Guest Blogger: Julie

Hi, my name is Julie L. and I am the Clinical Services Director at St. Joseph’s Indian School. I have worked at St. Joseph’s since 1987. I currently oversee the Clinical Department and the Health Center.  During the summer months, the Health Center is not as busy as it is during the school year.  We see less activity as there are fewer students on campus.  We do, however, provide services for the staff and their immediate family and have a nurse on call when students are here.  The Clinical Department (Family Service Counselors or FSCs) is busy with admissions work and home visitations.

I have just returned from Germany as part of an exchange program that we have with the SCJ school in Handrup.  Another staff member and I took four high school students on this journey.  It was very fun and exciting for all of us to travel overseas, as none of us had done this before.  It was so great watching the students experience many new things during this trip.

The students spent much of their time with their individual host families and with one another. Patrick and I stayed at the monastery and were treated very well by the priests and sisters.  We got to see many sights and learned a lot about Germany while we visited for two weeks (fun times at an amusement park in the Netherlands, a weekend in Berlin, and visiting a castle, to name just a few things that we accomplished while there).  The students also shared presentations about themselves and St. Joseph’s Indian School to different classrooms at the Handrup school.

Our German host students and a chaperone will be coming to South Dakota in October to see our school and visit some sites around South Dakota.  All of the students are very excited about this as they bonded quite well as a group and can’t wait to see one another again.

The last two days we spent in Amsterdam.  This was really fun for the students as they enjoyed staying in a “Botel” that was right on the water.  We also visited Anne Frank’s house which was interesting as the students have read her book for one of their high school classes.  As we flew back to the United States, you could see that the students were tired but very happy with all that they had experienced.

We hope and pray that you all are having a wonderful summer and, as always, thank you for your continued support for the students at St. Joseph’s Indian School.



Today’s guest blogger: Steve

Today's guest blogger: Steve
Today's guest blogger: Steve

Hello everyone.  I am Steve the High School Tutor/Adviser at St. Joseph’s Indian School and like Scott, I’m a first time blogger!

During the first three weeks of June, I am usually working with our Freshman Orientation Program, that Jenny told you about earlier this week.  This year however, I was selected to be the chaperone for the student exchange program with our sister school in Germany, Gymnasium Leoninum Handrup.  This school is also administered by the Priests of the Sacred Heart and has over twelve hundred students in grades five through twelve.

Two of our students, D’Kera and Trinity, along with my wife Jan (who retired last year after teaching at St. Joseph’s Indian School for twenty years) and I left Sioux Falls, South Dakota on May 26th on a sixteen hour trip to Northern Germany.  We barely made our connection in Chicago, and unfortunately our luggage did not!  It arrived the next day, but too late to supply the girls with any warm clothes for our visit to an amusement park in the Netherlands on a cool and sometimes rainy day.  Interestingly, the theme of the park was the American Wild West.  The girls noted that they did not have the Native American culture exactly right, it was more like a Hollywood version.  Everyone managed to have fun despite the weather, although some of us older visitors skipped several of the wilder rides.

D’Kera, Trinity, Steve and his wife had a great time in Germany!
Steve and the others from St. Joseph’s Indian School had a great time!

Our time in Germany was a mixture of classroom presentations, sightseeing excursions and time spent visiting with teachers and students.  D’Kera and Trinity stayed with the families of Anna and Kerstin, and Jan and I stayed at the Monastery which is attached to the school.  Our hosts generally spoke English very well, which was a blessing because despite the best of intentions, our German was pretty primitive.

We spent time in the cities of Bremen, Osnabruck, Muenster, Cloppenburg, Pappenburg, Hamburg, Lingen and Berlin.  We took a trip to the North Sea, had a tour of the Meyer –Werf shipbuilding facility where they make Cruise Line behemoths that are too large to fit in the Panama Canal and saw remnants of the Berlin Wall as well as Checkpoint Charlie.  We toured three Castles and saw several old churches and Cathedrals, celebrating Mass (in German) on Ascension Thursday in the Cathedral of Osnabruck which is over one thousand years old.  We attended Anna’s confirmation Mass in Furstenau also in German, of course.

The sights, the sounds and the food were wonderful, but were not as impressive as the generosity and warmth shown to us by the students, teachers, priests and families.  Because of this, we got to experience the German culture in a way that is not possible for the average visitor to Germany.  We are very grateful to all of our hosts and are looking forward to returning their kindness when Anna and Kerstin visit our school in October along with their chaperone.

We just arrived back at St. Joseph’s late Tuesday evening and are gradually adjusting to time change.