Diaspora Feature Story

A Filipino American grab the top academic honor as she led the middle school graduates of Saipan’s FMSMS

By Lori Lyn Lirio

Francisco M. Sablan Middle School salutarorian Camia Janae Aguon Sablan and valedictorian Mariechrist Castro. Photo © Lori Lyn Lirio

LED by their Filipino American valedictorian, 97 8th grade students of the Francisco M. Sablan Middle School has been promoted to 9th grade during its 4th annual promotional ceremony recently held at Royal Taga Ballroom World Resort.

Principal James Sablan introduced the Class of 2018 promotees, who he said have brought honor and accomplishment to the school.

“Among this group of students are champions of Thespian competition, champions of National Junior Speech and Debate,” he said.

Sablan added they have a Spelling champion – a second placer overall during the regional competition; a first winners if the Poetry and Choral Reading Competition in the UOH Chamorro Language competition.

He went on to boast students who participated in Jr. Mock Trial wherein some of them were recognized as best defense lawyers and best witness.

“Focus on your dreams and ride the waves to success,” Sablan told the students.

“Your focus should always be your dream but as you continue on this journey, you will experience obstacles along the ways. These obstacles will help you achieve your focus – you will remember your friendships – the friends the made you cry, the friends that had your back, the friends that tells the worst jokes and stories, but above all your remember that your friends have provided you the courage to ride the waves of life to success,” was Sablan’s parting words to the students.

Valedictorian Mariechrist Castro said all the 97 promotees are ready for new encounters in high school.

“I would like to wish everyone the best of our last four years of school. Just remember that it never gets easier, just get better.”

Salutatorian Camia Jane Aguon Sablan, meanwhile, recounted that the last three years “have been a pretty wavy ride for all of us, but no matter how hard it got, we managed to work harder and harder each time and put in as much effort as we could into our work.”

During the ceremony, Board of Education chairwoman MaryLou S. Ada told the students that high school is the last stop to college and to whatever career they will choose.

But before going to college, Ada gave three advice on how to survive high school: “Get up every morning and tell yourself ‘it is another beautiful day’ because it makes you go on and gives you energy,” she said, adding “you should surround yourself with positive people.”

“Do an act of kindness everyday – whether to your friends, classmates or to your teacher; and live today as if tomorrow will never come,” she said.

“In August, you will go to high school and you will be making new friends,” she said.

“Make the best of that day, everyday. Do an act of kindness. It connects everything because it helps you to practice self control, discipline and helps you to put have a perspective about what you want to do in life and help you organize and focus and think about what you really want to do,” Ada said.

Students who received awards:

Board of Education Award: Marichrist Castro

Commissioner of Education Award: Camai Janae Aguon Sablan

English Language Arts: Mariechrist Castro

Math – Mariechrist Castro

Science – Patriesha Concillado

Social Studies – Mariechrist Castro

Carolinian Language Heritage: Daviann Saito

Chamorro Language Heritage: Camayah A. Sablan

Computer Science: Nathanette Blas, Paulette Borja, Destiny

Camacho, Mariechrist Castro and Nathan Sablan

Leadership Excellence Award: Camia Janae Aguon Sablan

Outstanding Cadet Leadership Award: Maria Ayuyu and Emigrace Vinuya Napu

Spirit Award: John Paul Nimer

Student Leadership Award: Brinae Jessilyn Maratita Cruz

Lori Lyn Lirio
Lori Lyn C. Lirio is a veteran newshen having worked for the People's Journal Tonight for more than 10 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines University. She currently writes for the Marianas Variety, Saipan's number one community paper. .

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