The current St Anthony Boys principal is Mr Simon Masibo whose leadership style is geared towards moulding an all rounded student. He has transformed the institution into an academic giant and a sports powerhouse.
Masibo was received at St. Anthony’s in February 2023 with the school’s staff, students and the Catholic Diocese of Kitale clerics giving him a warm welcome.
Before joining St Anthony, Masibo was preceded by Victor Makanda. Makanda was formerly the principal of Barding Boys and he is best remembered for steering the institution into winning the East and Central Secondary Schools soccer championships in 2016.
But perhaps the most popular principal in recent years is Mr. Cosmas Nabungolo, currently at the helm of St. Joseph’s Boys High School Kitale. The diminutive Nabungolo oversaw a renaissance of St. Anthony’s into an academic and co-curricular giant. He would later get transferred to St. Peter’s Mumias before shifting to his current station.
The institution in Trans Nzoia county continues to post admirable results year in year out. In 2019, St Anthony scored a mean grade of 7.8 and upped the mean grade to 8.73 in 2020 in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
The school was the third best performing institution in the county. Out of the 392 candidates who sat for the examination, 340 attained C+ above, the pass for joining university.
In the 2022 KCSE, St. Anthony’s recorded an impressive mean of 10.33 with 41 students scoring plain A’s and 148 achieving the second most coveted grade. The weakest student scored a B minus.
The school produced the best student in Trans-Nzoia County in 2019 who attained A Plain. In an article appearing on the Standard sports then principal Mr Makanda attributed the good performance to early preparedness saying “The trick is simply, to cover the syllabus on time and ensure adequate time to revise.”
The school football team has won six national football champion titles and was crowned the East and Central Africa Secondary School soccer champions after whitewashing Kibuli Boys of Uganda in 2002.
Mr Masibo has emphasized the importance of sports to the well being of a students and the opportunities that come with it:
According to Senior Principal Simon Masibo, the school invests a huge budget into sports and players in various disciplines get full and partial scholarships.
“We offer full and partial scholarship to our players. Currently we have quite a good number of students in this programme who are provided with equipment with our partners.”
“The students are given opportunity to nurture their talents in a good environment,” he told the Standard in 2023.
The school has been an incubator of top footballing talents who have gone to play in the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) competitions. In March 2020, FKF inaugurated St Anthony as the Centre for Excellence for football in the country. The principal went on to state that sports presents opportunities for students who are weak in academics to nurture sporting talents..”
The school has been a talent hub for FKF Premier League scouts looking for fresh talent. For example Wisdom Naya who managed to score a C (Plain) in KCSE and went on to becomes a Sofapaka FC player.
Other students who passed through the institution and are now playing for top clubs include Tyson Kapchanga (Bandari) and Geoffrey Onchwati and Elly Saenyi who are on trials with a club in Denmark.
Another huge prospect is Juma Lugogo who attained a C+. Not taking all the credit for the success of the school in and out of class, the principal said:
“My teachers are committed both in class and sports. We have maintained our spirits, and we have ensured we are not defeated by our rivals…”
St. Anthony’s are also a powerhouse in hockey and in the recent years has given renowned powerhouse Friends School Kamusinga a run for their money. The Kitale-based school has been crowned national champions severally in 2017, 2019 and 2022. In 2023 however, they were stunned by dark horses Musingu High School in the KSSSA hockey finals.
The school won the under 19 Kenya Kenya secondary schools football trophy and topped it up by clinching national schools hockey title. And it did not end there-the was crowned the national music champions, winning the class 371 Luhya-Luo folk.
The school emphasis on sporting activities is not in vain. St Anthony, for example, has a partnership with Strathmore University that sees atleast six students get free scholarships per year. Other students are now on trials with top clubs in Denmark.
According to the principal, the school spent Ksh6 million in extra-curriculum activities.