Leyte teacher is 2015 Metrobank’s outstanding educator By Ronald O. Reyes Ernani Fernandez Jr., a Technology and Livelihood Education instructor at Palo National High School in Palo, Leyte is named as one of this year’s 10 Outstanding Teachers by Metrobank Foundation Incorporated (MBFI). “God is really good! Thank you Lord! Metrobank achievement is for you Lord!” said 38-year old Fernandez, a father of two children and married to a grade school teacher in Palo. MBFI president Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, in a statement, lauded Fernandez and other awardees as “instruments of nation-building.” “Other than recognizing effective classroom instruction, the Search has always emphasized the role of teachers outside the four corners of the classroom. Thus, we give value on their various involvements in their respective communities for it to become a better place to live in,” Sobrepeña said as he announced the winners of the 31st Metrobank Search for exceptional educators this year.
“We are honored to bring to the fore the exceptional stories of hardwork and dedication among this year’s Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teachers,” he added, noting that there were 467 teachers across the country nominated in this year’s Search. In March 11-14, 2014, four months after Eastern Visayas bore the brunt of super typhoon Yolanda, Fernandez and another Filipino teacher travelled to Barcelona, Spain to represent the country in a Global Forum of education experts sponsored by Microsoft. Teaming up with other three educators from Austria, Egypt, and Japan, Fernandez led their group to win top award during a competition which focused on technology-aided instruction to develop 21st century skills. “I’ve learned a lot from this global experience. I met the expert educators in the world… their innovative strategies in teaching and of course since it is Microsoft, the innovative strategies mean the use of technology in teaching. We exchanged ideas,” Fernandez earlier said.
In 2012, Fernandez was also recognized as one of the innovative teachers in the country during the 7th Search for Innovative Teachers Leadership Award of Microsoft Partners in Learning. “Maybe God has a purpose in letting me live to represent the country in Barcelona and let the voices of the Paloanons be heard that we need help to rebuild Palo National High School…This achievement is for my students who worked with me on the project,” Fernadez told this writer in an earlier interview. “I am just a simple person. I dreamed before of just seeing myself in a Metrobank photo, but of course educators should know the right thing to do to educate the students…If we will be committed to our work and enjoy the profession, maybe eventually whatever dreams we have will happen,” said Fernandez online after receiving words of praises from the public. Fernandez and other awardees will receive their gold medallions, trophies, plaques of recognition for their schools, and cash prize of P 500,000 each on September 3, 2015 during the Metrobank’s 53rd anniversary celebration. In 2013, Maria Lorna L. Garnace, a teacher at Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus in Palo, Leyte, also won Metrobank’s Outstanding Teachers awards.