MHS has 370 graduates

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MARIANAS High School’s 370 seniors graduated on Thursday in a ceremony that was livestreamed on MHS’ Facebook page.

On Friday, the graduates held a motorcade from American Memorial Park to their campus where they picked up their diplomas in the MHS cafeteria while observing social-distancing protocols.

The ceremony was emceed by teachers Romolo Orsini and Kristina Springer, and included the pre-recorded congratulatory remarks of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, Board of Education Chairwoman Janice Tenorio and Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada.

Orsini noted that  MHS is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

For their theme, the MHS graduates selected the following quotation from author JK Rowling: “We do not need magic to change the world; we carry all the power we need inside ourselves.”

MHS acting principal Melanie Rdiall said the theme is fitting for the graduating class who had to overcome adversities and challenges.

“I never doubted that you stood ready, willing and able to welcome the changes,” Rdiall told the graduates, referring to the Covid-19 restrictions. “Take pride in knowing that you are built with courage and strength to rise above any and all adversities.”

Student Council president Angela Barbo said the members of the  Class of 2020 are competitive. “Everyone wanted to do their own thing even if it was hard — we wanted to…be the best class.”

The top 10 graduates. From left, Daisy Pearl Panhilason, James Matthew Reyes, Kennedy Luther Vila, Esther Park, Monique Mascarinas, Lesly Ibarra, Edriel Javier, Kate Ishida, Tian En Chen, and Nicole Kim.



Angela Barbo, 2nd right, is the recipient of the Governor’s Leadership Award and the Outstanding Female Graduate Award. Also in photo are Barbo’s parents, Alice and Willy, MHS acting principal Melanie Rdiall and vice principal Christine Tudela.


Kyle Thorne, 2nd right, receives the Principal’s Award.


Class of 2020 valedictorian Nicole Kim. Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Clean slate

The Class of 2020 selected MHS alumna and Marianas Variety publisher Laila Y. Boyer as their keynote speaker.

Despite a global pandemic, Boyer said the Class of 2020 “finished strong.” “You are proving to be a generation that we are looking forward to seeing in action.”

Although the future may look bleak and there may be a lack of available job opportunities, she advised them to consider the current situation as a clean slate. “Everything begins with the right attitude. Think of what drives you, what motivates you. Your graduation theme rightly speaks to having that power within you,” Boyer said.

As the graduates carve their own mark, she advised them to serve and to share their strength and passion. “If you share what you are most passionate about, you will not only thrive but your community will also become better because of it.”

She also reminded the graduates to be healthy, saying that the pandemic has shown how a health crisis can bring everything to a standstill. “Your achievements, your dreams need you to be healthy,” she added.

Top 2

Nicole Ye Eun Kim is this year’s valedictorian.

Despite the pandemic that has brought many changes, Kim is hopeful that when it ends “a light will brighten our life and our dreams.”

Tian En Chen, the class salutatorian, told his classmates to be “open to change and don’t live a life with only one goal in life.”

During his freshman year, he added, his only mindset was to have a perfect GPA.  “My mindset was so flawed that even my GPA I was focusing on was neglected. I regretted closing my eyes to everything else that was important,” Chen said. “Make relationships with people and learn from them.”


Nicole Ye Eun Kim – Board of Education Award

Tian En Chen – Commissioner of Education Award

Angela Barbo – Governor’s Leadership Award, Outstanding Female Graduate Award

Mark Dave Pangelinan Jr. – Mayor’s Community Award

Kyle Thorne – Principal’s Award

Top 10

1) Nicole Ye Eun Kim, valedictorian. She will pursue a degree in elementary education at Northern Marianas College.

2) Tian En Chen, salutatorian. He will attend Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

3) Kate Ishida has been accepted to Bowdoin College in Maine where she will double-major in psychology and music. She is a recipient of the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship.

4) Edriel Javier will attend  Northern Marianas College and major in liberal arts.

5) Lesly Ibarra has been accepted to Washington State University and will major in architecture.

6) Monique Mascarinas will attend Northern Marianas College and major in business administration. She is a recipient of the Back of Guam 2020 scholarship.

7) Esther Park will attend Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and major in psychological sciences.

8) Kennedy Luther Vila will attend the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and major in political science.

9) James Matthew Reyes  will attend Washington University in St. Louis in Missouri and major in architecture. He is a recipient of the QuestBridge National College Match Scholarship.

10) Daisy Pearl Panhilason will attend the University of Nevada in Las Vegas and major in architecture.








November 2020 pssnewsletter

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