A seed is planted
In 1995, Steven McManus had a vision to open up a tuition-free high school where Career & Technical Education (CTE) and character development would be nurtured at the same time.
He drew up a business plan for the school that same year, but unfortunately, his requests for funding and land use were denied. As a result, he set aside his vision and continued managing Southern Christian Academy, a K-12 private school in Agat, with his wife.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Mr. McManus took up his dream again. He recruited the former governor Felix Camacho, the Superintendent of Catholic Schools Juan Flores, and Tamuning patriarch Gregorio Calvo to serve on the board of what would eventually become “Career Tech High Academy Charter School.”
The following year, Mr. McManus finished the petition for “Career Tech” and had it submitted to the Guam Academy Charter School Council. The petition remained in limbo until 2018 when the Council achieved quorum and conditionally approved it.
Blooming in a pandemic
Career Tech’s charter was fully approved in December 2019. Immediately Mr. McManus and a small team of volunteers got to work to prepare the school to open in SY20-21.
Then, in the middle of March 2020, the whole island was placed in a general lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The board and their newly hired principal, Tamar Celis, decided to postpone the school’s opening to January 2021.
In the meantime, the Career Tech team continues to press on with school year preparations, powered by a collective spirit of optimism and excitement. Will you add to our joy and enroll today?
Steven McManus creates a business plan to open a high school where Career & Technical Education (CTE) and character development could be nurtured at the same time and at no cost to the student’s family.
After numerous requests for funding and land use are denied, Mr. McManus sets aside his vision and continues to run the private school Southern Christian Academy, which had opened earlier in the school year.
Former Guam governor Felix Camacho is recruited by Mr. McManus to serve as chairman of the board for what would eventually become Career Tech High Academy Charter School. Mr. McManus, now vice-chair, also recruits former public school superintendent Juan Flores and Tamuning patriarch Gregorio Calvo to serve on the board.
Mr. McManus finishes the charter school petition for Career Tech in February.
Board member Gregorio Calvo submits the petition to the Guam Academy Charter School Council the following month.
The Guam Academy Charter School Council achieves quorum and conditionally approves Career Tech’s petition.
Local law is amended so as to allow Career Tech’s petition to be fully approved.
Mr. McManus and a small team of volunteers begin preparing the school for an August opening.
Guam enters into a general lockdown in March to control the spread of COVID-19.
Career Tech is denied eligibility for the Payment Protection Program and Education Stabilization Fund through the CARES Act, ruling out an August opening.
In late July, the board and CTech principal Tamar Celis agree to open in January 2021.