Native Village Youth and Education News
February 1, 2009 Issue 194 Volume 3


Edmond teacher wins Indian Educator of the Year
Locals make Parents of the Year

Patty Miller
Condensed by Gina Boltz, Director, Native Village Publications

Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Council for Indian Education awarded Sydna Yellowfish, Edmond school district Title VII teacher, the Indian Educator of the Year award..
Yellowfish is Otoe Missouria, Osage, Pawnee and Sac and Fox and has spent 24 years as IE Coordinator. 

Edmond schools’ Indian student population represents 5% of the total local school population. Yellowfish and her staff provide educational and cultural programs and activities. They also provide after-school tutoring which has resulted in significant and consistent student gains.  “Weeknight programs include classes in Native American culture and languages,” said Jim Carlile, principal of Boulevard Academy. “Indian educational summer programs are primarily Native American art and culture. The summer school program is extremely well organized and well attended. Edmond students have won many awards at Red Earth with projects they have completed during the summer school program.”

 School programs also enhance the school curriculum, particularly in social studies. Yellowfish said she learning about history and the cultures of other people and sharing that knowledge with her students. “The knowledge I learned from my elders helped me incorporate those teachings of the world,” Yellowfish said. “I love learning about the cultures of other people around the world.”

Another award was given to the school district's American Indian Parents of the Year. Brent and Kennetha Greenwood  are active supporters of the Indian Education program and involve their children in educational and cultural activities whenever possible. Kennetha is an enrolled member of the Otoe Missouria Tribe, and Brent is of Ponca and Chickasaw descent. They are teaching their children their tribes'  languages and traditions, their instruments and music, their dancing and their arts.

“Brent and Kennetha Greenwood are providing a diverse learning environment for their children,” said Lynn Danvers, Edmond Public Schools Indian Education secretary. “They are instilling in them a respect for their cultural heritage while preparing them to participate in today’s world.”

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