Personnel Administration teacher shows great leadership skills in classroom, wins award

16 Apr 2014 | Cpl. Joshua W. Grant

Gunnery Sgt. Hector Vicente was awarded as the Instructor of the Quarter and Instructor of the Year for Personnel Administration School and Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools Instructor of the Year aboard Camp Johnson, March 20.

Vicente’s hard work and dedication earned him the awards for 2013, bringing PA school its second consecutive win.

He was judged not only on his classroom abilities, but also on his mentorship to junior Marines.

“I first competed for Instructor of the Quarter last year, and I never thought I would win,” said Vicente. “I’m very humbled by these awards. I know the caliber of Marines who I competed against, and I’m proud of all of them.”

Vicente became an instructor at the Personnel Administration School in August 2013.

“Being able to come back as a teacher is extremely rewarding, but at the same time challenging,” said Vicente. “You learn everything at the school house and the fleet. Bringing it all back and teaching it at the basic level brings difficulty. All of the instructors walk away with the knowledge that whatever students they have may end up working for them.”

Vicente graduated Personnel Administration School in 1995 and served as a unit diary clerk for Marine Wing Communications Squadron 18 in Okinawa, Japan. He later deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit as an administration chief and became an instructor at the Sergeants Course aboard Camp Johnson.

“I never thought I would come back to PA School to teach,” said Vicente. “After being an instructor at Sergeants Course, I realized I liked teaching a lot because I could take what I learned and pass it on to the next generation. I jumped when they gave me an opportunity to come be an instructor at PA School.”

Vicente feels it wasn’t only being a good instructor what helped him achieve his awards, it was being the best person and Marine he could be.

“Focus on being a leader,” said Vicente. “Don’t worry about winning an award or being recognized. Just be the best possible Marine at your job and in life and that’s how you will succeed.”

The instructors at PA School are encouraged to focus on student interaction and participation. With minimal guidance and assistance, Vicente encourages his students to be a bigger part of the class, said Master Sgt. Jeffrey Clay, chief instructor for Personnel Administration School.

“This is the second year in a row PA School won Instructor of the Year for MCCSSS,” said Clay. “It’s a big award and a huge accomplishment for (Vicente) and for the rest of the instructors. We hope to encourage them all to step up again next year and win three in a row.”
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