New BOE member should ‘listen’

“LISTEN.� This was the advice given by outgoing Board of Education member Herman T. Guerrero to his successor, Andrew Orsini.

Herman Tenorio Guerrero
Andrew Orsini

“If you are a new board member, you need to listen to what is going on. Try to get the idea of what is happening within the school system. You cannot expect to know everything. Even if you think you know it from the outside, you really won’t know until you are in,� Guerrero said.

He reiterated the importance of supporting the education commissioner, Glenn Muna. “Don’t try to underestimate the commissioner because the commissioner is authorized under the Constitution to run the Public School System.�

He reminded his colleagues that BOE’s primary responsibility is to develop policies. “They should not interfere too much with PSS and try to run it because that is not their role. They need to respect the commissioner. They need to work together. Whatever differences they might have, they still need to consult the commissioner because he is the one  running the system.â€�

When proposing policy, Guerrero advised Orsini to ask first if it will benefit the students. “Do not pass frivolous policies or those that do not make sense.�

He said the commissioner’s contract is reviewed annually, along with his goals and objectives. “So you should not  put a stumbling block. When you interfere with PSS, then you are making sure that the commissioner will fail and not meet his goals and objectives.â€�

Guerrero said he is leaving behind a good school system. “We have been recognized by  federal officials who are looking at us as role models for other territories and insular areas. I think these are among the major accomplishments of PSS.â€�

But some students are still “falling through the cracks,â€� he said,  “and that is why we have an alternative education program,â€� referring to Da’ok Academy.

He said the BOE should continue to look for more ways to help at-risk students. “They also deserve the best,� he added.

First elected in 2001, Guerrero’s fourth and last four-year term on the BOE ends next week.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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