Office of the Commissioner of Education

Welcome and thank you for visiting the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Public School System Web site.  We are pleased to make this site available to you to keep you inform of the educational programs and services for our children in our Commonwealth. As you browse through the web site you will be able to access information on the State Board of Education, Central Office and the Schools. Other links are also made available that will enable you to further explore our programs and services. 

Glenn Muna, M.Ed.
Interim Commissioner of Education


The Commissioner of Education has developed SMART goals aligned with the PSS Strategic Priorities PLUS to lead, guide and achieve school district improvements.

During School Year 2014-2015, the Commissioner of Education shall implement Strategic Priorities PLUS using the SMART Goal template. The strategic priorities were developed since 1998 and are updated on an annual basis by the school leadership and central office staff. In addition, the Commissioner included 2 additional priorities in School Year 2009 and School Year 2011. The strategic priorities of the Public School System are consistent with the authority of the CNMI Constitution Article XV, the Board of Education regulations and Public Law 6-10.


  1. High Student Performance

The quality of instruction has a strong impact on student learning (Brophy & Good, 1986, Stigler & Heister, 1999). The PSS believes that although this may be a general statement, we have identified and implemented research based instructional strategies, best practices and intervention programs to support high student outcomes.  The High Student Performance priority was established to ensure that the public school system develops and implements quality curriculum, instruction and assessment to help student achieve their academic goals and to be college and career ready by the time the leave the CNMI Public School System.

  1. Highly Qualified and Effective Personnel

The quality of human capital in the Public School System is of utmost importance. This is due to the services and programs that must be delivered to our primary clientele which are our students, followed by parents and our school community partners. The public school system employs non-certified staff and certified staff. Regardless of this distinction, the public school system expects the highest performance of staff in exhibiting their effectiveness on the job and their ability to perform based on qualification. Studies have shown a positive correlation on employee effectiveness and organizational performance. The Public School System developed this priority as we pursue to be a top performing organization in the Commonwealth.

  1. Effective and Efficient Operations

The establishment of the effective and efficient operations strategic priority is to ensure the PSS staff and key leaders oversee and use the resources of the public school system to achieve the organizational goals. The resources of the public school system include personnel, knowledge and skills of its staff, fiscal and other resources such as fixed assets. The Public School System staff continuously work together and coordinate their actions to achieve the goals as set forth by the State Board of Education and the Commissioner of Education in consultation with the stakeholders.

  1. Safe and Orderly Schools

Safety, orderliness, and caring in schools today cannot be assumed but must instead be explicitly addressed (Riley, P.L. 2013). The Center for the Prevention of School Violence views the establishment and maintenance of these conditions in schools as essential in efforts directed at creating excellent schools. The Safe and Orderly School committee continues to collaborate with all key stakeholders within the public school system and in our community to develop and implement sound policies and procedures. Our goal is to ensure that PSS has policies and procedures that will ensure the health, safety, orderly school environment.

  1. Parental Engagement and Community Partnership

Research is very clear that parental engagement and community partnership does have an impact on high student performance and school improvement. The engagement of parents in their children’s school work correlates with high grades in schools, positive attitude towards school and good attendance in school. Community partnership is also another positive and key aspect of school improvement wherein resources are leverage and wherein community businesses and public sector members partner with the school district to make available educational programs, services and resources to support student achievement. The Parental Engagement and Community Partnership was strategically added to the priorities in our effort to continuously reached out to key stakeholders to make a difference in our children’s educational goals.

  1. High Performing and High Reliability Systems

The CNMI PSS endeavors to fulfill its vision by ensuring high instructional quality while reducing variability in the quality of education for every student. In a high reliability educational system, the CNMI PSS aims at achieving the strategic priorities goals, improve standard operating procedures, design effective structures and processes for defined autonomy and constrained improvisation; and create and maintain safe reporting cultures for continuous high performance by all stakeholders within the organization. Through research and development cycles driven by data, PSS seeks to function in failure free conditions by improving system operations, detecting potential problems and solutions; and by discovering new innovations which will have greater impact on student performance.

Office of Administrative Services

The Office of Administrative Services is responsible in the planning, organizing, implementation, supervision, coordination, and evaluation of administrative services and programs of the Public School System, which supports the daily operations of our schools and Central Office.

The Office of Administrative Services strives to provide quality and essential services through leadership, collaboration, and support that enables the CNMI PSS to achieve excellence in teaching, learning, and public service.

Under the supervision of the Associate Commissioner of Administrative Services are the following programs:

  1. Capital Improvement Projects
  2. Emergency Operations and Crisis Management
  3. Child Nutrition Program
  4. Media and Print Productions
  5. Pupil Transportation
  6. Records Management and Data Center
  7. Technology and Communications Network
  8. Webmaster

The Strategic Priorities that Office of the Administrative Services oversees are:

  1. Effective & Efficient Operations
  2. Safe & Orderly Schools

Office of Curriculum and Instruction

The Office of Curriculum and Instruction is committed to continuously reach out to CNMI schools to close gaps by supporting instructional leaders-principals, teachers, counselors, and professional learning communities in providing quality instruction for all our students.

OCI provides support to all our schools.  in closing the achievement gap, OCI believes that quality of instruction will improve for students, and that instruction will only improve at scale when instructional leaders develop expertise in observing and analyzing instruction and know how to lead and guide teachers and other educators through the problem-solving and capacity building they need in order to consistently deliver effective teaching for all their students.

Office of Student and Support Services

The Office for Student & Support Services is under the leadership of an Interim Associate Commissioner for Student & Support Services.

Student & Support Services oversees programs that support and enhance student social, emotional and academic well being.  The programs within this department are co-curricular in nature, expanding opportunities for all students birth to 21. It is comprised of the following programs and their respective directors, coordinators and managers:

  • Americorps – Vicky Nicholas
  • JROTC – Vacant
  • Leadership Corps – Vacant
  • Early Head Start/Head Start – Lathania Santos
  • Special Education – Suzanne Lizama
  • Early Intervention – Robin Palacios
  • Alternative Education – Eric Evangelista
  • Cooperative Education – Brandon Nicholas
  • Distance Education – Lorraine Catienza
  • Instructional Technology – Bobby Cruz
  • Competitive Personal Responsibility Education Program – Melisha San Nicholas
  • State PREP – Jocelyn Itibus
  • T&FASEG – Lynette Villagomez/Yvonne Pangelinan
  • ELL – Vacant
  • Library & Media –Vacant
  • Family Engagement and Community Involvement – Melanie Sablan
  • Counseling – Frances Ulloa

Office of Accountability, Research, and Evaluation

The Office of Accountability, Research and Evaluation is under the leadership of the Lynette Villagomez, Associate Commissioner for Accountability, Research and Evaluation.

The programs under the Office of Accountability, Research and Evaluation serve as a clearinghouse for research, school improvement and innovation, evaluation and accountability from accreditation to individual schools to school systems. These programs are:

  1. Accreditation
  • A method of quality assurance, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. System accreditation nurtures and supports individual school improvement while aligning it with the overall school district improvement,
  • PSS will work with AdvancED to accredit schools, and
  • PSS will work with the schools to incorporate a performance based model that has a five year cycle of continuous improvement process.
  1. Assessment
  • Provides test administration dates and general assessment information of the PSS,
  • Provides support and technical assistance on statewide assessments, and
  • Collects, compiles and provide summary report of STAR assessments administered during the school year
  1. School Improvement and Innovation
  • Improve academic achievement of students to meet academic content and performance standards; reviews and authorizes innovative and targeted assistance programs, and provide technical assistance identified under improvement and innovation plan, and
  • Identifies programs and resources that affect a school’s educational improvement and innovative plan
  1. School Accountability
  • Provides information on the school district on student academic achievement, demographics, environment and resources, and
  • Prepares and develops annual statewide summary report of student assessment results, high school graduation rates, teacher qualifications, and other indicators.
  1. Research and Evaluation
  • Share research programs of the PSS
  • Where to find research and how to find research
  • Share research and best practices
  • Oversees, conducts and prepares evaluation reports of individual schools, individual programs, and the school district.

For more info contact:

Commissioner of Education (COE),

Capitol Hill Bldg #1211

Tel: (670) 237-3061/237-3005
Fax: 664-3845