A legacy for the young

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Friday, August 8, 2014


A TEACHER’S life is like a candle that lights up the path of students towards knowledge that they can use as weapons in their future professions.

This knowledge and understanding will remain alive in these students no matter how many years go by.

This is the life of Elenita T. Valenzona, designated campus head of the Sta. Ana National High School Guerrero Campus in Davao City.

In 1971, Ma'am Valenzona, who originated from Lapuyan, Zamboanga Del Sur sought greener pasture in Davao as a domestic helper to a relative in Bo. Obrero.

Her father was a mailman and a pastor while her mother was a full-time housewife, tending to the other siblings.

It was her grandmother who encouraged her to try her luck in Davao City.

She was teary-eyed recalling how she and her grandmother bought her luggage and never telling her grandfather about their plan because they knew her grandfather will never allow her to leave.

"That time, the feeling was indescribable. The fact that I will be living far away from them gave me sadness and nervousness. However, that did not deter me to strive harder and finish my education," she said.

She helped in the household chores while living with her relatives who helped her take an examination to finally begin her college education in 1976. She took up Industrial Education at the Davao School of Arts and Trade (DSAT) now known as the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP).

After finishing her course, she returned to Zamboanga and worked her there as a substitute teacher for several months.

"I never expected that I'll achieve all of these things. Nothing is impossible as long as there is faith and communication with God, you also need to trust yourself that you can surpass all the trials," she said.

In 1989, she was assigned as in-charge of the SANHS’s cafeteria and after 11 years she became the designated department head of the Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE). That was already in school year 2005-06.

She became the curriculum head of the afternoon session of the fourth year level and was also the campus' designated head for the fourth year curriculum.

According to her, seeing her students become successful is also a personal success.

"When you know your students are achieving their goals; it's a huge fulfillment. There are others who come back to check on you and you'll be surprised to see them in a much higher position that is why we should refrain from judging people," she said with a smile.

"It is necessary that you know how to deal with them, because you are not only dealing with the students but also the parents and guardians," she said.

Indeed, teaching is a noble profession and many teachers are sacrificing a lot.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 09, 2014.

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