We often wonder what our past participants in the Professional Educator Exchange are doing now…where are they, are they still educators? That is why we created this feature for Tempe Sister Cities Monthly Newsletter.
This first Spotlight article is about Annette Asuncion, who was an exchange teacher to Regensburg in 2011.
It would be hard to pick one adjective for Annette, who is one dynamic National Board Certified Teacher, classical pianist, an advocate for the young people, and a volunteer.
Annette is in her seventh year as a special education teacher at Connolly Middle School where she teaches 11 to 14 year-old students who function below second grade level. Her curriculum includes both academic and life skills with lessons in the arts, food preparation, and hands-on practical skills, as well as reading, math and music therapy. She has high expectations for her students, who know that in her class no one is allowed to fail. Annette spends most of every summer in the Philippines where she grew up, and this is not a social visit spent relaxing with relatives. While there she serves at St. Paul’s University Manila, Philippines as a visiting professor for the Music Therapy Graduate Program, conducting workshops, as well as working with special needs young students.
Annette was honored with the Tempe Diablos’ Teacher of the Year Award in 2013. She chose to use the $2,000 award gift to be spent for scholarships, books, materials and other resources for the St. Paul University Manila and for the Home of Love, Missionaries of Charity in the Philippines for the Music Therapy program being established there.
Annette still supports and gives back to Tempe Sister Cities, volunteering with the Educator Exchange selection committee, Oktoberfest, and many social activities.