Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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Former flight attendant now develops youth as ‘Teacher Nelia’

The founder of the CIE British School believes in the Pearl Principle, or using adversity to bring out the ‘gem’ in each individual
/ 05:01 AM January 10, 2018

CIE primary school students —PHOTOS BY MANDY NAVASERO

“Teacher Nelia” Sarcol

Nelia Cruz Sarcol is a vibrant person who started her career as a flight attendant, then doffed her wings to go back to university, graduated magna cum laude and received awards from two prestigious international honor societies in the United States.

Afterward, she founded the Centre for International Education (CIE) British School, recognized by the University of Cambridge International Examinations, UK. Nelia, now known as “Teacher Nelia,” calls it “The School for Leaders.”


The University of Cambridge, established in 1207, is one of the oldest and most distinguished universities in the world. Its International Examinations is the world’s largest provider of high-quality, leading edge qualifications that meet the ongoing demands of employers and educators across the world.

The CIE British School awards British International General Certificates of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and General Certificates of Education (GCE) A Level qualifications to its high school and pre-university students. To date, there are three campuses: Makati, Cebu and Tacloban.


College bachelor degrees have been added, as well as a master’s degree in Management. The current CIE Non-Academic Programs that complement the rigors of academics are likewise impressive: art, violin, swimming, aikido, fencing, golf and travel.

Patriotic book

A handsome structure that houses the CIE British School main campus on President Magsaysay Avenue in Cebu symbolizes the vision and dedication built into this school by Teacher Nelia. It would be difficult to put in a nutshell all of her accomplishments, but a review of a simple but patriotic book provides an insight into what drives this gem of a woman.

Students at the CIE British School

“The Pearl Principle,” authored by Teacher Nelia and published in 2008 by the CIE Global Colleges, Inc., revolves around the life cycle of the oyster, and how it gives birth to the pearl. It recounts how microorganisms invade the oyster and make it secrete nacre to protect itself.

Out of this unique natural event, the beautiful, precious pearl emerges, as well as its story of inspiration.

Nelia likens these irritants to adversities which constantly challenge Filipinos, but which they can transform into opportunities to improve themselves as a people and a nation.

Nelia, to this day, espouses the Pearl Principle as a guiding post for herself, her school, and the people around her. She looks at it as a movement anyone can join or dedicate one’s self to, in the continuing effort to create a progressive nation and citizenry.


To quote the description of Nelia’s CIE British School, The School of Leaders: “It is a center of excellence that develops creative people who are imbued and equipped with outstanding academic skills, innovative thinking, pioneering spirit, entrepreneurial mind-set and strength of character to make a lasting contribution to improve the quality of life as enlightened generative leaders and channels in social transformation.” —CONTRIBUTED

Visit www.cie.edu.

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