Twin sisters Cielo Citlalli and Isa Ha’ani Long finished as the Top 2 in their 2018 middle school class in yesterday’s Tinian Junior/Senior High School Promotion. Cielo was the class valedictorian, while Isa was salutatorian.
The Long sisters, the daughters of Tinian Municipal Council member Philip Mendiola and Arley Guttierrez Long, led 24 of their 8th grade classmates who were promoted to senior high for the 2022 class.
Devin Vincent Gaza Cing, Samanta Manuel Sandbergen, Chit Alain Llanora Acollador, Emiliana Anastasia Famaw King, Colleen Michelle San Nicolas Cing, Mia Cloe Linis Danganan, Matt Edison Salvosa Soliva, and Malinao Tasi Quitugua Palacios are also in the Top 10.
In her valedictory address, Cielo said that completing junior high is an important milestone but their journey hasn’t ended yet. “Our tremendous hours of hard work have finally paid off [but] that doesn’t mean it has come to an end. Trust me, we still have four more years. This is where it all starts: where we finally say goodbye to the years of ease and not having to worry about our future just yet and say hello to the four years that will determine our future.”
She also stressed among her fellow 8th graders the value of education. “I see future educators, politicians, incredibly talented musicians, and who knows, maybe even the future president from the students sitting right before me. Put in the effort and overachieve, because in the end it’ll all be worth it.”
Isa, in her address, said, “The skills we’ve learned through our junior high years will carry on with us through high school and will come even more in handy later in life.” CNMI State Board of Education Tinian representative Florine Hofschneider said it is part of their responsibility to make sure each of the students’ dreams would come true. “Let us stand behind them and let us say all together that we can do it. Ninth grade begins the judgment day for you. Be served notice that your work toward college begins in 9th grade,” Hofschneider added.
Public School System associate commissioner Jackie Quitugua told the students that they need lots of courage and patience, and at the same time learn from every mistake that they would commit. “We are who we are because of the many people who influenced us. Tuck them tightly in your heart and thank them for being there for you when you dream of possibilities.”