Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 27 Aug 2019 12am







    Monday, August 26, 2019-8:42:06P.M.






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MHS’ top graduates: Dai Podziewski and Cole Chambers

THE 334 members of the Marianas High School Class of 2019 are special, their valedictorian Dai Takegami Podziewski said.

“We are such a talented group of young adults. We are artists, athletes, fishermen, dancers, musicians, scientists, mathematicians, photographers, videographers, debaters, public speakers, actors, writers, and designers…but I urge you all to continue to challenge yourself. Be competitive and strive for greatness, and maintain the mindset that you will become the best of whatever you choose to do,” Podziewski stated in his valedictory address.

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Class valedictorian Dai Takegami Podziewski.
Class  salutatorian Cole Rafael Chambers. Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

In encouraging his fellow graduates to pursue their dreams, Podziewski shared the following quotation from Muhammad Ali: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

Podziewski will be pursuing a degree in journalism at Suffolk University in Massachusetts.

“I don’t know what my future holds, but I know it holds a lot because of the people who support me,” Podziewski said as he thanked his parents, family, teachers and coaches.

For his part, class salutatorian Cole Rafael Chambers thanked the people who supported his journey in high school. They included the “teachers who mentored us and pushed all the way through high school. Friends who supported us even through tough times, and family members who have been there every step of the way,” he said.

When he started attending MHS in his freshman year, Chambers recounted that he was a bit worried. “The first couple of days of high school are crucial in striking up a new friendship. But everyone I met at this school was friendly, open, and great people.”

He said MHS students and the faculty have turned the school into a second family that supported everyone.

Cole will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Wisconsin where he will major in civil engineering.

MHS vice principal Karen Alla-Manuel described the Class of 2019 as resilient.

Throughout their time at MHS, Alla-Manuel said the students experienced all kinds of emotions — anxiety, stress, anger, failure, disappointment, heartbreak, grief, determination, hope, love, happiness and success.

“Despite it all, you have reached your destination and received your reward — your diploma,” she told the graduating class.

She said this year’s theme — “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination” — highlights the resiliency, grit, optimism, hope and patience needed to achieve one’s goals.

“I am overjoyed and full of pride knowing that you all have that mindset. Hold on to that because the sea of life after high school will be a lot rougher and the winds stronger. There will be lots of hurdles and difficult choices to make,” Alla-Manuel said.


Board of Education Award: Dai Takegami Podziewski

Commissioner of Education Award: Cole Rafael Chambers

Governor’s Leadership Award: Mozelle Blas Campo

Principal’s Award: Soledad Cecilia Camacho

Service Recognition Award: Pionnah Gregorio

Top 10

1) Dai Takegami Podziewski. valedictorian. He will be attending Suffolk University in Massachusetts to pursue a degree in journalism.

2) Cole Rafael Chambers. salutatorian. He will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison and will major in civil engineering.

3) Jonah Nicolas Pohl has been accepted to Emory University in Georgia and will be majoring in biology (pre-medical track).

4) Marielle Anne Sambilay has been accepted to Trinity University in Texas and will be majoring in English.

5) Nicole Ira Mascarinas has been accepted to Valencia College in Florida and will be majoring in business administration.

6) Ruoxiang John Lu has been accepted to the University of San Francisco in California and will be majoring in architecture and community design.

7) Ian Rei Cataluna has been accepted to Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and will be majoring in molecular and cellular biology.

8) Gaeun Yang has been accepted to Northern Marianas College and will be majoring in business management.

9) Mimi Sakano has been accepted to the University of the Pacific in California and will be majoring in dental hygiene.

10) Lourdes Nicole Ocaya has been accepted to Irvine Valley College in California and will be majoring in health science.