Over 80 administrative and support staff participated in the Public School System’s first ever administrative staff professional development training held over the weekend at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan.
PSS has always hosted professional development training for its teachers but last Saturday’s event was specifically intended for administrative support PSS personnel. A total of 85 administrative staff from Saipan, Tinian, and Rota attended the training that included topics such as innovative technology training, mindfulness training, customer service training, and even non-violent verbal and non-verbal de-escalation techniques, among several others.
“We believe that learning catalyzes growth and improvement. Over the years, PSS has created opportunities for its teacher, administrators, counselors, and librarians; however, there has never been a focused, district-wide professional development just for administrative support staff who play a critical role in the daily operations of PSS schools and offices,” PSS director of instructional technology Dr. Bobby Cruz noted in a statement.
PSS associate commissioner Dr. Yvonne Pangelinan also pointed out that with April being the Administrative Professionals Month, it is only fitting for PSS to have developmental training for the support staff.
“We wanted to offer an opportunity to the administrative professionals in our school district—the ones in the school buildings and in the central office—to engage in some training so that they can improve their skills,” Pangelinan said in an interview.
Pangelinan also spoke about de-escalation techniques at the training.
“It’s really all about them, and they are usually in the office taking care of everything and they never have the chance to come together and have an opportunity to grow professionally, so the students and support services wanted to give them that chance to gain more skills,” she said.
One of the attendees, PSS finance office accountant Joserine Mendiola, said, “We’ve needed this for awhile.”
Mendiola has been with PSS for a total of five years.
“It’s not very often that they gather administrative professionals in a venue like this to brainstorm, collaborate, and try and find ways to grow,” she said. “A lot of the training revolved around a fixed and growth mindset thinking and how to expand your perspective on daily challenges.”
“It’s nice to hear that there are other people in the organization who are going through the same challenges and it’s nice to get feedback from people who have overcome those challenges,” she added.
“We as [administrative staff] don’t have trainings as opposed to other agencies where they send their [staff] abroad,” said Personal Responsibility Education Program administrative officer Crispin Deleon Guerrero Jr., who has been with PSS for three years. “With this program, PSS is able to give us the resources we need and also allows to reflect on how important we are as well as their expectations.”