Oleai’s Roselle Carreon is NMI Teacher of the Year

ROSELLE Carreon, a 4th grade teacher of Oleai Elementary School, is the 2019 CNMI Teacher of the Year.

“The road…has been long. I have been here for 14 and a half years,” said Carreon, a three-time OES Teacher of the Year.

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From left, Roselle Carreon, 2019 Teacher of Year; Antinelle Santos, 2018 Teacher of the Year; Gerald Van Gils, 2017 Teacher of the Year; Marvin Slone Tamangided, 2015 Teacher of the Year; and Paul Miura, 2014 Teacher of the Year.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

“I did not expect to receive the honor, but I did my best in completing all requirements. I am extremely grateful. My mom and my dad are my inspiration,” she added.

Carreon is the daughter of former teacher Juan Ichihara and Brigida Ichihara, former principal Koblerville Elementary School.

Carreon said when her mother became CNMI Teacher of the Year in 1995, she was in 6th grade.

“When I was a young girl, I had always dreamed of being an educator, following the footsteps of my parents. I always wanted to be a part of the teaching community. I am so grateful to be their daughter. I thank my family for continuing this journey with me,” she added. 

Carreon said she was humbled and honored by the award. “This title is an opportunity for me to go out and be an ambassador for education, and to share with our island community what it means to be a part of this wonderful profession. However challenging it may be, it is also very rewarding at the same time.”

Carreon said she is proud to be a “product” of the Public School System. “I attended San Vicente Elementary School, Koblerville Elementary School, Hopwood Middle School.”

Carreon graduated from Marianas High School as a salutatorian.

In 2003, she graduated summa cum laude from Northern Marianas College, where she obtained her degree in elementary education.

In 2006, she earned her master’s degree from Framingham University.

As an educator, Carreon said she is proud of her students’ achievements, including obtaining the highest data for 4th grade in the 2017-2018 ACT Aspire. She said they also exceeded 4th grade National Data Results for English, Reading and Science.

In school year 2016-2017, she added, her 4th grade students obtained the highest data in ACT Aspire, PSS/CNMI-wide.

Carreon also thanked her husband Nick and children Jose and Isabel. “They have been my support in this wonderful profession…. I thanked God for everything.”

She likewise thanked her colleagues at OES and the other schools for their “energy and positivity.”

“Let us continue to work together for the sake of our children. We are an amazing team. We should be proud to be part of the Public School System,” she added.

Commissioner on Education Glenn Muna said the search for CNMI Teacher of the Year was a long process that involved visiting schools and classes.

He said the selection committee included Barbara Merfalen, vice principal of Mount Carmel School; Matthew Deleon Guerrero, president and chief economist, Hive Analytics; Dino Manning, vice president and general manager of Docomo Pacific; and Proserpina Magofna, senior human resources manager of Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.

30 years of public education

PSS on Tuesday celebrated 30 years of public education at the Board of Education grounds on Capital Hill.

This year, there were no parades or colorful and lively presentations from public schools. The celebration’s highlight was the announcement of the Instructor of the Year, Michael Berbes of Hopwood Middle School; Teacher Aides of the Year, Grace Belyea of Garapan Elementary School and Salote Kesol of Hopwood Middle School; and Teacher of the Year, Roselle Carreon of Oleai Elementary School.

This year’s Education Month theme was “Success is rooted in the rich soil of education.”

Daniel  Joab, a 4th grader at San Vicente Elementary School, was the Education Month theme winner while Adrian Manalang, 8th grader at Dandan Middle School, was the Education Month logo winner.

“Despite the destruction as a result of Super Typhoon Yutu, I am very optimistic that we will continue to provide services to our students because we are committed, we are dedicated, and we are very resilient,” Education Commissioner Glenn Muna said.

 “I think I can say that we are experts in thinking outside the box. Whatever the situation we find ourselves in, we are always looking for creative ways to address it.”

Muna said PSS staff and teachers displayed their dedication in the aftermath of Typhoon Yutu. “We immediately began clearing debris, taking inventory of all the damage to our instructional resources and properties…. Teachers and staff were all rushing to schools so they could take a look at the damage and see what they could do to assist in the cleanup process. Although our schools suffered major damage, we were able to ‘think outside the box’ and see how we could bring our students back to school as soon as possible.”

Muna thanked the BOE, Gov. Ralph Torres and his administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps Engineer, the American Red Cross Palau Community College, friends, families and other PSS partners who “volunteered their time and services to help us recover.”

He also acknowledged the PSS staff for running the school shelters for six weeks.

“I salute all of you. I am blessed and grateful to be working alongside such hardworking and outstanding professionals,” Muna added.

In her brief remarks, BOE Chairwoman MaryLou Ada told the teachers and school staff that their dedication, perseverance and tenacity to teach the children during  hard times did not go unnoticed.

BOE Vice Chairwoman Janice Tenorio also commended PSS. “Because of Yutu recovery we have to tone down this year’s celebration, but know that we appreciate your hard work.”