Kicking off the first-ever virtual graduation in the school’s history, Tinian Junior/Senior High School principal Dionne Santos reflected on the many challenges the Class of 2020 had to overcome to get to the part where they finally graduated.
“For the past 11 years with many of you, I have had the honor and privilege to see you through the tough times and the best times as students,” said Santos.
That included surviving the devastation of Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018 and a global COVID-19 pandemic that has taken away the graduates’ last few remaining months of high school.
It was that resilience and grit that the people of Tinian honored on June 8 during the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, which started off with a motorcade for the graduates, with cars decorated with balloons and banners waving proudly. Following the lively procession was the presentation of awards and diplomas, which was held at the school itself.
Besides Santos, others who also shared inspirational remarks were Board of Education member Philip Mendiola-Long, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada, and Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan.
A total of 35 students graduated, 12 of them cadets in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program, five of whom were in the Top 10, including this year’s valedictorian, Anne Francesca Libut Sanchez, who is also the outgoing battalion commander.
This year’s Class of 2020 salutatorian, Deamarie Aubrey Rempillo Patio, is another ROTC cadet; she is the outgoing Public Affairs Officer (S5) and former S5 NCOIC.
Julia Raine Biton, who achieved No. 4 in the Top 10, is a former S5 and the outgoing battalion command sergeant major.
No. 7 in the Top 10 is headquarters company commander Charlene Grace Linis Danganan. No. 9 in this year’s Top 10 is Keyla Borja Flores, the outgoing battalion executive officer.
Also graduated are the hardworking cadets Joshua Masga, Angel Lagunay, Kyle Pabolario, Daynee Mavel Pascua, Jesse Aquiningoc, Phoebe Carreon, and Tyler Santos.
Following the addresses valedictory and salutatory speeches was the presentation of awards to Anne Francesca Libut Sanchez, Deamarie Aubrey Rempillo Patio, and Charlene Grace Linis Danganan. The ceremony ended with the traditional Turning of the Tassels. (Samantha Sandbergen)