“Education Breeds Success” theme for COHORT class

Forty teachers receive degrees from UH Manoa
A special award was presented to Alma Si’iva Cornejo Roe of Malaeloa, which she dedicated to her father, Nanai Lefefe Johnny Roe, who passed away four year ago. The award is for the best project by a member of the class of COHORT 24. [photo: Leua Aiono Frost]

Forty teachers received bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Hawai’i Manoa during a ceremony at Governor Rex Lee Auditorium last week. The occasion was the 24th COHORT Graduation, whose motto is “Education Breeds Success.”

After Reverend Sanerivi Mulitalo of the Congregational Christian Church in Alofau opened with a prayer, Master of Ceremonies Mene Taua’a told the graduates “the miracle of your achievement today is not about you— it is about the children that you teach, your training and your triumphs remind you of the sacredness of your profession... that is... to make a difference in a child’s life.”

Taua’a acknowledged the Department of Education’s leaders for supporting the teachers by improving the educational opportunities through the COHORT programs.

Deputy DOE Director Fatuletoga Philo Jennings gave remarks on behalf of DOE, congratulating the graduates for reaching another milestone in their teaching careers, saying that after countless hours and sleepless nights comes the celebration for achievements.

Fatuletoga told the graduates “Put yourself in their (your student’s) shoes when you teach them.” Quoting from a popular song, he said, “Our children are our future, teach them well, let them lead the way. Show them the beauty they possess inside... give them a sense of pride. To make it easier, let the children’s laughter remind us of how it used to be.”

“Will you be the one students look up to... parents, the government and its people look up to?” he asked. 

“The answer lies within you, you are educated, and education breeds success, and therefore you breed success,” said Fatuletoga.

“We hope you (teachers) will be someone that our students, our parents, our government and our people look up to, and we depend on you,” he added.

 “We need teachers who will teach from the heart, who are not just here to get a paycheck. We need teachers who believe in themselves, believe in their ability, believe in the ability of students, believe in your ability to teach students, believe in your ability and the student’s ability that they also can learn,” he advised the graduates.

Governor Togiola Tulafono acknowledged the University of Hawai’i for being an excellent partner in teacher training for the people of American Samoa.

He said the COHORT program has been one of the most successful in the territory in terms of bringing quality education to our teachers and elevating the level of their skills and expertise. However, he said, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Governor Togiola congratulated the graduates and made a request to the teachers. “I have heard recently ...young people, when you get your degrees you have the tendency of getting on Hawaiian Airlines and going off looking for a higher paying job in Honolulu or some other place.”

“Stay a while... give us a couple of years.” he pleaded.

“Give us back a little return for a great investment your people have put in you. This education was free— why? Because those people cared enough to given us the money so you can go to school free of charge. You can give back with your teaching,” he said.

Eleanor Malaga Tagaloa, president of the COHORT class, on behalf of the graduates, thanked everyone who made their success possible.

Those who received Masters of Education Degrees, with Emphasis on Secondary/Middle Level Curriculum Studies are as follows:

Suluia Afuola, Sarah Feguta’i Chan Kau-Tuiolemotu, Pogaifilemu Coffin, Mary Pauline Lydwina Talave-Iosefo, Rosanna Malae, Leleaga Mata’afa Leleaga, Tauilo Tonise Mataia, Aitulagi Vainu’upo Fanuea Tuiasosopo and Fenui Vevesi Aifai Tupua.

Twenty-eight teachers received Bachelors of Education in Elementary Education Degrees. They are: Fauato Aokuso, Edcear Apulu, Matava’a Atisone-Faleali’I, Elaine Pualau Avia, Irene Liza Su’a Fa’atupuinati, Afatia Frost, Fa’auuga Letoa, Elenor Malaga, Pisa Maugaotega, Desmond O’Brien, Mary Jane Paulo, Keresesia Puailoa, Alma Cornejo Nanai Johnny Roe, Penelope Taotua Ifo Nanai Johnny Roe, Stephanie Samia, Malu Milo-Tauanu’u, Pausetoa Tuiasosopo, Pelema Uta, Cora Taliau Afalava-Soosemea, Sene Emere Samau Fa’atoafe, Sanrita Kaleopa, Lauoletoa Lesii, June Tiumalu-Misi, LandylelaleleioFaleniumaFagamalo Kenesareta Kerupi Moi, Meatuai Si’itiaiomeoga Atualevao Peni, Anntonelli Vaonuu Failautusi Pola, Marie Lisha Timoteo and Leinati Mua’ava.

Three teachers received BA degrees in Interdisciplinary Studies— Honey Aigafealofani Peniata Alaelua, Susie Salevasa Lise Levi and Lemasania Tagaloa Tofili.

The class of COHORT 24 as they sang during the commencement exercise on Thursday, May 10, 2012 at Lee Auditorium, Utulei. [photo: Leua Aiono Frost]


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