(MCS) — This week, Mount Carmel School participates in the national celebration of Catholic Schools Week and announced the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year and Support Staff of the Year.

Catholic Schools Week is an annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. 2021 marks the 47th year for the national organization recognizing the importance of Catholic education and all the efforts of its stakeholders at each Catholic institution. Mount Carmel School has participated in this celebration since 1995, making this the school’s 26th year to celebrate Catholic Schools Week.

On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, the theme of the day was “Celebrating Our Faculty and Staff” in the middle of student activities, Mount Carmel School announced Ms. Catherine Tamandong as Support Staff of the Year, Deacon Rosiky Camacho as first-runner up for Teacher of the Year, and Mr. Francis San Nicolas as the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year.

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Francis San Nicolas, third  left, is Mount Carmel School’s 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year. In the photo with him are school principal Frances Taimanao, left, vice principal Bobby Baldazo, second left, and school president Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero, right. San Nicolas received his award during Mount Carmel School’s celebration of Catholic Schools Week. 

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The faculty and staff eligible for the awards were scored based on their performance, classroom observations, and involvement in extracurricular activities during the past year.

Ms. Catherine Tamondong has worked at Mount Carmel School for three years and assists homeroom instructors in kindergarten through sixth-grade. Beyond her duties as a teacher aid, Catherine has also assisted in organization projects throughout the summer and is regarded as a kind and hardworking professional among her colleagues.

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Catherine Tamondong is Mount Carmel School's 2020-2021 Support Staff of the Year.

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“I am so happy, proud, and just so appreciative of the school’s support. I wasn’t expecting to be given this award, but I’m so grateful that they see my efforts and chose me as the Support of the Year,” shared Ms. Catherine. “Mount Carmel School is like my family and I will always do what I can to help my family. I also need to acknowledge all the kindness and support from my colleagues, the administration, and even the school’s board of directors.”

First-runner up for Teacher of the Year was awarded to Mr. Rosiky Camacho or “Deacon Camacho.” Mr. Camacho has been employed at Mount Carmel School since 2004 and has taught subjects in social studies and theology. During all his years at Mount Carmel School, Mr. Camacho regards teaching theology as his passion. As part of his personal and professional goals, Mr. Camacho started his journey to become a deacon in 2013 with the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa. By 2018, Mr. Camacho was officially ordained as a deacon and has assisted with all the school’s religious events. Deacon Camacho also serves as a committee member for the school’s theology learning committee. In addition to his obligations as an instructor, Deacon Camacho was instrumental during the campus’ recovery efforts after Super Typhoon Soudelor and Super Typhoon Yutu. Throughout those recovery periods, Deacon Camacho led teams to help clear the debris around campus and still offers a helping hand in any major campus beautification projects.

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Deacon Rosiky Camacho is Mount Carmel School's 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year First-Runner Up.

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“It was a pleasant surprise to be given this award, but I am thankful for the support of my colleagues, administrators, and school community for this recognition,” shared Deacon Camacho. “I’ve worked at Mount Carmel School for sixteen years and can humbly say that Mount Carmel School has become another home and family to me.”

This year’s Teacher of the Year was awarded to “Coach” Francis San Nicolas. Coach San Nicolas has been employed at Mount Carmel School for nine years but served in the Public School System for nine years prior to applying to Mount Carmel School. At MCS, Francis serves as the primary instructor for all the physical education courses and coaches many of the athletic programs at the school including basketball and volleyball.

Throughout his time at MCS, San Nicolas has led more than ten basketball and volleyball teams to championships and helped many students reach their personal and professional goals. In addition to his role as a coach, San Nicolas found creative ways and solutions to facilitate virtual physical education lessons during the school’s hybrid learning period at the beginning of the pandemic. San Nicolas is famously regarded within the school community as a thoughtful, devoted, and caring teacher who is also always willing to have meaningful conversations with colleagues and students and help the school in any way he can.

“I was surprised when it was announced that I am the Teacher of the Year,” shared Mr. San Nicolas. “I honestly love what I do and I enjoy helping the school in any way that I can. I see the school community as a second family and if there are ways I can contribute then I am always willing to help. My hope as a coach and instructor is to help provide our students with more resources to accomplish their personal and athletic goals. I see so much potential in our students each school year and I always want to provide them with the tools they need to succeed.”

MCS Principal Ms. Francis Taimanao commends all the awardees and employees for their commitment and dedication despite the trials the school has faced. “I have worked with these individuals as colleagues and recently as their supervisor and have gotten to know them all to be dedicated, committed, and dynamic professionals who are always willing to improve. We congratulate all Mount Carmel School faculty and staff for another outstanding year of service, faith, and excellence.”

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