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Senate honors education ‘legend’ Joan Bloedel Kani

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THE Senate on Friday presented Senate Resolution 21-17 to Joan Bloedel Kani, in honor of her exemplary and outstanding services to the local school system and the people of the Commonwealth.

Some of Kani’s former students tearfully made remarks before the Senate handed her the resolution.

Education Commissioner Alfred B. Ada joined the senators in honoring Kani whom he called a  “legend in education.”

Authored by Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider, S.R. 21-17 states that Kani’s “passion to teach and nurture an educated community resulted in the success of former students under her wing, of whom many have proudly served the CNMI Public School System in various capacities from  classroom teacher, vice principal, principal and commissioner of education, as well as others who have rooted their careers in the CNMI by selflessly contributing to the economic stability of our [close-knit] community through their time in the private or public sector and our religious community.”

Kani started her career in the CNMI as an English teacher at Hopwood Junior High School in 1982.

In 1984,  “she met the man who would become her husband and lifelong companion, Mr. Jose Kani, a local Carolinian artist who had swept her off her feet with his humble roots and unique charm.”

 

Former English teacher Joan Bloedel Kani, seated left, and senators listen to Education Commissioner Alfred B. Ada’s remarks during the presentation of Senate Resolution 21-17 prior to the Senate session on Friday. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

Mrs. Kani and her family moved to Monmouth, Oregon, where she obtained her master of science degree in education from Western Oregon University in 1986.

She then returned to the CNMI and continued her educational career at Marianas High School as an English teacher from 1986 to 1988. At MHS, she established the Exploring Education program when Henry Sablan was superintendent of the CNMI Department of Education.

Under the newly established Public School System headed by Commissioner of Education William Torres, “and with her acquired years of experience as a profound educator,” Mrs. Kani established the Teacher Academy program in 1989 at MHS.

In 2000, PSS and Northern Marianas College reached a compromise that would transition the program to the college.

Mrs. Kani was recognized in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" in 1998.

Kani, who turned 89 on Sept. 19, thanked the senators and everyone in the Senate chamber, saying she deeply appreciates [the resolution]. She also thanked the many people who have helped her.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it by myself,” she said. “I had so many people helping me. I love you all and thank you very much.”

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