Saipan International School’s graduation ceremony for its Class of 2019 last Saturday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan was unusual in that it featured two valedictorians and one salutatorian.
With Tania Tan and Michael Lee as the class valedictorians and Prunella Pellegrino as the salutatorian, SIS headmaster Ron Snyder noted that this happens because, at SIS, only a student’s final grade point average is considered after rounding off.
Snyder recalled that the school’s Class of 2017 had two salutatorians. “We go with the highest GPA for the valedictorian and the second highest for the salutatorian,” he explained. “Sometimes, they are so close to one another that they are virtual ties.”
“This year, we have two valedictorians because they both have a 4.3 GPA,” he added.
Tan has been accepted to New York City’s Fordham University in the Bronx.
In an interview, she said she would first represent the CNMI at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa in track and field and tennis.
“…After that, I would be going to college,” she said. She is still unsure about what degree to pursue. “I have applied undecided so I am not too sure at the moment but, hopefully, as the years go by in college, I will be able to find out what I want to major in college,” she said.
Her co-valedictorian, Lee, would be entering the Air Force Academy to pursue his dreams of being a pilot.
“I am aiming to be a pilot, so we’ll see what will happen,” he said, noting that it has been his dream to become a pilot for four years now.
Pellegrino, who was caught unawares that she would be named salutatorian of the class, said she intends to stay on Saipan for most of the summer “and then going to the Oxford College of Emory University in Georgia.”
Pellegrino would be taking up business as her major, she said.
“I don’t really like thinking too far ahead into the future so, for now, [post-graduation plans] are undecided,” she said.
The Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan’s Hibiscus Hall was packed Saturday with friends and families of the graduating class.