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OPINION | Supporting positive learning environments

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HAFA Adai and Tirow CNMI.

My name is Gregory Pat Borja. My friends and family call me Greg or Goro, and to others I am known as Coach. I am running as a candidate for a seat on the Board of Education on the island of Saipan.

I have been involved in the education of our islands’ youth since my return to Saipan in 1994. I began my career as an intersession mentor for San Vicente Elementary School coordinating sports activities for the students. I was later hired on as a teacher aide at the school where i taught physical education, administered a reading program, and coached interscholastic sports.

I left the school system in 2002 to work for the Northern Marianas Protection & Advocacy Systems Inc. or NMPASI, a non-profit disability rights organization. While working at NMPASI I have continued working with students in the Public School System by advocating for services for those in the special education program and providing outreach and education on topics such as bullying behaviors, coping with depression, and substance use prevention.

During this time, I also had the opportunity to serve as president of the Parent Teacher Association at my children’s school. Additionally, I volunteered my time in the community as a soccer coach for the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association and at Saipan Southern High School. I am a past president of the Rotary Club of Saipan and currently serve as the director of youth services, in which I work hand in hand with our island’s high school students in both public and private schools to promote humanitarian service and high ethical standards in all vocations. I value lifelong learning, and last year I completed my bachelor’s degree in education from Northern Marianas College.

My driving motivation to run for a seat on the Board of Education is for success of our students. I firmly believe that learning takes place both inside and outside of the classroom. I feel that supporting positive learning environments is the key to achieving the vision of the Public School System in that students will graduate, college and career ready to be productive in an independent global society.

It is my vision to see that individual schools are given the appropriate resources in order for teachers and administrators to help their students succeed and grow not only in academics, but also socially and athletically. 

I would like to see our students provided with options in their learning experience, by providing opportunities to expand their education through acquiring vocational skills.

It is also my goal to increase parent involvement in their children’s education, by supporting them and offering them the encouragement they need to assist their children in achieving their educational goals.

I believe in the Public School System and the educational benefits that are provided to our community. My wife and children are a proud part of the Mighty Dolphin family, and it is my vision to see each student in the Public School System reach their full potential, follow their dreams, and when they graduate, feel a sense of accomplishment.

I humbly ask for your support this election, by voting for Gregory Pat Borja (#3 on the ballot) for Board of Education.

Thank you, Si Yu’us Ma’ase, Ghilissow, and Salamat Po.

The writer is a resident of San Vicente, Saipan.

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