Friday, September 23, 2022
Gearing up for the Marianas School Pride (MSP) launch this Monday, the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers (GCEA) held a series of presentations to our public and private school leaders this past month. The GCEA recently met with the newly installed MSP Advisors and Ambassadors, and I am thrilled by the overwhelming support and enthusiasm of our Public School System (PSS) students, teachers, and staff who attended our pilot meeting.
When the Council launched the Marianas Village Pride (MVP) Campaign last year, the goal was to promote a sense of community pride within the villages and schools. It’s also coincided timely with the creation of PSS Family and Community Engagement Program, which among others, the primary purpose is to public school stokeholds and community as a whole. The MVP Campaign focused on improving the quality of life at the village level– within which our public-school community belongs. The program was a great success, and in its second year, the program has branched off into the MSP program to focus on engaging public and private school students to help make their schools better places to learn and thrive.
The MSP program is also bringing back meaningful activities that will build teamwork and a sense of ownership in the schools. The Campus Beautification activities as well as the Anti-Littering and Anti-Vandalism Campaigns will instill a positive cultural value and educate about how we all have a responsibility to care for our environment. Our children must take ownership and pride in their schools and communities. Knowing that over 50 PSS students, teachers, and staff members attended the first MSP Advisors and Ambassadors meeting demonstrates that they understand the importance of their roles in our community. I am inspired by their enthusiasm and service to their schools.
The cash prizes in the form of education tax credits (ETC) helped our schools accomplish much-needed projects or purchase supplies and equipment. Marianas High School won the grand prize of $15,000, and the school’s leadership team maximized every cent to reinvest in the school and its students.
I encourage all schools to identify their MSP Advisors and Ambassadors as soon as possible as the official campaign will begin on Sept. 26. This is a fantastic opportunity for our schools. The GCEA announced at the PSS Principals and Program Leaders' Summit that the grand prize would be $10,000 in ETC for the winning middle or high school and another $10,000 for the winning elementary school. I can only imagine how much this will help to make school improvements possible.
As the Council prepares to make its way to Rota on Sept. 30, our Rota PSS schools have already committed to a beautification project. I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Rita Hocog Inos Jr/Sr High School and Sinapalo Elementary School for being the first schools to submit a Campus Beautification proposal. I am excited to see the project on its before and after transformation.
I continue to encourage all our schools to join GCEA as they launch the Campus Beautification program, the Christmas Decorating Contest, and the Mural Contest when it launches this Monday, Sept. 26. The remaining contests will launch in October, and schools can earn points for simply participating. Every student volunteer hour will also be matched with points.
When I attended the MVP Awards Ceremony in April of this year, I was impressed by how the overwhelming of our public school on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota considering we were at the height of the pandemic.
On behalf of our PSS State Board of Education and the entire PSS community, I'd like to thank the Governor's Council of Economic Advisers and its partners for this commendable initiative. Your ongoing assistance in beautifying our community is consistent with PSS's outreach campaign of community partnership and inclusion.
As we embark on the new school year, I hope that students recognize that we are a community dealing with the same issues as other communities around the world. Our worldview should be that everyone is the same and can positively contribute to their communities.
I know that the past two years have been difficult for our students to adjust to the hybrid classes, so I hope that through the MSP program, our students can look forward to participating in activities that will boost morale and school spirit. At the CNMI State Board of Education and PSS leadership level, we appreciate any assistance in restoring normalcy in our students' lives, and GCEA has been the first to step forward and respond to our call for collaboration. Together, We Can!
For more information, visit the GCEA at cnmieconomy.com, on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy), or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Alfred B. Ada, Ph.D.
Alfred B. Ada, Ph.D. brings over 30 years of experience in educational administration, including work as a researcher, instructor, and school administrator (principal, vice-principal). Dr. Ada assumed position of the Commissioner of Education of the CNMI Public School System in late 2019 and has continued to lead the PSS community through the challenges that have arisen since his appointment.