An Easter egg design, created by Jeroen Montenejo, a 7th grader from Hopwood Middle School, was one of the many egg designs featured this year at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House.
Montenejo’s design layered a latte stone behind an image of Saipan, with birds on the left side, plumeria flowers on the side, and mwars mwars around it, plus an image of a girl that is symbolic of Mother Nature and a heart “for the love we have for the CNMI.” He said he and his brother, Jerico, chose blue as the background because it represents the CNMI flag. All that made to fit a single egg.
“The way I came up with this design was how Saipan really felt like as a community,” he said.
Schools across the nation were invited to decorate an egg design representing their state or territory at the “White House Easter Egg Roll,” which is an annual event held April 22 or every Easter Monday at the White House in Washington, D.C. for children ages 13 and below. Montenejo’s egg design was chosen to represent the CNMI. President Donald J. Trump and first lady Melania Trump led this year’s celebration.
Montenejo’s teacher, Riya Nathrani, heard of the opportunity through Hopwood’s school principal and the Office of the Commissioner, who were contacted about it by the U.S. Department of Education.
“Hopwood students were asked to submit entries and I submitted Montenejo’s because he’s my student so the school chose it to represent the NMI,” Nathrani said.
The decorated eggs were displayed as guests entered the White House’s South Lawn and Ellipse to illustrate the vast footprint of the Easter Egg Roll.
The Easter Egg Roll dates back to 1878 under the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes. The tradition was sustained by subsequent U.S. Presidents.
Hopwood Middle School was given the Easter Egg Roll design challenge in the CNMI because it is a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics-centered school, Nathrani said. The design was required to be emblematic of the state/territory and include state symbols such as the state flag, bird, and flower.