Teachers around the country today were engaged in different activities to celebrate national teachers’ day. And while things with the Ministry of Education are not the best, at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday night, an impressive lineup of teachers from across the country were honored for their contributions to education at every academic level. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Across the country, today is being celebrated as Teachers’ Day.  While every educator is exemplary and can be viewed as a role model in his or her own right, on Thursday, six teachers, including Maria Newport, from various walks of academia were honored for their respective contribution to education.

Maria Newport, Teacher of the Year, Special Education

Maria Newport

“It’s truly a good feeling knowing that you have worked entirely throughout your teaching years with your students in mind.  It makes you feel ecstatic knowing that you have actually done your best at all times.  I like that whenever you teach it is important to be passionate because it’s what you’re passionate about that really counts.  I’ve had my share of challenges of course, but it’s how you address them that is so important.”

It is an outlook that is also shared by Teacher of the Year Awardee Rossana Briceño.  As a career educator from Orange Walk and wife of politician John Briceño, leadership has been one of her strengths in the classroom.

Rossana Briceño

Rossana Briceño, Teacher of the Year, School Leader

“I have been here as the principal for at least five years.  I’ve been teaching at this school for about seventeen years and I’ve been teaching overall for about twenty-six years.  As an educator, the most challenging things were trying to customize teaching and I came to the realization that education is not a one-size-fits-all, it has to do with individual children, looking at what their abilities are and in the classroom I spent a lot of time mostly working with children with special needs that have specific learning disabilities.  We now refer to them as ID students, students with intellectual disabilities.  So that was one of the greatest challenges at the beginning of my teaching experience.”

While the award ceremony held at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts was in honor of the outstanding men and women in the teaching profession, the voices of their students were lifted in song.  Performances by the St. Luke’s Choir kept the evening mellow during intermissions.

{Performance from St. Luke’s Methodist School Choir}

Secondary School Teacher of the Year Award went to Yasser Musa, an art instructor at St. John’s College.

Yasser Musa

Yasser Musa, Secondary School Teacher of the Year

“I am Yasser Musa, a teacher at St. John’s College.  I’ve been teaching here for twenty years, well almost twenty years, this will make my twentieth year and my main teaching experience comes from art, visual art specifically but I have also, in the past, taught literature and last year, for the first time SJC introduced the teaching of African and Mayan history and I’ve been part of a team of three teachers to introduce that pilot program so art history and literature have been my main areas of focus.  Teaching starts from understanding what it is and I think you have to understand who is the most powerful teacher and obviously our mothers.  If you understand the role of a mother then you are able to understand the role that you have as a teacher because you are an extension of that concept.”

Also honored were Mrs. Elvi Brown of Corozal Community College, Mr. Gilbert Cummings of Muffles College and Mrs. Tara Sabido of Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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