Former Mount Carmel School president Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero has accepted the Northern Marianas College Board of Regents offer to be the next NMC president and he will start transitioning over the summer.
The Board of Regents unanimously voted to give Deleon Guerrero an offer at its special board meeting last Friday and Deleon Guerrero accepted it that same day.
It was also learned that the Board of Regents asked NMC interim president Frankie Eliptico, who has held the post since August 2018, to consider becoming NMC president, but Eliptico declined.
The last NMC president was Dr. Carmen Fernandez, who had resigned from her post. Before Fernandez, NMC had Dr. Sharon Hart.
In a Facebook statement, Deleon Guerrero confirmed that he had accepted the offer and will transition over the summer. Deleon Guerrero describes leaving MCS as bittersweet, but as an educator, he has always believed in “the power of education to transform lives.”
“On one hand, I look forward to using my time and talents to have a broader impact on our community. …Serving as the president of the Northern Marianas College will help me help many others transform their lives. On the other hand, I have cherished the privilege of transforming lives here at Mount Carmel School, and I am saddened that my professional path is taking me elsewhere,” said Deleon Guerrero.
He assured that he will work with Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez, MCS’ board of directors chair Vicente Babauta, the MCS board of directors, and MCS’ leadership Team “to ensure a smooth transition.”
“As we make this transition, please trust that we have great leaders and educators in place who can and who will continue contributing to the rich legacy of our school,” said Deleon Guerrero. He added that they have also built up the school’s human resources, and developed and implemented policies, procedures, and practices that will contribute to its effective and efficient operations.
Despite his absence at MCS, Deleon Guerrero assures that he will still “be connected to the school” as he has done in the past. Though he’s not sure how that will happen, it’ll be done “one way or another.”
“With that, I humbly ask you to keep me in your prayers. The road ahead will be difficult, for all of us. But, if it’s one thing I know about our school family, it is this: we are Knight Strong,” said Deleon Guerrero.
‘Knight sailing on a proa’
In a social media message to Saipan Tribune, Deleon Guerrero said he looks forward to his next challenge of leading NMC.
“I am humbled and honored by the offer by the Board of Regents. I have accepted the offer and I look forward to working with the board and the entire college community to build on NMC’s 40-year legacy to continue transforming lives and meeting the needs of our community through education. I must also thank interim president Frankie Eliptico for all that he has done to lead the institution through typhoons, a pandemic, and numerous other challenges. His leadership has kept the college’s proa afloat and sailing ahead,” he said.
Deleon Guerrero said he will also be thankful for MCS but assured everyone that he will continue to serve his alma mater, but this time in an informal manner.
“I love my school family and, as I work with Bishop Ryan and chairman Ben on this transition, I take comfort knowing that we have great people and sustainable systems in place at MCS that will ensure that transition is smooth. Plus, as I have done in the past, I will definitely stay connected to my alma mater in one way or another. Some people like to golf. Others like to fish. I love being a Knight. The only difference is that I’ll be a Knight sailing on a proa,” he said.
Employees on Eliptico
Board of Regents chair Charles Cepeda said that Eliptico “stepped up to the leadership role with a great deal of passion for the college” soon after Super Typhoon Yutu hit Saipan and Tinian, causing massive damage to the NMC campuses.
“Under Eliptico’s leadership, NMC staff members, faculty, and students worked together and saw growth in enrollment even after the worst typhoon to hit NMC,” Cepeda said.
College employees also commended Eliptico for a “job well done” as interim president.
“I’ve been here at NMC for more than 20 years, and during that time, interim president Frankie was one of the few people I saw that made a true difference,” said NMC employee Robert Suzuki.
Alexis Cabrera, who heads the Office of Student Activities and Leadership and the Staff Senate president, said they were able to deal with major obstacles under Eliptico’s leadership.
“Under Frankie’s leadership, we were able to deal head-on with major obstacles like the destruction of NMC’s campus by Super Typhoon Yutu and the austerity measures. He has done so many great things for the college as the interim president,” said Cabrera.
Eliptico was appointed interim president in August 2018 just a few weeks before Yutu. Since then, Eliptico has been overseeing recovery efforts that include several construction activities. Under his leadership, the college has secured funding for new buildings and facilities.
Despite these challenges, the college saw one of its highest enrollments this past fall semester.