Two heads are better than one

Published February 13, 2021, 9:52 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

School heads Rollie and Annabelle Meniano put aside differences to achieve the same goals

She’s the boss and so is he.

(Photo from Rollie and Anabelle Meniano/ MANILA BULLETIN)

They manage two different public schools under the Department of Education (DepEd) but they live in the same house.

Meet Annabelle Corazon and Rollie Meniano from Santa Catalina, Negros Oriental.  

Annabelle, 53, is a School Principal I at the Cawitan Elementary School. Rollie, 50 is a Head Teacher III currently assigned at Jagna Elementary School.

She has been in service for 29 years and he, for the past 16 years.

Anabelle completed her Bachelor In Elementary Education at the Silliman University. Rollie completed his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education (BSAgEd)/Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (BSEEd) from Negros Oriental State University formerly Central Visayas Polytechnic College.

He first first saw Anabelle in a birthday party. Her first impression of him is that he is “religious, responsible and gentle.”

They decided to get married when he was 33 and she was 36. The Meniano couple has been married for 29 years now. They have 2 daughters and a son ages 16, 15 and 13.

As school heads, they find it hard not to talk about teaching. “We still talk about our work in school during our spare time, even during dinner-the meal that we most often eat together with our kids,” Anabelle said. “First we talk about some other things but it will all lead to talking about work,” she added.

While some teacher couples planned to work together, Rollie said that this was not the case for them.

“It was not by choice that we work together especially that I was first a Barangay Kagawad for 11 years and was only hired as a teacher one year after we got married,” he explained. In his last term, he decided to resign from his post “when the opportunity to be a teacher came.”

As school heads, Anabelle said they have different working styles. “He is more determined in what to achieve,” she explained.

Anabelle said she looks up to him when it comes to improving the physical appearance of the school. “In the academic side, he also gets the idea from me,” she added.

Despite their differences in work, Rollie said that they share the same goal: “to achieve what is best for the school where we are assigned.”

Since their house is an extension of their workplace, Anabelle said there are no “specific house or school rules related to our work” since their personal and professional lives go together.

While there are many advantages of a teacher marrying a fellow teacher, Anabelle admits that there are also some challenges. “Sometimes, if not often, we both don’t have personal time for our kids in helping them with their school work,” she said.

Fortunately, their children understand the nature of their work and are class achievers on their own. “We are happy to see them grow healthy, they are our treasures and we claim that they are the rewards of our hard work,” Anabelle said.

For Rollie, he sees no disadvantage in marrying a person with the same profession. “When a person is married to someone with the same profession, there is not a lot to adjust especially in schedules, routines and all,” he added.

Despite some challenges, Anabelle said she would still choose to marry a fellow teacher. “A husband who has the same work as mine can understand my work situation, ‘relate much!’, wika nga!” she ended.