The 2023 Teacher of the Year Stephane C. Concepcion reminds the teaching community of Guam to keep inspiring students and to never give up.
Concepcion is a fourth-grade teacher at Talo’fo’fo Elementary School, with 16 years of teaching experience under her belt — and a passion for watching students grow into the person they were meant to be.
“With that long and difficult path, we will become who we want to be through learning, teaching, inspiring, motivating…” Concepcion said. “We have the privilege of creating greatness.”
Concepcion, who has had students reach out to her and thank her for her work as a teacher, said that those moments have been one of the most fulfilling parts of her career.
“I’ve had one of my past kindergarten students recently graduate as valedictorian in her class. Seeing that growth, and seeing the kids becoming who they are meant to be is the most fulfilling part of this profession,” Concepcion said.
According to Concepcion, she has been having a hard time taking recognition for her award.
For the students
“I’m my Hardest critic. I just want people to know the real me. I don’t take recognition. This is kind of hard for me right now because I know this is teacher of the year but I’m doing this for my students, my school and everyone in this community,” Concepcion said.
Every year, Concepcion reminds her students that no one will ever be able to take their education away.
“Every year I tell my students, there are so many things that people can take away from you. Your clothes, your food, your money, your homes, but there is one thing that no one can ever take, that is your education, knowledge and all you have learned. Your education is worth so much more than you can ever imagine,” Concepcion said.
Concepcion, who is grateful for her award, said that she is excited for the upcoming school year and is looking forward to having more face-to-face interaction with parents.