Da’ok Academy recognizes nine students

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NINE Da’ok Academy students completed high school on Tuesday.

They are Jovanavin Dela Cruz, Guillermo Itibus, Katherine Johnson, Markisha Manalo, Seirrumwi Maggie Nekaifes, Andruw Omelau, Jake Rabauliman, Mikaela Sikseo, and Allison Sumor.

“We are still here to support you — if you need anything to find a job or a reference, we are here,” Da’ok Academy principal Jonathan Aguon told the students during a recognition ceremony on Tuesday at Kanoa Resort.

He said the students’ formal graduation ceremony will be held at the end of the school year, adding that 10 more Da’ok students are expected to finish high school this year.

Aguon said most of the nine students scored high in Achieve3000, an online reading program that helps students improve their literacy learning.

Da’ok Academy recognizes its nine mid-year graduates at Kanoa Resort on Tuesday. Also in photo are Board of Education Chairwoman Janice Tenorio, BOE Vice Chairman Herman Atalig, BOE members MaryLou Ada and Andrew Orsini, Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada, Northern Marianas Technical Institute chief executive officer Agnes M. McPhetres, and Da’ok Academy principal Jonathan Aguon.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

“These students can achieve anything,” Aguon said. “Maybe there’s a negative stigma when you’re a student of an alternative school, but we need to dispel that. These students are able to perform [academically] and able to achieve [learning goals]. We just need to address [their issues] in a smaller environment.”

Da’ok Academy is for students who need a different learning environment.

“I want to send a message that Da’ok Academy provides that extra attention and support for students,” Aguon said as he also thanked Tan Holdings and the Northern Marianas Technical Institute for collaborating with the academy.

“Because we work together, we can provide the kind of support system that will help students to be successful,” he added.

During the recognition ceremony on Tuesday, John Sanchez from the Office of Grants Management, encouraged the students “to make persistence your best friend and use it to make your dreams your reality.”

He added, “When it starts to get hard, when you start to struggle, do not quit. The worst thing you can do is quit. Making a mistake only means you are human. Failing does not make you are a failure.”


The following students received special awards:

Seirrumwi Maggie Nekaifes – top student in U.S. Government

Angelo Manglona – top student in U.S. History

Jacinto Cruz – top student in Science

Alvaughnna Pua – top student in Science

Bert Jacob Castro – exceptional performance in Math

Keone Hiroichi – outstanding improvement in Math

Mikaela Siksei – most helpful in Math

Nathan Asanuma – Math Phoenix Award

Arreo Wabol – most improved in Achieve3000

Bert Jacob Castro – most improved in Language Arts

Seirrumwi Maggie Nekaifes – highest reading growth

Nathan Asanuma – academic excellence in Language

Napu Desebel – top performance in Cooperative Education

Tyler Jude Ngeskebei – top performance in Cooperative Education

Angelo Manglona – Most Athletic Shark

Angelo Manglona, Bert Jacob Castro, and Keone Hiroichi – School Citizen Award

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