On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, T.H. Reed B. Oliver, Governor of Pohnpei State, attended Education Day at the Sekere Multipurpose Gym in Sekere, Sokehs. This is the second day of Education week to commemorate, recognize and celebrate exemplary and outstanding achievements for students, teachers, and staff of the Pohnpei State Department of Education and charter schools for the School Year 2019-2020.
Opening remarks were made by Lepen Sekere, Mr. Rensper Liwy, who gave a very brief but focused speech about honesty. Following Mr. Liwy was the keynote speaker, Speaker of the Sokehs Municipal Council, T.H. Albert Johnny. Mr. Johnny’s remarks focused on “ehupene” or Unity as part of the Education week’s theme: “Unity Strengthens our Unlimited Potentials to Achieve and Succeed – Ehupene Kakehlaka Sapwelimatail Pweidahkan”. He encouraged everyone from parents, family, teachers, community, government, and church to recognize the efforts of the students today, and to continue to come together to continue the good works that have been realized through the student’s achievements.
Governor Oliver expressed his gratitude for the invitation to congratulate and recognize student achievement. He spoke of a song sung by the NMHS Music Club the day earlier, United we stand, divided we fall and noted, without teachers, students, and parents united and working together, success would not be achieved. He challenged the students, asking “what next?” He asked them to reflect on how this achievement can benefit their families, communities, Pohnpei, and the Nation. He shared the three virtues of Respect, Responsibility, and Honesty with the students, adding Unity, as virtues to benefit their academic journey and beyond. Governor Oliver asked the students to work hard towards their goals, whether they want to be a Doctor, Nurse, Policeman, etc, emphasizing the need for Doctors in Pohnpei, today. He thanked the teachers and parents for their important role in the student’s success, the Police Officers from Sokehs and Pohnpei State working together. He emphasized that when each one of us is doing our best in our responsibilities, success is achieved.
Mrs. Alice Ehmes, Board of Education member, gave the closing remarks, speaking of the strands of the kepenohk or local broom. Made from single strands of coconut fiber, a single strand is useless, but when bound together, they become a versatile tool that sweeps through the roughest surfaces. She likened this to the cooperation and unity of all to face and overcome challenges. On behalf of the Board of Education, Mrs. Ehmes congratulated once again the students, asking for vigilance and unity as we continue to 2021.
Also present at the ceremony were: 10th Pohnpei State Legislature Senators, T.H. Mitaro Simina, T.H. Jayson Walter, T.H. Ricky Carl. Acting FSM Secretary of Education, Director of Pohnpei State Department of Education, Mr. Stanley Etse, Mr. Wayne Mendiola, Board of Education members, Mr. Grilly Jack , Diaz Joseph and Phyllis Silbanuz, Education Division Chiefs, Mr. Sentry Paul, Mr. Jolden Lipai, Mr. Peter Ramirez. Deacon Patrick Paul and WP Hainrick Aisek.