Position: Classroom Teacher
Address: Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas
Employer: Hopwood Junior High School
“To make a difference in the life of my students” is how Ernesto O. Alano describes his philosophy as a teacher. And quite difference he must be making in the educational system and communities in Micronesian islands. In 1993, he was chosen as CNMI Teacher of the Year, besting other selected outstanding teachers in the islands of the Commonwealth. Mr. Alano is only the second Filipino and the first non-resident contract worker to receive the award. In October 1994, he presented the Commonwealth in the statewide teachers competition in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Alano served as President of the Marianas Association of Filipino Educators for two (2) consecutive terms (1991-1993). He played a leading and critical role in the investigations conducted by the US Department of Justice regarding the discriminatory practices committed by the Public School System, CNMI against Filipino contract teachers. He served as an effective liaison between the US Department of Justice and the Filipino contract workers in CNMI. He is being credited as the one who rallied his fellow Filipino teachers to give full support to the US Department of Justice human rights case against the Public School System. The successors of the investigations, which is credited to the bold actions of the Filipino teachers, led to the filing a civil rights case by the US Department of Justice against the Public School System.
It was also under Mr. Alano’s effective leadership that the Association successfully lobbied for the amendment of a particular provision in the Retirement Laws of the CNMI which is detrimental to Filipino contract workers employment by the government.