Pohnpei Department of Education celebrates Education Day including students this year

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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
January 31, 2017
Pohnpei—With the theme “Recognizing and Celebrating Learning Achievements”, the Pohnpei Department of Education celebrated Education Day at the COM-FSM China Friendship Gym in Palikir. Unlike previous events which most often involved only the educators themselves, this year’s event included students from all over Pohnpei and recognized their achievements along with those of the educators who helped them to achieve.
It was a very long event, but those who were in attendance and able to stay to the end seemed never to be bored, especially given the large number of awards and special performances by teachers and students. Representatives of the School Districts raised their various flags and students of Madolenihmw High School sang the state anthem. Vicar Father Ken Ormolug gave the opening prayer beginning with the reading of prayer of a young student who asked God to bless his teacher who had given him so much.


Board of Education Chair Alice Bridge Ehmes presented her welcoming remarks followed by the special remarks of Governor Marcelo K. Peterson.
The Early Childhood Education students of Nett Elementary, dressed traditionally gave an excellent special presentation during which students gave speeches and sang songs both in Pohnpeian and in English.
DOE Director Churchill Edward gave a speech in Pohnpeian on the current state of education.
When his speech was concluded the award committee began to present over 200 awards to teachers and students from both public and private schools. Though each of the achievements is notable, the list of awards and commendable awardees spanned nearly six pages. It is not possible for us to list them all here.

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Pohnpei’s Teachers of the Year were awarded the top cash awards for their efforts. As second runner up, Mayleen Wichep of Kolonia Elementary school was given $150. Closariner Ifamilik of Seinwar Elementary School was the first runner up and was awarded $250 dollars. Dean Anthony Likor of Nett Elementary School was this year’s Teacher of the Year and was awarded $500 in addition to the honor.
Along with 34 of their colleagues from Elementary Schools throughout the State, each of the Teachers of the Year received an additional $100 each for being selected as Elementary School Teachers of the year.
The Principals of the Year received $300 each. They were Peter Ramirez for Elementary, Anson Abraham for Elementary (1st), and Centry Paul for Secondary. Elise Ioanis was awarded $100 for ECE Supervisor of the year.
Six teachers were awarded $100 each for being selected as Teachers of the Year in Secondary Education. Six teachers from private schools also received $100 each for Teacher of the Year.
Seniors in both primary and secondary education were given $50 each for their high grade point averages. Eight students from 8th grade had straight 4.0 grade point averages which DOE labeled as ELITE. 18 8th Grade students had 4.0 cumulative grade point averages. 18 12th graders also received $50 each for their 4.0 cumulative grade point averages.
An astounding 73 8th graders received $25 each for perfect attendance. Only one achieved that goal in high school.
Six teachers received $50 each for having been selected as CRT (Certified Resource Teacher) of the year. Six Early Childhood Education teachers received the same cash award.
Banners and bragging rights were awarded to the top schools of the year. Awak was the Elementary School of the year. Nanpei Memorial High School was the secondary school of the year. Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School was the private school of the year and Nett ECE was the Early Childhood Education center of the year.
Perhaps just as coveted was the banner for most improved schools of the year. Wapar Elementary School received the banner for that accomplishment for elementary education. Nanpei Memorial High School also took the banner for the accomplishment in secondary education along with the top school of the year in secondary education. Wapar took the banner for ECE and Seventh Day Adventist School took it for private schools.

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Prizes were also awarded for Specialist of the Year, Coordinator of the Year, Bus Driver of the Year, Cook of the Year, Librarian, PTA, and Office Staff of the Year and High Education Achievement Awards.
Lolihna Ladore was recognized as the longest serving teacher and Lollihmer Helgenberger was recognized as the longest serving DOE employee.
Merlens Amor was the Librarian of the Year. Carolynn Fredrick was the Counselor of the Year, and Youper Rex was the WDST Instructor of the Year.
(Editor’s Note: Name spellings and award presentations are as provided by the Department of Education.)