AT LEAST three teachers from Cagayan de Oro City are among the 40 regional finalists in this year’s Search for Outstanding Teachers (SOT) of the Metrobank Foundation.

The three teachers are also among the eight educators from Northern Mindanao who were included in the finals, thus having the highest number of regional finalists along with the National Capital Region.

The teacher-finalists are Ma. Dulce F. Cuerquis of the East City Central School in Lapasan for the elementary level, Norven G. Baylan of the Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School (MOGCH), and Mercelita J. Labial of Xavier University High School (Ateneo De Cagayan) for the secondary level.

The other teachers from Northern Mindanao who made it to the regional finals include Alexander S. Gonzaga of Balingasag Central School in Misamis Oriental; Miladith B. Polutan of Oroquieta City Central Elementary School in Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental; Lourdes A. Lerios of Salay Central School in Salay, Misamis Oriental; and Evangeline T. Taran of Valencia City Central School in Valencia City, Bukidnon for the elementary level.

For the secondary level, the other finalist from Northern Mindanao is Mercidita S. Villamayor of Bukidnon State University-Secondary School Lab in Malaybalay City.

“Out of the qualified and deserving nominees across the country, 40 regional finalists stood out for their dedication to the highest standards of professionalism, competence, integrity and their commitment to go beyond the four walls of the classroom through projects concerning their respective communities – qualities of outstanding teacher awardees in the making,” said Aniceto M. Sobrepeña, president of Metrobank Foundation.

Out of the 156 nominations generated nationwide, the regional finalists consist of eight teachers from the tertiary, 16 from the secondary and 16 from the elementary levels.

They will advance to the semi-final judging phase of the search scheduled from July 7 to 9 at the Metrobank Plaza in Makati City. They will be interviewed by same panels of judges identified for each category and shall conduct teaching demonstrations on their respective fields of specialization.

From these regional finalists, 20 national finalists will be selected to undergo the final selection process during the third week of July.

This year’s Outstanding Teachers will be conferred with gold medallions, plaques and cash amounting to P300,000 each during the formal awarding ceremonies at Metrobank Plaza in Makati, which will serve as the highlight of the 48th anniversary celebration of the Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company on September 3, 2010.

Now on its 26th year, the Search bestows honor upon the teaching profession by according special recognition to teachers who manifest profound commitment to the development of the youth through exemplary competence, remarkable dedication to their work and an effective educational leadership.

Recently, the Search has been awarded the Grand Anvil, the highest recognition during the 45th Anvil Awards given by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP).

Over the years, the Search has become a sought-after award among educators as it earned the prestige of becoming a benchmark of excellence in the teaching profession.

To date, the Search has produced 286 outstanding teachers, among them pillars in the academe who continue to excel in their respective fields.

The Metrobank Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Metrobank Group, was established by its chairman Dr. George S.K. Ty in 1979.

With the theme “Excel. Engage. Empower,” the Foundation has promoted a culture of excellence among Filipinos through its various programs such as the SOT, the Metrobank Art and Design Excellence (MADE), the Search for The Outstanding Philippine Soldiers (TOPS), Country’s Outstanding Policemen in Service (COPS), the Metrobank Math Challenge (MMC) and College Scholarship Program (CSP).

The Foundation also engages its partners and awardees in different activities geared towards giving back to the society.

Through these initiatives, the Metrobank Foundation empowers its awardees and partners to become better citizens of the community.

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