Catholic Schools Week culminates on Saturday with Night with the Knights
Mt. Carmel School named Filmah Buenaflor as its Teacher of the Year Tuesday. The 11th grade homeroom teacher began her teaching career at MCS in 2010 and was joined by fellow teacher of the year finalists Rose Reyes and Vir Abueme on stage during the schools teachers appreciation program as a part of Catholic Schools Weeks.
“I did not expect to win,” she told Saipan Tribune. “This motivates me to do more work to truly live up to the standard of being teacher of the year.”
In her sixth year at the island’s sole Catholic educational institution, Buenafor is the chairperson of the school’s mathematics learning community and the lead coordinator for MCS’ junior and senior high speech and debate program, which has seen a number of student gold medalist represent the islands at national tilts.
Even with her success in curriculum and extra curricular activities, she explained that part of the reason she accepted the nomination for the award was to have an educational professional observe her classroom, which is a part of the selection process.
“I wanted to know which areas I should improve and what I need to continue doing,” she added.
According to one of her students, junior Jose Castro, Buenaflor provides a fun environment conducive to learning.
“She really loves her students. She is a wonderful teacher and always makes sure we learn.”
Tobed Smith, school counselor and longtime administrator, described Buenaflor as a “dedicated and meticulous” teacher.
She added, “I have a lot of respect for her. I have worked in the school system for a long time and…she is one of the teachers I will never forget.”
Several other faculty and staff were recognized for their dedication to teaching at the school during the ceremony. Ariadne Snodgrass, Tomoko Shimizu, Francis San Nicolas, and Zita Sablan were recognized for their perfect attendance.
School principal Frances Taimanao and president Galvin Deleon Guerrero expressed their gratitude for the teachers and urged students to continue showing thanks throughout the entire year.
“If you ask any of our teacher why they teach here, they will say its because they love the students,” Guerrero said.
A weeklong celebration
Tuesday’s celebration is a part of the weeklong nationwide Catholic schools celebration, which kicked off with a community mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Cathedral and with community service activities. MCS celebrated “Catholic Schools in our Vocations” with a Eucharistic Celebration followed by a vocations talk and other activities honoring vocations.
On Thursday, students shifted their focus to “Catholic Schools in our Nation” to honor the many ways that volunteer groups have contributed.
Tomorrow the school will celebrate its students with a roadside waving in the morning and filed activities and demonstrations. MCS will host its traditional Family Night tomorrow at 6pm at the school grounds, featuring dinner, entertainment, and presentation of Parents of the Year.
The celebration culminates on Saturday with the “Night with the Knights” AlumKnight fundraising banquet. The event will feature a music video montage of the school’s history, raffle prizes, and entertainment. The event will also include the announcement of the 2016 AlumKnight of the Year.
Guerrero explained that the celebration of Catholic Schools Week began as an annual event in 1974.