SM St. Michael, Penampang

St. Michael's Secondary School, Penampang (Malay: Sekolah Menengah St. Michael (SMSM), Penampang) commonly known as SM St. Michael is a national secondary school in Penampang, Sabah, Malaysia. It was named after Saint Michael the Archangel.

SM St. Michael, Penampang
Kampung Dabak,

, ,

TypeNational secondary school
MottoLatin: Ora et Labora
(Pray and Work)
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
FounderRev Fr. J. Rientjes MHM
PrincipalJennifer Asing
Senior AssistantsJudith Fidelis Donsia (Administration)
Michael Ting Pick Kieng
Flavia Ignatius Sundangit
(Student Affairs)
Johanna Sybil Disimond
(Afternoon session students)
GradesForm 1 to Form 5
Colour(s)Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange, Maroon       

Mill Hill missionaries built the school to spread Catholicism among the local Kadazan-dusun community, who were mostly animists. The school started with a bamboo building and continued onwards to become a major challenge for traditional top schools. During the beginnings, Catholic Priests lived and taught at the school. Following the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, the education given by the school became more secular.

The school, built in 1890, is among the oldest in Sabah; it was officially established as a secondary school in 1958.


The school was built in 1890 by Mill Hill missionaries to convert the local people into Catholicism. The mode of transportation was then the Moyog River. This caused the present day St. Michael's church and the school to be built in Kampong Dabak, Penampang which was close to the river. The first school building was made out of bamboo. It was also a home to the church's priests. The bare ground was the floor and it was walled around 3 feet from the ground. The students used a slate and a block of limestone to write. The school was not a success, as most locals did not allow their children to go to school as they feared the British North Borneo Company would take their children as colonial soldiers of the British Armed Forces. Students paid their fees in rice, tapioca, yam, fruit and firewood.

The land which the school stands now used to be a paddy field. It was donated by the locals to the school. Despite the fact that the students shared their classroom with village goats, the school had a good reputation as students as far as Tambunan and Kuala Penyu came to study in the school. This caused the opening of a boarding school.

During World War II, the Japanese occupation forced the temporary closure of the school. However, the school was not badly damaged, suffering only from machine gun bullets. Rev. Fr. M. Henselmans applied to convert the school to a senior or secondary school on 10 August 1957 to provide the 53 students who were then in primary six with a post-primary school. The school was converted into a secondary school on 10 March 1958 with Tambunan native Marcus Otigil at the helm. The school rose slowly, with the older buildings replaced by newer ones over the years.

Sisterhood with Yong-ho High School, South KoreaEdit

SM St Michael fostered a relationship with Yong-ho High School, South Korea and ended their participation in the KDCA-ISEP exchange program. They dubbed the relation a sisterhood and organised an English Camp for South Korean students who arrived in Sabah in July 2008. SM St Michael's students are scheduled to go to South Korea in November or December.


  • Marcus Otigil (1958–1961)
  • Fr. Roger McGorty (1961–1963)
  • Fr. M. Hurley (1963–1965)
  • Fr. John Rooney (1966–1967)
  • Fr. W. Van Gastel (1967–1970)
  • Stanislaus Tendahal (1970–1971)
  • Shenton de Rozario (1971–1972)
  • Datin Ritamma Joseph (1972–1973)
  • Hin Tian Chin (1973–1974)
  • K. V. Joshua (1974–1982)
  • Katherine Philip (1982–1987)
  • Gan Lee Ping (1987–1990)
  • Chandran Vengadasamy (1990–1992)
  • Range Maurice Majikol (1992–1994)
  • Datin Lorna Mathews (1995–2003)
  • Fidelis P. Insing (2003–2006)
  • Marie Yong Pik Hua (2006–2015)
  • Jennifer Asing (2015–present)

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ Rosie Haslinda Nasir (13 June 2016). "[EKSKLUSIF] Tahun Pertama Ummu Syaikhah Stacy Menyambut Ramadan Sebagai Muslimah dan Isteri" (in Malay). Astro Awani. Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2017.