(GMS) — It was a bright and early start for Green Meadow staff and students on Sunday, May 23, 2021 at Saipan World Resort’s Royal Taga hall.
Green Meadow School was conducting two ceremonies — an awards and recognition day for non-graduates and commencement exercises.
GMS had segmented the morning into four separate time slots — two for the recognition ceremony, one for pre-school commencement exercise and one joint elementary and middle school commencement exercise.
GMS founder and principal, Mrs. Milagros Songcuan, opened each ceremony with a warm welcome speech to all in attendance.
Principal “Mila” quoted former DCCA Secretary and long-time GMS parent Mr. Robert Hunter that “being a parent is the most important job one can have” With each ceremony, a different keynote speaker honored the venue with their presence and wisdom.
Awards and recognition ceremony
A banquet hall full of early birds, GMS holds the first recognition ceremony starting at 7 a.m. for its Kinder-4, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students. The young falcons were all seated on the Royal Taga Hall’s main stage facing their family members and teachers. Principal Milagros proceeded to introduce the keynote speaker for the first recognition ceremony, Dr. Tai Doram.
Dr. Doram is a certified cognitive behavior consultant, behavior specialist for PSS and current chair for the CNMI Behavior Health Planning Council.
Dr. Doram, being a parent of GMS student in preschool, shared his heartfelt story of making the hard decision to stay in CNMI for the sake of his young daughter’s development.
Dr. Doram quotes Matthew 5:13, “You are the salt of the earth” and adds how salt is regarded as an “enhancer” able to “bring out the full flavor of what it is on.” He then asks parents to be the salt for the sake of their children, to enhance, enrich and nurture their child’s potential.
Soon after the banquet hall was vacated, GMS continued the 2nd half of the recognition ceremony for the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th grade students. The keynote speaker, introduced by Principal Mila, was Senior Policy Advisor to the CNMI Office of the Governor Mr. Robert Hunter.
Mr. Hunter is a long-time active parent leader for GMS since enrolling his daughter at the school over 8 years ago. Throughout the years during his time at Department of Community and Cultural Affairs office, he had worked closely with GMS and spoken on several occasions during parent leadership meetings.
Mr. Hunter shared that his daughter, who was part of the middle school promotees, and her growth and education have always been his priority. “Teach your kids to love learning,” Mr. Hunter shares, and “Never discourage their inquisitiveness.”
The first batch of Falcons gracing the Royal Taga hall with their little graduation gowns were the Kinder-3 and Kinder-5 class. Seven K-3 and Seven K-5 students walked down the center of the venue hall for their processional march.
GMS President Glenn Songcuan introduced the keynote speaker Ms. Erlaine Evangelista, early learning specialist and coach from the Evergreen Learning Center, who was speaking on behalf of their program manager Dr. Jasmin Niedo.
Evergreen has worked closely with GMS over the years alongside with the Child Care Licensing Program office to support quality standards in early childhood development in the CNMI.
Ms. Erlaine shared her message and closed off with a storybook reading for the young graduates. “Just follow your dreams and you’ll soar” she reads “There will always be new heights to reach.” Her message centered around fostering the natural curiosity of our young ones, allowing them to find their passion.
Lastly and most certainly not least, the 5th grade and 8th grade promotees come together and march down the hall with the iconic “Pomp and Circumstance” playing in the background. Ten 5th grade and nine 8th grade promotees stood before the crowd.
Their keynote speaker was none other than Dr. Alfred Ada the CNMI commissioner of education.
Dr. Ada shared the many accomplishments and milestones that GMS had achieved until that day. His message highlighted the theme of the event “Your mind, like the eagle with its mighty wings is capable of soaring to greater heights”. “Education is both your right and it is a need. It is both essential and critical that we all take advantage of this privilege.”
With all the students’ effort and hard work validated, honored and recognized, and all the awards and diplomas given, it was time for each ceremony to come to a close. Each ceremony was closed by GMS President Glenn Songcuan. He opened with a most sincere expression of gratitude to all the students, parents, and staff for their hard work through this challenging year. “It is almost surreal that we are able to stand here today and celebrate such an important occasion despite all that we have been through in this past year.”
Mr. Songcuan highlighted all the adversities, restrictions and policies that the school and its families went through to get to this point. “If we can thrive through this, we can thrive through anything” he closes.
For more information about Green Meadow School, call 235-2185, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit its main campus in Chalan Kiya past Saipan Health Clinic.