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The Kanana Fou High School — home of the Stallions— held their Commencement Exercises last Friday, June 1, in the Ua Taunu’u Chapel on Kanana Fou Theological Seminary grounds, with 58 graduating Seniors of the Class of 2012 receiving their high school diplomas. Their chosen theme was “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

This year’s Kanana Fou Valedictorian was Destinee Va’alotuaigata Ulagi Afalava, with Tu’iemanu Eugenie Ripley accepting Salutatorian honors. Special Remarks were given by Lt. Gov. Faoa A. Sunia in Samoan.

The Commencement Address was offered by Reverend Fa’afouina Sitagata of Kanana Fou High School, who spoke words of encouragement to the Class of 2012.

“…I thank you for this golden opportunity. It is truly an honor to be standing up here today celebrating this special day with you,” said Rev. Sitagata.

“…Because today marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new chapter in your lives. Graduation day, it is a day of celebration. Celebrate all of your accomplishments and your success. It is also a day of reflection, of the four years of hard work you put in.

“The sleepless and endless nights of, chatting with your friends on Facebook...the relationships that you developed with one another...the arguments you had with one another... the best performers on island for the Speech Festival. The highlight of your four years, believe it or not, is that you have a football team. Even though we never made it to the playoffs and only won three games in the past three years, to me I think we were all victorious.

“Now that you accomplished a lot in the last four years... you gained knowledge and wisdom, where do you go from here?

“I will be straightforward with you Seniors and I will tell it like it is, whether you like it or not. Seniors, from this day forward, it is not going to be easy for you. I am not trying to discourage you right now, but encourage you, so that you can expect it and be well prepared for it. Winston Churchill stated, ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm’. To me that means, being passionate about your goals and your dreams no matter how many times you fall short.

“Overcoming fears leads to rare opportunities— and being passionate in what you believe  in can turn those rare opportunities into success stories and into successful futures” he told the graduating class.

The Confirmation and Acceptance of the graduates was formally done by the director designee of the Department of Education Dr. Jacinta Galea’i, while diplomas were handed out by Reverend Elder Fa’aeteete Saifoloi, Principal of Kanana Fou Mrs. Sinaitaaga Gaoteote-Tufele, Lt. Governor Faoa A. Sunia and Dr. Galea’i.


Valedictorian Award:            Destinee Va’alotuaigata Ulagi Afalava

Salutatorian Award:            Tu’iemanu Eugenie Ripley

Presidential Award:            Destinee Afalava

Scholastic Award:            Tu’iemanu Ripley

Leadership Award:            Tautala Gertrude Seti

Cultural Award:            Lipine Tu’ugasoli

Citizenship Award:            Paepaeuli Andrea Kolopa Tuiasosopo

Male Athlete Award:            Fa’afouina Sitagata

Female Athlete Award:            Lanutausala Tafaovale

Most Improved:            Semurana Ionatana Leaumoana

Ta’ita’itama Youth in Action Leadership Council Award:            Destinee Afalava

Gear Up American Samoa Scholarship Award:            Destinee Afalava

Rotary Club Award:            Arona Aliipuupuu Tovia

Florence Saulo & Associates Scholarship Award:            Destinee Afalava, Ernest Puletasi, Toni-Marie Hollister, Tu’iemanu Ripley

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Award:            Alice Malele, Brenda Fa’afua Foleni, Destinee Afalava, Ernest Puletasi, Joseph Jacob Fata Fruean, Marcus Leulua’i, Samuel Andrew Scanlan, Tu’iemanu Ripley, Vaiema Va’imaila Ale

ASG Scholarship Award:            Alice Malele, Brenda Fa’afua Foleni, Destinee Afalava, Ernest Puletasi, Joseph Jacob Fata Fruean, Marcus Leulua’i, Samuel Scanlan, Tautala Seti, Trixie Lynnette Virginia Mavaega, Tu’iemanu Ripley, Vaiema Va’imaila Ale

Teacher of the Year Award:            Peina Vara-DH Science



Valedictory speech (excerpts)

“I feel a sense of joy, sadness, excitement and most of all pride. Four years ago, I started a new chapter in life. This quote appeals to my vision so much. “The more that you read, the more you will learn. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.” This was said by the most important writer in my childhood. You all guessed correctly, Dr. Seuss.

This journey was an exciting journey and one that I never would of thought possible. I started in a new world with new people. But as I stand here today, I realize that this is now my world, with my friends. We started this journey together and have shared moments that have shaped who we are today and those moments will never be forgotten. I am proud to stand here today and be around such a great group of classmates of friends. We have cried together, laughed together, gotten in trouble together.

Parents are not the people that you come from, they are the people who you want to be when you grow up. Where would I be without you two? You have been my solid rock since I was born. You have always believed in me even when I failed to believe in myself. To my father, who I strive my hardest for, I seek relief needed in the subject you majored in but I tried my best to place first in that class just for you. You have helped be strong and independent, but most of all you have pushed me hard to use my talent before the Lord. Happy early Father’s Day dad.

I have had so many mothers in high school, you would be surprised. To my other mother, Salamasina Ripley, I wish you were here to see both of our accomplishments, Eugenie and I.

There is one woman who stands above all mothers, my own mother who I love the most. I wanted her to dye her hair purple, or at least a neon color so I could spot her. But when you share such a strong bond with your mother, you will know exactly where she is... somewhere in the crowd. This one is for you as well. You taught me how to take responsibility for myself and always look forward. You are a strong, beautiful woman that I love and admire. I love you mom. To my family, I could not have been blessed with a more diverse, talented, musical and very creative family. Thank you for the support, for always helping me see in the right direction.

To my graduating class, oh my dear graduating class. Albert Einstein once said, ‘It is not that I am so smart, it is just that I stay with problems longer’. This quote is about overcoming and never giving up. Though we may all go our separate ways and begin new chapters in our lives, we must never give in. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. We must all be willing to give our best. Times will get hard and we will make mistakes, but how we overcome and how we respond will decide who we are.

Another great poet Bob Marley said, ‘The stone that the builder refuses, will always be the head cornerstone’. Each and everyone of us, has the potential to succeed and fulfill our dreams, all we have to do is believe.

Stallions are known for their strength and free spirit. We as Stallions will show the world our strength and free spirit. To the Stallion class of 2012, we have completed this journey and we will begin another and that Stallion, let’s ride. May God bless you. Thank you.



++ ***             Valedictorian

+ ***             Salutatorian

***                         National Honor Society

**                         Honor Society

*                        Honor Student

1            Agaletaua Michaela F. Autele *

2            Albert Paletasara Tuaua *

3            Alice Malele ***

4            Alisia Tapeni Ameperosa

5            Alofa’aga Palepua

6            Alofao’o Bernice Tovale

7            Alumamalu Jr. Calvin Filoiali’i *

8            Amelia Junko Delana

9            Andrea Fa’aleiua

10            Areta Allysa Ashley Ve’e *

11            Arona Aliipuupuu Tovia

12            Avasa Vaoita Alesana *

13            Brenda Fa’afua Foleni ***

14            Bruce Kolia Vine

15            Charley Polu

16            Dayton Tuigago Ali’ilua

17            Destinee Va’alotuaigata Ulagi Afalava++***

18            Dora Matanofo Pulu **

19            Elisapeta Lanutausala Tafaovale *

20            Ernest Sam Puletasi ***

21            Fa’afouina Sitagata *

22            Fa’alua Nancy Poasa *

23            Genevieve Wenti Ifopo *

24            Ioane Peniala Ioane *

25            James Taito

26            Jeremiah Chester Junior Manaea *

27            John Fitisemanu

28            John Muese

29            Joseph Jacob Fata Fruean ***

30            Joshua Miracle Esau

31            Keilani Simati *

32            Lauoletema L. Simanu

33            Lipine Tu’ugasoli *

34            Lornalisa Pasami Pen Sagapolutele *

35            Mack Nicholas Key

36            Manase Ta’inamu *

37            Maninoa Arizona Logovi’i *

38            Marcus Leulua’i ***

39            Paepaeuli Andrea Kolopa Tuiasosopo

40            Pesaleli Rex Seanoa

41            Pua Jay Aliki

42            Ralph ILasa Vagana

43            Rummy Ronnie Vai *

44            Salavatia Fa’avae

45            Samuel Andrew Scanlan ***

46            Sarachael Manase Tomanogi

47            Semurana Ionatana Leaumoana

48            Senira Catherine Tuilagi *

49            So’oaso Lefotu

50            Tautala Gertrude Seti ***

51            Toni-Marie Hollister **

52            Trixie Lynnette Virginia Mavaega ***

53            Tuafale Fay Emosi *

54            Tu’iemanu Eugenie Ripley +***

55            Tyra Alofia Po’a *

56            Uperesa Palaie Gaoteote

57            Vaiema Va’imaila Ale ***

58            Valasi Merina Tea