"If you love and enjoy your work, the journey is easy. That is how my journey is in SFC," says President Sahlee.

When she started working in Saint Ferdinand College in June 1975, all she had in mind was to serve with dedication and commitment. The positions she has held were not really planned or dreamed of. They jut came.

She started her formal schooling at Ilagan Eas Central School and continued herr teenage years journey at Isabela High School then, now Isabela National High School. Moving forward to a more serious path, she enrolled at Saint Ferdinand College and took up Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education which she finished in 1975 as Cum Laude. This is attributed to her active mind, her insatiable search for reasons for things, her passion and love for education.

President Sahlee took up her Master of Arts in Education in her Alma Matter - Saint Ferdinand College, and finished it in 1982. She also had special trainings in Educational Leadership and Supervision at Saint Louis University for one summer term and also had special trainings on Advance Research and Statistics at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1986 and 1988. In 1994, she earned her degree in Doctor of Philosophy in Education at Saint Paul University, Tuguegarao City.

From her humble beginnings as a classroom teacher from 1975 to 1986, she was designated as Acting Principal of the Elementary Department in 1987. Her dedication to her work was highly recognized and was then promoted as Dean of Education in 1988; Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Criminology until 1994; Dean of Graduate School in 1995 and Dean of Education from 1995 to 1997. She was appointed Vice President for Academic Affairs in 1998 concurrent Dean of the Graduate School and Research Director which she held until 2006. In 2007, she stood as full-time VPAA until she was appointed President on June 12, 2008.

As A President, she starts and ends her work in school with her usual supervisory rounds in the Campus. When asked about the difference in her work now that she is President, she said, "It's all the same. It's just that, now as a President. I have wider scope of responsibility and I have the final say." 

President Salome S. Cariño is the eldest of 11 children of Simeon M. Solomero, a retired Municipal Treasurer and Severa S. Salvador, a retired Public School Teacher. She was born on August 19, 1954, year of the horse, which symbolizes optimism and good leadership; attributes which are portrayed by her for she always looks at the positive side of things. She works on her own and she can lead people. She is happily married to Mr. Cornelio L. Cariño, an Administrative Officer III of the Department of Education, Division of Isabela. She is blessed with three good, responsible and successful children namely: Catherine, the eldest and a lawyer by profession; Chrystel Maria Dolores, the middle child, a bank teller married to Mr. Dom Principe; and Cirilo Dondon II, the youngest and the only son, a System Developer married to Daphnee Dayao who is now in Australia. She has two bubbly, beautiful and intelligent grandchildren, Andrae Sealtiel and Andreana Zuriel Principe.

The little time she has for her family is well-spent. These are usually on wekkends and holidays. They drive out together as a family. During her free time, she does housekeeping , gardening, sleeping and also treating herself to the parlor. "I am a very simple person, hardworking and a silent worker," she said. 

Our President is a wide reader. She reads a lot but has no particular favorite book and author. "I just read any material I come across. I build my own library of professional books," she remarked. 

Aside from reading books and working, President Sahlee is also a music lover. "Yes, I love listening to music, I like to sing and dance but honestly, I can't memorize or complete a song without a copy," she added. 

Having a very responsible loving and understanding husband, good and successful children, and healthy and intelligent grandchildren are all that make her married life happy. For her professional life, being able to contribute to the good of the organization is what makes her happy and fulfilled.

It is indeed quite complicated to maintain good public relations in this chaotic and competitive world. But as a President, the immediate thing she would want to do and continue doing is to establish a good relationship among all stakeholders - teachers, students, parents, administrators where there is a nurturing, loving and caring culture. "I also want to see all personnel render service with a smile and make a difference," sh stated.

For our President, the acronym SFC means Sure First Class and also School for Followers of Christ as Father Nitoy puts it. Being the 8th President of Saint Ferdinand College and appointed in 2008, she is indeed a lucky person knowing that number 8 is considered by most as a lucky number. But she does not rely on pure luck. For her, "What you become is more of what you make it." As for her guiding principle in life, "Do your work with passion and dedication and God will do the rest." What she has become for the past 33 years of her stay in Saint Ferdinand College is truly the evidence.

Source: The Gazette Staff
Title: Pages in President Sahlee's Life
By: Sheila Marie C. Cua