by Reica Ramirez from Mount Carmel School’s Introduction to Communications Course
After weeks of clean-up efforts, repair, and recover efforts, Mount Carmel School reopened on November 13. Although many parts of the school were destroyed by one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded in U.S. history, students, friends, family, faculty, and staff had faith that the school will rise stronger as one Knight family.
To kick off the first day back to school, a mass was held, which was presided by Most Reverend Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez. During his homily, Bishop Ryan reminded students about three important values: stewardship, giving thanks, and, most importantly, having faith in God and each other.
After mass, Student Council launched its Big Brother, Big Sister Program to unite the students and teachers as one family. The program was designed to give students another reason to come to school by having high school and junior high students interact with the elementary students with various fun activities.
When asked about the success of the program, Student Council President, Dayna Macaranas, said, “Despite the typhoon, kids were smiling ear to ear enjoying some activities that were prepared by Student Council. They were able to bond with the older Mount Carmel School students and develop a friendship. It was truly heartwarming.”
Furthermore, when asked about what she felt about the first day back in school, Macaranas said, “The first day back in school was full of excitement and anxiousness for what’s to come from both students and teachers. It was a great feeling to be back in school and find some normalcy in everything.”
As an effort to give students and their families time to recover, the CNMI Board of Education, the CNMI Public School System, and the PSS Childhood Nutrition Program extended emergency free meals to all students in Saipan and Tinian until November 30.
Overall, Mount Carmel School had a successful first day back in school despite the challenges the school faced. It gave the students and teachers a chance to have a sense of normalcy after everything that happened during and after the typhoon. As we continue our road to recovery with faith in God and each other, we will rise because we are Knight Strong.