The Public School System Board offered current Human Resources director Cynthia Deleon Guerrero the position of Commissioner of Education last Wednesday.
Guerrero accepted the offer yesterday.
“I have received an offer to serve as the commissioner of education beginning on Nov. 21. I will be accepting the offer and I have already communicated my acceptance of the offer to the Board of Education chair,” said Guerrero.
Guerrero said that there are only a few things that she wishes to address such as the recruitment of teachers.
“We definitely have our challenges with recruitment of qualified teachers. One of the things that I would like to look at to address that particular concern would be the recruitment and what we offer to our teachers,” said Guerrero.
Guerrero said the retention of teachers in the CNMI must also be addressed.
“The problem is not only recruitment but also retention—what we can offer to new teachers as well as those who have been serving with us. Typically, we’re talking about salary, so those are definitely what we’d really like to visit with the management team and the [BOE] board.”
Besides the growing manpower problems of the educational system, Guerrero does not plan to make any severe changes.
“One of the things that I have shared with the leadership team this morning is that we are going to continue the work that we are doing,” she said.
“There are several strategic priorities that have been identified by the team and we’re not removing any of them. We’re moving forward and remaining steadfast in our focus to accomplish our goals for the system. As of right now, those are still our primary goals,” said Guerrero.
Guerrero succeeded former Education commissioner Dr. Rita Sablan, who retired from the position last Aug. 19.
Guerrero has been PSS’ director of human resources since November 2013. Prior to working for the PSS, Guerrero was teaching at the Northern Marianas College’ School of Education. She also has served as a member of the NMC Board of Regents since October 2015.
Guerrero got her Master of Education in International Teaching at the Framingham State College, with a GPA of 3.97. Guerrero also has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education as well as associate degree in both Liberal Arts and Early Childhood Education from NMC.