Luis P. Untalan Middle School enrolls about 1,100 students from the central part of Guam —Barrigada and parts of Dededo, Harmon, Latte Heights, Tamuning and Mangilao. There are about 80 teachers and over 30 non-teaching positions and support staff. The school's principal is Mrs. Agnes A. Guerrero, who has been at the position since 2016, and she is supported by two assistant principals, Mrs. Beth Perez and Mrs. Gaylene Cruz.
Background & History
Originally named Barrigada Elementary, the Barrigada campus was built in 1958. As the population increased, the campus then transitioned to Barrigada Junior High School. The school was renamed Luis P. Untalan Junior High School in 1978, in honor of a long-time local educator. Then in 1982, the school became a middle school. It is now one of eight middle schools in the Guam Department of Education district.
Until January 2012, the campus facing Vietnam Memorial Highway (Rt. 10) was the home of wildcats attending Untalan Middle School. When the campus was deemed unsafe after being a school for more than 50 years, school operations moved to Tiyan. Former military buildings in Tiyan were renovated to temporary house John F. Kennedy High School while their Tamuning campus was being renovated. After JFK High School returned to their campus, LPUMS moved in and stayed until 2014.
It took more than two years for completion of the renovations at the Barrigada campus. In addition to a renovated gym and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) classrooms, the 50-year-old campus welcomed the addition of a new wing of classrooms with restrooms, a back parking lot, concrete benches, a new indoor stage in the cafeteria, and a new front entryway. The wildcats were finally home. View the campus map.
In August 2014, the Barrigada campus finally held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the renovated campus. After six years, the school campus continues to be a well-maintained facility.
Additionally, the home of the wildcats is also one of the leading STEM schools in the district. Students have access to the latest instructional technology equipment and classroom resources, such as laptop and tablet carts, interactive whiteboards, multimedia projectors, robotic kits, and other equipment in the classrooms. LPUMS offers a rigorous program for 6th to 8th grade students to include the first Pre-Advanced Placement team in the district, the first middle school to incorporate the Science, Technology, Education and Math (STEM) strategy, and the first middle school to offer middle school robotics classes. Read more about the school from their 2020 Focus on Learning accreditation report.
Temporary Move to Barrigada Campus 2012-2014
When the campus was deemed unsafe by the Department of Public Health, the school was moved a couple of miles across Purple Heart Highway (Rt. 8) to Tiyan.
The Tiyan campus had a larger area, with classrooms and offices spread over 9 buildings. Owned by Core-Tec International, the new campus is on lease to the Guam Department of Education. It was previously occupied by John F. Kennedy High School while their campus was rebuilt. It is currently the campus for Tiyan High School.
In January 2012, the Barrigada campus was deemed unsafe and was closed down by the Department of Public Health. The school community and GDOE and community volunteers helped moved the school operations to Tiyan. This KUAM News report highlighted the move.
Returning Home to Barrigada Campus
KUAM News highlighted the renovation of the Barrigada campus in 2014.
School Year 2014-2015 was the first school year back at the renovated campus. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was help on Aug. 13, highlighted by this KUAM News report. SBA President Richard Santos, 8th Grader Michael Gumataotao and Science teacher Vince Aguon comment.
KUAM News report from July 24, 2014
KUAM News report from July 21, 2014
Map of the School
The evacuation map shows the renovated campus.
Who is Luis Palomo Untalan?
The school was named after long-time educator, Luis Palomo Untalan. He was born on Oct. 19, 1906 in Hagatna and passed away on Dec. 1, 1990 in Hawaii.
Read his biographical entry on Guampedia.com. Excerpt: "Luis Untalan was recognized by the Guam Legislature for thirty-three years of teaching and his contributions to education on Guam. In the early 1970s, Luis P. Untalan retired from the Government of Guam after nearly five decades of service."