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Mr. Roger Berment, the Form 6 coordinator for CAPE Pure Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, has been teaching at Fatima College for 13 years. He is responsible for guiding and assisting his colleagues in interpreting and disseminating the content of the Pure and Applied Mathematics Syllabi and for implementing the Internal Assessment Examinations and School Based Assessments.
In 2008, Mr. Berment and Ms. Roberts reignited the Applied Mathematics program at Fatima College, including modules on Statistics, Discrete Mathematics, Probability and Particle Mechanics. As a result, Fatima College has begun to re-emerge as an academic super-power in the field of Mathematics, now winning Additional and Open scholarships.
Mr. Berment’s accolades as a Math teacher do not end with his contribution to scholarships. More impressive are his students’ achievements at the prestigious International Mathematics Olympiads. In 2013, 2014 & 2015, the Trinidad and Tobago team consisting of only 4-6 members included two Fatima boys. They were selected from a pool of 3000 plus students and represented Trinidad & Tobago at the International Mathematics Olympiads in Columbia, South Africa and Thailand. Quite impressively, in 2015, Fatima copped the challenging Round II Team Prize at the Trinidad & Tobago Mathematics Olympiad Awards. The combined team score was the highest among all the schools that progressed to this difficult final stage.
Mr. Berment, fondly called ‘Rog’ by his peers has so far enjoyed a fantastic 2015. In March, he was awarded a scholarship by the University of Waterloo to attend the International Mathematics Teachers Conference 2015. This conference exposed him to modern teaching strategies and concepts being used internationally. He basked in the opportunity to visit the Quantum- Nano Technology Centre and to learn about the field of Quantum computing and the applications of Mathematics in the fields of Thermodynamics, Computer Graphics and Animation, Operations Research, Transportation, Inventory Management, Surgery Planning and Actuarial Science. For Rog, this was analogous to a child’s first visit to Disney Land. It was that exciting!
What shines through all Roger’s excitement at being exposed to so many great opportunities is his genuine desire to give his students the best. For him, teaching is not a job; it is a vocation. It is his duty to God. Rog leads a strong spiritual life, one of his personal mantras being “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
He believes that “Fatima is the cradle for future pioneers of our civilization” and treats his students as such. The linkages made with academics abroad will prove invaluable to Fatima College and Rog has already organized with a lecturer at the University of Waterloo, Professor D’Alessio to guest lecture at Fatima in Applied Mathematics.
What’s on the horizon for Mr. Berment? Well, he is soon to commence an online programme from the University of Waterloo, “Masters in Mathematics for Teachers”. This further undertaking by Rog truly underlines his drive to elevate his competence as a Math teacher and to be able to deliver the best for Fatima College students.
He expresses sincere gratitude to his fellow colleagues and students for their support over the years, in particular, Principal Fr. Gregory, Form 6 Dean Mrs. Duff and Head of Department Mrs. Dyer. He thanks FOBA for their “unending support and generosity” and is excited for the introduction of the SmartBoards in the classroom project which will facilitate his new teaching strategies.
Mr. Berment is my good friend and former teacher. He is a wonderful husband to his wife Donna and father to two beautiful kids, Mathieu, 5yrs old and Sarah, 13yrs old. I remember him as a teacher in 2005 being very timid. Now, he is at the fore, boldly moving Fatima forward in the field of Math. One common trait resonates – his genuine care for the students. Rog is a great man with a pure heart and Fatima College is truly blessed to have him.
By Stefan Roach