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2020 US Territories History Teacher Of The Year

Christian Sa’alea

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Tafuna High School history teacher, Christian Sa’alea has been named the 2020 US Territories History Teacher of the Year, an award presented annually by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to K-12 American history education.

The U.S based non-profit Institute made the announcement recently, saying that in addition to a $1,000 honorarium, Sa’alea’s school will receive a core archive of American history books and Gilder Lehrman educational materials and recognition at a ceremony.

Tafuna High Principal Tutuila Togilau describes Sa’alea as a “truly... exemplary teacher” who was most recently nominated by the National History Day program for the 2020 Hannah E. (Liz) MacGregor Teacher of the Year Award.

“Indeed this is an honor for a teacher in American Samoa. Christian was also recognized as the Teacher of the Month by our Parents Teachers Association (PTA) based on consistency in submitting weekly lesson plans and for perfect attendance,” Togilau explained.

And just a week ago, Sa’alea was selected to compete for the American Samoa Region School Teacher of the year.

“This is a reflection of Christian’s hard work, dedication, and commitment to lifelong learning. Christian is very creative, artistic, and highly respected by her colleagues,” said Togilau. “For the past few years, she has successfully collaborated with her colleagues and history department for the National History Day and placed first for many categories.”

Sa’alea also took advantage of several professional development opportunities offered by local Education Department, “and took teaching certification classes over the past two summers,” Togilau said.

“It’s this commitment to growth and her students’ well-being that makes Christian an outstanding educator who empowers her students,” she added.

Information about the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History online (

[photo: courtesy]