Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS

 
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Dreamcatcher
 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555

                                      VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021

                                            Gordy...
                                                    ...See Page 3...
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 2

         Todd County School District Staff Directory...
BOARD OF EDUCATION...
Debra Boyd, President..............................................................................828-2366
Shelley Means, Vice President................................................................319-0808
Michelle Allen, Member............................................................................319-0532     FAMILY SERVICE WORKERS...
Tim Cournoyer Sr., Member....................................................................840-1215          Nancy Kornely, Resource Center.............................................856-3505, ext. 2425
Sage Fast Dog, Member.............................................................................828-6466     Beckey Eddie Moosman, Middle School.................................856-3504, ext. 2313

SUPERINTENDENT’S OFFICE/BUSINESS OFFICE...                                                                     HE DOG SCHOOL...
Carol Galbraith, Superintendent                                                                                Desi Taggart-Luedke, Interim Principal
Chad Blotsky, Business Manager                                                                                 Emily Barnett, Secretary..................................................................................747-2438
Kendra Fernen, Receptionist..................................................................856-3501          KLEIN SCHOOL...
Rosie Bizardie, Secretary.........................................................................ext. 2106    Teana Guerue, Principal
CURRICULUM CENTER...                                                                                           Tess Canet, Head Teacher...............................................................................378-3854
Jane Shelbourn, Federal Programs Director                                                                      LAKEVIEW SCHOOL...
Krista Morrison, Dir. of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment. ext. 2118                                       Roberta Bizardie, Principal
Bryan Burnette, Dean of Students                                                                               Kayla Walkling, Head Teacher.......................................................................429-3339
Wanda Prue, Secretary..........................................................856-3502, ext. 2113             LITTLEBURG SCHOOL...
PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT...                                                                                        Teana Guerue, Principal..................................................................................856-3506
Richard Medema, Human Resource Director.................856-3501, ext. 2105                                    Cindy Bachelor, Head Teacher.......................................................................378-3881
PAYROLL DEPARTMENT...                                                                                          OKREEK SCHOOL...
Barb Seidschlaw, Clerk.............................................................................ext. 2109   Teana Guerue, Principal..................................................................................856-3507
ACCOUNTS PAYABLE...                                                                                            ROSEBUD ELEMENTARY...
Judy Medearis.........................................................................856-3501, ext. 2107      Marlys Walkling, Principal
                                                                                                               Beth Hogan, Secretary......................................................................................747-2411
EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION...                                                                                       SPRING CREEK SCHOOL...
Anna LaDeaux, Director                                                                                         Roberta Bizardie, Principal
Timolin Murray-Young, Secretary.....................................856-3513, ext. 2411                        Betty Sokol, Secretary......................................................................................747-2541

TRANSPORTATION & MAINTENANCE...                                                                                TODD COUNTY ELEMENTARY...
Brad Bartling, Director                                                                                        Bobbie Cox, Principal
Gwenda Jackson, Secretary.................................................856-3509, ext. 2801                  Jody Jackson, Assistant Principal
                                                                                                               Cheryl Whirlwind Soldier, Assistant Principal
HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE...                                                                              Danielle Valandra, Secretary..........................................................................856-3506
Randy Pirner, Principal
Mike Hammer, Assistant Principal                                                                               WANBLI WICONI TIPI...
Connie Browning, Secretary................................................856-3503, ext. 2202                  Teana Guerue, Principal
Shelly New, Receptionist.........................................................................ext. 2201     Marie Reagle, Secretary...................................................................................856-3544
ATHLETICS/ACTIVITIES...
Chuck Wilson, Director........................................................856-3503, ext. 2210              DISTRICT-WIDE HEALTH...
ACHIEVEMENT SCHOOL...                                                                                          Roxanne Redday, TC Elementary LPN........................................................856-3506
Teana Heinert, Principal                                                                                       Bobbie Leneaugh, Disrict Nurse LPN...........................................................856-3503
Marie Reagle, Secretary........................................................856-3544, ext. 2402             Chesney Leiferman, District Nurse RN.......................................................856-3504
MIDDLE SCHOOL...
Dana Haukaas, Principal                                                                                        FOOD SERVICE...
Chris Mosner, Assistant Principal                                                                              Thetis McCloskey, Director........................................................856-3514, ext. 2705
Sandy Assman, Secretary....................................................856-3504, ext. 2303
                                                                                                               PUBLIC RELATIONS & DREAMCATCHER EDITOR...
GUIDANCE & COUNSELING...                                                                                       Phyllis Littau.......................................................................................................856-3530
Valerie Larvie, Guidance Secretary...................................856-3503, ext. 2204
Barry Bailey, High School........................................................................856-3503
Carrie Reinders, Rosebud........................................................................747-2411
Mary Nylander, Spring Creek..................................................................747-2541
Beth Burnette, Middle School..............................................856-3504, ext. 2314
Jennifer Kornely, Middle School............................................................ext. 2315
Rosebud Brushbreaker, Elementary Schools.....................................ext. 2504
Sunni Busch, Transitional Counselor...................................................ext. 2225
Gwen Wenig, High School........................................................................ext. 2213
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher - MARCH 2021 - Page 3
    From the                    and publish in the Dream-         just a reminder that we        Ex Ed Referral Screening...
 Superintendent...              catcher, to help parents/         are all in this together,
                                                                                                        Screenings will be held at Exceptional Education
                                guardians and the com-            that we will get through
                                munities know we are con-         this together, and that we     in Mission on Thursday, April 1, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2
                                tinuing to do our very best       do appreciate each other.      p.m.
                                for our students.                   We can anticipate a great           Family will need to call/text to contact Nancy Ko-
                                     The end of this school       reunion in the Fall, when      rnely to get background and referral information, and
                                year is in sight, and it has      our students are once          to make an appointment time for informal screen/ob-
                                been one of challenges for        again excitedly boarding       servation.
                                all of us, to say the least. It   the busses and pouring                After the child’s appointment, the team will ad-
                                is hard to stay positive dur-     into the classrooms, full of   vise me about recommended next steps. I will be in
                                ing the COVID pandemic,           smiles and hugs.               touch with the family to review the recommendations
                                the lack of routine in our            I hope we can all real-    and help set up any further screens, testing or agency
                                jobs, the constant changes        ize that we do have em-        referrals necessary.
                                is our lives.                     ployment, we do have an                - Anna LaDeaux, Exceptional Education Director
                                  Usually, as spring arrives      employer that cares for us,
                                and the summer vacation           and that we do still live in   TCSD Social Workers vital for students…
                                is on the horizon, students       the most wonderful coun-          The School Social Workers Association sponsors the
                                and teachers are looking          try in the world – the Unit-   National School Social Worker Week each year in March.
                                forward to that time.             ed States of America!          “Beacon of Hope: School Social Workers – Leading the
                                     This year, it is just dif-      We also need to always      Way,” is the theme this year.
     If you see Albert “Bob-    ferent, with no students in       remember to, “Be kind.” It             The Todd County School District is privileged to
ber” Her Many Horses            our classrooms, and teach-        comes back 100-fold.           have two of the School Social Workers in our employ-
somewhere, congratulate         ers giving lessons on com-        Respectfully,                  ment. Shelby Schmit and Mary Van Winkle play a vital
him. He is the Todd County      puters. Teachers miss that        Carol Galbraith                role for staff, parents and community.
School District’s “ Teacher     in-person contact and they        Superintendent of Schools
                                                                                                         Social Workers do light the way by emphasizing
of the Year,” representing      miss the routine. This can                                       the whole child, collaborating with other professionals,
Middle School. He goes on       sometimes make them feel                                         and linking students and families with needed services.
now to Regional competi-        maybe less valued in their                                               We thank you, Ms. Shelby and Ms. Mary!
tion.                           student’s lives, maybe just
    Congratulations to the      wanting it to be over for
Food Service Staff and          this year.
School Social Workers.             But we have to continue
National Kitchen Worker’s       with some semblance of
Day and School Social           normalcy, some routine
Worker’s Week were ob-          and purpose. We have to
served recently.                know that our students
                                                                                                                   Published by
      Some think other de-      need us for their educa-                                                  the Todd County School District
partments may not be do-        tion, their future.                                                           P.O. Box 87, Mission, SD 57555
ing their jobs, but that just        Sometimes, the current                                                            605-856-3501
isn’t true. I am so proud       circumstances can get a
                                                                                                                    Board of Education:
of all our TCSD employ-         bit overwhelming, and we
ees for pitching in and do-     wonder when it will really                                                    Debra Boyd - President
ing anything we ask, for        end. But then something                   Gordy...                         Shelley Means - Vice President
                                                                        (from front cover)                    Michelle Allen - Member
changing their usual types      positive happens, and we
                                                                      Gordy, the beloved
of work, for sticking with      realize it will get better.
                                                                  shih tzu of Rosebud Ele-
                                                                                                             Tim Cournoyer - Member
us through these trying             I was at my desk a cou-                                                   Sage Fast Dog - Member
                                                                  mentary Teacher Patricia
times.                          ple of weeks ago, mull-           Naylor-Knox, has been a                 Superintendent - Carol Galbraith
    I especially appreciate     ing over our school year,         support dog and a great
the bus/maintenance crew        feeling a sense of frustra-
                                                                                                          Business Manager - Chad Blotsky
                                                                  comfort for the students at
as well as our custodians,      tion for not being able to                                               Dreamcatcher Editor: Phyllis Littau
                                                                   the school for five years.
for the additional work         “fix” everything for our          Students and staff love him
                                                                                                               email: Phyllis.Littau@k12.sd.us
                                                                                                     The Dreamcatcher is a monthly publication for patrons of the
added because of the ex-        students and staff, and in        dearly, and the kids even         Todd County School District. We welcome your comments and
treme cold and abundance        walks a gentlemen deliver-                read to him.             suggestions. Inquiries concerning the application of Title VI, Title
of snow.                        ing a bouquet of roses for                                           IX or Section 504, Affirmative Action and the Americans With
   Thank you, Administra-       me from TCHS!                     The photo on the cover is         Disabilities Act, should be referred to Richard Medema, Human
                                                                                                   Resources Director, P.O. Box 87, Mission, SD 57555, 605-856-3501,
tors, for the news items             What a thoughtful ges-       a family group with Gordy.
                                                                                                     or to the Regional Director, Dept. of Education, Office of Civil
we send to the Tribune          ture from the High School,                                            Rights, 1244 Spear Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80202-3582.
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 4

He Dog Happenings...                                                    New Counselor
                                                                         at He Dog...
                                                                         Jean Harter-Shutt was born in
                                                                     Kadoka, the oldest of three chil-
                                                                     dren. The family moved to Texas
                                                                     for a few years, then came back
                                                                     to South Dakota.
                                                                           Jean attended school at Jor-
                                                                     dan Corner School, “which is now
                                                                     a big State Department gravel
                                                                     pile,” she said.
                                                                         The family moved to Witten in
                                                                     1934 to farm and ranch, and her
                                                                     parents are still there.
                                                                          Jean went to school at Witten
                                                                     and then to Wood High School un-
                                                                     til it closed. She graduated from
                                                                     Winner High School, and went on
                                                                     to post secondary schools, eventu-
                                                                     ally graduating with a BA in Busi-
                                                                     ness Administration, a Cosem-         dents, families and communities
                                                                     tology license, and a Master of       in schools.
Ms. Carm Shouldis’s He Dog Kindergarten Class working hard online!   Social Work Degree.                         Jean and her husband have
                                                                            She has lived in Washington    five “very spoiled” fur babies -
                                                                     State and California. She says she    three dogs and two cats.
                                                                     misses the ocean and redwood              “We have 14 nieces and neph-
                                                                     trees very much, however, her         ews and 10 great-neices and neph-
                                                                     heart was always with her family      ews, whom we love immensely and
                                                                     so she moved back to South            spend as much time with them as
                                                                     Dakota in 2006.                       we can,” she said.
                                                                         Jean has worked for the State         “I look forward to meeting the
                                                                     of South Dakota and a mental          community and the people in He
                                                                     health facility, but says she found   Dog,” she added.
                                                                     her passion in working with stu-
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 5

       ...presenting: Klein Students with Pefect Attendance...

  Klein Students with Perfect Attendance for all three quarters so far! This means they have attended live online lessons EVERY
                                                     day since school started.
                                  Top row, from left - Amit Bhinder, Sophia Sully, Tre’ Colombe
                                         Bottom row - Trayson Roubideaux, Nestor Vega

Okreek Attendance Winners...
Each Okreek Student who had an 85% or higher Attendance and                                   Just a few more
90% of Work Completion for the Month of January received a                                        months!
                   $10 Subway Gift Card:
                                               _3-5
                                          Alayah Deleon
               K-2                     Alibionna Blue Bird
       Aurora Fast Horse                  Casius Spidle
       Florine Fast Horse                Demi Fast Horse
       Trinity Fast Horse                 Hayden Iyotte
    Jesse James Roubideaux               Jemal Boneshirt
       Brittany Bordeaux               Parianna Bordeaux
      Thailee Roubideaux                Joy Wooden Knife
        Briella Bordeaux                  Farrah Iyotte
          Aaron Spidle                Janiyah Flying Hawk
           Jaelyn Prue
       Desirae Fast Horse                    _6-8
                                       Dionae Fast Horse
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 6

    Rosebud Elementary

was quite honored recently,

  when former Rosebud

  Panther and now Todd

County High School Senior

 Sydney Burnette came to

           visit.

   Sydney brought with

her a messge of “Following

 Your Dream” to Rosebud

       Fifth Graders.

      She is ranked as one

of the Top Three Students
            in

 her Senior Class and is in

      the running for

      Valedictorian!

   PROUD moment for

   Rosebud Elementary.

    Thank You Sydney!
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 7
                        Dreamy Tees...

                                                                                   Rosebud Super Star Second Grader Alert!...
                                                                                      Ninja worked super hard and completed all of the math and
Rosebud Elementary Students with 80-100% attendance for the first semester,
                                                                              science on Waterford learning! She got a certificate and extra prizes!
          received a new “Everything starts with a DREAM t-shirt.
                                                                                                          Way to go!

Rosebud Elementary Community Library hits the trail...
                                                                                                                    On March 5, Rosebud Ele-
                                                                                                                    mentary delivered our first
                                                                                                                    Community Library to the
                                                                                                                    Boys and Girls Club at Rose-
                                                                                                                                bud.
                                                                                                                       Read On dear students!
                                                                                                                    Above, from left - Rose-
                                                                                                                    bud    Elementary      Coun-
                                                                                                                    selor    Carrie     Reinders,
                                                                                                                    Elementary Music Instruc-
                                                                                                                    tor Heidi Olson, Boys & Girls
                                                                                                                    Club Employee Beth Elk
                                                                                                                    Looks Back, and Rosebud El-
                                                                                                                    ementary Principal Marlys
                                                                                                                              Walkling.
                                                                                                                        TOGETHER WE CAN!
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 8

                                         Rock Your Mocs...
                                                                Rosebud Elementary Staff had the privilege of learning about the Oceti
                                                                Sakowin Essential Understandings through the project based presenta-
                                                                             tion of Steve Tamayo - “Rock Your Mocs.”
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 9
Dreamcatcher Gordy - VOLUME 30 - ISSUE 7 - MARCH 2021 A publication of the Todd County School District, Mission, SD 57555 - Amazon AWS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 10

               Todd County High School Students of the Week...
  Students selected by staff for Student of the
              Week for the week of
               February 22-26 are:
 Top Row: Jacob McCloskey (10th), Mike Ham-
 mer (Asst. Principal) Bottom Row: Aaron Iron
 Heart Jr., Not Pictured: Lane Hunger (9th) and
             Charles Brave IV (11th).

 These students have demonstrated over the
 course of the school year how to be successful
 with online learning. They access Schoology
 daily to find their courses, stay current with
 their assignments, attend zoom sessions and
 ask questions via chat, email, live zoom or text.

 From the staff at TCHS... CONGRATULATIONS!
 You can find this interview on Falcon News lo-
 cated on TCSD App, Todd County High School
 Face Book page or on Todd County High School
                 YouTube page.

                                                                     Students selected by staff for Student of the Week for
                                                                 the week of February 15 - 19 are:
                                                                       Top Row: Kimmi Arvik (11th), Mike Hammer (Asst.
                                                                 Principal), Kenzie Wooden Knife (12th), Bottom Row:
                                                                 Brooke Bad Hand (10th) and Avion Big Crow (9th).
                                                                       These students have demonstrated over the course
                                                                 of the school year how to be successful with online learn-
                                                                 ing. They access Schoology daily to find their courses,
                                                                 stay current with their assignments, attend zoom ses-
                                                                 sions and ask questions via chat, email, live zoom or
                                                                 text.
                                                                     From the staff at TCHS, congratulations!
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 11
                                                                                                Several students were not home when the
TCHS Honor Roll Students receive Falcon sweatshirts...                                          sweatshirts were delivered, but those who were
                                                                              Thomas                  agreed to have their photos taken..
  Kaydin                                                                       Shaw                        Congratlations students!
   Waln

                                                                                                     Lane Hunger
                                                                                                   (just excited to
                                                                                                    get a sweater)

TCHS Students of the Week - March 8-12                              Trinity
                                                                    Burning                             LaShaya
                                                                     Breast                         LaPointe-Whipple
                                                                                                      & little sister

Todd County High School students selected by staff for Student
of the Week for the week of March 8-12 are Sydnee Traversie
(9th), Sage Fast Dog Jr. (10th), Wiconi Uses Arrow (11th)(Pic-
tured bottom) and Devon Enos (12th)(Pictured Top). These stu-
dents have demonstrated over the course of the school year how
to be successful with online learning. They access Schoology
daily to find their courses, stay current with their assignments,
attend zoom sessions and ask questions via chat, email, live
                          zoom or text.
         From the staff at TCHS... CONGRATULATIONS
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 12

                  ...Todd County High School Spirit Week - March style...
                                                   Another ‘Spirit Week,’ for the High School - this time, some other schools in the
                                                                            District also got in on the fun:

                                                                       Deana & MaryLu - ready for Twin Day.

                    Miss Becki - Super Hero Day                         Amanda - Falcon Friday               Deana - St. Pat’s Day
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 13
St. Patrick’s Day...

                                                    Clockwise, from left - TCES Teacher
                                                    Meredith Cournoyer, High School
                                                    Teachers & Staff: Becki Ritter with
                                                    Vetal Valandra, Marj Blare, Amanda
                                                    Bordeaux, Connie Browning, Dani-
                                                    elle Valandra, Dani and Becki, Kim
                                                                   Valen.

                                                           -thanks for the photos
                                                                 Amanda)

                                                             (more Spirit Week
                                                               on next page)
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 14

TCHS Teacher of the Year and Paraprofessional of the            LB/KL/OK/TCAS/WWT Principal Teana Guerue for                    Mary Nylander - He Dog
  Year - Katie Petry (right) and Jamie Grant - Twin Day.                      St. Patty’s Day.
Applicants needed for Jeff Harms Scholarship,
$500 to $1,000 available…                                                      Dear Mr. Harms,
                                                                                        I really miss you. I really wish you were here. You were the best
                                                             Jeff Harms,       teacher in the whole wide world. I loved the jokes you told. It’s hard for me
                                                           teaching a class    because, well, it’s my first year here. It’s really hard for the ones who are left
                                                             at Littleburg     down here. We all miss you so much! We all wish you were here the rest of the
                                                                School.        year. It’s going to be hard. We had a lot of things to do. Well, now we can’t do
                                                                               that. You were the one that made math really fun, and science too. I bet your
                                                                               family was so proud of you. You were the one who encouraged us to keep fol-
                                                                               lowing our dream, to be who we are now, and I thank you for that. It’s never
                                                                               going to be the same without you. You told us to keep moving and never give
                                                                               up on our dreams. You taught us math so some people will not trick us. Also,
                                                                               no one can beat you at checkers.
                                                                                        “Jeff truly loved the kids he worked with,” Retired TCSD Instructional
                                                                               Coach Christine Rhodes noted . “His time with us was short, but he made a
                                                                               difference.”
                                                                                        Jeff’s family chose to dedicate annual scholarships to eligible Todd
                                                                               County seniors each year in his memory by recognizing the dedication of the
                                                                               student(s) dream to continued education.
                                                                                        ELIGIBILITY:
                                                                                        Applicants to the Jeff Harms Memorial Scholarship Fund must…
                                                                                        - Be a graduating senior from Todd County High School;
                                                                                        - Have a GPA of 2.0 or higher
                                                                                        - Demonstrate plans to attend an institution of higher learning, which
                                                                               may be a two-year or four-year college or vocational technical school.
                                                                                        DEADLINE TO APPLY:
                                                                                        APRIL 23, 2021, 5 p.m.
                                                                                        AMOUNT AVAILABLE: $500 TO $1000
                                                                                        HOW TO APPLY:
                                                                                        - on a typed paper…
                                                                                                 - General Information
                                                                                                 - Write an essay of up to 900 words explaining your future
 Todd County Class of 2021 Seniors are invited to apply for this year’s Jeff
                                                                               plans in education, and how this fund will assist you.
Harms Scholarship . Mr. Harms was a Littleburg School teacher until his
                                                                                        Turn in your application to the Todd County High School Counseling
untimely death in 2014. Although Jeff’s teaching experience was limited, his
                                                                               Department.
impact on his students was epic. One of his students, Razalia, who was then
a third grader, wrote this letter to him:
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 15

       Lakeview...
For a little holiday fun, the staff and students
of Lakeview made Leprechaun Bait! Ingredi-
ents were delivered with packets, and students
and families were invited to join the magi-
cal cooking class on Zoom. The "bait" caught
many students, but has yet to trap any tricky
leprechauns!
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021- PAGE 16                                                                                                                                                                     Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 17

                                                                                                                              Todd County Elementary...
        The Y2K and First Grade explorers continued their virtual field trips this past month. They jumped on their virtual
plane and visited the mountains, Dr. Seuss in Whoville, the rainforest, and the Wetlands.
        While in the habitats they learned about ohóla: Respect and how to respect the environment and the animals. They
learned about different animals in the habitats that included pythons, chameleons, frogs, and turtles. We also had Sherry
Redowl, a Lakota elder, share about why the turtle is sacred to the Lakota people.
        The students shared their new knowledge by creating nonfiction posters filled with facts and illustrations. Their
adventures aren’t done yet! We can’t wait to see where virtual learning takes them next.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            From Ms. Sunset Elliott’s Grades 1 & 2...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           February:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           TCES Second Grader, Zoe Moran,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           proudly shows her stethoscope
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           and Valentine to her čhačté she
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           made for Lakota, Science, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Wellness.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           March:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           TCES 1st grader, Giovanna
                                                                                                                                             TCES Goes Live for Mars Rover Landing                                                                                         Beauvais, in her African inspired
                                                                                                                              All TCES students were invited to a whole-school assembly on Thursday, February 18 to celebrate the Mars                                     mask she made when learning
                                                                                                                              Rover, Perseverance, landing after a 127 MILLION mile journey. Almost 200 participants took part.                                            about shapes in Art. Previous
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           art projects proudly on display
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           behind her!
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 18
TCES Second Graders                                                   Beautiful Weather brings ice cream
learn about different                                                            and smiles...
ways of communication...

Charles Mancini mails his letter at the Parmel-
              ee Post Office.
    Students learned about the five parts of
a friendly letter. They wrote to a family
member, friend or teacher. They made sure            Lacie Rogers
they included the parts of a friendly letter.
They edited their letter by proofreading for
                                                                       March 4 was a beautiful day! TCES students and
punctuation, capitalization and spelling.                           families were treated to root beer floats at the curb for
They wrote a final copy of their letter on                                       a fun drive-thru experience.
a piece of stationary we sent them in their                                       Teacher Toby and Mrs. Eddie
assignment envelope. We had a lesson on                             made hundreds of people smile—and they collected a
addressing an envelope with the help of a                                               lot of work too!
family member. Our unit ended with a vir-
tual field trip to the post office.
     The envelope we sent had a stamp so
students could mail their letter. The stu-
dents or a family member could mail their
letter at the post office and take a picture
of the letter getting mailed and send it to
the teacher.

   Sendrick Sharpfish mails his letter at the
             Mission Post Office.                 Nehemiah Beardt
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 19
Todd County Elementary Fourth Grade...

 Each Friday the 4th graders have the opportunity to join the grade-wide Zoom Morning
                                       Meeting.
                           _________________________________
         We are learning how to be good relatives and take care of Unci Maka.

                                                                                                                 Penelope Dillon
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 20
                                                   TCES & TCMS “Walk for Tomorrow”

    Wednesday, February 24, the TCES staff joined with Middle School staff and went to Mission/Antelope community to join our students and families in a
 walk. Middle School students had spent the morning in an assembly focused on “Leveling Up”, planting hopes and dreams for their future. TCES fifth graders
 were invited to attend the assembly also as they prepare for middle school. After the assembly, students met teachers in the community and turned in their
 goals for the future. All students were given a t-shirt, a drink, and a snack. The Wildcat mascot and the Falcon were also in attendance, along with district-level
                                                 administration. Watch for us to come again, we had a great time!

    TCES Fifth Grade...

  One of the parts fifth
grade enjoys about morn-
ing meetings is meeting
all of our student’s furry
friends! Morning meetings
let us connect with our
students and give them a
chance to see their friends!
It also means that we often
have ‘guests’- either pets
or siblings often visit our
      classes this year!

Fifth grade also celebrated
the end of their Civil Rights
unit with some inspiring
 quotes from our studies!
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 21

     Todd County
    Middle School...
  We held our “Walk for Tomorrow” on
February 24. We partnered with TCES
and were well received by the neigh-
borhoods in which we walked.
     We had over 200 students and
families take Part Two of the walk lo-
cations. It was good for our staff to see
their students and make connections
with the families.
     Students and families want us to
do another walk in the Spring.

                                                                                               The
                                                                                              Wildcat
                                                                                              Wagon

                                                                                             Our mobile
                                                                                             classroom
                                                                                              continues
                                                                                               to make
                                                                                             the rounds
                                                                                                to our
                                                                                               outlying
                                                                                            communities
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 22

Plans for Fall reopening in the works,
New Rosebud School in the future,
School reports show attendance growth
      MISSION – Todd County School District        students are completing assignments.              are not doing work.
(TCSD) Superintendent Carol Galbraith noted                Littleburg School:                                An increase in individual plans has
that it had been a busy week for everyone.                 Attendance incentives have started for    many staff members on Zoom for longer pe-
Meetings are being held about the location of      Littleburg students, and 89% of K-1 and 90%       riods of time. TCES is working to prepare for
the new Rosebud School, and administrative         of Grades 2-5 students have completed assign-     the physical return of staff and students to
groups are hard at work on plans for resum-        ments.                                            school next year.
ing in-person classes in the Fall, including              TC Achievement School:                             Todd County Middle School:
additional staffing needs and assessments to               Students are completing individual                Reading participation for February
help determine student placement.                  learning paths for graduation. The counselor      was 22%, for Math 33%. Plans are in place for
        Other subjects in her report includ-       is providing individual zoom counseling ses-      parents/guardians who want their students to
ed attendance centers information, which           sion with students at Wanbli Waconi Tipi and      be tested. Grade reports will continue to par-
showed encouraging stats in attendance             TC Achievement, as needed.                        ents/guardians on a weekly basis. The cur-
and participation. Schools are doing some                  Lakeview Elementary:                      rent attendance rate is 63.93%.
really fun, productive activities, like deliver-           Grades 2-4 (16 students) average atten-            Projections on students possibly being
ing books and other items with the Rosebud         dance rate was 75%, participation rate 64%.       eligible for promotion to the next grade level
Panthermobile and the Middle School Wildcat        Grades 5-8 (12 students) average attendance       if they maintain their current participation:
Wagon. The High School is sponsoring anoth-        84%, participation 75%. Family Engagement         Sixth Grade – 117 of 148 (79%); Seventh Grade
er “Spirit Week,” and has formed a Walking         activity for the month was a beaded animal.       – 113 of 162 (69%); Eighth Grade – 97 of 140
Club.                                              Grades 5-8 are participating in the Winter        (69%). Transition for incoming and outgoing
        “Last Thursday, you could even get a       Count simulation. Lakeview Community Li-          Middle School students, with TCES, Rosebud
root beer float if you drove through the Todd      brary is nearly up and running.                   Elementary and TCHS is in progress.
County Elementary campus,” she said.                       Rosebud Elementary:                               Over 200 students and families partici-
        Also, TCHS Athletic Director Chuck                 Implementation of Oceti Standards Es-     pated in the “Walk for Tomorrow” with T.C.
Wilson has asked about the possibility of some     sential Understandings (OSEU) is the num-         Elementary in part two of the walk locations.
students coming in to work with the coaches        ber one goal at the school. Each Monday, the      It was well received by the neighborhoods.
to prepare for the 2021-22 School Year.            school week opens with Lakota Prayer and          Student and families have asked for another
        Representatives from most of the           Song, Lakota Language Class is at 9:12, OSEU      Walk in the Spring.
TCSD attendance centers met with South Da-         Team at 10:15, and book study of “The Sacred              The Wildcat Wagon (mobile classroom)
kota Student Family Engagement. The goal           Pipe” at 3 p.m.                                   continues to make its rounds in communities.
of this organization is to build relationships             The Panthermobile visits community        Kitchen staff was honored on National Kitchen
with rural schools serving predominately Na-       centers each Friday. Books, winter apparel        Staff Day for keeping students healthy and fed
tive American students (Todd County, Chey-         and stuffed animals are being distributed.        during the pandemic.
enne Eagle Butte and St. Joseph’s Indian                   Alumni Panther and Todd County High               Middle School is beginning to prep and
School).                                           School Senior Sydney Burnette visited with the    plan for the joyous return to in-person learn-
Attendance Center Reports                          fifth graders about “Following Your Dream.”       ing in the Fall. All staff will be participating
        Okreek School:                                     Boys & Girls Club Members are assist-     in the planning and it will be the focus of the
        Attendance incentives for students         ing several of our students with online and as-   March 19 Inservice.
continue. In February, 27 of 36 students qual-     signment completion. Eighty-three percent of              Todd County High School:
ified for the incentives with 90% of higher at-    Rosebud students are completing mid-year as-              Counselor Barry continues to work
tendance and 85% of returning work. Student        sessment. In Reading, Tier One – 12% are on       closely with Seniors to insure as many as pos-
assessments in Math and Reading show slight        grade level, in Math 1 to 6%; Tier Two – 39%      sible can graduate. Barry handed out caps
growth in Grades 3-5 and 100% of students in       in Reading, 41% in Math; Tier Three (at risk)     and gowns to get them into his office for a
Grades K-8 have completed assignments!             Reading 49%, Math 51%.                            face-to-face about what is needed for them
        Klein School:                                      Todd County Elementary School:            to graduate. The event is scheduled for May
        Attendance is GREAT! Five students                 A total of 51% of Todd County Elemen-     15, 2021. Special congratulations to four Se-
have perfect attendance for the whole school       tary Students are participating at some level,    niors who unofficially graduated at Semester:
year! They have attended every live session,       and 30% are meeting expectations. All stu-        Devon Spotted War Bonnett, Kathryn Merrill,
every day! Students show Math and Reading          dents are allowed access to Schoology to reach    Vincena Nadeau, Faustina Thunder Hawk. A
growth in both subjects and 100% of Klein          out to teachers and watch videos, even if they    positive sign – staff reports an uptick in stu-
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 23
dent participation. The TCHS Walking Club          – for Schoology logins. Monday to Thursday         (52 freshmen and 49 sophomores) taking
continues to grow in popularity with staff.        the teacher will keep a list of students who log   Math & Language assessments.
        Spirit Week is March 15-19: Monday -       in each hour of the Day. Friday noon will be               Board President Debra Boyd thanked
Marvel/DC Super Hero Day; Tuesday – Twin           a drawing for the top three who consectively       the administrators for their respective reports.
Day; Wednesday - St. Patrick’s Day; Thursday       logged in. Pizza and pop from Gus Stop.            Board Vice President Shelley Means added
– Jersey Day (Parent-Teacher Conferences);                Activity three: For staff and students      that she hopes the schools keep making good
Friday – Blue & Gold Day.                          – the best dressed staff member and student        progress, and that the reports are really en-
        Other activities for Spirit Week:          who participates in each of the five themed        couraging. Board Member Michelle Allen also
        Scavenger Hunt!                            days will be in a drawing on Friday, March 19.     thanked the administrators for all they do for
        Begins Friday, March 19. The list will     Pizza and pop, Gus Stop.                           the students. Member Tim Cournoyer noted
consist of five items hopefully each student              Students of the Week are featured in        that it has been a “terrible year,” but that staff
should have in their homes. A Zoom link will       Falcon News, on TCSD app, TCHS YouTube             has been magnificent in efforts to get every
be provided for students. The first three to log   page, TCHS Facebook, Todd County Tribune,          student educated.
into the Zoom link with their five items wins a    Dreamcatcher.                                              For details of the meeting, see the legal
pizza and two liter pop from Gus Stop.                    There was a good turnout of students        section of the Todd County Tribune.
        Another activity: Thursday, March 18

He Dog, Spring Creek have positive reports....
         Great things are happening at He Dog,             “He Dog Staff is tired – mentally,
Principal Desiree Luedke reports.                  physically, emotionally tired, but that has not
         Student participation has increased       stopped us from being excited for the future,”
from 50 to 57%. Staff is learning as a team        she added. “We are digging deep to finish the
how to better lead the He Dog School, commu-       year strong and to celebrate the little things,
nicate within one school, while honoring all       in big ways!”
voices and ideas.                                          Spring Principal Roberta Bizardie says
         Attendance/Participation:                 Family Engagement activities are improving
         Tier 1 - 50-100% of work completion.      and Spring Creek Staff has planned some ex-
         82 students – recommend promotion to      citing activities for the rest of the year.
next grade.                                                Spring Creek School will be featuring
         Tier 2 - 1-49% work completion.           “Student of the Week” for each grade to in-
         65 students – recommend retention un-     crease awareness of their students, the hard
less participation increases.                      work and dedication during these trying times.
         Tier 3 – 49 students dropped from en-             “Teacher Spotlight will be featured on
rollment on February 26.                           the Spring Creek Facebook Page, so people
         Luedke says she promised He Dog fam-      can see the amazing things the staff is doing,”
ilies transparency and honesty when she came       Bizardie said.
on board as principal.                                     As of February 26, 95% of Spring Creek
         “Families appreciate the accountabil-     students have completed their mid-year as-
ity piece for their student, especially those      sessment. This gives the opportunity to plan
who are giving their families grief about do-      where to take students academically for the
ing their work or aren’t telling the whole truth   next three months.
about how much work they are doing,” she                   Spring Creek Community Library is
said. “This is hard work, but working as s         opening for students to check out books by ap-
team makes it easier, and in turn, creates stu-    pointment and grade level.
dent success. That is why we are doing what                Attendance/participation is increasing
we are doing.                                      with the assistance of student incentives.
         “We have learned and lived through a              Participation/Completion:
lot in these historic times, Luedke said. I of-            K-2 – Tier 1 – 23 students – 70% atten-
ten hear, “the new normal,” as a description of    dance, 50% average participation- 40% aver-
how to adapt to the world, as we work through      age online/packet
the COVID-19 pandemic. None of this is or          completion rate.
was normal. This is not a “new normal.” This               3-5 – Tier 1 – 17 students – 61% aver-
is life after trauma, and for some, ‘after’ has    age attendance – 30% average participation
not started yet. This has and will continue        rate – 30 % average online packet completion
to deeply impact our social, emotional, men-       rate.
tal and physical wellbeing for years to come.              6-8 – 21 students - 77% average atten-
We are weathering a storm of change, not all       dance – 70% average participation rate – 70
change is bad.                                     average online/packet completion rate.
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 24

Contratulations ‘Bobber’ - Todd County School District Teacher of the Year...
                                    designed personal, animated bit-             It is our strong belief that dur-   - was conducted with a quiet, de-
                                    mojis to represent themselves in         ing this pandemic year, a year          termined and professional level of
                                    the virtual choir performance.           in which many teachers gave of          excellence.
                                         Mr. Her Many Horses then re-        themselves above and beyond the           (the TCSD Teacher of the Year
                                    corded each student singing solo,        call of duty, Mr. Her Many Horses       becomes eligible for the Regional
                                    matched their song performances          gave just a little bit more.            Teacher of the Year Award, and
                                    to their animated bitmojis, then             And all he did - whether deliv-     possibly the South Dakota and/or
                                    synchronized them all together           ering his own lessons, designing        the National Teacher of the Year
                                    into one group performance. This         new classes. or assisting others        Award.)
                                    Holiday performance was a tre-
                                    mendous draw to our Facebook
                                    Page, and brought accolades from
                                                                             Deborah Birch is Elementary Teacher of the Year...
                                    TCMS fans and viewers across the                                                 hire a K-2 teacher, Mrs. Birch em-
                                    country.                                                                         braced the Kindergarten students,
                                        Mr. Her Many Horses’ feats did                                               and they became part of her class-
                                    not stop there!                                                                  room. Intervention lessons, such
                                       “I don’t think any student should                                             as individual ZOOM sessions and
                                    pass through our school without                                                  the Waterford computer program,
                                    learning Lakota,” Bobber said.                                                   were a mainstay of the strategies
     Albert Her Many Horses         So, when issues arose early in the                                               Mrs. Birch utilized.
       TCMS Music Teacher           year with the Middle School Lako-                                                     Family relationships and the
       Congratulations to Albert    ta Language Teacher’s health, Mr.                                                importance of those connections
“Bobber” Her Many Horses            Her Many Horses stepped in. He                                                   have been a part of Mrs. Birch’s
for being chosen Todd County        created dozens of engaging Lako-                                                 legacy. Many of her parents were
School District Teacher of the      ta Lessons in Nearpod software.                                                  once her students.
Year.                               Thanks to Bobber, every student                                                       Her patience and persistence
   This is a testament to Mr. Her   at TCMS had instruction in their                                                 in making sure her students and
Many Horses’ skill, determina-      native language this year.                                                       families had the technology skills
tion and creativity that he has         Yet, his feats did not stop there!                                           were evident daily, while she pro-
used and excelled during a year     (See a pattern yet???) When it                                                   vided lessons to the families on
of remote learning as a music       became clear that our schedule                                                   the phone or in individual teach-
teacher! Mr. Her Many Horses        would need an additional Explor-                 Deborah Birch                   ing sessions. Through this all, Mrs.
possesses a tremendous drive        atory class for the third quarter,        Elementary Teacher of the Year         Birch’s laughter and joy persisted
for excellence, and the personal    Bobber created a brand-new class,              Mrs. Birch has dedicated 28       and was an example for us all.
skillset necessary to share that    “Interactive Listening.” This class      years of her life to the students            Mrs. Birch is the epitome of
drive with his students.            is designed to help students focus       at Rosebud Elementary. She has          what it means to be a dedicated
      Bobber knew that 2020-21      and become more successful in ev-        utilized her leadership skills by       teacher even when the pandemic
was going to be different, and      ery other class while at TCMS.           assisting as Head Teacher, par-         curve ball and online learning is
he had a plan for it. Each year            And no, of course Bobber’s        ticipating on the Building Leader-      thrown at you.
he has been at Todd County          feats did not stop there either. He      ship Team and Oceti Sakowin Es-
Middle School (TCMS), the Holi-     conducted a Facebook Live event          sential Understanding Team, and
day Music Program has grown,        in the evening to teach parents          guiding her colleagues within the
and the expectations have been      and community members how to             weekly Collaborative Work Group.
elevated. Mr. Her Many Horses’      log into Schoology and navigate              The school year of 2020-21 has
choir performances began as         its interface.                           brought about many challenges
small audience affairs, and have         As Middle School implemented        for staff. Mrs. Birch took it upon
steadily grown to packed house,     a staggered, hybrid schedule to          herself to transfer her teaching
standing room only events.          reduce the human footprint in the        expertise of 28 years to an online
     So, how would he keep that     building, Mr. Her Many Horses re-        learning platform. She rose up
trend going in the year of the      ported to the building every single      to the challenge of learning the
pandemic? A digital concert, of     day, teaching classes, meeting           Schoology platform and creating
course! Across weeks and weeks      individually with students, and          prerecorded and live teaching
of perseverance, willpower, and     assisting other teachers utilize         sessions to assist her students in
his nurturing style of coaching,    Nearpod, Scoology, wireless mi-          learning the kindergarten stan-
Bobber met individually with        crophones, and other tools of the        dards.
each of his music students. They    trade.                                        When Lakeview was unable to
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 25
         Arlene Gunhammer                                                   TCSD Report for ISSD Resource Book-
  TCSD Paraprofessional of the Year...                                             On March 16, 2020, all Todd County School District At-
                                     Birch’s right hand by learning on     tendance Centers closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and
                                     strategies. She continues to grow     remained closed until the end of the 2019-20 School Year.
                                     as a professional and has partici-    Not only did this disrupt the education of all the TC Students,
                                     pated in our online Lakota Lan-
                                                                           but it left this district and many others across the nation with
                                     guage courses as well as Respon-
                                     sive Classroom and Collaborative      the challenge of feeding the children.
                                     Classroom Curriculum.                         The District called on the Rosebud Reservation com-
                                           Ms. Arlene’s student, family    munities to assist, and the system was put in place to create
                                     and community connections have        brown bag breakfasts and lunches and have them delivered
                                     been a huge asset, not only for       to 2,100 children (ages 0-18) most weekdays. Under the guid-
                                     Mrs. Birch’s classroom, but for the   ance of TCSD Business Manager Chad Blotsky, and manned
                                     entire school. Ms. Arlene is the
                                                                           by TC Food Service workers, and other employees who vol-
                                     first person willing to go out into
                                     the community and assist in mak-      unteered. With community personnel delivering the food, the
                                     ing those important family con-       project succeeded in distributing 219,318 meals by the end of
                                     nections. Whenever we are short       the school year. At the beginning of the 2020-21 school year,
                                     on custodians, bus drivers, kitchen   the project resumed, and is continuing until the end of this
                                     staff, or need some skilled sum-      school year.
                                     mer painting, or organization of              In September, the Board of Education opted to have
      Arlene Gunhammer               the library, Ms. Arlene is willing
                                     to assist.
                                                                           virtual classes only for the protection of students, staff and
     TCSD Paraprofessional
                                        When it comes to sorting Christ-   the community to the end of the first semester. Todd Coun-
          of the Year
                                     mas presents from donors, re-         ty School busses, which normally would travel thousands of
      Ms. Arlene Gunhammer has       organizing the Panther’s Family       miles weekly, sat silent. Attendance Centers were empty,
dedicated 26 years of her life to    Closet, or setting up the Communi-    with the exception of administrators and essential staff, and
the students at Rosebud Elemen-      ty Libraries, Ms. Arlene is ALWAYS
tary. She has worked with Mrs.                                             the problems began of furnishing students with access to in-
                                     there to go “above and beyond.”
Birch over 22 years in the Kinder-                                         ternet.
                                           Ms. Arlene is the epitome of
garten classroom. At Rosebud El-     what it means to be a dedicated                Within a few weeks, most families either were online,
ementary, we believe in STRONG       instructional team partner, even      or able to go to a community center for classes, thanks to
Instructional Teams, and Ms. Ar-     when the pandemic curve ball and      the combined efforts of the State, internet providers and the
lene and Mrs. Birch are such ex-     online learning is thrown at you.     District. As there were to be no in-person classes, there could
amples.                              Ms. Arlene took on this challeng-
    The school year of 20-21 has
                                                                           also be no participation in winter sports. This left many stu-
                                     ing year with zest, and continues     dents with little to do.
brought about many challenges        to be a STRONG VALUABLE In-
for staff. Ms. Arlene has taken it                                                 In December, the Board of Education extended the op-
                                     strutional Team Partner!
in stride and continues to be Mrs.                                         tion of Flex Learning to the end of the school, which again
                                                                           eliminated any chance of spring sports for TC students. Some
                                                                           of these virtual school only decisions came from the desire
                                                                           to cooperate with Rosebud Sioux Tribal lockdown mandates,
                                                                           since the District is on the Rosebud Reservation.
                                                                                   The SPED Department January report showed 38 stu-
                                                                           dents enrolled, with 23 receiving services virtually, and 15
                                                                           through take-home activities. Nine families had 100% par-
                                                                           ticipation. In some cases, a few students are now receiving
                                                                           in-person services.
                                                                                   On the upside, the District has retained all permanent
                                                                           employees throughout, and each of them received a $1,750
                                                                           bonus at Christmastime from COVID money. Several staff
                                                                           members were diagnosed with the virus, but all are recovered
                                                                           now. To our knowledge, few, if any, students were affected.
                                                                           IHS (Indian Health Service) at Rosebud offered COVID shots
                                                                           to Todd County employees, and many have accepted.
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 26
                                                                                              tell her what was happening at school. I
For Whomever needs to read this right now...                                                  hung out with the wrong people my fresh-
     Look, I know how this feels. I am not     which I later burned because I was tired of    man year, and I am sure that I would have
going to lie to you and say that every emo-    feeling like that.                             been better off without them. If I had just
tion and instinct will get easier or auto-         My mom was always gone to Montana          stopped being stubborn, I would have got-
matically go away, because it does not.        or some place where a new boyfriend            ten help earlier, and I possibly would have
Over time, you will learn how to handle        was. My aunt was busy with work, and           figured out why I was doing this.
almost every situation and emotion that        my grandma had a babysitting job where                  As I said, everything happens for
comes with growing up. I know, because         most of her time was taken by strangers'       a reason, so maybe I was meant to go
I have experienced the same events that        children. I felt alone, like I had no one to   through it all for experience, for times like
you have. I have made almost the same          talk to, but as stubborn as I am, I did not    these, when I can share my experience
choices, and at this rate, we have basically   want help. I thought I was okay. I thought     with people who are going through the
lived the same life.                           no one cared. I felt scared and unloved.       same as I did.
    When I was three months old, my birth           At age 15, I was diagnosed with severe             I am writing this because I can re-
parents split up; my birth mother would        depression and anxiety. I tried out many       late to you, and you can to me. I am writ-
come back for me when they would get           mood stabilizers and sleep medications         ing this because I care, and I know you are
back together, but as soon as they broke       but the mood stabilizers would give me         loved. I know how all of this feels. You you
up, I came here to my grandma.                 horrific nightmares and insomnia.              may be the cliché type and say, “No one
     Eventually, she stopped coming back,          Now, imagine all of this going on inside   understands,” but you do not even know
and my mom stopped everything she was          my head, while I was dealing with school,      the half of it. I understand all of this and
doing at 17 years old to raise me, a baby      my birth mother, and losing my other           more.
that her cousin had left her with. My mom,     grandma the summer before freshman                      Neither of us has bad lives. My birth
aunt, and grandparents raised me. I was        year. I watched my grandma take her last       mom used to say, “At least you have a
loved. I had many uncles who helped raise      breaths, and I would lay with her until        warm bed, clothes, food, and a roof over
me, as well. Although they would tell me       everyone left the room. I promised her I       your head,” and I will be damned if that
stories, I was too young to remember. I        would make her proud.                          was not the best advice I have gotten when
always find joy in listening to all of their           But then, I was doing the opposite.    I felt how I used to.
stories about me and them.                     I also had one horrific event happen that               There are days when I feel like I can-
      Throughout the first 15 years of my      I do not like to talk about, which is most     not talk to anyone. There are days when
life, my birth mother would come back          likely where the accusations came from,        I still have the feelings of hurting myself
and make promises to me that she would         but I learned to deal with it. There were      or feeling so hopeless that I would love to
never keep. I had to deal with her for 15      many more details in the middle of each        get away from everything. That is not the
years. I had to watch her come back, go        and every event, but those are practically     answer, ever. Trust me, it never was and
away, and eventually, watch her wither         irrelevant to the feelings I had and the ac-   never will be.
away in a life of drugs.                       tions I took.                                             Nothing like this gets better and
     My grandparents split up when I was          I know for a fact that I was loved, cared   easier, but you will just have to learn the
about 10, and my papa moved away. My           for, and I was not alone, but I was 14 when    difference between what you can and can-
grandma, mom, and aunt raised me from          everything had started. I had tried to take    not control. Just think about me, I was so
there, which was not hard for the first        my life seven times. I survived each one       bad. I was so lost and so far gone. I had no
four years.                                    because I was supposed to live.                emotional connections to anything, no at-
        As soon as I went into high school,         Everything happens for a reason, and      tachments, no desire to be around family,
though, everything went downhill from          now that I am here today, I see that rea-      but I had the courage and the strength to
there. I definitely did not make it easy on    son. After each attempt, I regretted doing     get up one day and say, “This is enough.”
my family, friends, or even myself. I start-   it because my grandma would be waiting                 I did not find any joy in anything I
ed to be accused of sleeping with numer-       for me outside of that bathroom. I now         used to love to do. I gave up writing, draw-
ous guys, and I was eventually bullied and     hate that bathroom, so I do not ever go in     ing, and painting. I disconnected from ev-
not liked for those rumors. They were all      there.                                         eryone and everything that I loved, and
untrue, but that is how my start to high               My grandma was in disbelief ev-        considering how stubborn I am, you could
school went.                                   ery time. She told me I had to stop doing      imagine how much motivation I did not
        I started to self-harm, and I lied     what I was doing and just talk to her. I did   have.
continuously about it. I would make the        not know what to say. I did not want to                 It took my whole family, crying,
most cliché excuses for the many cuts on       tell her that I just did not want to be here   praying, and being hysterical, for me to fi-
my arms. I wrote poetry about how I felt,      anymore, and I definitely did not want to      nally come to my senses. It took my uncles,
Todd County School District Dreamcatcher, MARCH 2021 - Page 27
my big brother and sister, and even my           ioral health wards, all I could think about in being outside or painting in my room,
grandmas, for me to finally take a look          was my family and how much I had let cooking, or just being on my bed listening
around and see how many people loved             them down, how much pain I had caused to thunderstorm sounds.
and cared for me.                                them. I remember getting a call from my              It is different for everyone. Maybe
     Now I want you to take a look at you.       grandma, and she had to give the phone painting or something does not work for
You have two aunts and unci who love you         to someone else. I could hear her crying, you, but you just have to keep trying ev-
with all of their hearts. I sat there as each    for me. That broke my heart, and I had to erything you can. I know there are not
cried thinking about you, and you did the        get back to her, so I decided to give every many choices that you could try because
same that I did. I sat there feeling like a      therapy I could a chance.                     of the virus, but it does not hurt to try a
piece of crap as they cried. I thought about            I found my happiness in horses, es- multitude of activities.
my family, and how I put them through            pecially after the grandma that raised me        There are days when I get so angry, all
the same situation. I felt like I was the        had passed away. I was actually riding my I can do is sit and think about how I could
worst person in the world because I had          horse out in the pasture when everyone not be wrong. I come to my senses and
made my family feel the same emotions,           had found out. I was basically the last one paint. I used to skate when I was angry,
and I had been so selfish.                       to know.                                      and the fresh air was always so comfort-
        Just because everything builds up,                It has been two, almost three years, ing to me.
and makes everything hurt, does not give         since her death. I still get nightmares about        You see, there are so many differ-
anyone the right to be selfish in that way.      the moment I found out. I constantly hear ent self-coping skills you can do to con-
I still have those feelings. I still get self-   the sound of my uncle crying and scream- trol your emotions and make it easier for
ish thoughts, but I learned to toughen up        ing at my aunt because he could not come yourself to process these emotions. You
and deal with them, because others have          home from work. I constantly think of my just need to find yours. I hope that you
it rougher than I do.                            aunt telling me she loved me and holding can see that others have it worse, and you
        Other people, even children, have        my hand as tight as she could. I constant- do not have a bad life. We have basically
worse lives than me, and they cannot con-        ly, and probably will forever, think about lived the same life, so I should know.
trol it. I can. I have complete control of       how I ran into my house to see my whole              I have not had any parents truly
my actions and my life, and I made two           family there, and I was the last one to be present while I went through this, but
promises to people whom I love with all of       in the house. Some of the strongest people you have a household full of people who
my heart.                                        I knew were all standing in my house cry- are trying to listen and understand what
        I promised my grandma on her             ing, but no one understood how I was hurt. is going on, so let them help you. I also
deathbed that I would make her proud. I               The very next day, I called my grandpa hope that you can find yourself a healthy
have not yet, but that gives me a reason         and said that I would still be at work the coping skill, and stick with that whenever
to keep going. My best friend, who never         next day, ready to work with the horses. times get tough, because trust me, it gets
shares his feelings, had to deal with me         Horses are my outlet, and maybe for you, tougher than this.
saying I wanted to end my life, while he         it could be different. My horse was my best      I appreciate you reading this because it
was burying his own brother. I felt like I       friend. I told him everything, and he lis- brought me back to a life of pain and suf-
had made the biggest mistake in the world        tened. I got on the saddle sad and hurting, fering that, as a child, I did not need nor
because he did not tell me, and I had said       but by the time my horse and I were done should have endured.
something so selfish.                            doing our daily runs, I felt an enormous              ...from a Todd County High School Student
        He has had a rough life. He has had      weight lifted from my shoulders.
to watch his brother be killed in front of            He became the place where I felt safe,
him. He had to endure the death of his           and you are probably wondering how a
dad and then his brothers. I still feel like     horse could be a place. It is simple, when
I have not apologized enough for it. He          you get on the horse, you could be higher
made me promise him that I would not be          than you ever could imagine. For me, it is
stupid and leave him, and that is another        such an amazing feeling, just being able
promise that I cannot break.                     to breathe and be in sync with your horse.
     I have been on both sides of this situ-     When he starts running, I feel like we run
ation, and both sides suck. I was the one        away from each problem, and they can
who was in mental hospitals for weeks at         never catch up to us.
a time, and I was the one worrying about              It could be different for you, and that
you because if you would have talked, I          is absolutely okay. You could paint your
could have helped. The whole time I was          feelings, which is what I do, or you could
in those different hospitals and behav-          try writing or even reading. I find peace
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