By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – Here’s one that will make Filipinos proud. Fil-Am teacher Ronie Mataquel recently received an award of excellence, one of the 15 awardees of the thousand nominees, by a multi-platform media group based here.
A Math teacher at the John Bowne High School in Flushing, Queens, Mataquel received the 2018 Blackboard Awards by the New York Family for his project on Math remedial classes for students identified as not college ready. He was the only Filipino awardee. The ceremony took place on June 4, 2018 at the New York Institute of Technology auditorium. The New York Family is a family-based, high-end media platform for parents and children in New York under the Manhattan Media LLC.
Mataquel has been engaged in his Math Focus Remedial classes for five years and is glad that his classes have produced the most students passing the CUNY entrance exams.
Asked what makes him motivated to do so much as a teacher, Mataquel said that hearing feedback from students on what they have learned from his classes is rewarding and motivating enough. “It is difficult to know the impact we have on our students until we hear their words of appreciation. That for me is rewarding enough. It gives me so much joy.”
Mataquel teaches grades 9 -12 Common Core Geometry, Algebra, College Algebra, and College Math at the JBHS, an institution known for its agricultural training. He said that he greatly appreciates his school for making him feel that he belongs there, for it has united its students and teachers with multi-cultural roots. Mataquel comes from the Philippine province of Antique in Western Visayas.
The JBHS is named in honor of English immigrant John Bowne who allowed the Quakers to meet and practice their religion in his house in Flushing. Bowne was one of the early leaders in New York (then called New Amsterdam under the Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant) who asserted for the practice of religious freedom.
“I am proud of my school for it has honed my leadership as a teacher,” said Mataquel.
(Photos by Juliet Payabyab; with reports from Lumen Castaneda)