Former Students Return to Bless St. Joseph’s in a Big Way

St. Joseph’s President Mike Tyrell addressed the football game crowd during a sign dedication on Oct. 1.

Nobody knew that when Kim, Mike and Jim Iron Heart graduated from St. Joseph’s Indian School in the late 1980s and early 1990s that the siblings would be back decades later to make an impact for future graduates.

But that’s exactly what happened.

The family was present on Tuesday, October 1, to be recognized for a monetary donation they recently made. Such a grand gesture prompted our school to honor them in a special way. The three siblings were very active in athletics during their school years at St. Joseph’s. It seemed only fitting to add their family’s name to our football field scoreboard during the home football game against Lower Brule.

Below the scoreboard now hangs a sign reading “The Iron Heart Family”.

“We are here today to not only celebrate the Iron Heart’s coming home, but celebrate as a family. They have made a very nice contribution to our school,” said President Mike Tyrell. “I think it’s a wonderful thing to have alumni who have left, come back and consider giving a contribution.”

Kim Iron Heart smiled as the new sign was unveiled.

Having the Iron Heart family name on the scoreboard will forever remind staff, students and visitors all of the great things that have taken place at St. Joseph’s throughout our 90-plus year history.

“We acknowledge what is written on the sign as a reminder of all the great things we have accomplished here at St. Joseph’s during the past, present and future — but most of all, the great relationships we have built as part of a family,” said Mike.

Jim Iron Heart shook hands with the St. Joseph’s Braves before they took the field.

The Iron Heart family shook the hands of the football players before the game began. Perhaps the new sign added an extra ounce or two of luck! The St. Joseph’s Braves went on to sweep Lower Brule to a 46-0 victory.

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 90 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.

6 thoughts on “Former Students Return to Bless St. Joseph’s in a Big Way”

  1. I don’t know if any one is still there who remembers Mary Jannis( Wehman) who volunteered at the school back in the 70’s, but she passed away on 10/8 and was buried yesterday. She was a wonderful person who did a lot of volunteer work and raised her 2 sons by herself to be good men. She was a blessing to all who knew her and will be missed

  2. It’s good to see Jim n Mike n Kim doing good for our children. I too am a alumni that graduated with Jim. St. Joe’s brings back alot of good memories. I wonder if they still have the flag I helped design for the new school.

  3. Thank you for your endeavors and determination to shelter and teach these wonderful Native children! I am honored to be a part, even though it is a small bit of helping the Native children who are students and residents of St. Joseph’s Indian School. I keep all in prayers of safety and positive and good things! I encourage other people that I know and am friends or family with… support St. Joseph’s Indian School as they are able to do. If I were younger I would definitely travel to your school to see the school, the children!

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