Busy in the high school program

Hello, my name is Shana and this is my fifth year as the High School Residential Director at St. Joseph’s. We always have a very busy schedule the last couple months of school and this year is no different.

We had several students wake up early to take their ACT’s this past Saturday morning. Then, many Juniors and Seniors enjoyed the Chamberlain High School Prom on Saturday evening. It’s always great to see the girls with their beautiful dresses with their hair done up and the boys in their tuxedos and shiny shoes! Our houseparents in the Sheehy Home once again prepared a wonderful fancy dinner for the prom-goers with our girls from the Crane Home serving; everyone does their best to make this a special night for our Native American students.

This coming Friday is the high school talent show and we are looking forward to watching the creativity and talent of our high school students in action! Last year, we had students place in 3rd and 1st  with their talent acts. Even though winning isn’t essential to having fun at the talent show, it always fills us with pride to see our St. Joseph’s students receiving credit for their many talents (and bravery) up on stage! Good Luck!

In two weeks the Chamberlain High School Powwow will be held. Many of our students participate in Native American Club and are an integral part of organizing this annual event. It’s always great when the students work hard on getting people to come together in our community to honor their Native American culture and traditions.

Once May is here it’s time to get ready for final exams! This is always a stressful time, but our houseparents and tutors continue to help and encourage our students to give their best.

The fun doesn’t stop after the last day of school! In June, our incoming freshmen will complete our summer transition program where they will spend half of their day taking classes up at Chamberlain High School with their future high school teachers and learning the layout of the high school building. They’ll  get to meet some of the high school houseparents and staff and live in the high school homes. This is a three-week program and helps acclimate the new freshmen to both Chamberlain High School and the High School Program.

Also in June, most of our current high school students will be participating in our St. Joseph’s High School Summer Program so they can attend driver’s education class or work – either on or off campus – in order to earn extra money.

In July, some students will choose to participate in our Transitional Living Program. They will continue to work as well as experience more independence through added responsibilities. We have some eager and determined students participating in other academic programs this summer including College Horizons, Gear-Up, Upward Bound, Math and Science Initiative, In-Med (Indians into Medicine) and the Indian University of North America at Crazy Horse. One of our seniors has already enlisted in the National Guard and has been attending monthly guard drills. She will be leaving for Basic Training at the end of July after completing In-Med in June. Another senior was awarded the Davis Bahcall Scholarship and will get to travel to Italy over the summer prior to going to college. Several seniors have already been accepted into the universities of their choice and are looking forward to the next chapter in their lives.

Never a dull moment, even during summer ‘vacation’! Did I mention we were busy in the high school program?