Admin chief competes for high marks, emerges as instructor of year

13 Mar 2013 | Lance Cpl. Justin A. Rodriguez

Gunnery Sgt. Juan R. Ortegon, the academics chief at the Personnel Administration School was named the Marine Corps Combat Service Support School Instructor of the Year for excellence, and demonstrating superior performance in the classroom at Camp Johnson, a satellite installation of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, March 13.

Col. Paul F. Bertholf, the school’s commanding officer, awarded Ortegon top honors for standing out among his fellow instructors.

Instructors from financial management, logistics operations, personnel administration and supply school competed in an event to test their teaching abilities by requiring them to teach a lesson from a list of topics using different instructional methods.

“Competing for instructor of the year gets nerve wracking,” said Ortegon. “It tests your limits to see where you can go, and how far you can go. It teaches you to persevere and do it.

“You have to sacrifice a lot of time with your family to prep for these courses,” said Ortegon.

Each competitor instructed a group of 15 students provided from each school’s Marines who were awaiting training. An evaluation team comprised of personnel throughout the commands judged each period of instruction.

Keeping Marines interested is, was and will always be important for an instructor, and was part of the competitor’s grade.

Some methods to keep interest and teach a period of instruction include the informal lecture method and the participation method.

“Never in a million years did I think I would do something like this,” said Ortegon. “I just came in here ... and went to work.”

The competition is an annual event dating back the the early 1980s. Winning the award was a surprise, but Ortegon received it gracefully.

“I keep it humble,” said Ortegon.