The Saipan Community School chose Quintin Matthew Ramsey as this year’s 8th grade valedictorian and Mary Grace S. Tiglao as its salutatorian during commencement ceremonies held at the Saipan Community Church on May 24.
Ramsey, the older of two sons of Gary and Karen Ramsey, was also the recipient of the President’s Education Award – Gold and the Band Achievement Award for playing alto saxophone in the school band.
The 14-year-old Ramsey gives “a whole lot of credit” to his parents for his academic achievements. “It’s really because of them that I got it. They made me do so much to get all my stuff done.”
He also acknowledged his teachers because “they are the ones who helped us gain knowledge on subjects they are teaching” as well as other students who “make you have fun, have a good time that you totally forget you’re at school sometimes.”
Ramsey, who joined Mathcourt and other academic competitions, is also active in sports. He was a member of SCS’ basketball, volleyball, and swimming teams and is also the goalkeeper for the Matansa Football Club. Of all the sports, he prefers basketball because it teaches “eye-hand coordination,” among others.
Besides being an athlete, Ramsey also serves as referee for U8, U10, and U12 soccer games and recently took his scuba diving certification exam.
Ramsey said he will go on to high school at the Saipan International School and plans to be active in community service. “It [community service] changes who you are,” he added.
Ramsey is already thinking about becoming a doctor someday like his father, although he has yet to find out if the field of medicine would fit him best.
He said that getting good grades becomes an advantage by being accepted to more advanced colleges, providing a student with better education and better career.
Tiglao, this year’s salutatorian, also received the President’s Education Award – Gold. She actively joined competitions during her years at SCS and won fourth place out of 74 school champions during the Scripps Regional Spelling Bee at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort on March 3. She won first place in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest last December and fourth place in its regional contest.
The 13-year old Tiglao also plays the piano and ukulele. She was the only girl among the eight students who played the ukulele for visiting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in January.
The only child of parents Emil and Aura, Tiglao describes herself as a well-behaved student who always does her schoolwork on time and comes in prepared for class. Besides her own efforts, the young lass acknowledged her parents and teachers for giving her help and guidance.
Tiglao plans to attend Marianas High School for its excellent AP program and to give her the opportunity to join the school’s drama club and forensics league team.
Tiglao, who dreams of becoming a doctor, encouraged younger students to try their best and always study hard. “If they failed once, they should use that as inspiration to try to do better next time,” she added.
Ramsey and Tiglao were honored along with other graduating 8th graders: Dylan Ackerman, Andy Chang, Jun Pyo Jeon, William Johnson, Hyung Jin Kim, Jameson Kui Lee, Jason Lee, Ji Hoon Lee, Roy Lee, Kelly Lee, Hyun Sung Noh, Gun Woo Shim, Ryu Tanzawa, Exequiel Tenorio, Gregorio Tudela, and Aaron Zhu.
Ramona V. Manglona, U.S. District Court Chief Judge for NMI and Guam, served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker.