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Governor agrees to return THS’ lower campus to the school, says PTA prez

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga (left) with Education director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga (right)

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Following an on-site visit yesterday morning, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has agreed to return to Tafuna High School its lower campus, instead of the area being used for the construction of a new local Education Department (ASDOE) centralized building, says the school’s Parents and Teachers Association president, William E. Spitzenberg.

The PTA along with everyone was caught off guard with the governor’s decision last month for use of the lower campus, and promoted a PTA online petition calling on the governor for this area to remain with the high school, which has an enrollment of more than 1,100 students.

Two weeks ago, PTA submitted an official written request, accompanied by a petition with more than 1,500 signatures to the governor to maintain the high school’s lower campus as space is needed for the JROTC program, applied technology, art class and many of the school’s student body activities. (See Samoa News edition Oct. 19th for details.)

Yesterday morning, Spitzenberg and others met at the lower-campus site, with the governor, Education director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga and Public Works director, Faleosina Voigt.

At the site meeting, the governor instructed DPW to relocate the building to the location that “we recommended and gave back the lower campus to Tafuna High School,” Spitzenberg said yesterday responding to Samoa News inquiries after the meeting.

As proposed by the PTA, the ASDOE building is now to be constructed at government property next to the lower campus, providing sufficient needed land.

Spitzenberg said yesterday that the governor has asked the “PTA to provide a proposal on how we want the lower campus to look for the future of the school.” (As previously reported by Samoa News, the PTA president suggested to the governor that constructing a new two-story building for the school on the lower campus area would provide much needed space for THS’s other programs, including the JROTC.)

He said the governor also commended the “PTA for being active and getting involved in this issue as it is the PTA that needs to be more involved.” He also said that the governor wishes all PTAs “to be involved in all matters pertaining to school and help the government plan things properly for the betterment of our children.”

The PTA quickly posted on its Facebook page the new update from the meeting in the morning and the return of the lower campus to the high school.

“Thank you Governor Lolo for hearing our mighty Warriors cry and meeting with us,” the PTA message states. “We are so grateful for your love and support and especially in returning the lower campus to THS.”

They expressed “special thanks” to Dr. Matagi-Tofiga “for standing with us. Malo lava to all our PTA members, alumni and the mighty Warrior students for taking a stand. Faafetai Faafetai tele lava!.”

There was also a message of appreciation to the high school’s principal and all students for their support. “We couldn't have done it without you,” it says. The PTA also posted photos of the site visit.