Southern Christian Academy celebrates 21 years of serving military families

Southern Christian Academy celebrates 21 years of serving military families

by Steven McManus
Southern Christian Academy

As Southern Christian Academy (SCA) celebrates 21 years of providing excellence in Christian education on Guam, they’d be remiss if they didn’t give a big shout out to the family and friends in the military who have made the school the special place that it is today.

Since its first school year in 1994 they watched with special delight as local and military kids mixed it up as best friends. SCA has a storied history of serving the children of US military enlisted sailors and soldiers, doctors, nurses, and officers of almost every rank.

This is significant in light of the fact that military and civilian dependents no longer attend school together like they used to before WWII and then ending in 1998 when the Department of Defense opened their own schools.

Pastor Steven McManus, president of SCA, fondly remembers stories from his mother, the late Maria Castro McManus of how she went to school with military dependents before WWII.

“We made friends with students who were from as far away as New York. We’d tease each other’s accents but in the end there was a special bond that here we were from two different worlds swimming in Agana bay and having the time of our lives.”

Southern Christian Academy continues that unique tradition in that while military dependents can no longer attend Guam’s public schools, they can still enroll their children in private schools allowing the next generation of military and civilian dependents to form lifelong friendships. An indispensible key as these two communities seek to thrive together on an island that is adjusting to a massive military buildup and questions regarding Guam’s future political status.

Vivian Sersen CDR, NC, USN retired, described this special bond: “SCA epitomized respect for classmates and teachers. After enrolling in SCA , my boys thrived academically and socially and the character values instilled during their early years of education were invaluable. Ride by SCA and witness these values in action. Eighth graders pushing preschoolers on swings, after school volleyball with various aged classmates and teachers. This school is more like a family than an institution.”

It is this type of family environment that Guam’s current and future military families are invited to come and see at SCA anytime. Just five minutes outside big Navy, families can find a home away from home that will set their mind at ease when it comes to the educational and social needs of their child.

Orthopedic Doctor Tom E. Varney Lt. Cmdr USN and his wife Lauren found SCA as a fitting home for their three children and had this to say: “SCA offered a cultural immersion in the setting of a loving yet rigorous educational environment. Teachers and staff provided an instant family when we were far from home and a daily reminder of the grace of God in our lives. Our memories from SCA, a treasure by the sea, are forever stamped in our minds and in our hearts.”

SCA salutes all sailors and soldiers and pray God’s special blessing and protection on their family members. Serving overseas is a huge undertaking for anyone and SCA prays that they can help make the adjustment on Guam all the better.  As of this writing the late Maria Castro Flores is probably smiling down from heaven as she sees her great grandchildren, ages 4 and 8 swimming at SCA beach with some very special classmates whose parents are serving overseas in the US Navy - funny accents and all and making lifelong memories. God bless the US Military and all Veterans.

Southern Christian Academy Facts

  1. Founded in 1994 by the Rev. Steven McManus and the congregation of Christian Life Center Church, a former Christian Servicemen’s Center established after WWII.
  2. Serving children from Pre-Kinder to High School
  3. Just held its 10th Graduating Class last year.
  4. One of the best literacy development schools on Guam.
  5. Fully accredited by the Association of Christian Schools International (
  6. Phone: 565-7020 Website:
  7. Located on the shores of Agat bay with an exciting sailing program.
  8. Fun fact: The founders, Steven McManus first fell in love with his wife of 31 years, Andresina Sengebau McManus at a bible college course they were taking together held on the same school campus back in 1983.

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