The history of I.H.M.A. dates back to March 3, 1947, when Msgr. Maurice Michaud, P.M.E., then Parish Priest of Mati, Fr. Conrad Lafortune, P.M.E., the assistant Parish Priest, and the parishioners welcomed four Canadian Sisters of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (M.LC.). They came to answer the need of the town: To give a Catholic education to the youth.
The parishioners helped the Sisters in the establishment of the school in Zamora St. The two-storey home of Mrs. Pacencia Lim Vda. De Serrano was used as the first schoolhouse, which was divided into classrooms and offices, the Sister’s quarters and dormitory for interns.
The school received its official name Immaculate Heart of Mary Academy, on June 18, 1947. July of that same year saw 15 pupils attending regular classes. The first elementary graduation was held on April 19, 1950 with two pupils receiving their certificates. With the determined leadership of its superior, Mother Bernadette-de-Lourdes (Rachel de Mars, MIC), the school made considerable progress.
In 1950 Mrs. Maria Vda. De Lopez donated her lot in Quezon St., the present school site, in exchange of the site in Zamora St. The construction of the administration and high school building started that same year and was completed in 1951. Thus, IHMA transferred to Quezon Street to accommodate its growing population.
On March 27, 1954, five students graduated from High School. In 1962, college courses were offered but the college department was phased out in 1972.
In 1968 the first floor of a two-storey building known as the P.T.A. building was erected. In 1975 an additional two-storey elementary building was constructed. It was finished in 1976. In 1977 the second floor of the PTA building was constructed and was completed in 1978. In 1980-81, the Health and Nutrition building, housing the canteen on the first floor and the faculty room on the second floor, was constructed. In 1983 IHMA started the construction of the first phase of the concrete five-storey building, which was named after the Foundress of the MIC–Delia Tetreault. It was finished in 1997 when IHMA celebrated its Golden Jubilee. In 2002 the school’s gymnasium was completed. It was used on the occasion of the launching Mass of the MIC Centennial celebration.
The metamorphosis was gradual and labored with sacrifices. Triumphs and blessings, remained so valued in the hearts and memories of all those who have treasured their dear almamater. IHMA may have gone through ups and owns but the marks it has embossed in the lives of the thousands of students who came and left the institution after having been honed not only intellectually but more so spiritually are manifested in the number of graduates who have become very successful in their fields of endeavor.
Year 2007 is a special and blessed year as IHMA celebrated its Diamond Year bearing the theme: “IHMA at 60: Thanking the Past, Transforming the Present, Creating the Future, Keeping the Dream Alive”. In the course of 60 long years, IHMA had remained steadfast in its resolve of forming servant leaders imbued with Catholic Christian training and education geared towards enhanced dynamism in witnessing the Gospel and the strengthening of the local Church.
In 2012 IHMA celebrated its 65th Founding Anniversary with the theme: “IHMA Fully Alive @ 65″. Sr. Regina R. Villarte, MIC, Directress, addressed the need for better facilities with the construction of the facade, a 3 -storey structure adjacent to the Delia Tetreault building, which houses the new AVR and the Student Development Center, and the improvement of the gate along Nazareno St. That same year IHMA took the big leap when it applied for accreditation with the Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU).
In April 2015, preparations were laid down for the construction of a new concrete four-storey high school building in response to the new Senior High School program. This edifice will replace the 63-year old semi-concrete high school building which was constructed in 1951. The ground-breaking ceremony took place on June 8, 2015. The new building was blessed on June 8, 2016 by Rev. Fr. Edilberto R. Mahinay, DCM and was formally turned over by the contractor, Engr. Noel Bersabe of the Ugnayan Builders to the IHMA Board of Trustees. Sr. Leticia Dotollo, MIC, Provincial Superior and Chairperson of the Board thanked all the stakeholders for their support and sacrifices in the realization of the project. In her acceptance message, Sr. Letty emphasized that “this is our giving back to the Almighty God as this is an act of mission in realizing our dream for the children.”
There is so much to be grateful for, this year 2019 is a very meaningful and joyful year for IHMA has passed the PAASCU accreditation to which she is granted a three-year accreditation. This of course would not be possible if not because of the cooperation of the entire community who helped each other in achieving this dream for the institution in making a difference in the community and society at large.