Interview by: Nichelle
Hey, Bearcats! For our second issue of Paw Prints, we will be interviewing ISM’s very own Ms. Monsod (Class of 1980)!
How long were you at ISM for?
Ms. Mons: Five years (grades 3-7) at the old campus
What university did you attend and what was your major?
Ms. Mons: Mt. Holyoke College, BA in Economics and Spanish; University of the Philippines, MA in Theatre Arts
Where are you now (location, career)?
Ms. Mons: ISM Teacher since 1986
One fun fact about yourself?
Ms. Mons: I’m also a stage and film actor.
What is your most memorable experience on campus?
Ms. Mons: Spelling Bees. Yes, we actually had grade-level spelling bees. I won one.
What was your favorite food to order from the cafeteria?
Ms. Mons: I remember only the sampaloc wrapped in clear cellophane. It was pure, tart, delicious.
Who was your favorite teacher?
Ms. Mons:Many, including Mr. Ike Estalila, Mrs. Pat Jardiniano, Ms. Ditas Da Silva, Mrs. Olga DeWit, Mrs. Peachy Maramba.
What was your most unforgettable ICARE?
Ms. Mons: By the time ICARE came around, I was already a teacher at ISM. My most unforgettable trips were in Sagada with the performing arts students; and in Batangas, learning about ourselves as we cleaned and repainted the Death March markers.
What was your best Battle of the Bearcats?
Ms. Mons: When I was a student, Bearcats were still Indians. Our symbol was the Native American warrior, a remnant from when we were the American School. The year I entered ISM was the same year the school had changed its name. It took a couple of decades for the Bearcat to be instituted.
What do you miss most about the old campus ?
Ms. Mons: The childhood memories associated with it.
What is a lesson you learned from your time at ISM?
Ms. Mons: Terror teachers can bring out the best in you. Olga De Wit taught me piano in Grade 5. She once roared at me. I practiced early mornings to make sure she never did that again. My playing improved tremendously and became an important part of my teen years.
Any advice for current high school students?
Ms. Mons: The best leaders empower, give opportunities to, and spotlight not themselves but those they serve.
Thank you, Ms. Mons! Your unique experiences at ISM as both a student and teacher give us a new perspective on the transformative nature of our school.