Two St. Joseph’s Employees Receive National Honors

Brock, pictured teaching his fifth grade class, was awarded the prestigious honor of Catherine Hershey’s “Educator of the Year” award.

A listening heart, respect, community outreach and involvement, volunteerism, engagement, innovation, leadership – these are the attributes shared by two longtime St. Joseph’s Indian School employees that made them standouts to receive national awards at the Council on Residential Excellence Banquet in Little Rock, Ark.

Brock, St. Joseph’s educator
Odis, St. Joseph’s houseparent

Brock received the Catherine Hershey Award “Educator of the Year,” and Odis was honored as Catherine Hershey “Houseparent of the Year.” The two have been with St. Joseph’s Indian School 18 and 19 years respectively.


Brock’s nomination cited the 5th grade teacher’s mastery as an educator who engages students and draws them into understanding because he makes content relevant to their life experiences. Whether using the idea of a motel and its multiple levels of rooms to teach volume or explaining averages with basketball scores, Brock has the students’ attention, and they learn. He organizes and hosts STARBASE, leads field trips and is instrumental in a regional knowledge bowl.

“It was a feeling of complete shock and disbelief having no knowledge of even being nominated,” said Brock. “I am very honored to be named CORE Educator of the Year. I have worked with, now and in the past, some very deserving candidates for this award.”

Odis was awarded with Catherine Hershey’s Houseparent of the Year award!

Odis was recognized for his ability to connect with a traumatized student, his strong and positive relationships with students’ families and his participation in the school’s summer outreach Bookmobile that travels to communities throughout the state. The students’ culture is a priority to Odis, who on his personal time completes research on Native American culture and sacred sites in order to supplement the education on the topics provided by the school. He goes the extra measure to take students on field trips to these sites to build pride in the students’ understanding of their ancestry and identity.

“I feel lucky to have this job, I feel really fortunate to have had the partners I’ve had and for the donors who have enabled all of us to work with these great kids,” said Odis. “Getting the award means to me that I have had allot of great kids to work with over the years and they have made it easy on me. It takes a team to be a good houseparent, and I’ve always had a great one.”

We are so proud of Brock and Odis for their accomplishments. Send them your virtual high fives and a thumbs-up by leaving a comment on this story! 

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.

14 thoughts on “Two St. Joseph’s Employees Receive National Honors”

  1. Congratulations to both! Sharing your gifts with these children, young people. I taught high school, then part-time 6th grade. Loved it and miss such excitement, frustration, interactions, etc. Thank you for all you and the entire staff do!

    1. Congratulations to two very special men who have very special gifts to reach out and touch, making a positive difference in the lives of these precious children. God bless.

  2. Always pleased to see just how much that St. Josehp’s school.cares about providing an excellent education to its students. Congratulation to both teachers who exemphly the quality teachers that make up the teaching stall at St. John’s Indian School

  3. It’s great to see these men going above and beyond to be positive role models for these kids. St Joes has always been a special place to me, growing up in chamberlain, you can’t help but interact with the students. Some of these kids come from very broken and impoverished homes and may not have one or both parents. Exceptional work gentlemen my hat is off to you! Keep up the good work!

  4. congratulations so important for solid role models for all children seeing your dedication and commitment to young people is extremely important and I’m glad you both are being recognized for your passion. People like you give everyone hope.
    Peace and Strength to you both.

    1. Hi, Alessandra! Please email about any questions you have and we can get those answered for you! We are willing to share info about anything that interests you about our staff or school!

  5. hey guys i miss all of you so much ive gotten better i tell people about this school they appreciate and iam going to George MC govern middle school i some time boy drama but know iam dating some one not online regular person his name is kason i regret dating online and regret being violent at your school iam so sorry please keep in touch with my mother were having kinda bad problems her number is 605-799-3348 thx love all of you guys.

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