The topnotcher of this year’s Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) for the secondary level is a mathematics wizard who wants to share his passion for math.
Percival Byron S. Bueser, with a grade of 94, bested the 15,223, out of 38,433, examinees who passed the March LET for high school teachers.
As a student at Manila Science High School, Bueser joined and won a number of math competitions here and abroad.
But in college, he took up nursing at the urging of his parents, who wanted him to pursue a medical degree afterwards.
“If I had my way, I really wanted to take [a degree in] math 100 percent,” Bueser said.
At Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, the nursing student did not lose his passion for math, representing his school in several collegiate competitions.
These included the annual PUP (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) Math Max competition (formerly PUP National Search for Math Wizard) that Bueser topped for three consecutive years since he was a freshman in 2007.
For this feat, he was asked to be a judge in the competition last October.
By the time he got his nursing degree in April 2011, Bueser was sure he was not cut out to be a nurse or doctor.
“[When] I went back to math, I had gained an additional purpose,” he said.
He said that, reading mathematical problem-solving books, it occurred to him that perhaps he could help others see math as he saw it.
“I thought, was it possible for other people to do these things if they knew about it (math) and, if yes, how would they know about it? That’s what gave me the drive,” he said.
Bueser did not bother to take the nursing board exam after graduation. He taught in a tutorial center for five months until October 2011 when he enrolled at Philippine Normal University (PNU) to earn the required 18 units of education subjects to qualify to take the LET.
He said he did private tutoring and took online writing jobs to finance his studies.
He also continued to be asked to judge some of the math competitions he had joined before and invited as speaker and trainer at math-related seminars.
In June, he enrolled in a diploma course in mathematics teaching at the University of the Philippines Open University.
“I could [go on] to a master’s degree. I’m doing this so I can formalize my being a math teacher. I really want this,” Bueser said.
He said he felt well-prepared to take the LET after attending a PNU review class.
Bueser said he and his family had not yet gotten around to celebrating his accomplishment. What was important was he was now certain he was going to pursue a career in math.