Last March 29, 2019, Stepping Stone celebrated its “32nd Recognition and Moving-up Ceremony”. Although Stepping Stone has been around since 1972, over 47 years ago, it was only in 1987, that Stepping Stone was formed into a non-stock, non-profit foundation.
This years’ theme, “Unity in Diversity: Quality Education to all”, saw our students from Makati and Sucat gather at the 3rd floor multi-purpose area of the Makati Rotary Club Foundation, Inc. (MRCFI) Building.
After a bit of technical difficulty, the program got started with the Processional, where Trustees led by Chairman & President Mundy Gonzalez and Executive Director Dayal Nandwani. Trustees Ann Aspinall, Jean Chavez and Advisers Felix Amparo and Fred Parungao followed the lead. The faculty, admin, staff and candidates followed thereafter.
Once everyone had settled into their seats, the opening prayer was led by Mariella Jude Reyes, Teen-Adult student at Sucat campus to the tune of “We are One”. This was such a heart warming song sung by Ms. Mariella and almost brought tears to the eyes in the audiences.
The Philippine National Anthem was conducted by Ms. Eunice Margaret Dapito, Early Intervention student at Makati Campus. This was followed by a short welcome remarks by Executive Director Dayal, welcoming all parents, students faculty, trustees and advisers and guests who were in attendance.
The rehearsed Recognition Song was sung by all Early Intervention, Functional Academics and Teen-Adult class students from both campuses including nursery class students from Sucat. They sang to the tune of “Yesterday’s Dream”.
This year we were honored to have not one (1) but two (2) guest speakers to give our parents, students and everyone else inspiration.
First speaker was introduced by ED Dayal. Current Deputy Director General (DDG) Teodoro Pascua of the Intellectual Property Office (IPOPhil). DDG Pascua wowed the audience with a talk focused on quality education for all and governments’ support for this cause. He promised to continue helping Stepping Stone liaise with TESDA, as he was former Deputy Director General of TESDA some years ago.
DDG Pascua also kept the students engaged by telling them a story about the Elephant and the Monkey. He was surprised to get a good reception from the students when he asked questions regarding the animals. His story went on to include an “Owl” as an arbiter and moral of the story being that we cannot achieve much alone. We need each other, which drove home the point to parents, faculty, trustees and our
Next inspirational speaker was Adviser Luis “Louie” Aseoche. Atty Aseoche joined Stepping Stone soon after the passing away of our former Chairman Atty. Frank Chavez. Louie has been instrumental in advocating for Stepping Stone to the Rotary Club of Makati as a Director and active member of the club.
Louie spoke on how he believes parents sacrifice tremendously for their children and what hardship they go thru. He thanked them for entrusting their children to Stepping Stone and encouraged them never to lose hope. Louie spoke on the pride he saw on his fathers face when he graduated from elementary and how he saw the same pride in all the faces of the parents on the Recognition event. Louie also challenged the faculty and administrators to continue to do their work with passion to provide the best education to all our students.
After the awarding of certificates to our speakers, ED Dayal called on one more guest, Mr. Rob Salamon to come to the stage. Mr. Salamon was also awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for being an “instant” guest speaker in last year’s Recognition Day. Mr. Salamon has been a staunch supporter of Stepping Stone since 2013, serving as a field director for the Lloyd George Asia Foundation, Inc. based in Hongkong.
After all the inspiring talks and awarding of certificates, the main event was at hand: Awarding of Medals and Certificates to our students.
Students were called in by group and Trustees and Advisers were asked to help put on their medals and give their certificates one-by-one, as their names were called out, their awards and merits where flashed on screen. Parents were beaming with pride for their children, all dressed up in gold, white and black. They all looked so gentlemanly and lady-like.
After a very happy distribution of awards, medals and certificates, all the students were called on stage to sing their song of gratitude to their parents “Thanks to You”. After such a wonderful song, students looked for the parents and handed their laminated personalized “thank you” Cards. Parents and carers were very much touched by this gesture. It was made out of love and showed the emotion of their children on how they truly love and care for their parents as well.
Chairman & President Mundy Gonzalez then took the stage to thank everyone. He spoke about the progress of Stepping Stone facilities at Sucat, such as our sensory room, swimming pool and playground and others.
In the frenzy of everything, with parents proudly taking pictures of their children, snacks being served and more pictures with Trustees and Advisers, it was truly a spectacular event.
Thank you to all our Faculty who worked tirelessly to rehearse our students, prepare all materials for this event and even the logistics of putting all things to come together for a great experience.