Pinoy teacher who makes algebra fun gets award in New York

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

NEW YORK – A Filipino educator who uses creative ways to educate and motivate his students is being recognized for his unconventional teaching method for third time this year.

Ramil Buenaventura teaches algebra in his 7th and 8th grade classes at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights in New York.

Buenaventura is from the Philippines and came to the US as part of the exchange program that Mayor Michael Bloomberg did.

He received the Daily News’ Hometown Hero Award in New York on Wednesday morning, his third recognition this year for excellence in educating the youth in the Big Apple.

The 44-year-old Mandaluyong native is recognized for his energetic and creative approach to teaching.

“It’s an honor and it is also an acknowledgement of the Filipino workers here in the states, an acknowledgement of the Galing ng Pilipino,” he said.

Daily News honored 11 deserving and inspiring city educators, including Buenaventura, who are making a difference not only in the teaching profession but in the lives of their students.

“Each exceptional story we had to weed through 200 entries. But I think we got the cream of the crop,” said Bryan Adam of the New York Daily.

The awards ceremony featured public officials and celebrity presenters such as Cynthia Nixon, popularly known as “Miranda” in the hit television series and movie “Sex and the City”. She gave out the first Hometown Heroes Award.

“We honor you for raising the bar and for helping define what real opportunity means for your kids and for the entire system so that we can ensure that every single child receives the high quality education he or she deserves,” said Nixon.

“Even celebrities would know the work of a teacher, and the whole community supports the teacher and if the community supports the teacher, the teacher will be at his or her best,” said Buenaventura.

The award-winning Filipino teacher who raps and sings his school lessons got to rub elbows with hip-hop celebrity Darryl Matthews McDaniels popularly known as DMC of the popular 80’s group Run-DMC.

“I believe that educators do deserve big contracts like athletes and entertainers. I believe that educators have the most important jobs in the world,” he said.

Fans of the rapper can expect a brand new album and even a new comic book with DMC as a superhero.

DMC said he is planning to visit the Philippines to promote his new album soon.

“I’m the king from Queens, but the Philippines is the place to be. I love ya’all,” he said.

The Hometown Heroes Award is meant to inspire New Yorkers and other educators to be a hero in their own ways.

“I hope that these awards inspire people to do their best. If this helps a little bit, this reminds them of the community appreciates what they do, then our effort here has been well served,” said Morning News Anchor, Pat Kiernan.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information

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