students in the club still carried on with their robotics demonstrations for more than 100 visitors to the event. The students made repairs and improvements to their robots and even taught some visitors how to drive and operate the different robots.


The Robotics Club had started working on their robots in January of this year under the guidance of their faculty moderators, Mr. Michael Wiencek and Ms. Devi Gopal. This year, two senior students, Armhel Pigao and Kobe Sacres, served in the leadership roles of project contractors for the club. YCHS produced a record number of four different robots, as well as a few side projects as well including a miniature race car and an electric guitar made out of legos. This STEM oriented activity gives students the opportunity to explore their interest in possible science and engineering related careers in the future, while also developing their collaboration and leadership skills.


The Yap Catholic High School community also raised $390 through their fundraising food and drink sale at the event.


Thank-you to all who came out to support the Yap Robo-Day event!

Pictured below are some of the members of the YCHS Robotics Team

Photo courtesy of Axel Defngin


Tafnag Wins Gates Scholarship

Posted on May 15, 2016 at 3:00 AM


The Gates Millennium Scholars Program is in its final year of awarding good-through-graduation scholarships that cover the unmet financial need of students heading to college in the United States. This year, over 56,000 students in the United States and the Pacific Region applied for this prestigious scholarship – only 1,000 students were selected as recipients of the award.

Selena Tafnag, a member of the Yap Catholic High School Class of 2016, was awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship this year. Over her four years at YCHS, Selena has achieved a 94% unweighted average. Selena has consistently earned perfect attendance awards - she was not absent for even a single day throughout her four years at YCHS. She has been an active member of the volleyball team, the gardening club, the debate team, and the First Friday Youth Planning Group. This year, Selena has also served as the editor of the school’s yearbook.

Mr. Michael Wiencek, Director of College Counseling, explained that Selena has been hard at work since July on making her college dreams a reality. According to Wiencek, “Selena had to write eight essays specifically for the Gates scholarship, as well as receive two thorough recommendations from her teachers. She did all of this while applying to colleges, finishing other scholarship applications, and excelling in her senior year studies at YCHS. She even came into school on multiple Saturday mornings to complete all of her work.”

In the fall, Selena will be attending Creighton University to study Health Administration and Public Health. Creighton University is a Catholic and Jesuit university in Omaha, Nebraska. She hopes to continue on after receiving her Bachelor’s degree to earn her Master’s degree, which could also be funded through the Gates scholarship program. We wish Selena the best of luck as she continues her educational journey at Creighton!

Pictured below are Selena Tafnag, her mother – Antonia Tafnag, and Mr. Michael Wiencek.

Mass of Thanksgiving

Posted on May 15, 2016 at 2:40 AM

   Hundreds of visitors, including YCHS students and their families, Board members, and friends of the school gathered on campus for a potluck dinner and Mass of Thanksgiving for Father Corcoran.  Corcoran, the founding Principal and Director of YCHS, is completing five years of service at the school.  He will leave this summer to begin a new assignment in the U.S.
   In his homily at Mass, Father Mulreany (who arrived five years ago with Corcoran) compared how the disciples may have felt when they realized Jesus would be leaving them and how many at YCHS may feel about Corcoran's departure.  "No one should be worried," Mulreany reassured the congregation.  "Jesus told the disciples that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to remind them of all He taught them.  The Holy Spirit, which gave birth to this school, will continue to remind us of all that Father Corcoran has taught us."  Mulreany then mentioned three of the important lessons Corcoran brought to YCHS: 1. Be at school and on time every day.  2.  Be a reader.  3.  Do what's right, not what's easy.  Mulreany finished by thanking Corcoran "for bringing out the best in all of us."
   During his remarks after Mass, Corcoran thanked all those who have helped make YCHS a success.  To view pictures of ther Mass and dinner, click on the Photo Gallery link above. 

Thanks to YSPSC

Posted on April 1, 2016 at 4:30 PM
     The entire Yap Catholic High School community would like to thank the Yap State Public Service Corporation (YSPSC) for their recent pro bono work on the YCHS campus.  To remove five very large fir trees that were dangerously close to the Administration Building, YSPSC workers brought in their specialized equipment and, over the course of two days, were able to safely cut down the trees.

      "We are extremely grateful for the YSPSC work," said Father Corcoran, school Director.  "Those large trees were a constant worry.  If they came down during a typhoon, they would have caused tremendous damage to our building. YSPSC has been very helpful at every stage of our new campus construction."

      Pictured below is the new view of the YCHS Administration Building.

YCHS Attendance Record

Posted on March 19, 2016 at 5:20 PM

     At the recent Third Quarter Honors Assembly, YCHS Principal Father Corcoran announced that the student body set an all-time school record for attendance.  Sixty-four YCHS students (90% of the school) were at school and on time every day during the third quarter.  There was only one student absence for the entire quarter.

   Academic awards were also preseneted at the Assembly.  Thirty-six students earned Second Honors by achieving grades of 80% or higher in all their classes.  Twenty four students (including ten freshmen) received First Honors (grades of 90% or higher in all classes).  The freshmen who achieved First Honors were Johanne Arao, Roselyn Beltran, Jennaia Chonmon, CeeCee Keppin, Marcia Matnan, Julia Ranganbay, Ashley Rapgeg, Tristan Ruway, Jayvie Taruweliut, and Nicholas Untun.  Upperclass First Honors students were Hans Banua, Giselle Giyetinag, Zoya-Marie Sigeyog, Aaron Yow, Bryan Bomtam, Jalani Gootinmutnguy, Shawn Libyan, Natasha Loochaz, Blossom Moofal, Rozeanne Ruema, Jancely Harongreg, Marcy Kentun, Armhel Pigao, and Kobe Sacres.  All First Honors students are pictured below.  Congratulations to all award winners!

New YCHS Administrators

Posted on February 5, 2016 at 4:15 PM

     YCHS has named a new Director of the school, Father Jack Mattimore, S.J.  and a new Principal, Mr. Michael Wiencek.  Fr. Mattimore will arrive on Yap and begin work in mid-July.  Mr. Wiencek will take over as Principal in June.

     Father Mattimore, a graduate of Canisius High School in Buffalo, NY, holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Fordham University, STB and MDiv degrees from Regis College, a ThM degree from the University of Toronto, an MA degree from Columbia University, and a Professional Diploma in Administration from Fordham University.

     Fr. Mattimore has worked at four different Jesuit high schools in the U.S. -- Canisius, Fordham Prep, Xavier, and Cristo Rey Baltimore – as well as Nativity Mission Center, a Jesuit middle school. He has been a Religion teacher, English teacher, Assistant Headmaster, and Principal.

     Growing up in the same Buffalo neighborhood, Fr. Mattimore and Fr. Corcoran (current YCHS Director) have known each other since childhood. Both attended the same elementary school and high school and were eventually ordained together as priests. “YCHS will be in good hands,” Fr. Corcoran said. “Father Mattimore’s impressive background and excellent personal skills will be terrific assets as YCHS moves forward. We are very excited that he’ll be taking over.”

     Mr. Wiencek, a graduate of the University of Scranton, served for two years as a volunteer teacher at YCHS before going back to the US to work at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Philadelphia.  Returning to Yap this year, Mr. Wiencek became the school's Director of College Counseling and Assistant Principal. He is also the school's Chemistry teacher.  When asked about the new Principal, Fr. Corcoran said, "Mr. Wiencek is a fantastic choice.  He's well-known and greatly respected at the school and in the wider community. His natural leadership skills will be critical as YCHS continues to strive for excellence."     

     Father Corcoran, YCHS Director and Principal since the school was founded in 2011, will return to the US this summer to begin a new teaching assignment at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore, Maryland.

     Pictured below is the new Director, Father Mattimore, S.J. 



YCHS Open House

Posted on January 30, 2016 at 12:00 AM

     Yap Catholic High School will hold an Open House on Saturday, February 13th from 10 am until 12 noon.  The Open House is for 7th and 8th grade students (and their families) who might be interested in applying to the school and all others who might like to learn more about the school or simply see the YCHS campus, including the recently completed Loyola Chapel.

     Applications for the new freshman class will be available at the Open House.  Applications will also be available during the week following the Open House at the St. Mary's Vicariate Office. YCHS does consider transfer applications on a case-by-case basis.  Interested families should call the school or  set up an interview at the Open House.

     Teachers, students, and parents will be available to answer questions.  Come out and see Yap's award-winning school!

Second Quarter Honors

Posted on January 16, 2016 at 4:10 PM


     YCHS celebrated second-quarter student achievements during Friday morning’s Honors Assembly. YCHS Board member Father John Hagileiram, S.J., spoke to the students and then handed out their awards. Father John began from a historical perspective, mentioning the first school in Yap and the founding of Xavier High School 65 years ago in Chuuk. He went on to say that graduates of those schools have become leaders across the FSM. He encouraged the YCHS students to be among the first graduates to come back to Yap and serve as leaders, especially in roles such as priests, sisters, and teachers.


     Father John thanked the YCHS faculty for the many sacrifices they make. He encouraged the students to trust their teachers and work together with them. Fr. John used the example of crabs in a bucket. “If there’s more than one crab,” he said, “they will never achieve their goal of getting out of the bucket. They work against each other. Once one crab starts to climb out, another pulls on it and brings it back down into the bucket.” He warned the students about working against each other and said that by working together, they will eventually achieve their goals.


     Fifty-two students, 73 % of the student body, earned Perfect Attendance Awards by being at school and on time every day during the second quarter. (As of the end of the second quarter, the school-wide attendance rate stood at 99.9%.) Thirty-nine students earned Second Honors by achieving a grade of 80% or higher in all classes.


     Nineteen students from all four years received First Honors – average of 90% or higher in all classes. Achieving First Honors were: Johanne Arao, Roselyn Beltran, Jennaia Chonmon, Ashley Lewaletang, Marcia Matnan, Julia Ranganbay, Tristan Ruway, Jaimaleen Waayan, Hans Banua, Renee Choorang, Bryan Bomtam, Jalani Gootinmutnguy, Shawn Libyan, Natasha Loochaz, Blossom Moofal, Rozeanne Ruema, ‘Cisco Yarofalyango, Jancely Harongreg, and Kobe Sacres. 18 of the 19 First Honors students also earned Perfect Attendance. Congratulations!




Jesuit Joins YCHS Faculty

Posted on January 10, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    Joining the YCHS faculty this semester will be Mr. Tom Elitz, a Jesuit novice from Cinnaminson, NJ. Mr. Elitz is a graduate of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, PA. While attending St. Joseph's, Mr. Elitz studied accounting. He also helped organize student retreats, participated in service immersion trips, and played on the club baseball team. After graduating from St. Joseph's in 2012, he worked as an accountant for Johnson & Johnson. He joined the Jesuits in 2014 and has spent the past year and a half in the novitiate in Syracuse, NY. Mr. Elitz will be teaching Math and ELA this semester.  


Dr. Perkins Visits YCHS

Posted on December 24, 2015 at 3:55 PM


     Dr. Reed Perkins, a Professor of Environmental Science at Queens University of Charlotte, has been visiting Yap for nearly 20 years facilitating environmental research of all kinds. He graciously visited Yap Catholic High School recently to speak with our freshman Earth Science students about the importance of preserving our environment. Dr. Perkins explained that with increasing global temperatures, the ocean is undergoing a process called thermal expansion—the expansion of water as a result of warming temperatures. This thermal expansion, he explained, alongside the melting of glaciers at the poles are contributing to a rise in sea levels.

     Dr. Perkins went on to discuss research he has been conducting alongside the US Forest Service and the Yap Division of Agriculture and Forestry to understand the implications of rising sea levels for taro patch production on Yap. He alerted our students that increasing sea levels has resulted in saltwater intrusion on prime land used for taro production. His research suggests that the people of Yap will have to explore the possibility of finding new land for taro production further inland or elsewhere. Dr. Perkins ended class with a lingering message that young students are the ones who must find ways in the future to mitigate environmental problems that are detrimental not only to the people of Yap, but also to the people of the world.

Pictured below are Dr. Perkins, Ms. Gopal (Earth Science teacher), and the freshman class.