Dandan Middle School promoted 101 students at Saipan World Resort’s Taga Ballroom yesterday morning. Themed, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there,” parents, family members, and friends filled the standing-room only venue to witness the students take their next step.
School principal Lynn Mendiola recognized the hardship the students and their families faced as the start of the school year was met with destruction from Typhoon Soudelor.
“Our campus was on the brink of closing down, homes were destroyed, and to this day water isn’t fully recovered at all villages. All of us were affected by this tragedy one way or another and yet look where we are at today,” she said. “We have successfully completed this school year. We rebuilt, we unified, and we recovered.
She added, “The fine young men and women accomplished a lot despite the hardship the island was facing.”
Education Commissioner Dr. Rita A. Sablan, Board of Education chair Herman T. Guerrero, Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog, school officials, and dignitaries joined in congratulating the students and their parents.
“We are celebrating the investment they have done for themselves and for you,” the commissioner told those in attendance. “Thank all those who have been at your side, who guided you, and have held your hands to lead you to where you are today.”
The Board of Education Award was presented to Kobe Mendiola Deleon Guerrero and the Commissioner’s Award was given to Ro’anna Tudela. Deleon Guerrero and Tudela were hailed as their class valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively.
DMS student council president Britney Espinosa received the prestigious leadership award for her involvement in school and community activities.
In his remarks, Deleon Guerrero said he is “ecstatic” to see the fruits of his labor.
“DMS has provided many opportunities to challenge myself. These opportunities are what nurtured my knowledge and skills,” he added. “It was an enjoyable experience…all of my achievement would not have been possible without the positive and encouraging guidance from the people around me.”
For her part, Tudela expressed her gratitude for her parents, teachers and friends. “We are now ready to take on the next stage of our lives. We made it this far and we know we can make it even farther, she said. “…I know that we can all achieve great things.”
The students concluded their promotion ceremony with a performance of Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”