SBE Visits the Yakama Nation Tribal School
School Spirit and Student-focused Support at the Yakama Nation Tribal School
Tradition starts here. That’s the signage that greets students, teachers, and during this past week’s SBE annual retreat, Board members and staff at the Yakama Nation Tribal School (YNTS) in Toppenish. YNTS is a federally recognized school on the Yakama Nation reservation serving students in grades 8-12. Tradition fused with positive school culture is critical to student success, according to principal Adam Strom. School and tribal leaders, along with partners, gave SBE members a tour of the school and a glimpse inside a student’s experience as a Golden Eagle (the school’s mascot).
Beginning with a performance from the school’s band of drummers, and ending in the school’s gymnasium, known lovingly as “the nest,” the overall experience was inspiring. School leadership took time to sit down with the Board and staff and talked about the ways YNTS is moving in positive directions that mean bright futures for the tribe’s youth. Strom spoke to the importance of building student self-esteem. He noted the young, yet burgeoning sports program that attracts students looking for a positive way out of hard home-life situations. Strom pairs the school-spirit aspect of athletics with a diverse offering of classes to help his students choose a path to college or career. At YNTS, school leadership highlights the importance of structure in the classroom that in end helps students who may not have that structure in their personal lives. Check out student Board Member, Margarita Amezcua's short take on what happened on the tour (video).
Special thanks to the leadership from YNTS for showing the State Board of Education an inspiring look into your educational environments!