Dedicated educator

Mariana Leon Guerrero Lujan (1914 – 2006) was one of a cadre of dedicated educators who began teaching during the US Naval Era (1898-1941).  Before World War II, she taught at the Guam Post Office, Leary School, and Padre Palomo schools. After the war she became the principal of Yona Elementary School, Chalan Pago Elementary School, Price Elementary School and Talo’fo’fo Elementary School.

Lujan was born 12 November 1914 in Hagåtña, Guam. She was one of nine children born to Maria Manalisay Manglona and Vicente Aguon Leon Guerrero.

On 29 November 1941 she married fellow educator Manuel Ulloa Lujan. The two shared a special bond beyond careers in education. When the couple were courting Mariana would ride her bicycle behind the fence of the baseball diamond in Hagåtña when Manuel was playing baseball. Distracted by her presence, Manuel who was the pitcher would inevitably throw a wild pitch. Mariana had that effect on Manuel throughout their lives. The couple had five children: Vincent “Sonny,” Rudolph, Ramon, Ronald and Raymond; and three reared children: Maria R. Leon Guerrero, Leonard Sablan, and Ana R. Cruz. Her son, Vincent, said, by her presence she could “make my dad melt.”

A lifelong educator Mariana Lujan retired after 41 years of dedicated service. In recognition of her and her husband’s contribution to the island the Yona Elementary School was renamed “Manuel U. Lujan Elementary School” on her 62nd birthday in 1975. On 25 October 2006 the 28th Guam Legislature passed Resolution No. 202 recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of Mariana Leon Guerrero Lujan.

Lujan was greatly involved in the community through various associations. She was a lifelong member of the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteer Association, a member of the Catholic Daughters of Americas, the Soroptimist organization, the Secular Franciscan Order, and served as president of the Confraternity of the Christian Mothers in Yona. She also served as president of the St. Francis School PTA, was the secretary of the PTA at Father Duenas Memorial School, and vice-president of the island-wide Christian Mothers Association. In recognition of her service to the Catholic Church she was awarded a Papal Award in 1960 by Bishop Apollinaris W. Baumgartner.

Lujan’s service to the community extended to politics where she was one of the first women to serve in the Guam Congress. She was elected in 1948 as the representative from Yona and served in the 9th and 10th Guam Congress. She also served as Legislative secretary.

She died on 20 October 2006.

By Jillette Leon-Guerrero

For further reading

I Manfåyi: Who’s Who in Chamorro History. Vol. 2. The Hale’-ta Series. Hagåtña: Political Status Education and Coordinating Commission, 1997.