Guest Blogger: Dianne

Hi!  My name is Dianne and this is my first time blogging! I thought I’d start by letting you know a little bit about myself.  I have been Administrative Assistant here at St. Joseph’s going on 36 years.  I love my job, love the kids, and love what St. Joseph’s stands for.

My job in the office is always very busy—students come to me when they don’t feel well and I determine if they need a cough drop, an ice bag (quite a popular seller here!), if they need to go to the Health Center, or just some tender loving care.  We see many students for other reasons like “I can’t find my planner,” “I lost my glasses,” “Which class am I supposed to be in now,” “I’m lost,” etc. !

We have several new students and this way I get to know them personally.  Actually, the kids are my favorite part of my job!  They come from many different places, but seem to find their place in the world here, make friends, and do quite well!  The little first graders are so darn cute—they steal your heart away.

Two scary monsters at St. Joseph's Indian School.
Two monsters at an Academic Awards Banquet!

Today we have many different things going on in the school—we just finished our first quarter of school so I am busy getting report cards out and figuring out who is on the A and B honor roll.  We will have an awards assembly and present them with their certificate and a prize.  If students are on the honor roll two quarters in a row, they get to attend the Academic Banquet.  I have helped with the banquet several years now—we always have a theme with fun decorations, serve a meal and give door prizes and awards.  Some of our themes have been The 50’s—Rock and Roll, Tie Dyed—70’s, Monsters, Candy Land, Disco and many, many more.

We are now on Infinite Campus, a statewide program, so the job of grades and report cards has been made easier for all.  Also, the students’ parents and/or guardians can check their progress at home.  It has been a challenge for us all to acclimate ourselves to doing things a different way, but will be well worth it in the long run.

I keep track of attendance and also of activities on campus which I include on the weekly FYI.  I enjoy putting this together and adding clip art and pictures of our students along with the activities.  I have been including powwow pictures for some time now as they are enjoyable to look at and very colorful also!

Our school is always a very busy place like all schools—our Native American students live here on campus and go to school also. This gives us a good chance to really get to know them well. I still see kids who went to school here years ago—many of them have their own kids enrolled here!  I think this speaks very highly of what we do here.

Thanks for your support!

Academic banquet at St. Joseph’s Indian School

Tonight we held our academic banquet for the first quarter. Students in grades 5-8 who made honor roll were able to invite a teacher, houseparent or counselor as their guest of honor. “Sports” was the theme, and you could see a wide range of colorful jerseys and uniforms as people showed off their favorite teams. Peanuts and popcorn were on the tables for appetizers, (of course, along with raw vegetables for better nutrition). The staff who served the meal dressed like ballpark vendors, and came by the tables with trays of hot dogs.

“Get your red hots!”

Shaya and her guest of honor.
The sports theme was enjoyed by all!

Our 1st grade teacher Shelby wore her high school cheerleading outfit, which still fits!

For entertainment, Rob, one of our Family Service Counselors and I, reprised Abbot and Costello’s classic baseball routine “Who’s on First?” Our students had no experience of that, but as we made reference to St. Joseph’s team and pulled the students in with questions, we heard plenty of giggles. (I found out afterwards from Mary Jane, whose office is right next to mine, that she was concerned when she overheard us practicing. In the seven years, she never before heard yelling coming from my office!)

When we handed out certificates, the students also got a big foam #1 hand in either blue or yellow (our school colors). At the trivia contest afterward they waved them high in the air when they knew the answer.

I grew up near Chicago listening to announcer Harry Caray who was fond of saying, “You can’t beat fun at the ballpark,” but school can be pretty fun as well. We sure had a festive evening of laughter celebrating these students’ school achievements and cheering them on so they set big goals and pursuit their dreams.