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Boisterous crowd celebrates Samoana High School’s Class of 2023


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — It was just under a two-hour ceremony that acknowledged, accepted and confirmed the 214 graduates of Samoana High School Class of 2023. The Commencement was held at the Samoana Gymnasium in Utulei, Tuesday, June 13, 2023 with the theme —“ Let God grant what is in your heart and fulfill all your plans.” Psalm 20:4

A majority of the graduates with parents, family members, friends and invited guests arrived ahead of the 9a.m. beginning time, including Gov. Lemanu P. S. Lemanu, which started the Commencement ahead of time — with the Class of 2023 marching to their seats, signaling the beginning of the ceremony.

The sound of honking horns and the clamor of the excited crowd was already in the air — coming from all four corners of the compound. There were three access gates into the gym that were secured by uniformed guards. Inside, seating was strictly reserved for guests and relatives and the graduates who filled up more than 500 seats in no time.

Other community members, supporters and relatives were seated outside under tents.

Acting Principal of SHS Mrs Brenda Coffin- Aisoli welcomed everyone, including Gov Lemanu, Acting Director of Education, Folau Saua Faafetai Teofilo, ASG Scholarship Board representative, Mrs. Lisa Gebauer, clergy and community members.

Dr. Julie Ekeroma- Faalogo, the Vice Principal of SHS, recognized the six Valedictorians and the one Salutatorian.

#1 Valedictorian Arianna Florra Taatasi of Pago Pago and Aloau

She will be attending the American Samoa Community College, majoring in Engineering. She was also accepted to Chaminade University in Honolulu.  

#2 Valedictorian Jackie Vasaeafe Solinuu Tanielu from Ofu,  Ta’u Manu’a, Vailoa Aleipata, Vaimoso, Saluafata and Pago Pago

She plans to major in Psychology and intends to join the U.S. Air Force.  She’s been accepted to Portland State University, University of Texas at Dallas and University of Houston.

#3 Valedictorian, Kimo Latani Jr. Tuivaiti of Pago Pago and Fasitootai

Kimo will be attending ASCC for two years majoring in Pre - Law. He has been accepted to Chadron State College, Oregon State University and Montana State University.

#4 Valedictorian Letiunasema John Niusila of Alofau, Afono and independent Samoa,