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PIA Press Release

No resting on laurels for two multi-awarded DepEd teachers

Pasig City (4 February) -- By consistently ministering to the educational needs of otherwise underserved sectors, two bemedalled public school teachers have been elevated to what can be considered the hall of fame of the teaching profession.

Evelyn Caja, a Special Education (SPED) Teacher and Master Teacher I in Ramon Magsaysay High School in Manila and Dr. Ninie del Rosario, an Education Supervisor 1 in Davao City Division and Region XI Coordinator (Indigenous Peoples Education) were conferred the 2009 Award for Continuing Excellence and Service (ACES). Both were winners of the Search for Outstanding Teachers in 2001. The two awards were given by Metrobank Foundation Inc.

Secretary Jesli Lapus has expressed elation for the award and said that the whole department is "proud of our public school teachers who have shown grit and strength of spirit to serve the need of learners under difficult circumstances."

"The award certainly brings glory to their school, community and the teaching profession," Lapus added.

ACES is given to past Metrobank Foundation awardees who continue to stand out in their respective fields after having been honored by the Foundation.

Caja has been a SPED teacher particularly to the visually impaired for some 41 years now. Among the awards she has received after winning in SOT are: the 2002 Lingkod Bayan Award, Civil Service Commission, 2002 Thomasite Centennial International Visitor Award, Metrobank Foundation and the US Government; Finalist, 2003 Gawad Geny Lopez Bayaning Pilipino Award, ABS-CBN and UGAT Foundation; and the 2004 Outstanding Manilan Award

A pastor's daughter, Caja was keen on serving others early in life. But it was a blind girl she encountered in practical teaching that led her to pursue special education. Caja was inspired by the girl whose condition did not stop her from continuing her education.

Today, Caja is considered the 'Anne Sullivan'—tutor of the famous deaf blind author Helen Keller – of many students whom she has helped become productive and self-reliant individuals.

Caja encourages fellow teachers to love their work and to continue to serve silently and sincerely.

"Without love, easy things become difficult. But with love difficult things become easy. Nothing is impossible when you love your work," she said.

Caja is also the Principal for the Center for Developmental Intervention Foundation, Inc., at the Philippine Children Medical Center. She is also the national treasurer of the Network of Outstanding Teachers and Educators (NOTED), an organization of past and current SOT awardees.

Meanwhile, after SOT recognition, Del Rosario became the recipient of the 2002 Dangal ng Bayan Award, Civil Service Commission and the Search for Seven Achievers of the Philippines 2007, Government Service Insurance System.

With her active leadership in the School Based-Training Program for Science and Math, Del Rosario's school was selected as the Regional Winner in the Search for the Most Effective Central School in Region XI.

After the Metrobank award, she was promoted into a principal. In her three years stint in Rizal Elementary School in Davao, she learned the importance of getting help from education stakeholders including the religious community. She said, "When the school gains the confidence of the community, they respond and provide for the needs of the school and its children."

Recently, she has been actively involved in curriculum development and training of teachers in the Basic Education Assistance for Mindanao (BEAM) Indigenous Peoples pilot schools involving 20 schools in the seven DepEd divisions in Region 11.

At first, she was hesitant with her new role but later she learned to love it. She regularly climbs mountains and brings the benefit of education to the hinterlands.

"Though these children are often neglected, they are very promising," she shared adding, "I am fulfilled when I see kids starting to learn and develop their self-esteem."

For those in the teaching profession, she encourages them to always strive in being good examples to the students. "Character is taught not by words but by action," she stressed.

According to Del Rosario, "the recognition we receive including this ACES award inspire us to keep doing our best." She was in the mountains when she got the news that she was awarded anew. Caja and Del Rosario join the second batch of ACES recipients.

MBFI also bestows DepEd with Partner in Empowering and Advocating Excellence (PEACE) Award for its assistance in SOT. DepEd continues to send awardees to international and national conferences which provides for their continued growth as educators. Some awardees are also tapped for special projects such as textbook writing or review and curriculum development. (DepEd) [top]

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