ROTA (PSS) —  Twenty-nine seniors graduated from Dr. Rita Hocog Inos High School on Thursday, May 27, 2021.

For the second year in a row, RHI held a modified drive-thru ceremony on campus for the seniors who arrived in their festively decorated vehicles that were then parked at assigned spots.

On the stage, the seniors were greeted by RHI’s staff, CNMI education leaders, local officials and other community members.

The Class of 2021’s top graduate is Amron Jo Manalang Barcinas who also earned the Board of Education Academic Achievement Award, the Governor’s Award as well as subject awards in English and electives.

Board of Education Chairman Andrew L. Orsini, BOE Vice Chairman Herman Atalig of Rota, BOE member Antonio Borja of Tinian and RHI principal D. Tanya King presented the awards to the class valedictorian.

The salutatorian is Elkana Rodriguez Depalog who is also the recipient of the Commissioner of Education Academic Achievement Award, the Lt. Governor’s Award, the Outstanding Female Graduate Award, and the Science subject award.

Commissioner of Education Dr. Alfred B. Ada, Associate Commissioner Eric Magofna, Public School System Special Education Program Director Donna Flores, and RHI principal King presented the awards to the salutatorian.

Other awardees

The other seniors who graduated with honors were Frantoria Mesngon Uddin and Jedy Esquerra. Uddin also received the Science subject award.

Receiving an Honorable Mention was Maria Karlan Agtarap Classens who is also the subject awardee in Social Studies, Physical Education and Mathematics.

Masum Dali is the Principal’s awardee and the World Language subject award recipient while Troy Bauro Manglona was presented the Rota Municipal Council’s Award.

Assisting in the presentation of the awards were RHI vice principal Annette Calvo and counselor Elvira Mengon.

‘Most proud’

Valedictorian Barcinas, in her address, paid homage to her family: “To the most important people in my life. The one who continue to remind me to work hard for myself and to follow my heart, my parents, Andrew and Rowena Barcinas…. Throughout all my accomplishments and all that I will accomplish, I will always be most proud — most proud to be your daughter.”

She added, “This is just my beginning and I still have many dreams I’m trying to reach. And whether I have to do it alone or with people with me, I’m going to do it. Mark my words. I know life will be tough from here on, but I will be tough, too.”

In her address, class salutatorian Depalog also honored her parents. “Though it cannot compare to everything you have given to me...I hope I have made you proud. You are simple folks who are also among the hardest working people I know. I cannot match nor equal your sacrifices for us. You both are my inspiration in reaching my dreams.”

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