Field days and math tests

Great throw Miles!

The school was unusually quiet when I visited yesterday. Grades 1-5 were up at the high school track for their field days.

As this school year ends, I was involved in meetings with staff about next year’s schedule and our long-range maintenance and planning needs, so I didn’t make the festivities. When I caught up with the students after school, they proudly displayed the ribbons they won for 100 meter dash, softball throw or a score of other events.

Our middle school students were in the classrooms. One very quiet room was finishing up the last math test of the semester. The 6th grade language arts students had finished their Literature reader and were taking off dust covers and cleaning up the books to prepare them for next year’s classes. All the classrooms are scheduled to get a clean coat of paint over the summer. As the teachers put things away, the walls are starting to look especially bare to prepare for that work.

Today was the last faculty meeting of the year. Kathleen, our principal ordered the makings for banana splits and I helped dish out ice cream and thank the teachers at the close of another successful year. Some of them will work for parts of our summer program. Some will take the summer off or do something completely different to renew themselves for next year. Richard and Vaye Jean are retiring, and Kathleen presented them with a small gift as a token of our affection.

Human Resources (HR) updated me that we’ve filled most of our school positions, but are still interviewing for four more positions. Our advertising and word of mouth seems to be working as there are a good pile of resumes to review and references to call. HR is one of the busier groups on campus over the summer as we try to get new staff trained and in place for a smooth start in the fall.

Most of our donations are small, regular sacrificial gifts in the $20 range. Larger gifts usually come in the form of a bequest or a charitable gift annuity. But today I was surprised by the biggest unannounced donation I’ve seen this year – enough to pay 3 teacher’s salaries, or help with special projects wherever it is needed! When I made a personal call to thank the donor, he was a man of few words, but just wanted the money to benefit our students and our programs. I am humbled and grateful for people’s generosity, and committed to running good programs that use these resources to make a difference.

Author: St. Joseph's Indian School

At St. Joseph's Indian School, our privately-funded programs for Lakota (Sioux) children in need have evolved over 89 years of family partnership, experience and education. Because of generous friends who share tax-deductible donations, Native American youth receive a safe, stable home life; individual counseling and guidance; carefully planned curriculum based on Lakota culture and individual student needs and tools to help build confidence, boost self-esteem and improve cultural awareness. All of this helps children to live a bright, productive, possibility-filled future.

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