Yvonne “Boni” R. Pangelinan will be the acting education commissioner of the Public School System after being appointed by the CNMI State Board of Education. Pangelinan is the PSS’ commissioner for student support services.
Pangelinan, in an interview with Saipan Tribune, said that her appointment is temporary. She will take over as PSS head after Education Commissioner Rita A. Sablan retires at the end of her contract on Aug. 19, 2016.
“I received my appointment today [Monday] and it is up to the BOE how long will I stay as acting commissioner. I know, I’m just on an acting capacity until a new commissioner gets appointed,” said Pangelinan, who has been actively involved in the PSS Early Head Start program.
“I’m just going to do what I can for the students since we’re going to start the new school year next week. We live by the PSS’ motto of ‘Students First’ and we’re going to make sure our students will come first,” she added.
“I know this is for a little while and the position is a very challenging one, but I’m going to make the most of it and we’re going to move forward on how the commissioner [Sablan] prepared us. We’re going to follow the program that she started,” said Pangelinan.
Pangelinan is also in an online degree program where she’s finishing her doctorate in education. Asked if ever the position is offered to her permanently: “I have to finish my doctorate degree first.”
Board of Education chair Herman T. Guerrero said he’s fully supporting Pangelinan’s appointment in an acting capacity. “She is a very capable woman to take the helm of acting-ship. I fully support her in that capacity and had the respect of her colleagues and associates. Right now she’s focusing her attention to the opening of the school year.”
The BOE chair said they are still in the process of accepting applicants for the position to be vacated by Sablan next week. Candidates must have earned their doctorate degree.
“First we need to review the job descriptions and make a job vacancy announcement that will most likely go for a month,” said Guerrero.
The board will review prospective applicants and also conduct interviews before making the final selection and appointment,” he added.
Sablan, last month, decided not to have her contract renewed and chose to retire instead that, according to her, has been long overdue. She was a former principal at Garapan Elementary School and replaced David Borja, who failed to complete his four-year term at the helm of PSS, in 2009.