Indian Youth

2021-2022 Dreamstarter® Teachers

Running Strong for American Indian Youth is proud to welcome the seventh cohort of Dreamstarter® Teachers who are making a difference in the lives of their Native American students and classrooms.

Amanda Garner

Webber Falls Schools, Warner OK

Amanda will be supporting her students’ social and emotional needs by bringing emotional support, stress management, mindfulness, conflict resolution and self-esteem curricula and coping skills activities into her school counseling sessions and the classrooms.

Autumn Adams

Ronan Middle School, Ronan MT

Autumn will use her grant to supply her class with art materials such as water color pencils, markers, drawing paper, pastels, and more. She hopes to help them recognize their gifts so they can help themselves, their families, and their communities.

Bethany Cruz

Simcoe Elementary,Yakima WA

Bethany will create back-to-school kits and home learning kits for students to help them have all the tools they need to succeed. Each kit will include pencils, glue, scissors, and erasers in a backpack.

Beverly Moore

Pawhuska Elementary School, Pawhuska OK

Beverly is working with the Pawhuska community to support dance programing at the school. Students will work with local dance instructors to learn ballet and its importance to their health, community and culture.

Dr. Carly Retterath

Mandan Public Schools, Mandan ND

Carly’s grant will fund the Four Directions Club at Mandan Public Schools. The Club, full of Native and non-Native students, will take cultural field trips and participate in cultural activities.

Ceriss Blackwood

Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy

Ceriss will start a STEM club for her students; the club will build solar cars and race them, supported by classroom lessons about solar energy. The club will also create robots, supported by classroom lessons in geometry and electricity.

Christy Rogers

Kotzebue Middle High School, Kotzebue AK

Christy hopes to incorporate Native culture into the classroom and will engage her class in the making of a traditional Alaska Native drum. Using the drum, she will teach the community’s creation story.

Connie Michael

Crow Agency Public Schools, Billings MT

Connie will use her grant to invest in Math learning materials and activities for her students. At every opportunity, she will reinforce the Crow language in her lessons of time, dates, seasons and numbers. She will also add more appropriate level trade books to her classroom.

Devin Tatro

Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School, Juneau AK

Devin will use her grant to bring her leadership class to participate in the First Alaskans Institute Elders and Youth Conference. They will participate in workshops around climate justice and advocate for their community’s needs.

Eli Deneroff

Hoonah City Schools

Eli Derenoff, in partnership with 2021-2022 DS Teacher Mark Browning, will use his grant to establish a mobile greenhouse for his students and community. The students will not only benefit educationally from hands-on science, business, and math lessons, they will be able to take home fresh fruits and vegetables!

Eli Redeker

Charlo Jr./Sr. High School

Eli is passionate about improving student engagement and young adult literacy in his community, and he will use his grant to buy a set of young adult novels that specifically target his Native American students for his classroom.

Gwendolyn Couture

Ronan High School, Ronan MT

Gwendolyn and her class will create a podcast about their reservation for their community. They will develop better research, writing and thinking skills, as well as strengthen relationships between the youth and elders while creating a digital archive of stories with elders.

Jennifer John

Native American Community Academy, Albuquerque NM

Jennifer will create a library of Indigenous Children’s Literature in her classroom and create a comprehensive Indigenous Literature curriculum.

John Twichel

Sault Area Middle School, Sault Ste. Marie MI

John will continue his underwater robotics program for students by purchasing LCD screens that will enable them to further develop their computer programming skills and ability to wire and program the robots.

Jonna Weidaw

Lakeport Community Day School, Lakeport CA

Joanna will provide hands-on lessons for Pomo basket weaving; wild harvesting; and to have her students make their own personal basket from materials they harvested.

Kelda Britton

Round Valley High School, Covelo CA

Kelda will purchase camping supplies for students to attend the 26th Annual Nome Cult Walk. Students will be outdoors all week camping, talking with elders and learning about traditional teachings and plant medicines.

Kristina Kieffer

Spokane Tribe Headstart, Wellpinit WA

Kristina will encourage a new generation of river protectors on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington State by teaching students about sustainable damming and going on a traditional fishing trip.

Lisa Clemens

Hayward High School, Hayward WI

Lisa will purchase traditional La Crosse equipment for her students, and will eventually lead to an official school team which offers all students a way to connect with and understand each other through sport.

LoriAnne Adams

Simcoe Elementary School, Wapoto WA

LoriAnne will buy supplies for her school to make beaded keychains and cards to give to their local Yakama Nation Warriors Veterans and other Veterans within their area, as well as keychains to send to a Native Veterans Affairs Clinic.

Mark Browning

Hoonah City Schools, Hoonah AK

Mark Browning, in partnership with 2021-2022 DS Teacher Eli Derenoff, will establish a mobile greenhouse for his students and community. The students will benefit from hands-on science, business, and math lessons, and will be able to take home fresh fruits and vegetables.

Meredith Schramm

Lehi Junior High School, Lehi, UT

Meredith will fund a new Cultural Studies class in her school complete with books, drum kits, jewelry kits, and other culturally enriching materials.

Mary Anna Thornton

Lakeland Star School Academy, Minocqua WI

Mary Anna will purchase books in consultation and collaboration with her local Native community and Native Star School families for the Star School library and classrooms, to complement and supplement her current schoolbooks.

Michelle Jones

Winslow High School, Winslow AZ

Michelle will purchase a variety of needs for her science classroom, including new safety aprons, safety goggles, and a sterilization cabinet for classroom materials.

Nicole Rasmussen

Lake Roosevelt Elementary, Electric City WA

Nicole will purchase books with Native American history, information, and characters. By adding many Native American books to her library, Nicole hopes to help Native American students see themselves in the books they read.

Robert Hall

Wyoming Indian Elementary School, Ethete WY

Robert will rebuild the school greenhouse to support special education students who might benefit from learning about health and how to garden. He hopes to instill the feelings of success for students with special needs.

Tierra Jishie

Winslow High School, Flagstaff AZ

Tierra will provide an enriching education to anatomy and physiology students that focuses on both English and Native language by inviting athletic trainers to discuss anatomy in Navajo, Hopi, and more local languages.

Victoria Buswa

Ojibwe Charter School, Brimley MI

Victoria will create a year-long beadwork class and bring more beadwork styles to her students to help them learn the Ojibwe language and create lifelong regalia pieces.

John Price

Castle Heights Middle School, Rock Hill SC

John will establish an enrichment class for his Native students. He has worked with the Catawba Cultural Center to establish a year-long class that focuses on academic success, mentoring, cultural awareness, community service, and emotional health.

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