After 38 years of service, educator bows out

After devoting nearly four decades of his life to the service of Samoa through education, a pioneer in the field and the Principal of Apia Primary School is calling it quits. 

Leiataualesa Lino Leiataua Tagiilima was last month awarded a certificate and trophy for his service as an educator. 

Weeks before his official farewell, Leiataualesa was overwhelmed by an outpouring of love and appreciation for his many years of service. 

Though he had been in the Principal’s chair at Apia Primary for some 15 years before retiring, his school career began at a different level and time - in 1984. 

The Principal was unavailable for comment on Saturday but his daughter, Marinda Leiataua, paid tribute to her father. 

“You’ve been at it for 15 long years, serving those who were to be served because you were all about your service not only as a principal of Apia Primary School from 2005 to 2020 but also as a teacher,” she said in a social media post. 

“All the love and gifts you've received the past weeks Dad, in all honesty, everyone knows [you] deserved it. You’re receiving as much as you’ve given people. Thank you to everyone who has shown love and appreciation.

“Leiataua Lino Leiataua Tagiilima, you’ve done more than you think and you're very much appreciated. More blessings are coming.

“Congratulations on getting a trophy and on becoming the best role model as the certificate says.”

Leiataualesa’s passion has always been dedicated to educating the children of Samoa.  

He was previously a Chairman of the Primary Schools’ Principals’ Association for the Vaimauga District.

His former students said they looked back fondly on him as a science teacher and described him as the best teacher and school Principal in online social media posts. 

“My best science teacher...I shed a lot of tears when I left this school for my heart mourns because Mr Tagiilima will no longer [be] there...Thank you Sir for your tremendous service,” Eterei Simanu posted.

An emotional farewell service honouring his time at the school was hosted by his former school and staff.

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