March 24, 2002 - Pocono Record: Philippines RPCV Letitia Morse Lladoc wins Global Educator Award

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Philippines: Peace Corps Philippines: The Peace Corps in the Philippines: March 24, 2002 - Pocono Record: Philippines RPCV Letitia Morse Lladoc wins Global Educator Award

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Philippines RPCV Letitia Morse Lladoc wins Global Educator Award



Philippines RPCV Letitia Morse Lladoc wins Global Educator Award

Peace Corps vets honor local teacher

By ERIC MARK Pocono Record Writer

STROUDSBURG A local educator's lifelong devotion to teaching and embracing the best that all colors and cultures have to offer has garnered her a prestigious national award.

Letitia Morse Lladoc, a psychology and sociology teacher at Pocono Mountain High School, has received a Global Educator Award from the National Peace Corps Association, an organization of former Peace Corps volunteers.

Lladoc, 60, is one of only five educators in the nation to receive the honor this year.

Lladoc was singled out for having done "an outstanding job leading students to people, cultures, and nations of the world as well as to an understanding of their interdependence."

Lladoc, who has taught in the Pocono Mountain School District since 1980, founded and supervises Pocono Mountain's Peer Support Volunteer Program, a group that seeks to promote cultural understanding and harmony among the district's increasingly diverse student population.

"The district has grown and changed so much over the past several years," Lladoc noted. "That change is going to continue, and it's important that we all accept it and embrace it. I'm very proud that we have so many students here who have done that."

Lladoc experienced the mix and blend of different cultures first-hand. For 15 years, she lived and taught in the Philippines, which she first visited as a young Peace Corps volunteer.

The Peace Corps has played a large role in shaping Lladoc's life. "It permeates everything I do," Lladoc said. She joined the Corps soon after she graduated from Marywood College in Scranton.

Lladoc, a 1959 graduate of Stroudsburg High School, vividly remembers the day she left the Poconos to join the Corps.

It was Aug. 30, 1964. "I flew out of Scranton that day, and my life changed forever," she recalled wistfully.

From Scranton, Lladoc went to Chicago by way of New York. In Illinois, she received three months of intensive training to prepare her for her upcoming adventure in the Corps.

After a prospective assignment to Africa failed to materialize, she accepted what she thought would be a two-year assignment in the Philippines.

She spent the next 15 years there.

Lladoc spent two years working for the Corps in Ormoc City in the Philippine province of Leyte, teaching English as a second language in the public schools.

It was there she met a rising young politician named Jesse Lladoc.

After her Corps service ended, she and Jesse were married, and they stayed in the Philippines, where she continued teaching as they raised their two children.

The Lladocs returned to the United States in 1979 and settled in Stroudsburg. Letitia Lladoc, known as "Lettie" to her many friends, began teaching at Pocono Mountain the following year.

She plans to attend the Peace Corps' 40th anniversary celebration in Washington in June.

"If it hadn't been for the Peace Corps, my life would have been very different," Lladoc said. "I wish more people would take advantage of it. It would help them to accept and deal with diversity."

"The standard line you get from most Peace Corps veterans is that they got more from it than they gave," she added softly. "Well, that's true."



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Story Source: Pocono Record

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Awards; NPCA

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