LET 2024 Topnotchers

For the first time, VSU recorded four topnotchers in the recent results of the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) and placed 7th (92.64%) in the top performing schools for secondary level in the country.

The VSU Flagship Campus in Baybay City obtained a total of 214 passers out of 231 takers in the secondary level making it to the top 7th cut under the category B – with 100 to 299 examinees and with at least 92% passing percentage.

In total, the VSU system produced 282 elementary teachers and 395 secondary teachers from the main and component campuses.

According to the proud Dean of the VSU College of Education (CoEd), Dr. Bayron S. Barredo, they have recorded topnotchers from 2009, 2010, and 2019. After five years, the College welcomed three more, one from the elementary education (BEED) and two from the secondary education (BSED), respectively.

“I feel happy and proud that we have contributed to their success even though they went through different review centers,” says CoEd Dean Barredo. “Good thing that the LET-like test and LET review was embedded and intensified in our curriculum.”

He recalled that after he came back from his doctorate studies and became the dean, they strengthened the pre-board training in the College which they learned from premiere teacher education institutions in the country.

The recent performance of their students in this year’s teachers board exam has been a huge fulfillment according to Dr. Barredo, as they really wanted this to happen.

He is also thankful to the dedicated and hardworking faculty members of the Department of Teacher Education, Institute of Human Kinetics, VSU Integrated High School, and other affiliated departments.

The four #ProudViscan board topnotchers

VSU produced one topnotcher from the elementary level and three topnotchers in the secondary level all are science majors. 

The four of them came from different life stories but shared one similar goal – to make their parents proud as they achieved the dreams they set for themselves.

The Top 8 who lost his father 

Top 8 Rod Mark N. Pedere from Hilongos, Leyte obtained a rating of 91% is a proud son who offered his big achievement to his late father who passed away in an accident in 2022.

Pedere shared that he came from a broken family. His mother left them when he was six. Despite their difficult situation, his father took all the responsibilities to sustain him and his two siblings.

“Daghan kaayo gibuhat si Papa nga panginabuhi aron maka-survive mi. Pobre man tuod mi pero never gyud niabot sa point nga nawad-an mi og pagkaon kay kugihan kaayo si Papa.” 

[Papa did a lot of work to sustain us. Since Papa was very diligent, we always have food to eat even if we are not privileged enough.]

He mentioned that he learned the value of independence because of his father and he wanted to be like him.

“Sadly, namatay si Papa a year before I graduated. Sakit kaayo kay ni ingon ko ni Papa sauna nga mo-graduate ko with flying colors. Pero wala man lang nako siya nakauban sa mismong adlaw nga dapat para sa iyaha.”

[Sadly, my father died before I graduated. It pains me because I once told him that I would be graduating with flying colors. But he was no longer around during that day with me when I received the awards for him.]

Pedere finished his BEED program as the sole Magna Cum Laude last August 2023. In the face of setbacks, he worked on fulfilling his goals and achieved more than what he expected.

Currently, he is working as an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher. While reviewing, he juggled between teaching and taking care of his nieces.

When asked about what he would say to his father if he was still alive, he simply uttered these words, “I made it because of you!”

The Top 9 who dreams to have a home 

Like Pedere, Top 9 Maricon D. Laplana also got a 91% rating in the teachers board. She is from Malitbog, Southern Leyte, and graduated Cum Laude last year.

Her achievement in the recent LET is to give honor to her parents who supported her. Laplana shared that despite not being the eldest, she carried the responsibility that she will be the hope of her family. 

Her father is a construction worker while her mother is previously working as a housemaid. She can recall that there were times when his father would borrow rice from his uncle when they had no food at the table.

Laplana mentioned that she dreamed of not just passing the board but also topping it. Her strong faith in God and determination to help her family made her reach this far.

“Sa ako jud prayer, moingon jud ko nga unta, ‘Your will may align with my will.’ Pero kahibaw man Sija nga akong will is makapasar ug ganahan jud ko ma-top pud. Kay ganahan jud ko nga mag-trabaho na kay labina pag-graduate nako 60 years old na ako parents. Unya di ko ganahan nga ing-ani na edara mag-trabaho lang gihapon sila.”

[I would always say in my prayers, ‘Your will may align with my will.’ But I know that God knows my will is to pass and I also wanted to top. I really wanted to work since my parents were already 60 years old when I graduated. And I don’t like it that they still have to work in that age.] 

She revealed that after taking the exam, she felt that she might fail because she found it difficult, especially in their science major. But eventually, when the results came, she made it to the Top 10 cut. 

Laplana’s biggest motivation is to build a home for his family. She revealed that during Super Typhoon Megi (Odette), their house was totally engulfed by the storm surge and the only thing that was left for them was a bag with clothes and gadgets that they brought when they evacuated.

After the devastating typhoon, they could not build another house in the same place because it was already eroded. So they had to stay with his father’s sibling’s house temporarily for three months. 

Now, nakapatukod nami og gamay nga balay pero di pud amoang yuta, so mag-rent ra gihapon mi every month. Mao jud ni ang one of my biggest motivation nga if maka-trabaho nako, makapalit nako’g among yuta aron di nami mahadlok palayason and makapatukod og lig-on na bay na can withstand typhoon.” 

[We now have a small house but still we paid monthly rent because we do not own the land. That’s why, one of my biggest motivations if I can find a job is that I can finally buy our own land and build our own house that can withstand typhoons.]

The Top 8 who fulfills her dream

Top 8 April Ann A. Darantinao who lives in Julita, Leyte, is a proud Cum Laude graduate from VSU Tolosa. She secured a 91.20% rating in the recent board.

Despite being an only child, she revealed that her parents have a hard time supporting her college journey. Even during her review, her parents have to borrow money for her fees.

“My father is a famer and my mother is a housewife. So sa pag-aaral ko ng college, mahirap po kasi kinakapos po kami lagi sa pera, lalo na kung may mga ambagan sa school, kailangan pang mangutang. And even po n’ung nag-start na akong mag-review sa review center, inutang po ‘yun and luckily my discount na provide ‘yung review center namin tapos medyo nabawas-bawasan ‘yung mga nabayaran namin.”

[My father is a farmer and my mother is a housewife. When I started studying in college, it was really difficult because we often struggled with our finances, especially when there are school fees, my parents need to borrow money for it. And even during the start of my review, they borrowed money for the fees and luckily, the review center provided discounts that helped lessen our payment needs.]

Darantinao is very thankful to her parents for all their sacrifices for her. During her review, she never felt the pressure because her parents did not force her to top or pass the board.

“During naman po sa review ko, ‘di naman ako masyadong nahihirapan kasi masyadong supportive ‘yung parents ko. Never ko na-feel ‘yung pressure, never nila akong prenessure na kailangan kong mag-top at pumasa. ‘Yung ginawa ko na lang ginalingan ko na lang ang review, para ‘yun na lang ‘yung maibigay ko sa kanila, kapalit ng mga effort na ibinigay nila sa akin.”

[During my review, I did not find it difficult because of my supportive parents. I never feel pressured because they did not pressure me to either top or pass. What I did was I only gave my best during the review in return for all the efforts that they gave me.]

She is thankful for VSU Tolosa’s pre-LET program during their senior year because it helped them prepare for the actual board exam.

“Very thankful po kami doon [sa pre-LET pogram]. Sinasabi namin sa mga kaibigan namin na 4th-year pa lang sa VSU Tolosa na ‘wag nilang i-take for granted ‘yung pre-LET program na ‘yun kasi masyadong siyang malaking tulong kapag nag-ta-take ka na sa actual mo na board exam.”

[We were very thankful for the pre-LET program. We would always tell our friends who are 4th-year students in VSU Tolosa to never take the pre-LET program for granted because it is a very helpful preparation for them before they take the actual board exam.]

The Top 7 who is her family's first degree holder

Top 7 Camille S. Managbanag who hails from Kabalasan, Baybay City, shares the same financial difficulties with the three other #ProudViscan topnotchers.  

She is convinced that poverty is really a hindrance to success despite many people who believe otherwise. Her older sibling has to drop out of school because of their situation and has to work instead.

“Dili gyud ko motuo anang ang kahirapan ay hindi hadlang, hadlang man jud siya. Cliche man gud siya. Di ko motuo ana. It’s up to you to go beyond and you take a risk. In education, hadlang gyud na.” 

[I don’t believe that poverty is not a hindrance, because it is. It’s cliche, but I don’t really believe it. It’s up to you to go beyond and take a risk. In education, poverty is really a hindrance.]

Managbanag shared that his father works as a construction worker and since his job is not permanent, his father had to leave Baybay to seek greater opportunities in Manila.

Despite her experiences and struggles, she finished her degree with a distinction as Magna Cum Laude in 2023 and achieved a 91.40% rating in the LET results. She is also the first degree holder of her family.

“I offer this [achievement] to Him kay I believe education is a gift. I really do my best for His glory. If naa nako sa field puhon, ma-impart nako ako knowledge especially to the young people.”

[I offer this achievement to Him since I believe that education is a gift. I really do my best for His glory. One day if I’m already working in the field, I will be able to impart the knowledge I have especially to the young people.]

She also highlighted that her scholarship from the Department of Science and Technology has been a great help in supporting her college studies.

What does it take to be a Viscan pride?

Pedere, Darantinao, Laplana, and Managbanag all agreed that in one way or another, VSU has been influential in their individual successes. 

“Actually, VSU made me value excellence. During my first sem at VSU, I achieved an award, a recognition – that was my source of motivation that I should excel. In my mind, I should be consistent. Without VSU, perhaps I wouldn’t feel motivated to top,” Pedere revealed.

“I learned all the skills essential when taking the boards because of VSU Tolosa. And topping the boards is a way to give back all the efforts of my instructors and professors,” Darantinao shared.

“My way of studying has improved ever since I was in first year college. I learned to study hard. One factor is that our instructors always gave us new learning and that made me realize that I should study hard because I want to learn and I brought that one during the review up until I took the exam,” Managbanag stated.

VSU slapped the reality that college is hard. Before I started my journey, I already aimed to graduate Cum Laude. But when I entered VSU, I realized that it was difficult to make it happen. But VSU made me realize that it was an honor to teach. And since I already experienced hardships in VSU, it made my board exam a bit more bearable,” Laplana said.

When asked about their advice to future board takers who wish to pass and top, Darantinao answered that they have to strive hard in order to pass. Meanwhile, Pedere highlighted that they should start reading as early as possible so they can carry more knowledge and learning that will be essential for the boards, especially for the General Education.

Managbanag also shared that it is important to be surrounded with the right people. In her case, she acquired new learning through conversing with other people during her review. The more she shared her knowledge with them, the more the idea would stick in her mind.

On the other hand, Lapana mentioned that they need to set a goal and be consistent with their study habits.

All four of them took their review at the different branches of the Carl Balita Review Center (CBRC).

VSU President Prose Ivy G. Yepes commended the exemplary performance of the teacher education graduates of the university in the March 2024 LET.

“I’m very proud of the accomplishments of our teacher education graduates here in our flagship campus in Baybay and in VSU Tolosa. This is a testament to our growing strength as one of the regional leaders in teacher education in Eastern Visayas. On top of producing topnotchers, all our campuses have performed way higher than the national passing percentage, which is indicative of our consistent improvement in LET. Congratulations to all of us, #ProudViscans!”

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