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Nine students were accepted into the Iakina Adventist Academy book of records by Mr. Bev Norman, TPU Education Director of the Seventh Day Adventist schools from Australia, during the two-hour high school graduation ceremony held on Sunday afternoon at Iakina Temple in Iliili.


The ceremony, whose theme was “Aiming for Excellence” was well attended by the graduates’ families and friends, invited guests and dignitaries, as well as the faculty and staff of Iakina Adventist Academy.


To officially send an encouraging message to the departing students, the class selected a retired Adventist educator, who has travelled from Samoa to Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia and now American Samoa to teach students. He is Lavea Iosua Malaga of Samatau Falelatai, Samoa.


His message was to exhort the graduates on the challenges of success, saying — “If you want to be successful, get off the boat — try walking on water!”


Malaga said, although the graduates will aim for excellence, there are adversaries awaiting to encounter them every inch of the way.


“Go with Jesus is the only advice I can offer you then,” he told them.


During the brief introduction of Malaga, Iakina Vice-principal Debra Tavita introduced him as a person with a PL degree, which he said he preferred to mean “professional loafer” to some laughter. He is the SDA Professional Leader.


“On water, it is impossible to walk, but with Jesus, it is possible, so as Peter says — He will lead you through many doors, you can never imagine, Jesus will never fail you in all things!”


After Malaga’s strong message the IAA School Council Chairman Fuafuamealelei Alofa Tuaumu voiced the appreciation from Iakina’s Board of Education for another successful school year.


“It is always a good feeling to see students graduate from our high school every year, to mark our great work and toil, and to continue good works to educate our children here in American Samoa,” he said. “Malo and fa’afetai galulue!”


Alefa Lenoga Afalava was introduced as this year’s valedictorian with a 3.85 GPA, and Jasmine Tali Uta was introduced as the salutatorian. Both young ladies were given opportunities to address their graduating class and the audience. [Their speeches will run separately]


Presentation of Awards to the respective graduates marked Afalava for the Fetuiai Siologa Trophy for the Valedictorian Award, while Uta accepted her award from Ausage and Associates for Salutatorian 2013.


The Citizen Award, provided by HASA 2013 and Vaouli Muasau, was given to Sivale Thanksgiving Mapu.


The highest SAT score award, prepared by the Curry-Tavita Family, was also presented to the Valedictorian.


The Leadership award, prepared by the Ti’iti’i Family, was presented to Shirley Meafou.


Congressman Faleomavaega Eni’s office issued four Congressional awards — the Valedictorian Award to Afalava, Salutatorian Award to Uta, Congressional award to Meafou and another special Highest SAT Award to Afalava.


Le’i Sonny Thompson, ASG’s Director of Human Resources, was on hand to represent the American Samoa Scholarship Board award during the commencement, as well as the Congressional awards.


Afalava was the only Iakina recipient of an ASG scholarship this year.


Le’i also introduced the names of the new scholarship board and its three non-voting advisors.


The new board members are: Chairman Rev. Elder Kalepo Vaitautolu; Senator Faumuina Tagisiaali’i, Rep. Tu’umolimoli Moliga, Tamaali’i Anesi Poloa, Mrs. Evelyn Satele and Mrs. Jeanette Yamasaki.


The advising members are: Dr. Seth Galeai of ASCC, Vaitinasa Dr. Salu Hunkin-Finau of ASDOE and Le’i Sonny Thompson.


This year’s graduation ceremony for Iakina Adventist Academy is the first year their regional director of education from Fiji was present as well as their TPU Education Director Bev. Norman, who accepted the graduates.


All hymns and songs for the commencement exercise were sung by the graduating class.


VALEDICTORIAN — Ms Alefa Lenoga Afalava


Strive to struggle, Aiming for excellence


How’s everyone holding up?


Proverbs 2:7, 8 “He holds victory in store for the upright...for He guards the course of the just.”


To everyone who has come today, our graduates’ parents, our school staff, as well as honored guests, I’ll try to keep this short and simple.


But first of all, All the credit goes to God and We couldn’t have made it this far without Him.


Since the start of this school year, our class had faced a large amount of trouble and adversity. And not surprisingly, MOST of the time we were the sources of these troubles. And I’m sure Mrs. Tofilau and Ms. Tavita can testify to that. But thanks to this, the few, precious moments of joy and happiness that we shared together seem even brighter. If there was one thing that Iakina taught us, it was to aim for excellence.


The dictionary defines Excellence as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. Which is quite a long way to go for any of us graduating today. But although obtaining excellence is challenging, it is never impossible, for even the very word impossible screams, “I’m Possible!”


I’d like to thank my entire family and all of my friends for helping and supporting me through these four years, but a certain four individuals deserve to be recognized:


To mom, for instilling high standards and values to live up to, thank you for keeping a roof over my head and pushing me to be the best I could be, whether it was in school, church, or simply for me to be myself.


To my two brothers, Rata, thank you for showing me that there’s no need to rush through life, all good things come to those who wait right?


But perhaps the most sincere thank you and job Well done belongs to you, our class of 2013: for sticking to it. We’re finally here and today we let go of our high school days, leaving all of this behind us. I suppose in the end, everything becomes an act of letting go, but what hurts the most is never taking a moment to say goodbye.


Deut. 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”


Someone important once told me, “to live is to struggle, to struggle is to live.” So friends, comrades, strive to struggle; and aim for excellence.


Thank You.


SALUTATORIAN — Ms Jasmine Tali Uta




O paia ma mamalu o le tatou aso, ua uma ona saunoa i ai le fofoga o le tatou aso, ma o le a le toe o’o i ai sa’u upu. E leai sa’u lauga e faia aua o lea ua iai le failauga fa’apitoa o le tatou aso. Ae o le agaga o lo’u tula’i o le fia fa’ao’o atu lea o le agaga fa’afetai ia te outou uma sa tofu sao i le fesoasoani mai lea i la matou taumafaiga i lenei fa tausaga ua fa’ai’uina.


Salamo 115:1 Aua ne’i ia te i matou, Ieova e, aua ne’i ia te’i matou, a ia tu’uina atu le viiga i Lou suafa, ona o Lou alofa ma Lou fa’amaoni.


E muamua le vi’iga ma le fa’afetai i le Atua ona o le poto ma le atamai ae maise ai o le malosi na ia foa’ina mai ia te i matou ua mafai ai ona matou fa’ai’uina ma le manuia lenei tausaga a’oga sa matou feagai ai.


Throughout the past years, the graduating class always leaves a gift to the school as a token of their appreciation. This year the class of 2013 has decided to install an electric bell for the school to use. I would like to thank Mr. Meafou for installing the electric bell. Folks, every time you switch it on, may it be a reminder of our graduating year. Thank You.


Matou te fa’afetai atu ia matou feagaiga taulagi i fatafaitaulaga e fia, ia outou fautuaga ma talosaga molia mo i matou, a’o matou feagai ai ma a’oa’oga.


E fa’afetai fa’apitoa atu foi i lau susuga i le tama’ita’i puleaoga, lau susuga So’i Save, lau susuga i le suipule, Bev Tavita. Aemaise le mamalu o le tou ofisa i la outou vaega fita i le ta’ita’ina lea o le aoga i le tulaga e manuia ai le fanau aoga.


Momoli atu le fa’afetai tele i lau susuga o le faia’oga, Iosua Malaga mo le taliaina o la matou vala’aulia fa’apitoa e avea ai oe ma failauga fa’apitoa o le matou aso. Tau ‘ina ia fa’amanuia atu le Atua fa’aopoopo nisi aso a’o e galue ai mo lana galuega. Fa’afetai.


I susuga i alii ma tama’ita’i faiaoga, se ua malo tau, malo fai o le faiva, malo onosa’i, e le o se galuega faigofie la outou galuega. Fa’afetai tele atu ia te outou mo le a’oa’oina o i matou.


E le fa’agaloina fo’i ia i matou le au kuka ia Darlin, Kalo, ma Rowena. Fa’afetai mo le saunia lelei o matou mea‘ai i aso uma. O le a misia tou laufofoga fiafia pe a matou atu fa’alua i le laiga.


Mo matou matua, E fai a’u ma sui o matou le fanau fa’au’u e momoli atu le fa’afetai tele ia te outou, i la outou vaega fita i aso e tele sa outou tula’i mai ai le taumafaiga lea o auala uma e fa’amalosi mai ai, ina ia i’u ma le manuia. A lea ua fa’ai’uina ma le manuia la matou taumafaiga. Fa’afo’i la ia o le viiga i le Atua Soifua. Fa’afetai.


Ou te fia fa’afetai fa’apitoa atu i o’u aiga aemaise o’u matua. Ou te fia faafetai i lou grandma, Toaono Kelemete. O lau ote, o lau fa’atonu ma au fautuaga lea ua i’u ai ma le manuia. Fa’afetai atu i o’u aiga uma lava o lo’o mafai ona fa’atasi mai i lenei aso, fa’afetai.


Mo o’u matua peleina ia Tamate ma Alovale Uta. Dad, pe ana leai lau fusipa’u, o au fasi paipa ma uaea uila, fa’apenei ou te le i’u i se manuia. Mum, o lau ote ma ou fautuaga mo a’u i le tele o taimi, ua aoga. Fa’afetai ia te oulua mo mea uma lava.


Mulimuli o la’u fa’afetai e fa’apitoa lea i le vasega e pito sili ona fa’alogatata ma malomaloa solo i le lotoa o le a’oga. I le vasega fa’ai’u aso, fa’afetai mo a outou uiga fa’alia i totonu o le tatou vasega. Sa faigata le tatou faigamalaga ae lea ua tatou o’o mai i le fa’aiuga o le isi la’asaga fa’alea’oga. Fa’afetai i o’u tuagane e to’alua ma o’u uso e to’afitu. Fa’amalo le tauivi, a lea ua tatou fa’au’u uma. E le fa’agalo outou i lo’u loto. Uso Tulimata’i i luma mo se mea e sili atu. Ia fa’amanuia le Atua i le tatou aso, Fa’afetai.


Iakina Adventist Academy Class of 2013 List:

Alefa Lenoga Afalava.

Aloali’i Mareko

Henry Epenesa

Jasmine Tali Uta

Sarafina Poasa

Shirley Meafou

Siosifa Vainga

Sivale Thanksgiving Mapu

Paalofuailelagi Sefuiva