Ada reelected as BOE chair

Atalig wants to enforce responsibilities strictly
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Board of Education chair Marylou Ada, center, at the BOE regular board meeting held yesterday on Capitol Hill. (Bea Cabrera)

The CNMI Board of Education unanimously agreed to maintain the status quo of elected officers in fiscal year 2018.

The agency that oversees the CNMI Public School System elected its officers for fiscal year 2018 yesterday making Marylou Ada the chairwoman, Janice Tenorio the vice chairwoman, and Herman Atalig as secretary/treasurer for another term during its first regular meeting of the year on Capitol Hill.

After Atalig’s reelection as secretary/treasurer, he expressed that he will assume the job only if the board follows the by-laws strictly.

“I am looking at the by-laws of the BOE, the duties and responsibilities… I would assume that job if we follow the by-laws because there is a strict duty for secretary and treasurer,” he said.

“I want my colleagues to support me…and review the by-laws because it has strict responsibilities and I would enforce those responsibilities,” he added

Ada assured Atalig that as the secretary/treasurer, he has the full support and cooperation of the board.

Before the nomination and election of the officers was reached, board members voiced out their opinions of having the same set of leadership in the board.

Atalig voiced out his thoughts when he said that members who will sit as officers of the board should be rotated.

“I totally feel that it should be rotated. I commend the present chair for doing a great job. However, we need to give other people an opportunity to be chair as Ada had been our chair four times already,” he said.

“Any of us can sit as chair if all of us unite and work as one team and my goal and dream is for us to work together… in my mind, I think Florine (Hofschneider) or Janice (Tenorio) be the chair to continue whatever Marylou (Ada) has not finished as her goals because we could all pitch in and help that person,” he added.

Atalig said that he doesn’t want to be chair and thinks that it’s time for Tinian and Janice Tenorio to be nurtured and mentored.

Hofschneider shared Atalig’s sentiments about the board leadership developing each board member.

“It (chair position) offers different point of view, different way of managing the board because the board as an entity sets the tone and not the chair. The chair simply administers what is needed to make it work… having the same chair should be done with the consent of every member,” she said.

“It’s truly fair that each one of us an opportunity… to be chair you need to be able to navigate the political scenery of the CNMI and I am not one of them so forget that. We need to be realistic of what we can and cannot do, our strengths and weaknesses,” she added

Board member Herman Guerrero said that every member is authorized to nominate any candidate they see fit.

“If they want somebody else they can nominate as that is a democratic system. Whether they like it or not, let’s move on and decide who has the votes. A nomination is a prerogative of every member of the board,” he said.

For the board chair position, Ada was first to be nominated and Tenorio second. However, the latter declined the nomination.

Tenorio thanked the members that nominated her but maintains that Ada should still be the chair. “I decline this time and maintain that Ada as chair,” she said.

In a later interview, Tenorio said the continuity of the officers is good for the Public School System, which BOE oversees.

“We will continue to support the initial start-up of projects, ongoing procedures and developments in the system…we have a very good team,” she said.

“I understand the rotation but I believe in continuing the (tenure) officers so as not to disrupt the continuing growth and shared goals with the administrators and teachers of our schools,” she added.

Bea Cabrera
Bea Cabrera, who holds a law degree, also has a bachelor's degree in mass communications. She has been exposed to multiple aspects of mass media, doing sales, marketing, copywriting, and photography.

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