A total of 120 members of Saipan Southern High School’s Class of 2019 received their diplomas last Thursday at the school’s grounds.
Class valedictorian, Natalie Montano, encouraged her fellow graduates to open themselves to “new ideas, experiences, and people.”
She recalled the lessons she learned from a Japanese anime film titled Kiki’s Delivery Service. Montano believes that the adventures her and her fellow graduates will take will “strengthen [their] skills and affirm [their] passion.”
As she concluded her speech, Montano said, “Find your own inspiration. Though your path in life may twist and turn, the magic inside will always be constant.”
Montano will pursue a major in environmental science.
Class salutatorian Ruth Park congratulated her fellow graduates for surviving “one of [the] most difficult moments in life.”
Park compared her class to Typhoon Soudelor and Super Typhoon Yutu stating that “just like the intensity of the two typhoons, we started strong and we have ended stronger.”
She expressed gratitude toward her teachers, counselors, friends, and family that supported and believed in her. “No one has ever pressured me to work hard for my grades. The only thing they did was believed in me,” she added.
Park also reminded her fellow graduates to be excited for their future and what lies ahead of them. She said, “Let’s have faith. Let’s be persistent. Let’s be resilient.”
She had so many feelings about being named the salutatorian. “I was so surprised, overwhelmed, happy, and honored to be the salutatorian,” Park said in an interview with Saipan Tribune.
Park will pursue a major in biology at San Diego Mesa College.
Montano also received the Board of Education Award and the Governor’s Leadership Award. Park also received the Commissioner of Education Award.
Patricia Aldan Atalig received the Principal’s Award.
The top 10 highest honors were Montano, Park, Mark Reginald Villanueva, Ayessa Joy Navarro, Jobelle Tabuena, Marchie Lynn Sayas, Andre Tomy Taitingfong, Kathleen Loise Lacanilao, Alexander Tudela, and George Michael Santos.