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Tafuna High School held its 2012 Commencement Exercise on Tuesday morning May 29, 2012, with high school faculty and staff, Department of Education and other government officials, friends and family members witnessing 301 Warriors receiving their high school diplomas.

This year’s graduating theme was ‘He conquers, who endures’.

There were four Co-Valedictorians to end the 2011-2012 school year—all females– Merina Margery Ng Lam, Lorilei-Joyce Faapeaolaina Teofilo, Finao Tuiasosopo and Julieann Rima Tupuola. The Salutatorian Award went to a young man, Jermaine Tipeni Tuiasosopo.

The Commencement Address was given by the Assistant Director of Teacher Quality, Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga, while Special Remarks were made by Governor Togiola Tulafono.

Invocation was led by Reverend Semo Tapaleao of the EFKAS, Pale Alii o le Ola, Aoloau, and Tafuna High School Principal Lentoy F. Matagi welcomed the large assembly.

During his Special Remarks, Togiola spoke about continuing to learn and the temptations the class will be facing. “Guess who will be the very first one to greet you after today?” he asked.

“The devil,” said Togiola. “He will greet you, as soon as you get out there. He is going to say, you got it, now go do it. But what are you going to say? ‘Get away from me.’

“You have to be brave enough to tell the devil that. He will be there at your every turn, telling you to do it, just do it. He will say it’s fun, take a sip, take a whiff, take a snip. He did it to me also. For sometime, I forgot to tell him to get away and I started to make a turn for the worse. I will always remember how my parents corralled me back into the circle and kept me straight, that led me to where I am today. I hope that you will always remember that.”

“We all must give our full commitment to be educated, for the rest or our lives. There is never a shortage of things to learn and how to learn and value from learning, if you are committed to learning every chance you have and do not stop. There is a lot to learn from reading, listening, watching and seeing,” he said, adding, “ Enjoy graduation, you earned it”

“ God Bless you,” said Governor Tulafono.

In her Commencement Address, Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga commented on this year’s theme.

“Your theme, ‘he conquers who endures’, is rooted in a quotation by a Roman poet and satirist, Aulus Persius Flaccus. I am sure your English teachers are very proud of you for remembering your English Literature class,” said Matagi-Tofiga. “It is a motivational quote, which means to conquer, or to win, to succeed, to master something must endure. You must put up with things, face up, tolerate; you must have courage, suffer and bear the consequences. It can also be reversed. If you endure, you will conquer.

“Class of 2012, you have conquered this part of your educational journey. All 301 of you have endured it all and have conquered. Let it go down in history, Warrior Nation, Class of 2012 is the biggest, largest group that has conquered and endured American Samoa public high school 2012,” she said.


Co-Valedictorian Awards:

Merina Margery Ng Lam

Lorilei-Joyce Faapeaolaina Teofilo

Finao Tuiasosopo

Julieann Rima Tupuola

Salutatorian Award:

Jermaine Tipeni Tuiasosopo

High SAT Score Award:

Young Suk Jeong

Merina Margery Ng Lam

Citizenship Award/Male:

Mathias W. Faaita

Citizenship Award/Female:

Easter Nineta Brown

Leadership Award:

Joseph E. Zodiacal

Teacher of the Year Award:

Iose Afu

Male Scholar Athlete of the Year Award:

Filoisamoa T. Dante Langkilde

Female Scholar Athlete of the Year Award:

Meaalofa Sylvia Leite

Male Athlete of the Year Award:

Destiny L. Vaeao

Female Athlete of the Year Award:

Monalisa T. Faasavalu

Special Recognition Award:

First Lady Maryann Tulafono

Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Award:

Merina Margery Ng Lam

Finao Tuiasosopo

Julieann Rima Tupuola

Lorilei-Joyce Faapeaolaina Teofilo

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

Jireh Kaylani Kruse

Gear Up American Samoa Scholarship Award:

Lorilei-Joyce Faapeaolaina Teofilo

Justin Toloula Ioane

Jermaine Tipeni Tuiasosopo

Talimeli F. Taufetee

Florence Saulo & Associates Scholarship Award:

Julieann Rima Tupuola

Merina Margery Ng Lam

Finao Tuiasosopo

Jermaine Tipeni Tuiasosopo

Temukisa Matagi

Talimeli F. Taufetee

Ryanny Junior Hall

Jireh Kaylani Kruse

Luisa Tasi

Monson K. Mamea

Epafara C. Moananu

Mathias W. Faaita

Angelina I. Lafaele

Ashley F. Faumuina

Rotary Award:

Annie S. Fiatoa



Merina Margery Ng Lam

“I would like to acknowledge the faculty, staff and administration of Tafuna High School. You have inspired and challenged us to go that extra mile and achieve our goals. Like what we are witnessing today and for that we thank you for all of your hard effort put into shaping our lives not only mentally but physically. You have parented us, not only in academia, but also in the lessons of life. Thank you for all of the advice and encouragement and not to mention, all of the yelling as well as the embarrassment, because it was all for the better”.

“Mom and dad, you have been my primary influence for the past seventeen years. For your words of encouragement, all of which have a great positive impact on my life and will always be remembered for the rest of my life. I love you mom and dad. My sister Alma and my brother Raymond, thank you for believing in me and for supporting me in the decisions that I have made, even though at times, we have had our little disputes, I can honestly say that I could never ask for any siblings better than you two. I would like to acknowledge my whole family here and abroad for your support. Your prayers have brought me this far, and for that, I want to say thank you”.

“To my class, it seemed that it was just yesterday, that we entered the Warrior Nation, as little and insecure kids. We have grown and have grown together. We have laughed together, played together, performed together and today, we celebrate together. You all have taught me a lot and I am grateful that I have became a part of your life.

Lorilei -Joyce Faapeaolaina Teofilo

“It is a great privilege and honor to stand before you all, here at the home of the mighty Warrior. Throughout my formal years of education, I have continuously learned to always have the mentality to try. For it is better to try and fail, than failing to try. For the past four years at Tafuna High School, I have made friends with fellow classmates, teachers, faculty and staff, all of which made these years not only memorable, but also successful”.

“Every step that was taken, from being Freshmen to Sophomores, Sophomores to Juniors and Juniors to Seniors, we were all faced with different obstacles and challenges, which we were all able to overcome with determination and a will, that anything is possible. To conquer something, one must be willing to fight for it and fighting for it, requires endurance. We have all battled through the rough and tough times of the past four years and we fought the entire length of the battle. Through our endurance, we have conquered and won that battle. Congratulations to you all, we have finally made it”.

“I would like to thank and dedicate this honor to my parents. My mom, who is looking down on me with a smile and I know she is proud. Even though you are not here physically, I feel your presence every time that you are needed. You have always waited for this day.

The day I stand up here and say the speech and now that this day is here, you are not. Mom, this is for you. Dad, you are always there for me when needed and no matter how many struggles that you went through, you would always try to provide for us. Since mom left, you have taken part in being both the mom and dad to me. Dad, this honor I share with you also”.

Finao Tuiasosopo

“Through the years you have set goals and have met each challenge with courage and determination. Together as a class, we have always found ways to emerge stronger than before. A wise man once said, ‘success is not measured by how well you fulfill the expectations of others, but by how you honestly live up to your expectations’. We will soon be moving onto something bigger than this. Whether you are entering the workforce, joining the military, or going off to school again. I urge you to leave this phase of your lives on good terms. Let our passions guide us, as we choose our own paths. Find what you love doing and stick with it, because it is by working with your talented skill, you will find happiness and success”.

“No matter where life takes you, go for it and always put God first. Make your family and community proud and do not let anyone tell you that you are not good enough. We are more than ready, each and everyone of us, to make our dreams come true. Thank you class of 2012. God Bless”.

Julieann Rima Tupuola

“We have come a long way in four years. Approximately 1,460 days, 87,600 hours, five million two hundred fifty six thousand minutes of learning and enduring all of the hard work, and here we are now, sitting in this gym with teary eyes, because we actually survived high school and the hardships of being a teenager”.

“To my fellow graduates, we have arrived at our destination. We have endured every trial and tribulation. We have conquered it all. We have walked the halls of Tafuna High School with full maroon and white pride. Life will not be easy. It will be a roller coaster ride, as many have said. Always remember our theme, ‘He conquers who endures’. Think of today as a day in which you are all conquerers by heart. For all of you have endured every good and bad situation in your secondary years of education. As a conquerer, please remember, life is not over yet. This is actually the beginning of reality and all of which comes with it. So when life starts to come around and tries to trip you over, remember, you have once endured it. You can triumph over the worst, life has to offer”.

“Nothing is impossible, when you are focused on your target, fighting your way through to reach it. May you all live the dreams you have dreamt and achieve all of the future goals you have set. I love you all. Always remember, once a Warrior, always a warrior”.


1            Tapu Joseph Aaitui

2            Chadwick J.S. Afalava

3            Luteru D. Afualo

4            Elizabeth A. Juliana Ah Ching *

5            Lanuola Ah Ching

6            Angel T. Ah Loe

7            Ah Kee J. Ah See

8            Nalen Sailele Aitaoto

9            Joseph Alesana

10            Nainiu F. Aliitaeao

11            Davis Jeremiah Allen

12            Lafoaina Anetone

13            Angeline Asolelei

14            Andrew F. Atafua

15            Changmow Atuai

16            Angel Auaumamana

17            Belinda Auvele

18            Angelina Bahn *

19            Easter Nineta Brown

20            Yolanda Jane Burgos

21            Edward R. Calizo

22            Patosina Canales *

23            Kuini Chadwick

24            Sunny Chan

25            Jeeyeon Q. Choe *

26            Rosina Collins

27            Rosita Collins

28            Jason F. M. Crichton

29            Malo Gloria David

30            Alexander M. S. Elenio

31            Jonny Ene

32            Augusto Epa *

33            Fernandez Euini

34            Saumaleato Faagu

35            Mathias W. Faaita *

36            Ruta L. Faalavelave

37            Monalisa T. Faasavalu

38            Patricia Faasavalu

39            Aljandro L. Faaseu

40            Kasiano Faatafuna

41            Mark A. Fa’atau

42            Savali Faavae *

43            Luisa Faifaimalie

44            Quenton D. Failauga *

45            Uatau Falani

46            John Ray Faleafine *

47            Alisi Falepapalangi

48            Tamati J. R. Faoasau

49            Amia Ala Fatiau

50            Tilemoana Duffy Faulkner

51            Ashley F. Faumuina *

52            Maturo T. Fe’a

53            Nauma Sitanilei Fea

54            Nuulau Feleti

55            Alfonso S. Fesolai

56            Ramsey P. Fetuao

57            Paese Candice Fia

58            Annie S. Fiatoa *

59            Joshua Au Filoi

60            Ah-Loon R. Fiso

61            Tutuila Fogavai

62            Emma I. Fonoti

63            Meleseini Fosita

64            Vadalina T. Fruean

65            Jeremiah M. Fuiava

66            Fiasili V. Fuimaono

67            Kolinisi Fukofuka

68            Aniseko Futi

69            Sovala Foaga Gaisoa

70            Zachary Julius Gaisoa

71            Vaotupu L. S. Galea’i *

72            Nairy Galemoa

73            Faifaiaso Galo

74            Anneliese G. Haleck

75            Lottie S. Haleck

76            Ryanny Junior Hall *

77            Letalatala I. S. Ho Ching

78            Sarah C. Husseini

79            Cherish Su’e Iakopo

80            Luseane S. Iakopo

81            Mona P. Iakopo

82            Fiatuiga Isaako

83            Mike T. J. Iaulualo

84            Carano T. Ieremia

85            Roanasalaina Ieremia

86             Ropeta P. Ieremia

87            Angel-Baby A. Kasia Ifopo *

88            Gauamu Carlene Ili

89            Paulo Ili

90            Azaniah Ailsa Imo

91            John F. Ioane

92            Justin Toloula Ioane *

93            Maria T. Tusi Ioane *

94            Nuumai Ioane III

95            Mativa L. Iosefo

96            Tuigamala Iosefo

97            Faafetai T. Ipolito

98            Mele Meaese Isara

99            Leitu Iuta *

100            Tafelefele B. Iuta *

101            Young Suk Jeong *

102            Iupeli Jarax Kava

103            Terrell Jordan Kenny

104            Hasu Elliot Kim

105            Rachael Kite

106            Livingstone Kolio Jr.

107            Jireh Kaylani Kruse

108            Johnny Tracy Laau

109            Taoetasioatua J. Laban

110             Angelina I. Lafaele *

111.           Carol Lafaele

112             Elizabeth Lafaele

113             Edward Tele’a Lalau

114             Filoisamoa T. Dante Langkilde *

115             Zachary T. Langkilde

116             Aska Falealii Laulu

117            Tumema Thunderella Lauoletolo

118            Anasitasia N. Lavatai *

119            Saralynn F. Laveai

120            Aofialela’i K. Lea’e

121            Ripine G. J. Leasiolagi

122            Agnes M. Leatimua

123            Lotonaunau I. Leausa

124            Saini Lega

125            Meaalofa Sylvia Leite *

126            Latanoa Lelenoa

127            Otto Misi Leota

128            Taofia Adam Leota

129            Navy A. Lepupa

130            Etuale Lesa

131            Dorothy Leuluaialii

132            Ioane Luamanu

133            Tanumaleu Z. Luani

134            Manu Alex Luapene

135            Alatui Luavasa

136            Toluselau Darby M. Mageo

137            Cleighton S. Maiava

138            Stephen B. Maifea

139            Faasau Malaga

140            Sister M. Malauulu

141            Manusamoa Maletino

142            Uele Maluia

143            Monson K. Mamea *

144            Edmund Manoa

145            Lemasanimaleea Mapu

146            Jerome Ailao Matagi *

147            Temukisa Matagi *

148            Peter Meavao

149            Lei’aione K. Mekuli

150            Kupa Migi

151            Melysha-Anne G. Mikaele

152            Mose Misi

153            Torise Misifosa *

154            Epafara C. Moananu *

155            Jestin L. Moemoe

156            Fourwheel Moliga

157            Shalom J. Moliga

158            Fiaalii Mulitalo

159            Muta Muta

160            Peter Naea

161            Abigail W. Neru

162            Merina M. Ng Lam ++

163            Alai Nielsen

164            Uputaua Nifo

165            Vaipuna V. Leonardo O’Brien *

166            Feauina Osa

167            Teraina A. Osoimalo *

168            Taaloga T. Paaa

169            Julia K. A. Paaga

170            Fomai Paepule

171            Afaga Alyson Palasi

172            Elenoa Peau

173            Frank Nicklus Pedro

174            Wayne Peleiupu

175            Oceanoflight Duffy Phillips

176            Jess Shane Pogia

177            Sal D. Jr. Pou

178            Maleifua E. Poumale

179            Masina T. Pua *

180            John Junior Pu’e *

181            Kofesina Timena Pula *

182            Vanessa Pula

183            Louisa L. Puletasi *

184            Robyn A. Puletasi

185            Madlyn T. Roberts *

186            Nita V. F. Ropati

187            Sayonarra Ropati

188            Anielee Saako

189            Fia P. Z. Saelua

190            Myron P. Sagapolutele

191            Salome L. V. Saili

192            Afu Saleutogi

193            Christopher Huggai Sami Jr.

194            Henry E. Satila Jr.

195            Fa’aasu M. Sauaga

196            Ezra Sautia

197            Megan S. Savea

198            Tiilone P. Savini

199            Faafouina F. Savusa

200            Talitiga K. Schwenke

201            Sefika Sefika

202            Iosua Sefo

203            Kolopa Sefo

204            Failauga A. Semeatu

205            Cory S. Sene

206            Annamaria Senio

207            Elika Seumanutafa

208            Letufa Sevao

209            Sera Sia

210            Pesamino Siaosi

211                        Talalelei Howard Siaosi

212            Boyd Siatu’u Jr.

213            Julieanna Sila

214            Velma Ruta Similai

215            Luisa Simona

216            Anthony Sinoti

217            Eldon Sioka

218            Filiata Sione

219            Elisapeta S. Smith *

220            Tutasi Ida Smith

221            Jennifer Grace Soliai

222            Otila Solomuafa’alata

223            Apelu Zachary Sooaemalelagi

224            Darwin C. Sorensen

225            Sonny T. Suapilimai

226            Annie Sulusi *

227            Emmanuel S. Sword *

228            Tariu Taafua

229            Kelly F. Taeaotui

230            Euese L. Taefu

231            Brittany Magaui Tago

232            Christine Taiapisi

233            Fetinai F. Ta’ita’i *

234            Taufui Taliauli

235            Reginald T. Talili *

236            Cindy M. Tan Tran

237            Lusia Tasi *

238            Teulilo F. Tatofi

239            Valentini Jojo Taua *

240            Talimeli F. Taufete’e *

241            Palesitina N. Taufi

242            Fautua L. Taulelei

243            Yandina f. Taulelei

244            Benjamin P. Taumotoi *

245            Christle I. Tausaga

246            Joe Tausi

247            Faateaina Tauta

248            Luluga Tauta

249            Donosky Ben Tautunuafatasi

250            Loveni Tavake *

251            Demas L. Te’o Jr.

252            Olisia M. Teikale

253            Laine F. Tele’a *

254            Willie Myers Teleso

255            Talaiga K. Tema

256            Lorilei-Joyce Teofilo ++

257            Frederick W. Thomas *

258            Krisimasi Tili

259            Iata Mark Tinitali *

260            Susana Titania

261            Kyvondra Rosa T. Toalepai

262            Eric C. Tofaeono

263            Patricia Nive Tofilau *

264            Tafihi M. Toli

265            Falanisisi Tomasi

266            Kathlynn T. Tuasivi

267            Covette N. Tuaumu

268            Makerita Tugaga

269            Francis Tui Jr.

270            Finao Tuiasosopo ++

271            Jermaine Tipeni Tuiasosopo +

272            Saleaula Tuiasosopo Jr.

273            James F. Tuifalasa’i

274            Porotesano Falaaga Tuiolosega

275            Tapualii Tuitama

276            Raelynn Jamal Tuna

277            Richard Tupa’i

278            Rosa May Tupa’i

279            Avalua F. Tupulua

280            Julieann R. Tupuola ++

281            Kolotia M. Tupuola *

282            Matthew T. Tusitala

283            Iuniosamoa Tuua

284            Alavina A. I. Uitu *

285            Rasmus S. Ulberg

286            Johnny Umaga

287            Toeseinu’upotopoto Ulima Ume

288            Ioane Utoaluga

289            Oilau L. D. Va’a

290            Kate Va’alele

291            Cheyanne Va’asili

292            Destiny L. Vaeao *

293            Omeka S. Vaisagote

294            Arasiolepanona Vaoga

295            Rahmat A. Vaueli

296            Sulia N. Takitoa Vea *

297            Snow White *

298            Tiara T. Williams *

299            Leilani C. Wines

300            Vera Ramona Wolf

301            Joseph E. Zodiacal *

National Honor Society  *

Salutatorian      +

Valedictorian   ++