Filipino teachers host lunch, prepare for new arrivals

The summer break is in full swing but that isn’t stopping some activity at The Varnett Public School.

Eight of the district’s Filipino teachers held a special lunch July 6 at the East Campus for administrative staff in a first-of-a-kind gathering. The food included escabeche and beef steak, embutido, chicken adobo, fruit salad, caldereta, lumpia and pancit. Mountain Dew and water were the popular drinks of choice.

The lunch was a prelude to a welcoming program on July 26 for 17 newly-hired teachers from The Philippines. Members of the program committee are Diana L. Sim, Edelyn Nonato, Kira Sarabosing, Marie Diana Rojo, Eugenia De Lara, Maria Samson, Rhine Samson, Anne Cuchapin, Marilyn Gudao Gan and Julie Penolio.

The event will feature music, games and prizes and a video presentation featuring the history of Varnett. The program starts at 8 a.m. at the East Campus and will be followed by a tour of all three campuses by the new teachers and their hosts.

“We are doing this to welcome them so they feel at home because we know there is somewhat of a culture shock,” said Ms. Sim, who teaches English as a Second Language at the Southwest Campus.

“We are preparing them and telling them about our experiences at Varnett so they will know what to do. We want to encourage them and motivate them.”

Ms. Sim, who is beginning her fourth year at Varnett, said she remembers the difficult transition she had to make and can empathize with the newcomers. She received lots of support, she said.

"All of us wouldn't be here without the help and support of our directors and co- teachers," Sim said. "We are not perfect. We have made mistakes along the way but we are blessed because we are given chances to grow and develop. We can't thank Superintendent Annette Cluff enough.Through her leadership, every year we listen to resource speakers in trainings and seminars and from them, we learn many things and are equipped with new ideas and innovations to face the students."

Mrs. Cluff explained why Varnett recruits teachers from The Philippines. "I'm impressed with their commitment and the 'whatever-it-takes' attitude to make sure that children are successful," Mrs. Cluff said. She also noted their commitment to Varnett.

Ms. De Lara, who started at Varnett at about the same time as Ms. Sim, already has been entertaining newcomers. Her husband and two children moved to Houston two months ago.

Click here to read details of the lunch served to staff on July 6:

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