The Directress

How I’d Like to be Introduced (J. C. Yao)
By T. Mich

One might say it is easy to put up a school. With the right amount of resources, anyone can do it. But to put up a school and keep it running for almost 40 years, now that’s a different story! That would be the story of a no ordinary man, or woman for that matter. That would be the story of Josephine C. Yao--‐ owner and directress of the first Filipino--‐Chinese nursery school in Metro Manila, Mother Goose Nursery, The Play and Learn School.

No dream is far too impossible or unattainable for Josephine C. Yao, or Teacher Yao as everyone calls her. Even in her younger years, Teacher Yao was every inch an achiever. She graduated Salutatorian of her high school batch at St. Stephen’s 1963 and received an award of Phi Kappa Phi when she finished her college degree in Family Life and Child Development (FLCD) in the University of the Philippines, Diliman in 1967. She spent the three (3) years right after graduation at her Alma Mater, St. Stephen’s. The 1st year as Administrative Staff (1967-1968) and the 2nd and 3rd year as English Supervisor at the Kindergarten Department (1968-1970). After that, in 1974, Mother Goose Nursery was born. And the rest as they say is history.

Mother Goose Nursery started with only nine students, and two of the nine were her own children. Now, the school has more than 250 students every year, including students of the Thursday and Saturday classes for Enrichment Program of intermediate classes.

In 2004 April, Mother Goose Nursery was the first franchisee of Sakamoto Math Method. Since then it has been competing and winning in the worldwide Sakamoto Math Competition. Latest of which was in Bali, Indonesia in April 2013.

In 2006, the school received “The Best Nursery School” National Product Quality Excellence Award. The school is best known for its low teacher--‐ student ratio, its child--‐centered approach to teaching, its advanced teaching materials, and its standard of excellence. In June 2007 Mother Goose Nursery was televised on GMA7 “Unang Hirit” on – (How to choose a Good School?) -

Teacher Yao has definitely made a valuable contribution in the field of education. She inspires us. In March 2008, she was also awarded as one of the most notable women achievers in the field of education by the Filipino--‐Chinese Federation of Business and Professional Women of the Philippines. She was featured in “When She Takes The Lead” (Profiles of Women Who Have Shaped Society).

In the year 2009, after Typhoon Ondoy ravaged the entire school building, Teacher Yao was at the brink of giving up but she persevered. In 2010 she was able to rebuild the school. And by October of this year, Mother Goose is opening another branch in San Juan. Truly, the history of Mother Goose lives up to its new slogan, “Now the biggest, still the best.”

Mother Goose had been featured on IBC 13 “FIL-CHI Presentation several times.

Not only is Mrs. Yao is an educator and a leader, but she is also a brilliant mother to her two (2) children, a very caring grandmother to her six (6) grandchildren, and a loving wife to her husband Ben, who has given her strength all these years.

She wears so many hats yet she does this with great ease.

And now she has bagged yet another award. On July 21, this coming Sunday, she will be the recipient of an Outstanding Alumni Award in the Educational Service Category. This award will be given by her alma mater, St. Stephen’s High School. This is no simple award as it is given only to those alumni who St. Stephen’s have selected based on professional successes and civic involvement.

One would wonder where she gets all her energy--‐ what drives her to get up in the morning? Perhaps it’s the comfort of a family who loves her unconditionally or perhaps it’s her passion towards life. It’s not every day that you see a person full of passion and dedication. Josephine C. Yao is one of the few people you will know who will inspire you with her determination. Everyday, in our lives, we meet a lot of people. But when we are lucky, we come across someone who’ll inspire us to be the best we can be. And people who know Teacher Yao know that feeling! When asked what she would like to see on her epitaph, she said “A teacher to the Last” – That’s how dedicated she is!