Congressman Faleomavaega today offered his personal congratulations to Tynisha J. Tufu for representing America Samoa at the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee held this week (May 26-28, 2009) in Washington, D.C. Tynisha was one of 293 students from all over the U.S., the Territories, as well as Department of Defense Schools across the world who participated at this historical national competition that began in 1925.
Tynisha was the 2009 Samoa News Territorial Spelling Bee Champion which gave her the opportunity to participate at this year’s competition in Washington, D.C. She has followed in her cousin’s footsteps, Yanee Lin, who was also the Territorial Spelling Bee Champion and competed in the national competition in 1999. Tynisha was accompanied by her coach and teacher, Mrs. Lizzie Sauni-Malietoa of Lauli’i and Aua. Tynisha is currently a seventh grader at the Aua Elementary School and is the youngest child of Mr. & Mrs. Tau and Sia Tufu from the village of Aua.
“I am very proud of Tynisha for representing American Samoa at this year’s Spelling Bee competition,” said Faleomavaega. “I want to congratulate Tynisha on her success and recognize her for her personal perseverance in studying and competing in this prestigious competition. She does not only represent Aua Elementary but all of the students of American Samoa who are a product of our education system.”
“I want to commend her teacher, Lizzie, for helping Tynisha prepare for the local and national spelling bees. I also want to thank the local sponsors for their support and providing such opportunities to enhancing the lives of our youth. Finally, I want to congratulate Tynisha’s parents, Tau and Sia, for supporting their daughter and allowing her to travel so many miles for this competition. I wish Tynisha and Lizzie the best in the future and a safe journey home,” Faleomavaega concluded.