New St. Peter Chanel Primary School set to open

By Ilia L Likou ,

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School compound at Moamoa.

School compound at Moamoa.

The new Saint Peter Chanel Primary School is set to open on the 12th of next month.

The school will be accommodated in the compound that was occupied by the Catholic Combined College at Moamoa.

The Chanel Old Students Association (C.O.S.A.) has embarked on a project to establish a primary school that will become the feeder school for St. Peter Chanel College at Moamoa in the near future. 

For this year, the classes will be from Year 1 to Year 8 with an intake of 25 students per class and being a privately managed school, the standard of services will be equivalent to primary schools with similar management models. 

This is part of a long-term strategy to restore the status of Chanel College to the level when it was originally conceived. 

The initiative is supported by the Archbishop, the head of the Catholic Arch Diocese of Samoa and Tokelau, who is also an old student of Chanel College. 

Four new staff members have been appointed and have started work for the preparation of the new school year and there will be additional appointments depending on the school roll. 

The committee is quite pleased with the calibre of the new staff members and are confident the school will provide the quality of services required. 

The new principal for the school is Tepora To’oa Tu, Deputy Prinicipal is Makerita Salainaoloa Tuimavave with Sister Monika Vaipuna Tofilau and Jenny Bennet as teachers.

School Principal, Mrs. Tooa Tu is a qualified primary trained teacher with a total of 22 years teaching experience. She has taught a variety of levels from Year 2 to Year 8.  

Of the 22 years, 11 years were served in New Zealand and 11 teaching years in Victoria, Australia.  

Mrs. Tooa Tu has extensive experience in leadership which has been applied in team leader, lead teacher and co-ordinator roles in the areas of team management, curriculum design and outdoor education. She has led teams in Years 3/4, Years 5/6 and Years 7/8.  

She has also co-ordinated camp programmes for middle and senior primary year levels.

Mrs. Tooa Tu has a Diploma in English, Mathematics and Social Studies and Diploma in Teaching English As Second Language and has undertaken study in bilingual education which was applied to her role as Samoan Bilingual Co-ordinator for Year 1 to Year 8 Bilingual Unit.

She’s born in Samoa with most of her education and life spent in New Zealand.

She is from the villages of Savaia, Lefaga in Upolu and Siufaga, Faga in Savai’i and is married with three children.

Deputy Principal, Mrs. Tuimavave has a wealth of teaching experience both in Primary and Secondary levels having taught in Honolulu, Hawaii, Daly City and Sacramento, California USA, Philippines and Samoa. She also worked with children with disabilities after working for an Inclusive Education Support Program in Samoa. She is capable of working with children with learning complications, especially those with visual impairment and intellectual disabilities.

NEW STAFF: Jenny Bennet, Makerita Salainaoloa Tuimavave, Tepora To’oa Tu and Sister Monika Vaipuna Tofilau with some members of the Board at the school yesterday
NEW STAFF: Jenny Bennet, Makerita Salainaoloa Tuimavave, Tepora To’oa Tu and Sister Monika Vaipuna Tofilau with some members of the Board at the school yesterday

She is a former principal of Ah Mu Academy and her most recent posting was with Don Bosco College, Salelologa, Savai’i. 

Mrs. Tuimavave holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary and Values Education from the Immaculate Conception University, Philippines. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice from the Community College of Daly City, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology at the University of San Francisco, California, U.S.A. and a certificate in Administration, Human Development and English As a Foreign Language Assessment from the University of Maryland, U.S.A.  

She hails from the villages of Lauli’i/Tafuna, Am. Samoa, Savalalo, Falefa and Sataua. She is married with two children.

Ms. Bennet has a wealth of teaching experience, having taught at St Mary’s College as well as at the University of the South Pacific where she was a full time facilitator for the College of Foundation Studies at Alafua Campus and, more recently, a Graduate Assistant for the Faculty of Arts, Law and Education in Fiji. 

She  is passionate about teaching young children and with her training in Early Childhood Development, Developmental Psychology, educational programming for students with learning disabilities and curriculum development, she is well equipped to facilitate a high quality and enjoyable learning experience at the primary school level.   She is also a published author who emphasises literacy as a key to educational success.

Ms. Bennet holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education, Literature and Language and has recently completed writing her Master’s thesis in literature. 

She’s from the villages of Aleisa, Manase and Safotu and has two young daughters. 

Sister Monika is a trained teacher who has had a variety of working experiences in the fields of teaching, spiritual and pastoral education. 

She was a former principal of Logoipulotu College and more recently was a senior teacher at Don Bosco, Salelologa, Savai’i. 

Her overseas experiences include teaching attachments in New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bangkok and Ireland. Sister Monika belongs to a Catholic International Religious Congregation called “Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions” based at Moamoa with its centre in Rome and regional office in New Zealand. 

Sister Monika has the ability to relate and work with different people in whatever kinds of circumstances. She is the eldest of four sisters and five brothers and she hails from the village of Iva, Savai’i.

Additional property has been granted by the Archbishop for this project so that the school has adequate space for activities. 

Apart from classrooms and bathrooms, the school will also have a computer learning unit, and facilities for students to have lunch, full size rugby field for various sporting activities, a canteen that will provide appropriate food and other items, a chapel and an administration unit. 

The steering committee behind this initiative is chaired by Monsignor Etuale Etuale, the Administrator of the Catholic Church in Samoa assisted by the president of the Chanel Old Students Association, Tamaseu Leni Warren. 

The Committee will hand over this project to a Board of Trustees who will oversee the governance of the school, in collaboration with the principal and staff. 

The board will be represented by key stakeholders including appropriate representation by the parents.

For queries please contact telephone numbers: 725-1161 or 725-2881.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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