Orsini sworn in at OES as BOE member
In a move meant to make the moment a learning opportunity for school children, the inauguration ceremony for Andrew L. Orsini as a member of 18th CNMI State Board of Education representing Saipan was held at the Oleai Elementary School in front of its students last Friday morning.
The ceremony took place shortly after 10am and Orsini, who is on his last term as a BOE member, was joined by other BOE members as well as several of his family members as he took his oath, which Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio administered.
Orsini said he requested his inauguration to be at OES as all his children attended and graduated there, and his wife, Bertha, is currently a kindergarten teacher there.
In his speech, Orsini reflected on his journey from the beginning. He engaged the students in his speech as he had them say “and it happened!” every time he stated what he accomplished during his time as BOE chairman.
He said he restored working hours for all teachers and staff, put solar panels in all schools, preserved the local language in immersion programs, gave out free laptops and internet access to students during the pandemic, got vehicles to drop off students, increased salaries of behind-the-scenes support personnel, gave financial incentives to all PSS personnel and had another incentive for them, and ended the debate as to where Hopwood Middle School will be rebuilt.
Orsini said that he is currently working on the rebuilding of HMS, Da’ok Academy, and a Public School System Career & Technical Education Program center at Marianas High School.
He said he will continue to come up with solutions despite the difficult times ahead as “There’s no ARPA funds to be given, no PUA to help us, no lifeboat to save us.” Knowing that, he said “My job for the next four years will be to keep the Public School System afloat, and I will do my best to save the turtles and all the sea creatures from being swept by the current.”
“The work ahead will be difficult but I did not forget the real reason we’re all here—the students!” he said.
OES principal Jasylene Parico presided over the ceremony and said in her opening remarks, “Our students are ecstatic to witness this special event as this becomes part of their learning experience of being there. And in this case, being here and making a real connection of what is being taught in the classroom, and that is learning about the CNMI government, understanding the election process and knowing who are your elected leaders. [Today’s event] will add to the building blocks of what our students will need as they grow and learn to become active citizens of our island.”
Orsini was elected BOE chairman in January 2021. In January 2022, Gregory P. Borja was elected as the new BOE board chairman.
Orsini was re-elected to the BOE board during the Nov. 8 general election with 7,312 votes.