Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 19 Jan 2019 12am







    Sunday, January 20, 2019-1:26:20P.M.






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OPINION: The CNMI’s lost is Florida’s gain — told you so!

THE headlines read: “High school teacher gets results with engineering, design team championship.” “Oak Ridge High School team prepares to represent state in design challenge.”

Former CNMI Teacher John Raulerson continues his winning ways at Florida’s Oak Ridge High. Raulerson has now won SEVEN STRAIGHT State Level Competitions and TWO National Titles with his students in Engineering Designs.  Yes, this is the former teacher at MHS who was “FIRED without cause” by the Principal so go figure that one out considering we just saw a Commissioner being fired “without cause.” I tried to correct this obvious FLAW in the way we treat employees of our School System but the former ACT Group of Teachers banned with the Board to fight against me. I guess PSS still hasn’t learned that it is WRONG to fire people for no reason and the “rooters are coming home to roots” as we say in my culture meaning their mistakes are coming back to haunt them.  I am encouraging readers who want to see how Florida treats their successful teachers to please check out this link: getting-results-/award- winners/high-school-teacher- gets-results-with-engineering- and-design-team-championship

It was really a CRIME against our students for Raulerson to have been fired for no reason. The CNMI, especially PSS, really needs to take note of Mr.  Raulerson who was spotlighted on the local news as “This Week’s Getting Results Award winner” as Raulerson and his team were announced as Florida’s state champions of the Real World Design Challenge earlier this year. The competition challenges public and private high school students to use core STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles and apply them to workplace problems.

Raulerson’s classroom is an after-school gathering place for team members nearly obsessed with the idea of perfecting their project. “This is all I think about,” senior Zion Cristwell said while laughing and his teammate Daniel Andujar agrees saying “Problem-solving is what I think motivates me,” Raulerson said: “We get a problem and we solve it. Then we move on to the next one. The kids worked hard.” “I just call this a team — a think tank.”  This year’s challenge was to design an aircraft that could help future farmers deal with population growth and crop infestations. The project is built in theory only. An 80-page booklet is used to confirm and validate their ideas. The team relies on mentors and industry experts for guidance as Raulerson is a Retired Aviation Mechanic.

Just to show readers the importance of his work Raulerson said: “We’re coming up with an aircraft system that is going to be very, very economic. It’s going to help the farmers spray and take care of their fields,” Raulerson said. Students like Cristwell say “the hands-on experience will help when applying to colleges. I plan on becoming an astronaut so this is a big step for me. It has engineering imprints and it gets you in that mindset of building and creating”. There is NO teacher in the PSS who is teaching engineering and inspiring students to become astronauts. The CNMI really lost a GREAT ONE in Raulerson and I’m writing this in hopes that it will NEVER EVER happen again especially when PSS continues to have a teacher shortage and each member of the winning national team will receive $50,000 in scholarship money which is why I say it was a crime against our students to get rid of Raulerson. The Oak Ridge Real World Design Challenge team competes in Washington, D.C. next month but the CNMI no longer even has a team- duh! It should also be noted that Raulerson will be teaching engineering next year when PSS is yet to even have an Engineering Program. I guess PSS thinks we will keep getting CW engineers and never mind our own children.

The Problem of Race

Race is still a real issue in the CNMI as all Raulerson ever wanted was “respect and the opportunity to compete for the Teacher of the Year” which he made known to his principal but he was always overlooked and even cheated out of being in the competition by the principal. I know for a fact that one teacher who was MHS’s Teacher of the Year stated that “it should have been Raulerson” but that’s just how it is in the CNMI when you are not local and you speak up, you get “BLACK-BALLED” like I have been for years by PSS and some Government Officials. Raulerson was replaced by a close Local friend of the Principal to only teach math which speaks volumes to the problem.

I have also witnessed this prejudice by PSS a Board member said I could NOT write a Textbook because I was not local! Heck, Tim Thornburg and his chosen “crew” had the nerve to tell me I was not qualified ANYMORE to be a Title One Teacher simply because I complained about a payment process of the Program. But a former Board Member who was and still may be a Title One Teacher literally “assaulted” a student at Garapan Elementary but it was “hushed-up” and she was not terminated and may still be a Title One Teacher today.  The problem at PSS is OLD and deeply rooted in the behavior of the leadership as the Board even fought against my textbook that received great “Reviews” by the students, teachers, parents with a Resolution from both Houses of the Legislature. 

The CNMI has a REAL Problem when it comes to letting non-locals be leaders, especially Blacks as PSS seldom ever recruits a Black unless they are a specialist. In fact, when I was recruited I had to find a principal to take me on my own- for TRUE and THANKs Ms. Remy of Oleai!  I have seen many White People being embraced and given authority due to their sheer NEED and it was primarily White Teachers from the mainland who opposed me and the work I was trying to do for Teachers to get rid of the “without clause in their contracts” and to get them their “bargaining rights” when I was on the Board. So to some degree the CNMI still has a real “racial problem” with this “Locals Only and some prejudice locals & white folks” that has even been promoted by entirely tooooo many in power ever-since I have been here.  People like Raulerson and myself are small in numbers so we are treated very much like we are the enemy by the “power-brokers” when we are only trying to help.  But it will surely come back to haunt PSS and the CNMI just like Raulerson’s accomplishments have done and in the many I TOLD YOU SO admonishments I have made that proved I was RIGHT! One people one direction for ending the “without cause firing” and equal & fair opportunities for ALL!

The writer is a Kagman, Saipan resident.