The timely appointment of the new leader in the Schools Division Office of Bacoor City offered more avenues of possibilities. There is hope and optimism that a brighter future awaits under his skillful steward. At the onset of his designation as OIC-City Schools Division Superintendent, Felizardo O. Bolaños has set the direction of the division. He is known by many as a gentle, subtle, and seasoned educator who knows the dynamics of education. A native of Batangas Province, Sir Zaldy, as he is fondly called by his colleagues, is known to be a recipient of Gawad Patnugot – a recognition often bestowed to educators for exemplary performance.

Indeed, the current position he holds right now is the product of his hard-earned accomplishments which he toiled for years.   This resolute educational leader has initiated effective transformational reforms in sustaining the standards set by newly ISO-accredited City Schools Division – a legacy of the previous administration.

The accomplishment which has been invested for years proves that effective change became a reality due to the determination and efforts of the workforce. The unprecedented achievement of the division could be attributed to the dedicated public servants who spared precious time and efforts to produce tangible results. As the educational leader affirmed that the SDO Bacoor became successful because of the great people.

As he leads in embarking on yet another chapter in piloting the division, Sir Zaldy knows that strategic direction is a must to balance the aim of innovating with radical solutions that will further improve the delivery of services of the SDO. A leader is just one cog in the wheel. However, if the leader has laser-like focus and clearly aligned expectations, positive results would follow.

During the 1st Mancom Meeting held in Bacoor Elementary School, the Superintendent outlined his priority projects and programs in the Division by establishing expectations. In response to the status of the division, the OIC-SDS laid down his thrusts to sustain, if not surpass the SDO’s notable accomplishments.

Sir Zaldy gave emphasis that every child deserves quality and equitable education. For him, by putting students first, educators can provide the necessary educational opportunities to advance students in their endeavors.

He also urged school heads and master teachers to conduct deeper review of the curriculum and facilitate teachers to design instruction anchored in the utilization of modern pedagogical approaches. He added that they should also ensure that basic competencies need to be mastered first before proceeding to the complex competencies.

Furthermore, he wanted to assure that school heads and teachers are empowered in designing quality instruction while capacitating teachers towards high performing schools will help produce holistically developed learners armed with 21st century skills.

He further stressed that the improved Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) is the reflection of each school. The schools as frontline services of the Department must be client-centered and have learning-focused leadership. He also added that the division remains steadfast in improving the KPI’s of each school which is aligned with the division’s targets. He also challenged the school heads, faculty, and staff to be professionals, plan engaging lessons, provide a safe learning environment, be accountable, and navigate their course of action to produce tangible results in the field. Sir Zaldy hopes that the Division’s performance throughout the year would steadily improve during his stint and would stay on an upward trend.

In an effort to prepare the learners for the 21st century, he let the faculty and staff understand the department’s vision, mission and goals to advance the learners using the latest research available. He wants everyone to realize the targeted support and training for school heads, teachers and staff who will provide service for effective instructional and school leadership. Using data to guide the instructional decisions will prescribe the necessary instruction to advance skills and correct weaknesses. Indeed, effective schools are the roots that anchor a community. It begins with the concerted efforts of all the stakeholders.

In the principle of shared governance, he encouraged everyone to work together to conduct strategic direction and initiate tangible projects and programs that address the needs of all learners, teachers, administrators and the communities in which the schools thrive. With these, the SDO officials and personnel, school heads, faculty and staff and community members of Bacoor City are one in working as a team in gearing for the realization of the division.

There is a promising expectation under SDS Bolaños’ tenure. He has set directions in the deliverables in the Key Result Areas (KRAs). In ACCESS, he desires for the strict implementation of inclusive education – that no one would be left behind. As regards to QUALITY, he is keen in improving student achievement among its diverse student population. In GOVERNANCE, he wants leaders to be a model to their subordinates in works, in deeds, and in thoughts. Transparent, Ethical and Accountable (TEA) Governance must also be observed in the field. SDO Bacoor City  has set targets and communicated in the field that could be used in measuring the achievement of the schools. These goals were ambitious but reasonable.

Indeed, there is a clear path under his leadership. He has shown how to be an instructional leader and an effective communicator. He is a good manager and good listener. He is flexible. He is not afraid to take risks or make a commitment. All the above-mentioned traits are signs of an effective superintendent.  With his notable accomplishments in the academe and positive attitude, the Schools Division Office of Bacoor is gearing for a brighter horizon! (Ronald Drio, Principal II, Ligas II Elementary School, Division of Bacoor City)