A harbinger, stalwart, and visioner!
Service and excellence come second nature to Sir Erick John H. Marmol, the newly appointed Campus Director of Philippine Science High School – Cagayan Valley Campus (PSHS-CVC). His mindset and principle in life revolve around “What I can give, rather than what I can gain.”
Despite coming from a financially challenged family, Sir Erick stood out and triumphed against adversities. He revealed that during his first year of college, he was nominated to be the batch representative even though it was against his will–this was because he was a DOST scholar.
“As a DOST Scholar, I needed to maintain my grades to still be a part of the scholarship program. I wanted to focus on my academics, but the votes given to me were a landfall. I had to accept the position,” he mentioned.
From being batch representative in his first year, he maintained that position throughout his college life, until he was elected as the Batch President of the Student Council. He considered this set of circumstances as the turning point in his life since it affected his growth as a person.
Asides from his exemplary leadership experiences, he finished Cum laude at the Bicol University College of Education with a BSEd Physics diploma and was awarded the Most Outstanding Graduate and the DOST Academic Excellence Award.
Moreover, he earned his MA in Physics Education as Most Outstanding Graduate in the same university. At the moment, Sir Erick is currently completing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Educational Foundations.
Despite the financial setbacks, he shared, “What’s good with having that background is that my satisfaction and happiness is simple.” He remains thankful to DOST for allowing him to experience quality education through the scholarship programs.
Sir Erick started as a Special Science Teacher at the Philippine Science High School – Bicol Region Campus (PSHS-BRC) where he handled Integrated Science, Earth Science, and Physics. He was also the Unit Head for Research.
During his days as an educator, he inspired his students by harnessing their skills in helping them figure out their potential. He believes that all students are intelligent in their own ways.
“As teachers, we have a role of helping them identify their skills and figure out their strengths to pave the way for them,” he emphasized. “All scholars have the potential, given the right track and guided the right way.”
Even when he was a teacher, he considers activities that would cater to the diverse needs of his students. “As a physics teacher, I admit there are times that Physics becomes an intimidating subject to students.”
“If I notice that some of my students are fascinated with robots, I contextualize some of their activities to support their interest,” he added. As he inspired them by acknowledging their type of intelligence and their strengths, he also helped them become a better version of themselves.
After his eight-year stint in PSHS-BRC, he transferred to the Department of Education (DepEd) Naga as Supervisor in the Learning Resource Management and Development System.
Through this, he became exposed to managing learning resources, at the same time, developing learning materials and contextualizing existing learning resources.
Aside from that, he also became a National Learning Resource Evaluator–giving him the experience to evaluate the textbooks of DepEd while he was working as a supervisor. His Saturdays were spent as a Professor in a Graduate School in Bicol.
He came back to PSHS-BRC last 2018 for his second stint as a teacher. In February 2019, he was appointed as Director III of Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus in Palo, Leyte.
As he prefers being referred to as ‘service-oriented’ rather than ‘career-oriented,’ he admitted that he invested more of his time with work. “Work hard, play later,” he smiled. There is no question that he is the youngest Campus Director PSHSS has ever had.
Advocacy for Life-long Learning
Sir Erick believes that education will improve our country. “It will alleviate us from poverty, which is why we need to invest in education,” he shared. “When we invest in Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI), our country will improve.”
“PhilSci plays a very huge role in the development of STI. We can dictate what can happen to the future by developing young STI professionals,” Sir Erick said.
As an advocate of quality education, he emphasizes the importance of being a life-long learner. “The principles that you knew before may no longer be the best strategies in the coming years. This is why we need to practice being a life-long learner–to learn, relearn, and unlearn,” he further remarked.
“There are times that we have mistakes, but what’s important is how you process that and how you learn from them so that we will not be able to commit the same mistakes later on–the concept of being a life-long learner.”
He shared that as long as you can process these experiences, you will become a better person and most importantly, a better leader. The important thing is you can see each day as something that would give you lessons in life.
Challenges in the Education System
Even before the pandemic, Sir Erick recognized that the most pressing issue that the educational system faces today is how to make the curriculum as dynamic as the changing world since the demands in local and global markets shift in a very fast manner.
“If we will not work very hard to make our students competent in the changing world, then they would not be ready or equipped to face challenges present in their generation. We can only do that through strategic foresight and futuristic thinking,” he mentioned.
Moreover, Sir Erick acknowledges the importance of mental health among the student body, and the faculty and staff. While he focuses on quality performance, he sees to it that students and employees do not experience burnouts.
Service and Excellence with a Heart
Aware that PSHS has a challenging academic curriculum, he has the vision to develop holistic scholars to prepare them for future STI Careers. “We want the scholars to overcome the curriculum,” he stated.
Future Scientists and Engineers with a heart.–emphasizing that “with a heart” pertains to a holistically developed scholar. “We want the students to overcome rigorous academic curriculum without sacrificing their mental health.”
Beyond the Workplace
Though Sir Erick is known for his notable achievements, he shares that he enjoys his personal life as well. He values his family. Despite the distance, he regularly communicates with his mom through video calls.
He has been married for more than a year now. His wife is also a teacher who is also from Bicol. “We are both nature-lovers,” Sir Erick said. He also mentioned that both of them are academicians so they relate to each other’s struggles and strengths.
He is fond of playing sports such as basketball, volleyball, soccer, table tennis, and badminton. Though he admits he is not a professional, he states that he plays them as a form of recreation. He did mention that he was a track and field athlete back in his college days. He is also fond of shoes, and he collects action figures as an avid Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fan. During his weekends, he enjoys jogging in the morning.
Overall, he tries to maintain a balance between his work and personal life.
To every struggling scholar,
His message to every scholar out there is,
“In situations, your mind will help you identify your necessary strengths, but your heart will keep you going.”