The Pacific Horizons School’s Class of 2013 turning their tassels to be recognized as the official PHS Class of 2013. Class Salutatorian Kirstan Lin, Class Valedictorian Dylan Willis, and Honor Student Nyaz Addison. [photo: TG]

Pacific Horizons School “Home of the Navigators”, under the direction of Principal Caroline Tuiolosega, bid farewell to three senior students who graduated with high honors this past Thursday evening, with a commencement ceremony that was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints stake center in Ottoville, Tafuna.
Attending the graduation on behalf of governor Lolo Moliga was American Samoa’s Attorney General Afoa Moega Lutu.
Lutu gave some inspirational comments to prep the three grads for their biggest upcoming challenge called life, saying “It is not easy, life is hard; but if you believe in God, you do your best, to serve your community, your family, I tell you the blessings will pour.”
He added, “Remember your roots, and keep to the fort, believe that all of the American Samoan families have your back, on behalf of Honorable Governor Lolo Moliga and Honorable Lt. Governor Lemanu Mauga and the American Samoa Government, I congratulate you once again.  Pacific Horizons School, Class of 2013, as we say in Samoan, “malo le tauivi, malo le finau, malo le taumafai” thank you for striving forward, thank you for trying your best, God bless you in all of your lives’ endeavors. Soifua.”
The keynote speaker of the ceremony, who was selected by the graduating class, was Richard deSaulles who also addressed the three graduates on what to expect from hard work and determination, “My final piece of advice for all of you is to seek out and stay close to people who really know you. Now these are the same people who are not going to tell you sometimes what you want to hear, but these are the people who have your best interest at heart.”
He concluded, “Find your strength and be with the people who bring out the best in you, and keep them— nurture those friendships and relationships."
Recognition of the graduates included the presentation of the Congressional Awards. Pacific Horizons Nyaz Addison accepted the first Congressional award, followed by class Salutatorian Kirstan Lin, and class of 2013 Valedictorian Dylan Willis who also received the Congressional Valedictorian Award.
The Rotary 4-Way Test Award that was presented by Joe Yandall, was also awarded to Pacific Horizons 2013 Class Valedictorian, Dylan Willis.
The ASG Scholarship Awards were presented by Le’i Sonny Thompson. to Kirstan Lin and Nyaz Addison.
Dylan Willis received an off-island scholarship.
All three have been accepted and will be attending universities on the mainland, US. Dylan Willis will be attending Lubbock Christian College/Texas Tech, Kirstan Lin will be attending Portland State University, and Nyaz Addison is going to Oregon State.
First off, I would like to thank everyone for coming here tonight to help us to celebrate our high school graduation. I’d like to thank God for everything He’s done for me. I’d like to thank my parents for always supporting me in everything I’ve done and for encouraging me to keep doing my best in all that I wanted to do. I’d like to thank the teachers for putting up with our complaints and helping us to fill our minds with knowledge and experience that we will be able to use for the rest of our lives. I’d like to thank my church youth group for everything that they have done for me over the years. You guys have been such an encouragement to keep working hard and pushing forward.
Lastly, I’d like to thank my classmates. You guys have always been there for me and we’ve learned a lot together throughout the years. Thanks for everything and I hope we’re able to keep in touch with each other as we each go our separate ways.
I’d like to say just really quickly that, though we have finished our high school lives, we have a long way to go. Learning is not just during school; it’s all the time. We may have finished this one step, but we have many more steps to come.
I hope that we are all able to have the support that our friends, family, and this school has given us throughout each step we have taken so far. I would like to finish with a quote by William Butler Yeats. “Education is not filling a pail, but lighting a fire.”
I hope that our flames burn long and strong for the rest of our lives. Thank you to everyone again for coming tonight and wish us luck in the next step in our lives!
Dylan Willis –– Class of 2013 Valedictorian
Kirstan Lin –– Class of 2013 Salutatorian
Nyaz Addison –– National Honor Society


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