Hannah Concepcion, a Doctor of Education, is a Special Education (SPED) teacher and coordinator at Olongapo National High School for 17 years.
Following her calling, Teacher Hannah made a brave decision when she took off her veil and started a new life outside the congregation. It is a different journey yet the same ministry – to serve those who need her expertise and to love beyond limitations.
She is at her best when it comes to being an instrument of love and devotion. Love, she believes, is best for the SPED learners. Devotion to the little ones with special needs, and the ones who need special attention and deep affection, is also her guiding principle.
Having 40 students with unique and different needs is indeed a great task each school year. However, the SPED teacher handles efficiently and effectively the learners with Down syndrome, autism, dyslexia, processing disorder, visual impairment, and hearing impairment, among others.
Teacher Hannah likewise experiences difficulties in managing students having tantrums and those who turn violent towards her. Even if these incidents happen almost every day, these do not stop the fire burning in her heart. She keeps the passion of her specialization and ministry – to serve with all her might, to give a lot of patience and understanding, and most of all, to show enduring love for the children with special needs.
Being true to her devotion and ministry as a SPED teacher, Teacher Hannah is so blessed in many ways. She is able to raise SPED learners who are mainstreamed in regular classes in the formal education system. Some of her former students even secured a certification or an endorsement from her for their job application. Others were given the opportunity to travel abroad. These are her great accomplishments from her untiring public service. No wonder Teacher Hannah is a true-blooded hero of the 21st century.
By: Selesthe Bilog-Cahiwat, Ed.D,,RGC
Head, Guidance and Counseling Unit
Olongapo City National High School