BOE fires education chief

THE five voting members of the Board of Education voted to terminate Cynthia Deleon Guerrero’s contract as education commissioner effective Nov. 5, 2017.

BOE member Herman T. Guerrero said the board held two executive meetings on Oct. 25 and 30 to discuss, among other things, Deleon Guerrero’s performance since she became education commissioner in Nov. 2016.

“We did not provide grounds for her termination,” the BOE member said in a phone interview. “We just let her go and we thanked her for her service this past year.”

Cynthia Deleon Guerrero

Deleon Guerrero’s contract was supposed to be four years, “but it doesn’t mean we cannot terminate her services,” BOE member Herman T. Guerrero said.

Also voting for the termination of her contract were MaryLou S. Ada, BOE chairwoman; Janice A. Tenorio, vice chairwoman; Herman M. Atalig, secretary/treasurer; and Florine Hofschneider, member.

In a statement emailed to Variety, Ada said: “We…remained focus and will continue to provide highly qualified services to every student at our schools and look out for the best interest of our staff, administrators and principals. We look forward to celebrating [this month] 29 years of public education…in the commonwealth,” she said.

Herman Guerrero said Yvonne R. Pangelinan, associate commissioner for support services, will be the temporary acting commissioner.

He said Glen Muna, associate commissioner for administrative services, will eventually be the acting commissioner while the board selects a new commissioner.

Commissioner Cynthia Deleon Guerrero issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon to the Public School System staff: “It is with heavy heart that I must inform you all that the Board of Education issued to me my contract termination letter, via email, effective Nov. 5, the day I’m scheduled to return home from [a] Head Start conference. The letter stated it to be a Termination Without Cause. Please know that I had in fact submitted to the board my letter of concern on Oct. 6 to which they never responded except for this termination letter, which I received upon landing in Honolulu. Despite the disruption that this will inevitably cause, I ask that everyone remain focused and strong in continuing our services, advocacy, and work for our students. Our students have and must remain our focus, your focus. I thank you all for your dedication and commitment to PSS.”

In a press release on Tuesday, BOE stated:

“This is to inform the CNMI Public School System that effective Nov. 5, 2017, Cynthia I. Deleon Guerrero shall no longer be the commissioner of the education. We thank Mrs. Deleon Guerrero for her service this past year and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. Mrs. Yvonne R. Pangelinan will serve as acting commissioner of education. Thank you.”

Asked for comment, Gov. Ralph Torres said will talk with the BOE members to find out why they terminated Deleon Guerrero’s contract.

(With Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa)

Source: Marianas Variety :

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