AFTA confers recognition for outstanding educators

afta pics By Chit Ros

The Association of Fil-Am Teachers of America, Inc., a pioneering organization for teachers on the East Coast, will honor teachers, students, and leaders in the community who epitomize excellence, dedication, leadership and support of AFTA’s causes.

The “Gabi Ng Parangal” – to be held November 14, at Astoria World Manor in Queens – will honor three sets of outstanding individuals.

The AFTA-Ulirang Guro (AFTA-UG) award recognizes teachers who give significant contributions to the profession by raising the standards of pedagogy through their meaningful, progressive and creative teaching techniques. Nine competent educators were chosen by the selection committee. They are Regan Duka, Highbridge Advisory Council Day Care Center, NY; Divina Forneas, P. S. 140 The Eagle School, NY; Josefina N. Goodwin, Ph.D. Raleigh Egypt High School, Tennessee; Rodolfo Macasinag, Queens Adult Language Center, NY; Helen Rostata-Pesola, Pace University, Department of Veteran Affairs NY Harbor Healthcare System; Juliet Sasuman, Washington Metropolitan High School, Washington, D.C.; Eleuterio Timbol, Ph. D., High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety, NY; Gina Vallejera, I. S. 10 Horace Greeley, NY; Regie Zamora, Anne Arundel County Public School, Maryland.

Five students will be conferred AFTA’s first Philippine American Exemplary Responsive Leadership Award for Students (PERLAS). The awardees were chosen for their exemplary and responsive leadership in and outside of their schools and for their excellent scholarship. The selection committee praised the students for being smart, confident, focused and, most significantly, respectful. The honorees are Andrea Rosanelle Cadornigara, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College; Samantha Abaya Campos, Bergen Community College; Elaine Ficarra, STEM Academy; Gary Pesola, Brooklyn Technical High School; Monica Grace San Agustin, St. Peter’s University.

AFTA will present the Leadership in Educational Administration Distinguished Service (LEADS) award to educators who hold a leadership position in an educational institution in the U.S. The award highlights their outstanding accomplishments on creating exceptional educational environment for their faculty, staff and students. Recipients of this year’s LEADS award include directors, assistant principal and a college dean in preschool to tertiary settings. They are Ira l. Ching, UPK Educational Director, Brooklyn Chinese-American Association, NY; Rick Domingo, Deputy Director for English Language Learners, Staten Island Borough Field Support Center, NYCDOE; Mercy C. Dungog, Education Director, Highbridge Advisory Council Head Start, Bronx, NY; Cindy H. Dy, Assistant Principal, C. S. 154M; Girlie E. Mercado, Education Director, La Peninsula Head Start Center 5, Bronx; Zenaida I. Ramirez, Director, Promesa Inc., New York; Perlita N. Recaido, Assistant Principal, Our Lady of Lourdes School, New York; Dolores C. Tolentino, Agency Educational Director, United Bronx Parents Day Care Center Inc., Bronx; Efigenia A. Ubaldo, Educational Director, MAMA Program LLC, Forest Hills, NY; and Prof. Lorli Dimaala, Head of Education and Psychology Department, Touro College.

AFTA confers the Dona Teodora Alonzo award (DTA), its highest award, to an individual or group who provides a tremendous influence and invaluable contribution to the association’s overall achievements and to the growth and uplift of education as a whole. So named after the mother and first teacher of the Philippine’s national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the award will be given to Carol Tanjutco, an accountant and lawyer, for her over a decade of support for the association.

“AFTA has, for more than 25 years, been devoted to its mission of empowering and inspiring Filipino American teachers and students to be more passionate, active and skilled, on the way to becoming mentors and future leaders both in the US and the Philippines,” said Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. “The Gabi Ng Parangal is an opportunity to recognize the achievements of the individuals who embody AFTA’s ideals.”

AFTA takes great pride in its many projects like the Balikturo seminars and workshops for teachers in the Philippines, the Paaralan Sa Konsulado in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General, the Adopt a Classroom and Scholar, Books for the Philippines and a few others. Most projects are offered free by the officers, members and volunteers of the association in the U.S. and the Philippines.

AFTA, led by Dr. Raul Cajigas and board members, is proud of this year’s awardees, men and women of talent, for inspiring and recognizing the achievements of their fellow educators.

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