Despite having lost its campus in Chalan Piao in the devastation of Super Typhoon Yutu, the Herbert G. Hopwood Middle School still managed to bag half of six Public School System awards that honor valuable employees.
The 2019 CNMI Instructor of the Year award was awarded to Michael Berbes, the CNMI Teacher Aide of the Year plum went to Salote Kesol, and CNMI State Counselor of the Year award was presented to Jillian Pladevega—all of them from Hopwood.
The only PSS awards that Hopwood failed to get was the CNMI Teacher of the Year, which was awarded to Roselle I. Carreon of Oleai Elementary School, plus the as-yet-to-be-announced winner of the CNMI State Librarian of the Year.
The CNMI Teacher Aide of the Year award was a tie with Grace Belyea of Garapan Elementary School.
Hopwood’s Berbes also got the 2018 Instructor of the Year award last year, while Marjorie Kintol got the 2018 Counselor of the Year award.
The number of awards that have gone to Hopwood staff is a testament to the quality of education at the school, according to Education Commissioner Glenn Muña.
“If you have a supportive culture within the school, then your employees will tend to succeed. We have a strong administration [at Hopwood] that supports their teachers, students, and staff,” Muña said. “In order to be successful, you as a leader needs to support them,” referring to Hopwood principal Dr. Rizalina Liwag.
In a separate interview last week, Liwag said she is very happy that Hopwood has been receiving state-level awards for two years in a row now.
“We are very happy and very thankful to our teachers and staff because they do their best despite the challenges we face,” she said.
Hopwood Middle School is set to move to a new temporary campus next to the Koblerville Elementary School this Feb. 20, 2019. The move also signifies the school’s reversion to a full-day schedule.