City fetes Alcantara, Natividad PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 October 2011 17:43

Mayor Celso Lobregat and Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde the other day led city government officials in feting retired Division of City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dolores Alcantara and Pedro Melchor Natividad, who succeeded her as officer-in-charge.

Mayor Lobregat thanked Alcantara for her loyalty and support to the city’s efforts to elevate the quality of education in Zamboanga.
Lobregat said Alcantara’s retirement elicited mixed feelings. “I am happy that you are finally getting your much deserved rest, spending more quality time with your family and doing what you most wanted to do, I am also saddened because I am personally losing a strong supporter.”

The mayor also praised Alcantara for her dedication to education, recounting spending long hours and nights with Alcantara to interview teacher applicants and meet the Local School Board.

“As Schools Division Superintendent and member of the Local School Board, I have never heard her complain. She was always there, ready to extend whatever service she could even beyond the normal hours and beyond the call of duty,” the mayor shared.

Alcantara started her career as school teacher and rose through the ranks until her promotion as Zamboanga’s City Schools Division Superintendent in 2007. Despite not being a native of the city (she hails from Sindangan), she served the pupils, students and teachers of Zamboanga diligently.

Alcantara’s appointment as City Schools Division Superintendent in 2007 coincided with the start of the city’s massive school infrastructure program resulting from the city’s improved financial condition. From 2007, the city has already spent over P700M in education- and school-related infrastructures and programs.

The City Council headed by Vice Mayor Iturralde presented Alcantara with a copy of the City Resolution thanking and commending her for the “untiring, unconditional services and sterling performance in the field of quality education. As a principal, she was cited Most Outstanding School Head, unselfishly helped school teachers by honing them in their career to help students become better and appreciate education in a more positive way to become responsible citizens of the society. As school division superintendent, she had contributed much to the improvement and upliftment of education in the city. In her stint as educator, she had displayed professionalism and commendable achievements which made the division exceptional in the field of education.”

The dinner was also a welcome party for Dr. Pedro Melchor Natividad who was formally installed as OIC-SDS earlier Monday, Oct. 3. The mayor urged Natividad to be guided by what he refers the 5Cs – conscience (knowing what is right from wrong); continuity and consistency (to do good all of the time); competence (doing things right); and courage.

“Many times, even as a teacher, a school head, a principal, a school division superintendent, you will face a situation where you will have to choose what is popular and what is right. And I hope you will do what is right,” he said.

Lobregat also gave Natividad, DepEd and all teachers the charge of improving the performance of Zamboangueño youths in the national achievement tests.

“Our teachers are better equipped and more educated, but our students are performing poorly in the national tests, not because of the student or lack of support from the local government but maybe because our teachers have become rather complacent,” the mayor lamented.

“The challenge is to make sure our performance improves and we become not only the number one school division in the region but in the entire country. To do that we must set our aim higher,” Lobregat said. — Claudine Uniana