The Senate honored the combined contributions of four educators by presenting former CNMI State Board of Education chair Herman T. Guerrero, and Drs. Bobby Cruz, Rizalina Maratita Liwag, and Yvonne R. Pangelinan each with commemorative resolutions last Wednesday.
The Senate introduced four resolutions: Senate Resolutions 20-33, 20-35, 20-37, and 20-42.
S.R. 20-33, 20-25, and 20-37 congratulate Liwag, Cruz, and Pangelinan for obtaining their respective doctorate degrees while S.R. 20-42 commends Guerrero for his years of service as a BoE member.
Liwag obtained her Doctor of Education in Administrative Leadership for Teaching and Learning. “We’re happy to receive this recognition for my 25 years of service to the [the CNMI State Public School System] and my recent professional success with my doctorate degree. I’m overwhelmed with the honor and my family also appreciate this award,” said Liwag.
Cruz, who is the first on both sides of his family to earn a doctorate, said the Senate commendation “feels like it is a challenge that they placed on our shoulders. Completing the degree was already a challenge itself. Now that we gained knowledge, the question now is what do we do from here?”
“All of our commitment is to continue to promote a positive social change. If we can achieve this, we hope it would inspire others to continue to pursue their dreams. I dedicate this to my family…but also to everyone in the CNMI who dream of accomplishing something.”
Pangelinan said her doctorate is the product of the relationships she had formed with many individuals throughout her years with PSS.
“Also, the sacrifice that my family made, especially my husband [Wayne Pangelinan] who took many responsibilities over the years and my children who also sacrificed a lot. This degree is an accomplishment, but it belongs to the students who shared their stories with me.”
She added that their goal has always been to improve the quality of education for all CNMI students.
Liwag obtained her Doctor in Education degree by taking continuing credits from Baker University in Kansas, University of San Diego, and University of Hawaii, while Cruz earned his Administrative Leadership for Teaching and Learning from Walden University in Minnesota. Pangelinan finished her doctor in Administration for Teaching and Learning also at Walden.
Guerrero, who became a BoE member during the leadership of then-Education commissioner Dr. Rita H. Inos, also thanked the Senate despite their differences in the past. “I know that over the years I’ve been a thorn on the side of the legislators, in terms of reminding them of their responsibilities of funding PSS appropriately.”
“I must say that despite our differences, you have helped PSS to where we are now. I’m grateful after serving the BoE for the last 17 years. …We have a good system. When I first came to the board, with Dr. Inos at the helm, she has done an excellent job and pointed us in the direction of improving the system.”
He added that any accomplishment made by PSS could also be credited to the members of the Legislature and other elected leaders. “You continue to support PSS. Thank you all. Your support for PSS is for the future of our kids to become well educated students.
“Well-educated students would them take care of their parents and grandparents. They learn to make sound decisions so we can avoid falling in the same trap that we had in the past and that we learn from those mistakes.”