Interim education commissioner Glenn Muna assured the Board of Education yesterday that the CNMI Public School System has filled all the teaching positions needed for school year 2018-2019.
During yesterday’s board meeting on Capital Hill, Muña said that PSS did lose some teachers but are going to welcome new ones, giving them enough instructors for all public schools when classes start next week.
“Altogether, we were able to hire 27 new teachers. …We’re fully staffed, with the exception of Early Head Start where one teacher resigned last week due to medical reasons,” he said.
He added that EHS program director Lathania Santos has been doing interviews and they will be expediting the contract and other documents in order to get the new teacher on board before the start of EHS classes. “We only have one school [that] still has a pending teacher-to-hire as a result of a last-minute resignation. Their human resources are currently working with the principal and we already had a recommendation that we submitted. We’re routing and expediting the papers to have the staff report to work before the opening of the school year.”
Aside from teachers, PSS also hired two instructors for the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, four coaches, two classroom teachers for Head Start, two Special Education teachers, and one Early Intervention occupational therapist.
“This is just to fill in the vacancies. This year, we’re very pleased with the eligibility list and for the first time in many years, we actually have a sufficient number of teachers to fill the vacancies that we have,” said Muña.
“A lot of the principals weren’t stressing over the summer, since many of them have already hired their teachers way before today [Wednesday]. Our principals are welcoming them and providing professional development.”
He added that they are also in the process of completing the student achievement academic report that the principals and vice principals will be presenting this week. “Once we finish dissecting and segregating the data, we will be presenting them to the board.”
Muña said school administrators have been working closely with their teachers and staff after returning from their summer vacations to ensure the school opening would run smoothly.
In a separate interview, PSS assistant commissioner for instructional services Jackie Quitugua told Saipan Tribune that they are prepared for the Aug. 15 opening of classes and had just also finished with a professional development for their teachers.
“From staffing and facilities, [to] instructional materials, everything is good to go. We’re pretty busy but all the schools are ready to open,” Quitugua said.
Muña added that PSS would also have an opening celebration on Monday, Aug. 13, at the Marianas High School Gymnasium at 8am. It is for all teachers and staff. “We’re excited to kick off the school year. Hopefully, we can inspire the teachers to continue to make the difference this school year.”
Muña has invited BOE chair MaryLou S. Ada to give the welcoming remarks while the keynote speakers will be CNMI Superior Court Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio, BOE student representative Pionnah Gregorio, and Saipan Southern High School graduate Maria Guerrero.