Ana Maria Yap-Zubiri, or Teacher Ana, our Founder.
How she started it all, in its most humble beginnings,
is a story of courage, passion and a penchant for doing things right
and doing it right by the people the school serves —
the children, the parents, the faculty and staff.
Her passion lies in education as a means of the attainment of full human potential, and the uplifting of the human condition — by developing the new generations in accordance with the ever-expanding fund of human knowledge and experience, constantly seeking what knowledge is of most worth, and what makes for a life well-lived.
Her personal branding was marked with constant innovation and vision. In the time that she was actively building Brightwoods, she fondly quipped, “I breathe, eat and sleep Brightwoods School.” In the process, she set an ethic — of excellence, service and integrity — in a league of its own.
No longer part of the day-to-day operations of the school, Teacher Ana continues to be the heart of it, charting its direction amidst the changing times, towards everyone’s empowerment driven by the very same passion and motivation of the early years — which remains to be all about the people — the children, the parents, the faculty and staff, and now, all of humanity.
Teacher Ana’s Approach in Education
As the head of Brightwoods School, Teacher Ana’s commitment in revolutionizing learning and providing education that bears the stamp of love and excellence is remarkable.
Teacher Ana believes that education should be holistic, dynamic, and child-centered — one that will help young learners understand the world around them and grow into well-rounded individuals capable of realizing their dreams and fulfilling their vital roles in the greater scheme of things.
The school also upholds the belief that the pedagogy of learning should be accurately executed and accentuated with pedagogy of care, because the education of the mind is equally important to the education of the heart. Great learning takes place when the learners are placed at the center of the educational process — making them feel heard and valued — and when they are able to build a positive relationship with the significant adults responsible for their upbringing.
And today, with the changing landscape of education and contemporary times, Teacher Ana dreams of a new model of education, which puts as much importance on the mastery of the inner world as the outer.
The Grace of Teacher Ana
It all began in 1993, with the birth of her first child. Like any parent, Teacher Ana began thinking of where her son could attend preschool in time. In search for what she believed to be a good school, she made the bold decision, instead, to create her own school. With the intention of creating an ideal learning environment, she set out in a bedroom of a house, converted it into a classroom, and began her journey with eight pioneering preschoolers.
At the onset, she was constantly innovating, responding to the needs of each stakeholder, and thinking two steps ahead. Her heart was, and continues to be, — always beating and searching for the best positive experiences to offer to the students, parents, faculty, and staff. The kind of service that she promotes intends to deliver value and build lasting relationships with all those who come the school’s way.
There are many factors in ensuring that the school environment is always conducive to learning, such as school materials, furniture, facilities, and even the safety, comfort and well-being of each faculty and staff member. From the very beginning, Teacher Ana has upheld the highest possible standards of education, and demonstrated fervent will to uplift the dignity of the teaching profession.
As a way to give back to the community and the world, she has created a culture of true generosity, kindness and love. Teacher Ana has highlighted how the selfless act of service should not be limited within the confines of the home, the community, or the company, but has to transcend to all of humanity. It is in this light that she encourages all the Mighty Men and Women of Brightwoods School to go out, reach out, and pay it forward – to live a life dedicated to service to humanity.
The legacy that our founder is creating is one that beats for others – a call that encourages us to be kinder, to be open-hearted, to be trusting, and most importantly, to be Love itself.