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Nu’uuli Vocational Technical High School, home of the Wildcats, held its Commencement ceremony last Thursday at the Kanana Fou Theological Seminary Gymnasium where 100 Seniors received their 2012 high school diplomas.

This year’s class theme was, “Your Decisions Determine Your Destiny”’.

This year’s Valedictorian was Shon Satele, while the Salutatorian honors went to Peninatautele Suka. The Commencement Address was given by Representative Larry Sanitoa with Special Remarks offered by Attorney General Fepuleai A. Ripley.

During his Commencement Address, Sanitoa spoke about future opportunities of jobs in the territory.

Rep. Sanitoa said, “For several days now, since being invited to speak at your graduation day, I have done a lot of soul searching on how to best address the true meaning of your powerful and thoughtful theme… Since this is the only and best institution of its kind on island and given the harsh reality facing our people and the present economic difficulty, not only in the United States, but here locally, I felt it was important for me to share with you my experience and thoughts on what is happening now, and where do we go from here.”

“…If you keep with the news, you may have heard, or read it in the newspaper, that the current unemployment rate in the United States is 8.1%. That equates to about 12.5 million of the workforce that can’t find jobs. Most significant and unfortunately, of the 12.5 million people unemployed, 24% of those numbers are young people like you.”

Sanitoa said, “Graduates, it is not my intention to bring gloom on your happy day, but I firmly believe it is very important for all of you to understand how critical are the decisions that you have to make today, after your graduation.”

“The question before you, that each of you should ask yourself is — where do I go from here? Decide now, not tomorrow, but today. Whatever you are contemplating, make the decision. Set yourself a goal and work towards achieving that goal.”

“Whatever you decide, stick to your decision. Commit to achieving it. Do not settle for less or sell yourself short. Graduates of the Class of 2012, congratulations to you all on your accomplishments thus far. I wish all of the best. May God Bless you all,” he concluded.

In his Special Remarks, Attorney General Fepuleai A. Ripley congratulated the Class of 2012.

“On behalf of the Honorable Governor Togiola Tulafono and First Lady Mary Ann, I am here to pass on his congratulations to the graduating class of 2012 of the Nu’uuli Vocational Technical High School,” said the Attorney General. “I know you guys are ready to get it on, to celebrate your happy day. Congratulations and best wishes for the future. God bless you, God bless your parents and teachers. God bless American Samoa and the United States of America. Soifua.”

The Confirmation and Acceptance of the Senior Class of 2012 at Nu’uuli Vocational Technical High School, was done by an ASDOE designee, Dr. Jacinta Galea’i, which was then followed by the presentation of diplomas.


Valedictorian Award:            Shon Satele

Salutatorian Award:            Peninatautele Suka

Leadership Award:            Iosefa Su’a

Citizenship Award:            Jasmina Tufele

Drug Free Award:            Chris Amituana’i

Male Scholar Athlete Award:            Lolani Fa’aloua

Female Scholar Athlete Award:            Peninatautele Suka

SAT Award:            Shon Satele

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Award:            Shon Satele

Florence Saulo & Associates Scholarship Awards: Vatauomalotetele Fanene, Aloese Su’a, Peninatautele Suka

McDonald’s Scholarship Award:            Salamasina Aumua

Gear Up Award:            Shon Satele

Rotary Club Award:            Jeanette Tunoa

Trade Scholarship Award:            Sandra Purcell

ASG Scholarship Award:            Salamasina Aumua, Shon Satele, Jeanette Tunoa

Ta’ita’itama Youth in Action Leadership Council Award:            Jeanette Tunoa

Food Consumer Service Award:            Jeanette Tunoa, Cathy Taylor



NVTHS Valedictorian: Shon Satele

Greetings and Talofa to our distinguished and honored guests, parents, family, friends and loved ones.

Thank you for being here to celebrate the graduation of the #1 high school class in American Samoa... the Nu’uuli Vocational Technical Class of 2012!

When I was confirmed last Thursday to be the Valedictorian of this great class of friends, I was so excited. I was so excited that I had achieved a goal I embarked on twelve years ago with my parents. I was so happy, until I realized that it also meant that I had to give a speech. It was a speech recognizing me as ‘the biggest nerd’ in our class, or at least that is what my friends call it.

My uncle said to me, that no one ever remembers the Valedictorian speeches. When I thought about what he said, I was a little upset. I said to my uncle, ‘you mean to tell me the I spent the last four years of my life being the biggest nerd in school and no one is going to ever remember my speech? I took that as challenge and I did some research and came up with four words; leadership, integrity, commitment and perseverance!

These four words are the standard of some of the most ‘boring’ speeches ever give during graduation ceremonies.

I figured that was the reason no one remembered the Valedictorian’s speech. Because those are the same words and examples every Val  has been saying as long as Valedictorian speeches have been made.

I thought that I would find something different to say and do you know what I came up with? Nothing. So then I thought I could talk about our future. Where we would be, what path we would take and how would we get there. Then I thought, I have never been there, so I don’t know what to talk about. But what I can talk about is some highlights of our past four years of high school…

Now the year we were waiting for, our Senior. Our grand finale. ‘Raising our standards’ was our motto for this school year. We started off strong with the Wildcat football team, as they made it to the playoffs for the first time in history. Our boys varsity volleyball team, won the championship this year. Because we held ourselves at a higher standard this year, for the first time our school was represented in every island wide competition there was. From the Science Fair, History Day, to the Speech Festival... we competed.

To my fellow Seniors, that was a quick look at the last four years of your lives and mine. To sum it up, people may say, ‘we are not as good as we could have been, or not as good as we should have been’. But I know we are better than we used to be!”

Do you remember those four words that I mentioned earlier, leadership, integrity, commitment and perseverance? These are the key words to our success.

Leadership. If you don’t want to lead, accept the fact that you will be led.

Integrity. Being true to yourself, is better than being a liar just to impress everyone.

Commitment. Your life is your message to the world. Make sure it is inspiring.

Perseverance. The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.

I remember the words of Oprah Winfrey. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher, because life is already filled with those who want to bring you down”.

With that being said, I want to thank the people who lifted me higher. My grandparents Emily and Asomua Fiame and my grandmother Evelyn Tuia. My spiritual parents, Reverend Alapai and his wife Teuila Eti for my faith in God and his blessings. My uncles, aunties, cousins and family. To my younger sisters and newborn baby brother. I hope you have a paved road for you to follow. I love you very much. Special thanks to my parents, my dad Henry Satele and my mom Carol Fiame.

Fa’afetai, Soifua Ma Ia Manuia



*National Technical Honor Society



1            Senetenari Ainu’u

2            Eric Aitu *

3            Emanuel Alosio

4            Lino Ameperosa

5            Chris Amituana’i

6            Salamasina Aumua *

7            Victor Chanel

8            Daryl Crichton

9            Fredrick Crichton

10            Tanielu Ekuale

11            Lolani Fa’aloua

12            Melekiole Fa’amanatuga

13            Justin Fa’asavalu

14            Ululoa Fa’avaega

15            Paua Falanai

16            Fa’amita’i Falani

17            Robert Falaniko

18            Ietitaia Falelua

19            Vatauomalotetele Fanene*

20            Loretta Faoa

21            Maria Fata

22            Ezra Fetu

23            Jasper Fiatoa

24            Emi Finauvale

25            Peleti Fu’a

26            Lord, Sonny Hleigh

27            Victor Ioane

28            Sam Lei Jr.

29            Kapeli Lasalo

30            Chris Leitupousa

31            Tupufia Leleua

32            Lotofuatiaifo Lemautu

33            Paea Leota

34 Falaniko Lepolo

35            Fa’aletonu Letalu *

36            Fiso Letoi

37            Iefata Levi

38            Annie Ligi

39            Kalati Lili’o

40            Maeli Lili’u

41            Samson Lili’u

42            Hana Loto

43            Tausunu Luau *

44            Tautalafua Mafua

45            Alex Maiava

46            Jared Maluia

47            Rodney Michael

48            Johnakani Mikaele

49            Tafaoga Misa

50            Edward Niumanumanu

51            Mathew Oloa

52            Laukau Otuafi

53            Joshua Pati

54            Manuel Petelo

55            Mina Poloa *

56            Sandra Purcell*

57            Chris Sagapolutele

58            Onosa’i Sanerivi

59            Shon Satele * +

60            Sione Satini

61            Dorothy Iosefa

62            Seuea Savea

63            Si’ua’ana Semaia

64            Merlene Siaopo

65            Delphine Siatun’u

66            Faamoe Sioka

67            Jimmy Sioka

68            Mote Si’ufanua

69            Edward Smith

70            Bossworth Solomona *

71            Dardine Suani

72            Aloese Su’a*

73            Iosefa Su’a *

74            Victoria Su’e

75            Peninatautele Suka* ^

76            Victoria Susuga

77            Maizetoria Susuga

78            Miriama Susuga

79            Victoria Susuga

80            Fa’amelea Tago

81            Toeaso Tago

82            Jasie Tanielu

83            Brandon Teofilo

84 Peter Tonga

85 Nathaniel Tuamoheloa

86            Toetu Tuamoheloa

87            Losaline Tu’atonga

88            Jasmina Tufele *

89            Suiamai Tuimaseve *

90            Jeanette Tunoa *

91            June Tunu

92            Perise Tyrell

93            Malo’aufa’atasi Uaita

94            Fetalia’i Utuone

95            Yesenia Vaiaga’e

96            Richard Vaise

97            Colleen Vou*

98            James Wilson

99            Pita Naiuli

100 Cathy Taylor