A School Year of New Beginnings

     Academic year 2015-2016 started with a heightened level of enthusiasm and dynamism.  The whole week was a time for new beginnings. Preparations for this year started with renewed commitment for academic excellence and character formation.  Teachers spent 4 weeks of in-service training covering the trends in curriculum alignment, formative and alternative assessment, mentoring, current issues and spiritual formation.  These topics are expected to be translated in the classroom as we move towards raising the bar of excellence in Everest Academy. 

     All these preparations were highlighted  during the Parents’ Orientation last August 3, 2015, intended for new and returning parents.  The orientation began with Ms. Betty Rivera’s introduction of the  executive team.  This year, it is headed by Fr. Luis Garza as executive director, Ms. Rivera assumes the role of assistant executive director,  Ms. Christine Gamache as academic consultant and dean of the upper school, Mrs. Ma. Lourdes Cura, principal,  Ms. Cynthia Cabasag, director of operations. The team brings years of solid experience in educational  administration and corporate leadership.  The other members of the academic team, who are responsible for the implementation of the academic roadmap were introduced.  They are: Mr. Mike Matias (dean of the lower school), Mrs. Pinky Garovillo (dean of students, LS), Mrs. Zen Ramirez (Catholic Formation Coordinator, LS), Mr. Ferdie dela Chica (dean of students, US).   

     Fr. Luis gave a very inspiring message of union with parents in bringing about holistic formation through quality education.  This purpose is translated in the classroom as Mrs. Cura and Ms. Gamache presented the curricular enhancements and innovations this year highlighting subject integration, professional development and curricular alignment.  To cap the orientation, Ms. Rivera introduced additional regulations related to disaster preparedness and traffic flow to ensure order.  After this, the parents were brought to their respective homeroom classroom to meet the adviser and the subject teachers.  It gave them the opportunity to personally know the educational leaders who will guide their children this year.

     Another milestone was marked last August 6 when the new facilities in the Upper School were blessed commemorating the 8th foundation year of Everest Academy Manila.  As parents, faculty and students marveled at the new rooms and amenities, a feeling of excitement was felt throughout the blessing and more so when Father Luis announced and sought for prayers for the completion and reality of the sports complex.   

     To end the week of celebration, a first Friday mass was held at the Lower School patio bringing together the entire school and the parents to give reverence to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and welcome Fr. Mauricio, LC, as instructor for formation.   It was so beautiful to hear Fr. Luis share that we must count our blessings everyday…from the physiological gifts of food, shelter and clothing to the love of our friends, parents and most especially the love of Jesus Christ.  He brought us together in Everest for a reason and that is to ensure that He becomes alive in each and everyone of us. 

   The whole week was indeed days of anticipation, friendship and awakening.  Trails were etched, waiting to be deepened as we work together towards new beginnings.        

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