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Author Topic: Territorial teacher of the year - Gingerlei Maga Uili  (Read 3694 times)

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Tavita Tusitala

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Territorial teacher of the year - Gingerlei Maga Uili
« on: January 10, 2011, 10:51:02 AM »
December 2, 2010
2011 Teacher of the Year is Gingerlei Maga Uili
All teachers honored

Governor Togiola Tulafono on Thursday night honored all the Teachers of the Year recipients –including Territorial Teacher of the Year – Gingerlei Maga Uili-- at the awards dinner held at Governor H. Rex Lee (Fale Laumei) in Utulei.

Governor Togiola congratulated the teachers of the year and expressed his gratitude for their dedication and commitment to teaching the children of American Samoa.

“We have come to celebrate the selection of teachers of the year; the best of the best by your own peers; indeed, you deserve our congratulations,” said Governor Togiola. “Truly, you never know where the influence may stop. The influence of a teacher never stops. What you do in your classrooms and what you do for all of us, lives on. It lives on and it goes from generation to generation.” (Click Read more below for Gov. Togiola’s remarks)

In his awards dinner remarks, Governor Togiola also used the opportunity to share his thoughts on the financial situation being faced by the Territory and the American Samoa Government.

“When we get tested by these hard times, this is when we pull out the spirit of what we do. Because it is about the responsibility; it is about the privilege. The responsibility and the privilege of raising the next generation of American Samoans,” said Governor Togiola. (See full text of Governor Togiola’s remarks)

The honorees last night with 2011 Territorial Teacher of the Year – Mrs. Gingerlei Maga Uili of Lauli’I Elementary School were:
ECE Division - Ms. Mellelyn Hall of Leone ECE Center;
Central Division - Mrs. Henrietta Papu Olo of Coleman Pago Pago Elementary;
Midwest Division - Mr. Sauituamaali’i Ifopo of Pava’ia’i Elementary;
West Division - Mrs. Valasi Lam Yuen-Apulu of Leone High School;
 Manu’a Tele Division - Mr. Siaosi Siaosi.

Individual school teachers of the year are Talivale Hunter, Ella Tuani, Logomai Mayer, Trixie-Lou Scanlan-Fruean, Elisara Su’a, Maxine Salevao, Hana Maloata, Rosalie Passi, Momoi Ene Kapisi, Mine Taufete’e, Tolutasi Fale, Toni Timoteo, Esekielu Foleni, Hermia Simanu, Lyrlene Esau Talaeai, Faugagana Fagaava, Patricia Fuiava, and Shiki Leaupepe.

REMARKS: TEACHERS OF THE YEAR AWARDS
by Gov. Togiola Tulafono
December 2, 2010
Governor H. Rex Lee Auditorium (Fale Laumei)

Good evening, I first wish to thank Director Taimalelagi Dr. Claire Tuia Poumele and the Department of Education for inviting Mary and me to share this evening of excellence with you all; Especially the selection of Teacher of the Year from the Divisions and your one selection to be the 2011 Territorial Teacher of the Year in Mrs. Gingerlei Maga-Uili.

Not that it’s any less significant or important that I shall represent our voices tonight to thank you all, the Department of Education and especially those of you who work in classrooms to teach our children.

That’s why I decided I am not going to speak to you with rosey words and sweet stuff or even in my usual fashion with a little joke here and there. I just want to speak to you about the time and the place. Because, there is no denying and there is no avoiding that we are going through some hard times in our Territory and our Government.

But, it’s in those tough times that we are tested, for our commitment and our spirit. We are going through some of those hard times. Many of you have been tested already. Judging from what I see in the Letters to the Editor and some of the things you are saying about the Director and about me and your administrators, they’re not good times.

But, when we get tested, this is when we pull out the spirit of what we do. Because it is about the responsibility; it is about the privilege. The responsibility and the privilege of raising the next generation of American Samoans, and Americans, for that matter.

So, tonight we celebrate the selection of teachers of the year. The best of the best by your own peers; indeed, you deserve our congratulations. And on behalf of all the people of the Territory, I stand before you to congratulate the winners of the Teachers of the Year Award from the Divisions and to Gingerlei Maga-Uili for being selected 2011 Teacher of the Year for the Territory. You deserve the honor, you deserve the praise and you deserve to be proud as we are proud of you, too.

And this is the place; this is the place where we say to you teachers: Thank you. I do it when I come to celebrate with you this special occasion, that I reflect back and I say quietly to myself, a thanks to all the teachers that I have come across in my lifetime. And even today, there are still people who are mentoring me and I learn from them. They are just as much teachers in my life as they have been.

Truly, you never know where the influence may stop. The influence of a teacher never stops. What you do in your classrooms and what you do for all of us, lives on. It lives on and it goes from generation to generation.

That’s why when I paraphrase the words of C. Everett Koop, once surgeon general of the United States when he said, “there is no greater responsibility and no greater privilege than raising the next generation.” As you know, humankind is the jewel of God’s creation. And for all good reasons that we are made leaders of God’s world, part of that responsibility is that we teach the next generation.

And that’s why we’re here tonight. Not only do we need to celebrate the excellence among you and among all of us, but we also must look forward to tackling that responsibility and accepting the privilege of being those who raise the next generations of our country and our Territory. Good luck to all of you. Mary and I wish you all a happy Christmas.

Today I announced to my Cabinet that we are going through reviewing the program for cutting down hours or short weeks because we’re not collecting enough revenue from federal sources and local sources to be able to pay the payroll. We’re stretching it as much as we can until after Christmas. But I want you to know that we are coming under very serious constraints right now.

I’m saying this in the middle of this great celebration because you need to understand that when you are not getting your pay checks, it’s not just about the inability to give you the check. It’s also a situation that everyone in our Territory has to face up to.

So as we celebrate tonight, we need to understand and we need to accept the fact that these are things that we have to do in public service. Now I don’t expect you to give any more sacrifices than you already have. But, if we need to, we need to come together as one in these endeavors.

We will work harder on your behalf to improve the situation in the Department. I had a meeting today with the Director and I have asked the Director to step up the efforts to eliminate all these reasons that are causing the teachers to not receive their pay. I have asked the Director to look at the situation that you face in the classrooms and see what we can do in the next two years to continue to improve that.

The one commitment I can make to you tonight is that I will work closely with your Director and all those who run the Department and all of you in the classrooms to do a better job. And that we must do. That, we will do. Together, it is the only way that we can carry this responsibility and accept this privilege and honor of serving our very bright future --the children of American Samoa.

Thank you and congratulations. Soifua.

Source: American Samoa government

 


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