Public school officials, students, and employees will celebrate the 2013 CNMI Education Month in advance to coincide the occasion with the upcoming silver anniversary of the Commonwealth public education system.
Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan, Ed.D., disclosed that PSS will be holding the Education Month celebration next month instead of doing it traditionally in November, in time for the celebration of PSS’ 25th year anniversary.
The law that established the public school system as an autonomous department was enacted on Oct. 25, 1978, during the time of former governor Pete Tenorio.
Sablan disclosed that a reenactment of the signing by the former governor is being planned and that they have already gotten a positive response from Tenorio.
PSS will also recognize previous Board of Education members, education commissioners, and school administrators who have played pivotal role in the continued success of public education on the islands.
PSS has had six education chiefs since its inception. Henry Sablan was the first education commissioner and transitioned the then-Department of Education into a public school system. He was followed by Dr. Elizabeth Rechebei and was succeeded by William Torres. The late Dr. Rita Inos took over from Torres, followed by Dr. David Borja. In 2008, Dr. Sablan was appointed to the position.
“There are so many wonderful people that really have been part of CNMI-PSS. They have made a lot of impact to where we are today and we want to recognize them,” said Sablan, who herself will also mark her 25th year this year with PSS.
Saipan Tribune learned that the organizing committee for the special occasion is Garapan Elementary School, headed by principal Paulette Sablan.
According to Sablan, there will be several events lined up, one of which is the Education Day event on Oct. 25 on Saipan; Oct. 24 on Tinian; and Oct. 23 on Rota. There will be no classes on these days.
From the usual separate awarding rites for Teacher of the Year, Support Staff of the Year, Counselor of the Year, and other educational awardees, Sablan said that all awardees will be honored on Oct. 25. A final venue has yet to be determined.
In the days leading to the celebration, there will be essay, logo, and theme competitions for students district-wide.
PSS has an average of over 10,000 students and more than 900 employees each school year. It has 19 campuses on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.