Leonora Varela, PhD

Speech and Language Therapy

Expert's Profile

Leonora P. Varela is a full-time faculty of Philippine Normal University with an academic rank of Associate Professor V. She holds a doctorate in Guidance and Counseling at PNU-Manila. From the same university, she completed her degree of Master of Arts in Child Study, Certificate in Preschool Specialization, and Certificate in Teaching Program. She also holds a degree of Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication ,Major in Broadcasting at the Lyceum of the Philippines. For this reason, she became a TV talent of Batibot, a popular children’s television show in the early ’90s.

Serving PNU for more than two decades, Dr. Varela has been recently the Office of Admissions Director, and served also as the  University Coordinator for ISO Certification. Her office is responsible for ensuring that the university adheres to the ISO standard and upholds the quality management system. Likewise, she attended training for ISO and recently completed and passed the Internal Quality Audit Training.  She is also a faculty of the College of Graduate Studies and Teacher Education Research, handling course subjects for Early Childhood Education majors both in the graduate and undergraduate level.

As an educator who wants to be continuously updated professionally, Dr. Varela is a member of the following professional organizations: Pi Lambda Theta, Kapisanan ng mga Guro SA Pilipinas (TOP), Inc., United Professionals for the Development and Advancement of Teacher Education (UPDATE); Philippine Research Association for Early Childhood Education (PRAECE), and Society of Early Childhood Education of the Philippines (SECEP).

Dr. Varela is also known as Teacher Cleo to her students. She started as a kindergarten teacher at UP Manila Creche and Child Center and at the Institute of Teaching and Learning, the laboratory school of PNU. She was awarded as the Most Outstanding Preschool Teacher by the National Association for Early Childhood Educators (2008), Metrobank Outstanding Teacher Finalist (2010 ), and the grand prize winner of ABS-CBN’s Super Ma’am (2001). The many years of experience working with young children led her to compose songs as an avenue for teaching and learning. Up to this present moment, her music album, Halina’t Magsaya Kasama si Teacher Cleo, Umawit  at Matuto Kasama si Teacher Cleo, Alamin at Matuto Kasama si Teacher Cleo, Teacher Cleo and the Community friendsand the Alphabet Friends, a  compilation of her original children’s songs is commonly used by early childhood educators in both public and private schools all over the Philippines. 

Recently, she ranked secnd as the Top Performing Faculty of Philippine Normal University (2020). She also received awards as the Most Outstanding Teaching Performance (2016) under the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Faculty Education Incentive Award (2015), PNU Most Outstanding Faculty (2014), Most Outstanding Faculty of the Institute of Teaching and Learning (2013), and Outstanding Teaching Performance (2010-2014).

She is also a textbook author and a sought-after resource speaker both local and international for different topics related to Early Childhood Education, music and movement, creativity, teacher education, and parenting. But most of all – a loving and supportive wife to her husband and a mother to her three children.

Credentials & Highlights


BA Mass Communication, Major in Broadcasting

Lyceum of the Philippines

Philippine Normal University-Manila

Certificate in Teaching Program

Philippine Normal University-Manila

Certificate in Preschool Specialization

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College of Graduate Studies and Teacher Education Research Philippine Normal University (National Center for Teacher Education)


Office of Admissions Philippine Normal University (National Center for Teacher Education)

University Coordinator – for ISO Certification

Office of the Vice President for Research, Planning and Quality Assurance Philippine Normal University (National Center for Teacher Education)

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