MCS honors many during Catholic Schools Week


During last week’s celebration of Catholic Schools Week, Mount Carmel School honored many individuals who have, in one way or another, embodied the school’s values of faith, excellence, and success, and have fulfilled the school’s mission to “educate the whole person to see with Christ’s eyes.”

AlumKnight of the Year

At Saturday’s “Night with the Knights” AlumKnight dinner, the school awarded its AlumKnight of the Year to 1968 AlumKnight, business leader Jesus V. “JM” Deleon Guerrero. Upon receiving the award, Deleon Guerrero remembered his parents who not only sacrificed many things in order to send him to Mount Carmel, but also helped in building the school during its early years.

In presenting the award, school president Galvin Deleon Guerrero recognized JM Deleon Guerrero for being one of the founding fathers of the CNMI’s most important industry, tourism. As Deleon Guerrero put it, “He has succeeded in business. He has laid the foundation for our most important industry. He has given back to his home island hundredfold. …And he has done all of this without bravado, without fanfare, without ego. He is a humble and respectful family man that I have grown to admire deeply and am honored to call a fellow AlumKnight.”

Class of the Year

At the “Night with the Knights” event, the school also announced the Class of the Year award, which was given to the school’s graduating Class of 1976. The award recognizes classes that have given back to their alma mater in a substantial manner and that represent the school’s mission and philosophy. In addition to helping in various community outreach events, in 2016 the Class of 1976 started a fundraising drive for the school as part of its 40th reunion efforts.

Members of the Class of 1976 were ecstatic to win the award, and pledged to continue giving back to their alma mater.

Teacher and Staff of the Year

On Tuesday, the school announced the 2017 Teacher of the Year, fifth grade teacher HeJin Lee, and Staff of the Year Marlon Villafuerte. Lee started teaching at the school three years ago, after earning her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Northern Marianas College. Since then, she has continued her education by completing various educational technology and literacy courses.

Villafuerte was recognized for his invaluable contributions to the school. Galvin Deleon Guerrero was especially thankful for his service. “With a good heart, he helps in many ways, from repairing air conditioners, keeping our campus safe and clean, to setting up for various school events,” Deleon Guerrero said. “Our school thrives because of his unsung support.”

Attorney Joseph Taijeron and social studies teacher Rosiky Camacho were also granted honorary diplomas, declaring them AlumKnights for their 12 years of service at the school.

Parents of the Year

At Friday’s Family Night celebration, the school recognized Parents of the Year: Armela Ham and Jocelyn Toaskas. The school recognized the valuable contributions of parent volunteers like them. Galvin Deleon Guerrero shared that, “These parents have generously given their time, attention, and commitment to Mount Carmel School. Their acts of volunteerism are necessary for Mount Carmel School to achieve its mission of educating the whole person to see with Christ’s eyes. These contributions of time and energy also help build our school as a community of faith, knowledge and service.” (MCS)

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