FIRST-EVER MICROSOFT SHOWCASE SCHOOL IN MINDANAO. Microsoft cites Xavier Ateneo Junior High School as first “showcase school” in Mindanao. Photo by AWNebrao SJ

Report by Anito Librando Jr.

Software giant Microsoft recently recognized Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan Junior High School as the first-ever Microsoft Showcase School in Mindanao “for the excellence in transforming its learning environment to deliver more personalized education to students.”

XUJHS joins an exclusive community of more than 850 premier schools across the world, recognized to celebrate their truly pioneering efforts and innovation in rethinking teaching, learning, and assessment in order to drive 21st-century competencies.

“As the Jesuit Philippine Province focuses its efforts towards Mindanao, XUJHS shares in this mission in education. This mark of excellence is a call, not to rest on our laurels, but to continue to seek the greater good that is meant to be shared,” said school principal Fr. Joaquin Jose Mari C. Sumpaico III SJ.

“Let this recognition be a continuing invitation to be persons for and with others as we move towards the frontiers of basic education in our nation. Let us continue to touch lives as Good News is shared to all. Remember, as blessings are given to you, blessings are also given through you,” Sumpaico added.

As a Showcase School, XUJHS will work closely with Microsoft to lead innovation in education and communicate a vision for education enabled by technology through the hosting and mentoring of other schools in the community on transformational educational practices.

“Last year, XUJHS has conducted various activities across the different subject areas in English, Math, and Science through events like Skype-a-thon and Hour of Code, and classroom activities such as Mystery Skype and Minecraft,” said XUJHS Science Department chairperson and instructional technology specialist (ITS) Lea Lilibeth Emata.

“In the recent school’s Maker Faire, Microsoft’s Power Center Lessons in One-Note were utilized. Teachers were given training sessions using Sway, One-Note, and Office 365, and were also introduced to the Microsoft Educator Community,” she continued. “We plan to conduct more training sessions this year with our faculty and staff to actualize the use of technology in the classrooms. We are also expecting a more active involvement of our teachers in the Microsoft Educator Community.”

For Microsoft Worldwide Education vice-president Anthony Salcito, Microsoft Showcase Schools are “shining examples” of those applying purpose-driven innovation in a variety of ways to build connection, motivate students, and to create community in and out of school. “These schools are truly transforming learning and providing more personalized education to students empowering them to achieve more.”

As well as being recognized on a global scale for their innovative approach to educating tomorrow’s workforce, Showcase Schools receive additional collaboration opportunities with other schools around the world, access to professional development opportunities, invitations to exclusive events, access to Microsoft Innovative Educators Experts (MIE Experts) on staff to help drive innovation and to support staff, peers, students, and more.

XUJHS proudly has two Microsoft Certified Educators (MCEs) and four MIEEs working together to promote the use of technology in the classroom with resources from the Microsoft Educator Community. The team is led by school principal Sumpaico (MCE), ITS Mary Anthony Sieras (MCE and MIEE), assistant principal for formation Samuel Macagba III (MIEE), Science Dept chairperson Emata (MIEE), English teacher Anito Librando Jr. (MIEE), and Mathematics teacher Renan Agad (MIEE).

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