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Sweet Grass Project described at NIEA
Teacher Education Students Make Presentation

By Lisa Azure, United Tribes Teacher Education Chair
22 December 2012

Sweet Grass presenters at NIEA, from left, Shyanne Schmalz, Rolenthea Begay and Jodene Uses Many. Lisa Azure<>United Tribes News

A group of students and staff from the United Tribes Teacher Education Program, who are involved in a project to prepare Native American special education teachers, made a presentation October 20 at conference of the National Indian Education Association. The four-member group described UTTC’s Sweet Grass Project at a gathering in Oklahoma City, OK.

Students Shyanne Schmalz (Standing Rock), Jodene Uses Many (Cheyenne River) and Rolenthea Begay (Dine/Navajo Nation) conducted the session, along with Lisa Azure, Teacher Education chair and director of the Sweet Grass Project.

The presentation was titled: “Preparing Highly Qualified Native American Special Education Teachers: The Sweet Grass Project.”

All three students are participants in the Sweet Grass Project. Jodene completed the project in May and is employed as a K-2 intervention teacher at Theodore Jamerson Elementary School on the United Tribes campus. Shyanne is currently student teaching in Grade 1 at Pioneer Elementary School in Bismarck, having already completed a placement in Grade 4 at Dorothy Moses School. She will complete the Sweet Grass Project at the end of the fall semester. Rolenthea is scheduled to student teach in the fall of 2013.

The Sweet Grass Project is funded by a personnel preparation grant from the Office of Special Education in the U.S. Department of Education. The project is in its final year and has supported 10 teacher candidates. The first three to complete the project are considered highly qualified educators and have met all requirements for teacher licensure in North Dakota. The remaining six candidates will have completed the project, and their degrees, by the fall of 2013.

Congratulations to Shyanne, Jodene and Rolenthea for representing United Tribes and the Teacher Education Program so well and conducting yourselves as professionals in the field of education.


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