As part of its participation in the national celebration of Catholic Schools Week this week, Mount Carmel School named Francis San Nicolas as its 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year, Catherine Tamandong as its Support Staff of the Year, and Deacon Rosiky Camacho as first-runner up for its Teacher of the Year award.
The school announced its selection of the three honorees last Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, as MCS was continuing its celebration of Catholic Schools Week with the theme, “Celebrating Our Faculty and Staff.”
This year’s Teacher of the Year, “Coach” San Nicolas, has been employed at MCS for nine years but served in the Public School System for nine years before working at MCS, where he serves as the primary instructor for all physical education courses and coaches many of the athletic programs at the school, including basketball and volleyball.
Throughout his time at MCS, San Nicolas has led more than 10 basketball and volleyball teams to championships. In addition to his role as a coach, San Nicolas found creative ways and solutions to facilitate virtual physical education lessons during the school’s hybrid learning period at the beginning of the pandemic. San Nicolas is regarded within the school community as a thoughtful, devoted, and caring teacher who is also always willing to have meaningful conversations with colleagues and students.
“I was surprised when it was announced that I am the Teacher of the Year,” said San Nicolas. “I honestly love what I do and I enjoy helping the school in any way that I can. I see the school community as a second family and if there are ways I can contribute then I am always willing to help. My hope as a coach and instructor is to help provide our students with more resources to accomplish their personal and athletic goals. I see so much potential in our students each school year and I always want to provide them with the tools they need to succeed.”
Tamondong, on the other hand, has worked at MCS for three years and assists homeroom instructors in kindergarten through sixth grade. Beyond her duties as a teacher aid, Tamondong has also assisted in organization projects throughout the summer and is regarded as a kind and hardworking professional.
“I am so happy, proud, and just so appreciative of the school’s support. I wasn’t expecting to be given this award, but I’m so grateful that they see my efforts and chose me…,” said Tamondong.
“Mount Carmel School is like my family and I will always do what I can to help my family. I also need to acknowledge all the kindness and support from my colleagues, the administration, and even the school’s board of directors.”
Camacho, who is first-runner up for the Teacher of the Year award, has been employed at MCS since 2004 and has taught social studies and theology. He as officially ordained as a deacon in 2018 and has assisted with all the school’s religious events.
In addition to his obligations as an instructor, Camacho was instrumental during the campus’ recovery efforts after Super Typhoon Soudelor and Super Typhoon Yutu, leading teams to clear the debris around campus and offer a helping hand in any major campus beautification projects. “It was a pleasant surprise to be given this award, but I am thankful for the support of my colleagues, administrators, and school community for this recognition,” said Camacho. “I’ve worked at Mount Carmel School for 16 years and can humbly say that Mount Carmel School has become another home and family to me.”
MCS principal Francis Taimanao commends all the awardees and employees for their commitment and dedication despite the trials the school has faced. “I have worked with these individuals as colleagues and recently as their supervisor and have gotten to know them all to be dedicated, committed, and dynamic professionals who are always willing to improve. We congratulate all Mount Carmel School faculty and staff for another outstanding year of service, faith, and excellence.”
Mount Carmel School has participated in the Catholic Schools Week celebration since 1995, making this the school’s 26th year to celebrate Catholic Schools Week. (PR)