This week we invite you to travel back in time to the young days when
you were learning your first words, phrases, recognizing colors, etc.
Young children are said to be like sponges, absorbing almost everything
that is taught to them. Younger generations are more fortunate today.
With the development of San Pedro, came improvements in education. Today
children begin pre-school classes at an early age in preparation for the
long educational journey ahead of them. This week's personality is a
familiar face to many and one of San Pedro's most respected educators-Mr.
Wilfredo "Wil" Alamilla Jr.
Since his birth on February
2nd, 1971, Wilfredo
was a born leader. As an infant, compared to other children, he would cry
louder and during his childhood days, he would designate different tasks
to his young friends while playing. Coming from a close knit family of
three, Wil led the typical life of a San Pedro kid; looking for almonds
and sea grapes, canoeing and playing on the thick sandy streets of the
island. He attended San Pedro R. C. School and High School graduating
with honors in 1988. During his time in high school he exercised his
leadership skills organizing various strategic competitions among classes
and was chosen Senior Class President. Consequently he was also recruited
by the San Pedro Leo Club, and served as its president.
At that time, Wil was not quite sure what profession
he would venture into but knew that it would have to be something that
would require challenge and motivation. In 1989 he got the opportunity of
a lifetime. He was offered and accepted a teaching/administrative post at
the ABC Pre-School in San Pedro. Little did he know this would be exactly
what he was looking for. Wil started out teaching his first group of 28
pre-schoolers and after the first day, knew this was his calling. He also
knew he needed to learn the various techniques needed to work with
children. Luck was on Wil's side and he soon received an offer from
American educator Caroline Frye to train him in pre-school education. He
willingly accepted and trained with her for a period of one year. In the
meantime Wil had taken over ownership of ABC Pre-School. He also
attended pre-school seminars and workshops with the Belize Pre-School
Unit every three months. Wil's reputation as a good teacher soon spread
around town. Wil found that for his children to enjoy themselves while
learning they would need to have a lot of community interaction. They
accomplished this by participating in a variety of town functions, every
time surpassing their previous presentation. Today enrollment at ABC
Pre-school has risen to twice the original amount.
More than just locally, word of his great teaching
techniques has spread countrywide. At the first and only Teacher's Awards
held in June of 1994, Mr. Alamilla was awarded for his Outstanding
Performance and Most Outstanding Performance as a Principal at the
Pre-School Level. Since then he has received a number of awards from the
Ministry of Education and was voted the "Best Pre-School" during the San
Pedro High School Awards.
Wil's leadership skills have also taken him to
Switzerland where he served as one of Belize's Ambassadors for the
700th Anniversary of
the Swiss Confederation, joining youths from around the globe. He has
also been given the privilege of addressing the 1995 graduating class of
San Pedro High School and made a variety of presentations to the youths
and schools of San Pedro.
These days Wil Alamilla and ABC Pre-school are well
known and admired. He now requires the assistance of two additional
teachers to take care of the children. Wil told the San
Pedro Sun, "I feel recognized as a teacher. At first I
was not sure if this was the right move but today I cannot see myself
doing anything else. My students are an important part of me. Each group
is special to me. I am proud to have graduated ten classes and hope for
many more. All the children are different and my reward is hearing them
call ėTeacher Wil, Teacher Wil' even when we are not in school or long
after they have graduated from my school."
Teachers have the difficult task of instilling values
and share with parents the responsibility of molding the children of
tomorrow. With teachers like Mr. Wil Alamilla Jr. the future looks bright
for Our Community.