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NVTHS graduates embrace their journey going forward

NVTHS grads with dignataries

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Nu’uuli Vocational Technical High School Class of 2024 held their Commencement Exercise Thursday morning, June 13, at their gymnasium.

Lt. Governor La’apui Talauega E.V. Ale was on hand to deliver the Commencement Address for the 62 graduates, on behalf of Governor Lemanu P.S. Mauga who could not attend due to government obligations. However, First Lady Ella Mauga was present, joined by Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata Radewagen and DOE Director Talauega Dr. Samasoni Asaeli.

School Principal Dr. Valasi Apulu greeted and welcomed parents and relatives of the graduates, and the special guests.

After a musical selection by the graduates, the ceremony commenced with the opening prayer delivered by Bishop Albert Toloa of the Pago Malaeimi Stake 1st Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, after which Lt. Governor La’apui addressed the graduates.

“Your theme ‘Embracing Our Journey’ beautifully embodies the essence of your experiences and the bright future that lies ahead for each of you,” the Lt. Governor began.

“Each of you has walked the path with challenges, triumphs, learning and growth. You have demonstrated resilience, courage, a relentless spirit proving that no obstacle is too great when faced with determination and heart.

“Embracing Our Journey is more than just a theme, it is a call to recognize the power within each step you take. Every challenge you faced has been a lesson, every success a testament to your hard work and every experience a building block of your character.

“Embrace your journey for it is uniquely yours and it has shaped you into the incredible individual that you are today. In American Samoa, our culture teaches us the importance of community, of heritage and perseverance.

“We are woven together by the values of our ancestors, the wisdom of our elders and the strength of our traditions. As you move forward, carry these values with you. Let them guide, inspire and remind you of where you are from and of who you are.

“Your education at Nu’uuli Vocational Tech has provided you with more than just knowledge. It has equipped you with the tools you will need to build a brighter future for you, your family and the people of American Samoa.

“The journey that you have embarked on these past years included something called Covid and a bunch of other things that are uniquely Samoan, like maybe not having textbooks in your classes or maybe sometimes the teachers don’t show up, or not having equipment to conduct your studies, and sometimes maybe you just decided not to show to school because you didn’t feel like it.

“But that’s all part of your journey, that’s all part of your experience. These things build character. The government and people of American Samoa can only do so much, but it is up to you. You have to take it on yourself. Pursue your careers, pursue your futures.

“Let your dreams be your compass and your determination be your engine. The world awaits your talents, your ideas and your contributions. Embrace your journey with courage, joy and an unshakable belief in yourself.

“Congratulations Class of 2024! May your future be filled with endless possibilities, and may you continue to inspire those around you with your incredible journey. Faafetai tele. God bless,” Lt. Governor La’apui ended his uplifting speech.

This was followed by the official recognition of the Class Salutatorian and Valedictorian by School Vice Principal Mrs. Agamalu Fuimaono-Tauese.

The NVTHS Class of 2024 Salutatorian is Ida Tauline Tatupu, who hails from the villages of Pava’ia’i, Pago Pago, Olosega, Manu’a, Lano and Vaito’omuli, Savaii. She is the daughter of Jerry and Taulaga Tatupu.

Her Spiritual parents are Rev. Usoalii and Solinuu Faatoatoa of the "Iesu le Sulu Moni" Methodist Church in Pava’ia’i. Ida dedicates her achievement to her parents, grandparents and Spiritual parents, especially her beloved uncle Tauinaola Jeremiah Tatupu and both her papas who are in Heaven, as well as all her families who played a big role in her academic journey.

Ms Tatupu has been accepted at the Southern Utah University and Saint Martins University.

The NVTHS Class of 2024 Valedictorian is Mingyuan Wang. He was born in China and raised in Nu’uuli, American Samoa. He is the son of Ping Wang and Hongmei Xu of China and Nu’uuli.

He is a business-minded individual who majored in Accounting. He is planning to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa after graduation. Wang has received a UH- Manoa International Merit Award Scholarship for $16,380 per year.

Special Awards:

Female Tradesman of the Year — Ida Tauline Tatupu

Male Tradesman of the Year — Toetu Sam Sapakuka

Highest SAT Score — Mingyuan Wang

Second Highest SAT Score — Isidore Gustav Allen

Male Scholar Athlete of the Year — Fanolua Junior Toilolo

Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year — Heavenlee Taualai Ames

Male Athlete of the Year — Sio Rabaigau Antonio Galuvao

Female Athlete of the Year — Lemafo’e A’emauga Muliipu

Male Leadership Award — Junior Leuluga

Female Leadership Award — Ruth Sulumauga Fiaava’e

Citizenship Award — Toetu Sam Sapakuka

Rotary Award — Mingyuan Wang

Schiener Family Scholarship Recipient Award:

Male — Wayne Hamilton

Female — Atalina Uprizan Peleitala Masoe

NVTHS NTHS Advisor’s Award for Excellence — Heavenlee Taualai Ames

Military Enlistment: US Marines — Nehemiah Kava

Diplomas were received by each graduate including a Certificate of Special Recognition from Congresswoman Uifaatali “on the occasion” of their graduation from NVTHS.