5 Mindanawons cited as outstanding teachers

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/17 August) – Five Mindanawons are among this year’s winners of the Metrobank Foundation’s Search for Ten Outstanding Teachers.

Two of the winners are public elementary school teachers and three are high school teachers, based on an announcement posted on the foundation’s website.

In the elementary category, Miladith B. Polutan of Oroquieta City Central Elementary School and Nancy S. Aquino of Mlang Pilot Elementary School (Mlang, Cotabato) won along with Grace U. Salvatus of Municipal Sector Elementary School (Calauag, Quezon) and Conchita A. Ibarondo of San Antonio Elementary School (Iriga City).

In the high school category, three of the four winners are from Mindanao, namely, Mercidita S. Villamayor of Bukidnon State University-Secondary School Lab (Malaybalay City); Estrelita A. Peña of Kabasalan National High School (Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay); and Mercelita J. Labial of Xavier University High School (Cagayan de Oro City).

The other winner is Janeth Morata-Fuentes of Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus (Palo, Leyte).

Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara of the University of the Philippines-Diliman and Dr. Raymund C. Sison of De La Salle University are the awardees for the higher education category, according to the MBF website.

The announcement said the winners were selected from 156 nominees coming from various public and private schools in the Philippines. About 40 of them qualified as regional finalists.

The regional finalists went through interviews and teaching demonstrations before the members of the preliminary board of judges identified 20 national finalists.

Villamayor, the winner from Malaybalay, told MindaNews President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III will confer the award to the winners in Malacañang at month’s end.

Aside from her teaching chores, Villamayor sits as faculty associate to the BSU vice president for planning and development.

Fellow teachers, present and former students and friends congratulated Villamayor through her Facebook account following the announcement of her inclusion in the awards.

Villamayor thanked her well-wishers and attributed her victory to her students.

“Thanks a lot to all my students. You were the ones who made me. Without you students, we couldn’t teach,” she said in a post in response to comments entered by her former students.

Villamayor, who previously earned a fellowship to study in Japan, teaches Nihongo.

She is the third teacher from Malaybalay to win the award.

Prof. Nornie B. Micayabas was among the 1994 Metrobank awardees.

Leticia N. Palle of Malaybalay City Central School won the award in 2007.

This year’s winners will join the rank of 286 outstanding teachers, who have been honored by the Foundation since 1985. They will automatically become members of the Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators or NOTED, an honor society of outstanding teachers committed to nurturing a culture of excellence and service among educators through professional development, publications, research, and advocacy in active partnership with government and non-government organizations.

Now on its 26th year, the search bestows honor upon the teaching profession by according special recognition to teachers who manifest profound commitment to the development of the youth through exemplary competence, remarkable dedication to their work, and an effective educational leadership. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)