Monday, December 23, 2013

Sorsogon’s mentor is Saceda’s Most Inspiring Teacher of the Philippines for 2013

By: Bennie A. Recebido SORSOGON CITY, Dec 23 (PIA) – Six seems to be a lucky number for Teacher Chona B. Reyes, Saceda’s one of the Ten Most Inspiring Teacher of the Philippines this year. Reyes, a faculty member of Sorsogon National High School (SNHS) in Sorsogon City, received the recognition together with nine others from the different parts of the country as the 2013 Saceda Youth Lead (SYL) Most Inspiring Teacher of the Philippines on December 6. “Why did I say six is my lucky number? I started as a full time teacher in one private school here in Sorsogon, the St. Louise de Marillac College of Sorsogon formerly Colegio de la Milagrosa in 1996, then transferred to public school where I am now connected and became permanent in 2006. And have received such this prestigious national award in December 6,” said Reyes who is still elated of the award she got. Saceda Youth Lead, a youth serving institution of the Philippines under the auspices of the National Youth Commission NYC), builds leadership through education and action for 16 years now. It empowers students in all levels and professionals, as well, to become most effective citizens in the Philippines and in the ASEAN region. Reyes said there were 28 nominees in all from the Philippines and two others from Singapore. “Sorsogon is lucky to have two nominees coming from the City Schools Division of Sorsogon, Mrs. Divina Diaz, our Social Studies Education supervisor and me" she said. Reyes who was the last to be called from among the list of Top 10 winners said the award speaks a new beginning in her life to inspire more what she called her VIPs (Very Important Persons) – her family, students, co-workers and parents of her students – whom she also considers her inspiration as a teacher. “I feel proud having received the award on behalf of the people I serve and deal with. I may have inspired others, and I owe this recognition most to the parents of my students who are ‘my inspiring others’. When I reprimand students and their parents take side on me and support me, I become more inspired because it is an affirmation that the discipline I give my students has real meaning and better impact on them,” she said. “When I was informed I am nominated and is invited to the awarding, I wasn’t able to decide right away and had second thoughts of attending the affair,” said Reyes. The schedule coincides with the City Meet whom she serves as the Softball Team Coach aside from her being coach to school’s regional contests and attendance to seminars. “Besides, super typhoon Yolanda has just ravaged the Visayas area where the awarding ceremony will be held,” she also added. Reyes, the only unmarried in the family, is also a caregiver to her mother with Alzheimer’s disease. But perhaps, it was really her destiny to be chosen as Most Inspiring Teacher of the Philippines for 2013 just as she considers her being a teacher as “destiny”. According to her she never dreamt she would become a teacher someday, but destiny brought her to the field. “My presence during the convergence of nominees in Dumaguete City was a destiny. Having lot of concerns in mind, I decided not to attend anymore, but my supportive co-teachers, Ms Aurora Caguia, who voluntarily rushed my 10-slide power point presentation, Mr. Dundee Lanuza and Mrs. Pamela Abecia, from SNHS English Department who patiently edited my narrative portfolio, and our softball trainer, Mr. Jose Credo, who persuaded me up to the last hour to attend the affair assuring me of the safety of my softball players, are more than enough inspiration to change my mind in the end,” Reyes recalled. “Along the process of screening the nominees for the final awards, I really got too emotional thinking of my sick mother and the city meet which I left worried about the welfare and safety of people under my care. Despite the assurance of our trainer, still being their coach, I have the full responsibility over my player’s welfare. This maybe the reason why I was called by the judges as the ‘emotional’ nominee,” Reyes narrated. Asked by the panel of judges about the principles she hold on in life, she answered without hesitation that the Spirit of Volunteerism is her principle. Being a volunteer herself, she could easily inspire others to become volunteers themselves. Considered highlight of her achievement was her passion for the care of the environment and Solid Waste Management applied not only inside SNHS but also seen in her actions wherever she is. Reyes got knowledge about the SYL in April of 2010 when she was still the adviser of SNHS Supreme Student Government (SSG) in Mindanao when she participated upon invitation the SYL’s sponsored international leadership training. In 2012, for the second time, she again got the chance to attend the SYL sponsored leadership training in Legazpi City bringing along with her the SNHS students. In 2013, SYL was invited by DepEd Sorsogon to conduct the Division Leadership Training for SSG and Supreme Pupil Government (SPG) in Sorsogon. “An inspiring teacher is rare to find and this award is a symbolic commitment to meet aside from  develop Inspiring Teachers of the Philippines who do not only teach but guide and navigate our kids for stronger families, safer Filipino communities and a more robust Filipino nation,” said Dave Saceda, chair and founder of SYL. This year’s Search for SYL Most Inspiring Teachers of the Philippines was held in Dumaguete City, Negros Occidental with the theme: “Through our Teachers We See the Future of our Country and through their Good Deeds We Prosper as a Nation.” (AAN/BARecebido-PIA-5/Sorsogon)

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