The Public School System proclaimed yesterday the week of May 11 to May 15 as “Support Our Heroes-to-Teachers Week” at the CNMI State Board of Education conference room.
Their goal is to show support to those in its Heroes-to-Teachers program, its Leadership Corps, those in the U.S. Guard or Reserves, JROTC instructors, and student enlistees deployed throughout the world.
Board chair Herman Guerrero signed the proclamation in front of a crowd of PSS staff with yellow ribbons pinned on their shirts in support of those in military service.
According to federal programs officer Tim Thornburg, about three to four individuals in the PSS “Heroes to Teachers” program join the “pathway” of teaching.
“We started this in 2006 and it looks like we are going to continue it,” said Thornburg.
“I am thankful that every year we see three to four of our heroes earn a bachelor’s degree and become classroom teachers—and that’s one of the goals of this program. It’s a non-traditional pathway but it’s becoming now a traditional pathway to becoming a classroom teacher,” he said.
Guerrero acknowledged the service members for protecting the freedoms of the country and the rest of the world.
“We appreciate that you have chosen the Public School System as a profession. It’s a different mission but I’m sure it is very difficult at times,” he said, adding that they would find this mission “satisfactory and wonderful,” in “sharing your experiences with our kids.”
“We congratulate all of you, and salute all of you for being a member of the PSS family,” he said.
Education Commissioner Dr. Rita Sablan thanked PSS staff for putting together a host of activities for this week.
Marianas High School principal Cherlyn Cabrera said their student exit surveys every year show 1 in about 4 students say they want to join the military.
“When they come home I’m glad they have programs intact” for them to pursue, she said.
The Heroes-to-Teachers program used to be called the Troops-to-Teachers Program. It was renamed in May 2012.
From school year 2007-2008 until today, PSS high school exit surveys reflect 20 to 30 percent of graduating seniors entering the U.S. military.
PSS also recently saw an increase in the number of high school students who enlist with the military prior to graduating this summer.