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Community Briefs


In a general memorandum, No. 096- 2012, released July 5, signed by Lt. Gov. Faoa Sunia, department directors, agency and office heads of the government were notified that ASG employees and members of the ASNOC “participating directly in and representing American Samoa at the XXX Olympiad” in London, England are “granted excused absences from their government employment with pay while they are directly participating in the games.”

The employees are listed as follows: Kenneth Tupua, ASNOC President, of the Department of Parks and Recreation; Etisone Imo, ASNOC Secretary General, of the American Samoa Community College; and Valusia Talataina, Athletics Coach, of the Department of Education.


 (UTULEI: Sunday, July 8, 2012)Governor Togiola Tulafono, who departed the Territory last Tuesday for meetings in Georgia and Virginia, visited Austin, Texas on Thursday and Friday to offer support to the American Samoa Under 19 football team at the International Federation of American Football 2012 World Championship Tournament.

On Sunday, Governor Togiola and First Lady Mary Ann Tulafono traveled to Atlanta to attend the 2012 National Forum on Education Policy that will be hosted by the Education Commission of the States on July 9-11. The Forum will include as a speaker, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Togiola is American Samoa’s ECS liaison.

After Atlanta, Governor Togiola will attend the Summer National Governors Association meeting from July 13-15 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The governor will return to American Samoa on Tuesday, July 17th.


(AUSTIN TX: Sunday, July 8, 2012)Governor Togiola Tulafono and First Lady Mary Ann Tulafono joined the American Samoa Under 19 football team in celebration of their 27-14 win over France in the 5th place game of the International Federation of American Football World Championships at Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas on Friday, July 6, 2012.

Togiola visited the Lone Star State to offer support for American Samoa’s third and final game of the two-week tournament.

He expressed his delight and gratitude to the team after the game, and said their performance told the world that American Samoa has a rightful place in the tournament in the future.

Togiola said in his remarks, “A big congratulations to our boys and our coaching staff for their victories against Panama and France. We won with that Samoan spirit of ‘give your all with all your heart and might’ … Our thanks go out to our team, Head Coach Pooch Ta’ase and his very dedicated coaching staff for a good demonstration of our development and a wonderful display of the efforts that we continue to strive for in our football program back home.”

He concluded, “Thank you to all of American Samoa, our island community, and to the families, schools, churches and villages of these young people and their coaches for rooting them on from far away. Our boys will return with a special feeling that they proudly represented our people and our island home, and came in fifth place, which is not a bad showing for a team entering this international competition for the very first time. So, we have three years to prepare.

“I wish to also thank Island Television Cable Channel 13, KVZK-TV, Samoa News, UStream and YouTube for the coverage of this tournament.

“Thank you again to the people of American Samoa. Thank you for your moral and financial support and prayers for our team. Fa’afetai tele lava. God bless American Samoa.”



WASHINGTON D.C. July 5, 2012 — Congressman Faleomavaega’s office hosted a group of 21 teachers and administrators from American Samoa who were in Washington, D.C. as part of the Teaching American History (TAH) program.

The TAH group were given a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol by Faleomavaega's staff. The tour ended with a photo opportunity on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, followed by lunch at Congressman Faleomavaega's office. The group then departed for a visit to the National Museum of American History.

The Teaching American History (TAH) trip is part of a 3-year grant program that centers on specialized enrichment for teachers of U.S. History. For the past two years, teachers in American Samoa participated in a series of classroom courses — many which took place on the weekends. The courses helped teachers to develop U.S. History content knowledge and teaching strategies to improve classroom instruction to students in the Territory.

TAH Project Director, Donna Gurr, who also serves as Assistant Director of the American Samoa Department of Education's Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability (OCIA), stated that the TAH trip helps "bring history to life" for teachers of U.S. History.

Jack Bareilles who was as an external evaluator for American Samoa's TAH grant, coordinated the study tour, from New York City to Washington D.C. Prior to the tour, Bareilles contacted historians at each site in an effort to provide the teachers with educational materials, lectures, and workshops on-site to enrich their teaching of U.S. history.

The trip, which began in New York City and ended with the July 4th Independence Day celebration in Washington D.C., introduced teachers to historical sites and attractions in New York, Pennsylvania; and Virginia.

Two major highlights of the trip took place at Arlington National Cemetery where the group participated in two wreath-laying ceremonies, one at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and one at the grave site of Army Private Jonathan Ioakimo Falaniko, as representative of the Samoan soldiers who were casualties of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and buried at Arlington National Cemetery which include Master Sergeant Tulsa Tulaga Tuliau and Staff Sergeant Loleni William Gandy.

In addition to their visiting historical sites, TAH teachers also benefited from being able to gather extensive resources to take back to their classrooms, including access to electronic resources provided by various educational centers along their trip, videoconferencing opportunities, and valuable websites for teachers as well as students.

"I would like to extend my congratulations and deep gratitude to all of our teachers and educators who visited my Washington, D.C. office as part of the Teaching American History program, Faleomavaega said.

There were four TAH leaders and 17 TAH teachers who visited the Congressman's Washington, D.C. office, including three family members of the TAH participants: Tamiano Gurr, Liana Gurr, and Fueainaula Young, as well as Mr. Jack Bareilles and Ms. Anne Harlin, both are history teachers from California.

(Source: Cong. Faleomavaega’s office)