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Last updateSat, 19 Oct 2019 12am







    Friday, October 18, 2019-10:26:11A.M.






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Hopwood promotes 280 eighth graders

Hopwood Middle School on Friday afternoon promoted 280 eighth grade students to high school with Mercedes Cabrera named valedictorian and Kina Rangamar, salutatorian.

In a ceremony held at Saipan Southern High School, Hopwood principal Rizalina Liwag said the event was also a celebration of the grit and victory of the students who “fearlessly faced their challenges and completed their middle school journey.”

Hopwood Middle School promoted 280 eighth graders to high school on Friday.Hopwood Middle School promoted 280 eighth graders to high school on Friday.

Hopwood Middle School students who received subject awards pose for a photo with education and CNMI officials.Hopwood Middle School students who received subject awards pose for a photo with education and CNMI officials.

Liwag said it was a difficult year for all of them at Hopwood. They lost the school to Typhoon Yutu, had to transition to Marianas High School classrooms, and attended classes in military shelters in Koblerville amid budget cuts and other austerity measures.

“Despite these catastrophic and unfortunate events, Hopwood Middle School continues to be focused. We have become stronger. We have become resilient,” Liwag said. “We continue to strive for excellence and rise above the crowd.”

She noted that Hopwood received four CNMI-level awards from the Public School System: State-Level Instructor of the Year – Mike Berbes; State-Level Counselor of the Year – Jillian Pladevega; State-Level Teacher Aide of the Year – Ote Kesol; and State-Level Administrative Support Staff of the Year – Ruby Hocog.

“It is evident that our personnel continue to live to the high quality of our expectations and their dedication is immeasurable,” Liwag added.

She said Hopwood students are also thriving and many of them received various awards and recognition for their talents and academic excellence.

She thanked the school’s teachers, teacher aide and other staff for their dedication and helping the students.

Liwag also encouraged the students to always continue to set goals and to achieve them. “This is not the end of your educational journey. Continue to strive hard and stay focused,” she added.

Top students

This year’s valedictorian, Mercedes Cabrera, believes that her class has overcome challenges because of hard work, determination and resiliency. “Typhoon Yutu may have destroyed our school, but it did not destroy our spirits,” she added.

She told her class to thank the teachers and family members who are helping shape their lives.

For salutatorian Kina Rangamar, her class is the perfect definition of resilience. “Resilience is sharing a campus; resilience is managing five months in campus tents; resilience is making the best of each and every one of our situation.”

She said through their struggles, they gained a lot of experience which helped them achieve their goals.

She thanked their teachers and other school staff for guiding them.


Click to enlarge
Mercedes Cabrera, with her family members, receives the Board of Education Award from BOE Chairwoman Janice Tenorio and BOE member Andrew Orsini. Also in photo are education and CNMI officials.
Kina Rangamar, the recipient of the Commissioner of Education Award, poses with her family members, Education Commissioner Glenn Muna, school principal Rizalina Liwag, education officials and school staff.
Matthew O. Lukas receives the School Leadership Award from Hopwood Middle School principal Rizalina Liwag. Also in photo are Lukas’ parents.  Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Board of Education Award – Mercedes P. Cabrera

Commissioner of Education Award – Kina P. Rangamar

School Leadership Award – Matthey Lukas

Subject awards

Best in English Language Arts – Tianna Carmen S. Hofschneider and Psa Lle S. Medina

Best in Mathematics – Charlie D. Wang and Jenny Z. Yin

Best in Social Studies – Mercedes P. Cabrera, Matthew O. Lukas

Best in Science – Mercedes P. Cabrera, Lynzey Valencia C. Green

Best in Chamorro and Carolinian Language Heritage Studies – Frann Leifang S. Billy, Matthew O. Lukas

Best in Leadership Corps – Christianelle M. Villa, Tyller Josh T. Ngewakl

Best in Physical Education – Frann Leifang S. Billy, Ian M. Lubao

Best in Career Technical Education – Kina N. Rangamar, Freddy L. Villagomez