Jones Academy News
Jones Academy Family Day a ‘Big Splash’
Braving heavy fall rains, about 200 family and friends of Jones Academy students attended the annual Family Day on Saturday October 26, 2013. The event allowed the students to visit with their families and friends free from the rigors of school. Guests were transported from the Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Durant areas by academy vehicles. Activities kicked off at 11:00 AM with games, family portraits, inflatables, and snacks. Both lunch and dinner meals were provided for students and guests in an effort to provide a fun time for family groups. Even the wet weather did not put a damper on the high spirits as attendees of all ages laughed and played and celebrated family together.
Left to Right-student, Priscilla Trejo-Rains, Fourth Grade Teacher, Mrs. Martin, Christefer Trejo-Rains (lower front), Elementary Principal, Mr. Ray and mother, Stephanie Rains
Left to Right-Grandfather, Randy McGirt, Aiyana Colungo, mother Stephanie McGirt and Precious Colungo
Left to Right-students, Tressa and Terra Roark, Grandparents, Linda and Don Grigery
Pigs Spring Eternal @ Jones Academy
Jones Academy agriculture students begin the annual ritual of birthing pigs and nurturing the development of new litters. It takes a whole team of eager students to accomplish the hard task at hand. In this story, Sylvia Villanueva, Araceli Ortiz, Lilly Bernal, and Garrett Rust assist with the delivery of a newly born litter of pigs. They are there at the very beginning. This particular litter had eight healthy Hampshire babies--three males and five females. The piglets will mature and be shown at swine shows from December through the spring of 2014. Sows are bred from mid-April and throughout May at Jones Academy to ensure the proper age of show pigs for the spring season. After the sow conceives, she carries her babies for a 114-day gestation. Babies are normally weaned at 21--28 days after birth. A pig’s show career is normally over by seven and a half months of age, and it may weigh approximately 300 pounds by then. Sylvia, Araceli, Lily, Garrett, and the other students will spend long hours helping to nurture their prized pigs. It is often arduous and unglamorous work, from late at night and into the wee hours of morning, and involves lots of mud. Their efforts, however, are not without reward. Besides the affirmation they receive, their return includes the satisfaction of reflecting on a job well-done. These lessons transfer into other areas of life as discipline and character are developed, better equipping students for the classroom and beyond.
Jones Academy agriculture students anxiously wait for arrive of new baby show pigs being born at Jones Academy swine-farrowing facility.
Left to Right: Araceli Ortiz, Lily Bernal and Garrett Rust
Students pictured from left to right are Sylvia Villanueva, Araceli Ortiz, Lilly Bernal, and Garret Rust
Elementary Students Make Educational Strides
Classes are well underway at Jones Academy Elementary this fall and there is plenty of activity on campus. Students came back after the short summer break and hit the ground running. Actually, over thirty students attended the Math and Reading Summer Enrichment Camp at Jones Academy during the first three weeks of June. The summer curriculum was aimed at reinforcing math and reading skills as well as providing fun hands-on activities. Students completed the academic work in the morning sessions and then participated in assorted learning exercises in the afternoons. Some of these activities included music classes, arts and crafts, reading, archery and air rifle lessons, Native art, and hands-on science and nutrition. The students also visited the Jasmine Moran Children’s Museum in Seminole, OK and the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. The Math and Reading Summer Enrichment Camp strengthened classroom knowledge through academics, sports, creativity, and fun!
This fall the pursuit of a good education continues. The elementary school has over 60 students, half of whom are flight students from outside Oklahoma. Our new first and second grade teacher, Ms. Patton, has the largest class with 18 students on the roll. It’s a big class, but she is getting lots of help from the support staff. This year the elementary students are receiving additional classroom instruction during once a month Reading and Math Saturday School. The classes are designed to fortify students’ skills covered during the weekday classes. The students have already made field trips to the Tulsa Zoo, the Indian Burial Mounds in Spiro, and their annual circus visit in McAlester. Mr. Sirmans and his fifth grade class are also planning to visit the Eufaula Power Plant and Dam later this month to study the production of electricity.
2013 - Summer Enrichment Camp Students
1st Nine Weeks Super Students 2013
Each nine weeks a Super Student is chosen by the classroom teacher as representative of the students in each classroom. It is a difficult decision for the teacher.
Ms. Patton reported that her 1st grade Super Student is Adriana Montejo. "Adriana is a great student who always has a smile on her face and tries very hard with her studies." Adriana's favorite food is spaghetti, her favorite game is Dora, and her favorite color is blue. When Ms. Patten asked what she wants to be when she grows up she only had one word, "STAFF." Adriana is Choctaw and lives in Ada, OK.
Timothea Farley, 2nd grade Super Student, was chosen for excellent behavior in and out of the classroom setting by her teacher Ms. Patton. Timothea said her favorite game is Mario, her favorite color is pink and her favorite food is "ICE CREAM!" When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she answered "POLICE." Timothea is from Lukachukai, AZ. She is Navajo.
Ms. Wells chose Samuel Kaniatobe as the third grade Super Student. She said he is kind and works well with others in the class room. He completes his assignments on time and is just a well-rounded student noted for his smile. Samuel is Choctaw and lives in Oklahoma City, OK.
Mira McKnight, the 4th grade Super Student, is from Bapchule, AZ and a member of the Gila River Community. She enrolled in Jones Academy at the beginning of her 3rd grade year. Mira is serious about her school work, self-starting, and cooperative in the classroom.
Kobe Stonecalf is the 5th grade Super Student. His favorite subject is science. He is sports oriented going out for little league football and he plans to go out for basketball. At home, Kobe helps his grandmother with groceries. He likes to climb trees, swim, and play with his three brothers. Kobe is Cheyenne Arapahoe and is from El Reno, OK.
Mr. Dugan, in naming the sixth grade Super Student, said he had a hard time narrowing down to one student. With a grin on his face and excitement in his voice, he began enumerating the students in the sixth grade and detailing their strengths. Jacqueline Sam finally was his choice for the First Nine Weeks based on her everyday going above and beyond what is required. Jacqueline, who first enrolled in January 2013, is from Jackson, MS.
The Campus Alternative Super Student is Brandon Thomas. There are only two words to describe Brandon and they are "Brandon Thomas." Brandon is a junior from Choctaw, MS. He is Mississippi Choctaw.
Sam Harley Graduates from EOSC
Eastern Oklahoma State College’s area of Student Support Services has selected Sam Harley as the program’s Graduate of the Year for 2013. Harley also received a certificate of achievement for being on the Dean’s Honor Roll, which required a 3.0 GPA. The student attended Jones Academy for five years and graduated from Valliant High School in 2010. Kinya Meineke, a counselor/advisor for EOSC Student Support Services, remarked that Sam “is an excellent example of someone who has taken full advantage of his college education.” Meineke added that the student was “a wonderful asset to our program, showed great leadership, and no doubt will do great things.” While at EOSC, Harley served as the President of the Native American Student Association from 2011-2013, Vice President from 2010-2011, and was also a member of the Photo Club and P.A.S.S. Club. His activities included being a part of both the band and choir at EOSC. Most recently, Sam played the role of Linus in the musical, “You’re a Good, Man Charlie Brown.” Harley graduated from Eastern Oklahoma State College on May 10, 2013. He will begin classes at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, OK, as a junior in the fall of 2013. Sam is a psychology major with minors in sociology and Native American Studies. He is a member of the Choctaw Nation and on the Jones Academy Scholarship Program.
Eric Gibson Graduates from ECU
Former Jones Academy student Eric Gibson from Wynnewood, OK graduated from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma on May 11, 2013. Eric received a bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies. He is the son of Magdaline Hickman and the late Joseph Gibson, grandson of the late Anna Belle Wallace-Hickman and the late Gaston Hickman of Roff, Oklahoma, and the late Irene Amos-Gibson and Raymond Gibson of Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
While at the university, Eric auditioned for and received the ECU Band Scholarship. He performed with the Pride of Tigerland Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Clarinet Ensemble and Flute Ensemble. Eric was also a member of the Native American Student Association (vice-president Fall 2012/Spring 2013) and part of the committee to start the new ECU N.A.S.A. princess program. He volunteered with the Chickasaw Learning Community and assisted the Kiowa Nation of Oklahoma community in the Kids 4 Kids Toy and Clothing Drive. Amid all his activities, Eric was also able to maintain a strong GPA to stay on the Dean’s Honor Roll.
Eric would like to thank the Choctaw Nation Higher Education Program, CNO Career Development, and the Jones Academy Scholarship Foundation for their assistance during his schooling. He would also like to extend a special note of gratitude to Chief Gregory Pyle, Assistant Chief Gary Batton, and the tribal council for all they do for our tribe and its people.
Former Jones Academy Student Earns Associates of Science at HINU
Former Jones Academy student Christen Voice earned an Associate of Science Degree in Natural Resources this past spring at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS. Ms. Voice was also accepted into the Indigenous and American Indian Studies – Environmental Justice Program at HINU. The 2010 Jones Academy graduate was active on the cheerleading squad and a member of the women’s university softball team. Christen is working this summer as an intern with the Environmental Protection Agency in Dallas, TX. She is also on the Jones Academy Scholarship Program.
Sixth Grade Hold Rite of Passage
On May 6, the 6th grade girls began the annual Rite of Passage signifying the end of their years in the elementary girls’ dormitory and their transition into the “big” girls’ side. Dressed in their passage shirts, each student gave a personal presentation about herself and the tribes they represent. Bidding a fond farewell to the girls, Billie Jean Morgan, Elementary Girls’ Supervisor, introduced them to Joanna Baker, Supervisor of the Big Girls’ Dorm and the waiting big sisters.
After lighting a path to the door connecting the elementary to the big boys dorm, Bonnie Smelser, Elementary Boys’ Supervisor, guided the 6th grade boys into the TV room. Sabian Hawkins began with a tribute to his father and a description of his tribe. He was followed by the rest of the 6th grade boys in their personal presentations. Each student carried a painted shield depicting something of importance in their lives. After the boys were finished, the door to the big boys’ side was unlocked and they were welcomed to the big boys’ dormitory.
All the 6th graders were feted at a supper held at the Cornerstone Baptist Church after the ceremonies.
Pictured: Jasmine Waldon, Cherokee; Olivia Gaffney, Choctaw; Erin Willis, Cheyenne-Arapaho; Desma Valdez, Kickapoo; Samantha Lopez, Choctaw; and Lena Goodbear, Cheyenne-Arapaho.
Pictured: Corey Whitecalf, Oglalla Sioux; Kyle Miller, Kickapoo; Sabian Hawkins, Pawnee; Christian Sockey and Truvon Willis, Mississippi Choctaw.
The 2013 Jones Academy Graduates
Caitlin Allen, age 18, is the daughter of Kelli McDaniel of Tonkawa, OK and Chauncey Allen of Red Rock, OK. Caitlin is a member of the Tonkawa Tribe of Oklahoma. She has attended Hartshorne Public Schools for 4 years and was a starter on the varsity basketball and softball teams. After high school, Caitlin plans to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College to pursue a degree in nursing. Caitlin has received the Eastern Oklahoma State College Academic Scholars Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. The grant will award her $1000 tuition for up to three semesters as a full-time student.
Anika Antone is the daughter of Lorenda Antone from Sells, AZ. She is an enrolled member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Anika participated in varsity basketball and softball at Hartshorne High School. She received the Jones Academy Principal’s Academic Award for classroom excellence. In the fall, she will attend classes at Tohono O’odham Community College in Sells, AZ and study business.
Dawnelle Baker is the 19-year-old daughter of Brenda and Markos Fernandez of Pierre, SD and Jason Charger of La Platte, SD. She is the granddaughter of Charles Baker and Charlotte LaBlance of Wakpala and Eagle Butte, SD respectively. Dawnelle is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. She plans to attend Black Hills State University in Spearfish to get her general education courses. From there, she will transfer to the Art Institute of Minneapolis and pursue a culinary arts degree. Dawnelle wants to be a pastry chef.
Eighteen-year-old Aleex Chatkehoodle is the son of Sonja Bacerra from Tulsa, OK. He is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. Aleex participated in varsity football and competitive weight-lifting at Hartshorne High School. He was a resident of Jones Academy for eleven years. Aleex plans to be gainfully employed or enroll in vocational training this fall.
Nathan Gaddis is the 18-year-old son of Edward, Jr. and Nadine Gaddis of Poteau, OK. He is the grandson of Stacey Lefler of Logan, UT. Nathan is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He was active in the Hartshorne High School Band. Nathan has enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserves and will attend boot camp this fall. He will receive a $13,000 scholarship from the Navy toward his education. His tentative plans include attending classes at the University of Arkansas in the spring of 2014.
Justin Jefferson, age 19, is the son of Jeffery and Pamela Jefferson from Bethel, OK. He is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation. Justin participated in varsity football, powerlifting and track and field at Hartshorne High School. He was a member of the Oklahoma Honor Society, Jones Academy Indian Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and CCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America). Justin was also selected as the 2012 Boys State Representative from Hartshorne. Justin received the Robert Woods Scholarship from Jones Academy. He has been accepted at the University of Oklahoma for the 2013-2014 school year. Justin wants to pursue a degree in Physical Therapy.
Tyler Lena is from Okemah, Oklahoma. His mother and father are David and Ellen Lena. He is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Tyler first came to Jones Academy in August of 2009. He has expressed an interest in joining the Marine Corps or entering the workforce.
Richard Pedro , age eighteen, is the son of Melissa Pedro and Derwin Lime of El Reno, OK. He is the grandson of Phyllis and Ed Naranjo of Ibapan, UT and Virgil Pedro of El Reno. Richard was on the varsity football team at Hartshorne High School for four years. He also participated in powerlifting. He was the high school student council vice-president and senior class student council president. Richard is a recipient of the Hartshorne Senior Scholarship. He will attend classes this fall at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. He plans to major in criminal justice and pursue a career in law enforcement. Richard is an enrolled member of Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.
Gabriela Rios is the 18-year-old daughter of Martin Rios of Gillham, Arkansas and the late
Donna Lou Bond. She is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation. Gabriela was recognized for excellence in English her senior year. After high school, she wants to attend Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas and major in psychology.
17-year-old senior Melissa Sam is the daughter of Morris Sam of Hartshorne, OK and Germaine Sam of Baldwin Park, CA. Her grandparents are Cornelius and Norma Sam of Salonia Community, OK and the late Jerry and Roberta Jean Ornelas. Melissa is a member of the Choctaw Nation of OK. She is the first student at Jones Academy to represent the facility as the Hartshorne High School senior class salutatorian. Melissa participated in varsity slow- and fast-pitch softball and served as captain. She was also a member of both the National and Oklahoma Honor Societies. Melissa received the Mickey Beare Memorial Scholarship and Robert Woods Scholarship. Her post-secondary plans include attending Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK and becoming a forensic scientist.
Dilon Shirley is the 17 year-old-son of Cornelia Tso and stepfather Ray Bochinclonny of Lukachukai, AZ and Jarrod Shirley of Window Rock, AZ. He is a member of the Navajo Nation. Dilon has attended Jones Academy since he was in the sixth grade. He was a member of Hartshorne High School Band and Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. Dilon will be gainfully employed by the Navajo Nation as an apprentice electrician.
Lacy Walker , age 18, is the daughter of Deanna Ward of Coalgate, OK and Foy Walker of Lehigh, OK. Her maternal grandmother is Naomi Leflore of Lehigh. Lacy is a member of the Choctaw Nation. She participated in varsity basketball and track and field before coming to Jones Academy. She was on academic honor roll and a member of the Oklahoma Honor Society. Lacy finished third in her class ranking. She also had an essay that was published by Creative Communication, a book and online publisher in Smithfield, Utah. Lacy has been accepted at Bacone College in Muscogee, OK where she will attend classes in the fall.
Britton Williams is the eighteen-year-old son of Ethel Williams and step-father Maurice Baker of Durant, OK. His maternal grandmother is Mary Wilson of Antlers, OK. Britton is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He was a resident of Jones Academy for ten years. Britton wants to work in the construction industry.
Fourth Nine Weeks Super Students
1st/2nd grade Nita Alvarez-Colecio
3rd grade Terrell Warrior
4th grade Tressa Roark
5th grade Kendra Wakolee
6th grade Jasmine Waldon
Campus Alternative Anika Antone
Nita Alvarez-Colecio, Tressa Roark, Anika Antone, Terrell Warrior
Jones Academy Indian Club Attends Stillwater Powwow
OSU Powwow Princess and officers pose with Jones Academy Indian Club Sponsor Karen Neal and Members of the Jones Academy Indian Club. Pictured here are Chris Gallegos, Tyler Dressman, Jacelynn Charger, Star Fernandez, and Amber Anderson.
Hartshorne Lady Miners Slow Pitch Softball
Spring has sprung! The Hartshorne Lady Miners slow pitch softball season ended with a bang! Despite the fact that it was a rebuilding year and the team was very young, their athleticism showed much promise. Their regular season record was 8-7 with an early finish in districts. Coach Jim Bert Curliss, however, sees a lot of potential for the next few years. This year the team was led by senior Jones Academy student Melissa Sam, who was selected as a Kiamichi Softball Girls All-Star by area coaches. Another starter was Caitlin Allen, who was a standout player both in defensive and offensive categories.
Lady Miner, Melissa Sam, rounds third base and heads for home.
Jones Academy resident, Melissa Sam, takes one for the team as she slides into home plate, scoring a homerun for the Hartshorne Lady Miners.
Students from Jones Academy playing for the Hartshorne High School and the Junior High Lady Miners this season were: Danielle Murillo, Caitlin Allen, Breanna Toledo, Tiffany Taylor, Darrianne Valdez, Kaitlin McCollum, Emily Cooper, Melissa Sam, and Anika Antone. Acting as team managers were Amber Anderson, Keanna Watashe, Sunshine Hendricks and Shelly Williams. Playing for the Junior High Lady Miners are: Taron Wise, Felicity LeFlore, and Shelby Tushka.
Allen Awarded Scholarship
Jones Academy student Caitlin Allen, a senior from Tonkawa, OK, has received the Eastern Oklahoma State College Academic Scholars Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. The academic grant will award her $1000 free tuition for up to three semesters as a full-time student. Caitlin is an excellent student-athlete at Hartshorne High School, maintaining a 3.02 GPA while starting as an athlete in varsity basketball and softball and also running track. She plans to enroll in the nursing program at EOSC when she becomes eligible. Caitlin is a member of the Tonkawa Tribe and is the daughter of Kelli McDaniel of Tonkawa, OK.
Winners of Soft Seven Competition at Jones Academy Announced
Winners for this year’s final Soft Seven Competition at Jones Academy are Ethan Thomas, Lastenia Lainez-Ortiz, and Kobe Stonecalf. Soft Seven is a computer based math competition that tests a student’s knowledge of multiplication facts. Students are given random problems and must quickly provide the correct answers. Final scores are determined by the number of questions answered correctly and the level of difficulty. Kobe Stonecalf received an IPod shuffle for obtaining the highest score. Students with the top six scores will compete in the regional competition in McAlester, OK on April 26, 2013.
Ethan Thomas is a fifth grader from Philadelphia, MS. He is an enrolled member of the Band of Mississippi Choctaws. Fourth grader Lastenia Lainez-Ortiz is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma from Ada, OK. Kobe is also in the fourth grade and a member of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribe from El Reno, OK.
Pictured: Soft Seven IPod Winner is Kobe Stonecalf.
Pictured: Soft Seven Winners are Left to Right: Ethan Thomas, Lastenia Lainez-Ortiz and Kobe Stonecalf.
Third Nine Weeks Super Students
1st/2nd grade Hoshonti Alvarez-Colecio
3rd grade Jadlen Wallace
4th grade Joslyn Jones
5th grade Denyunhia Willis
6th grade Erin Willis
Alternative Lane Rust
What makes a student super? Some would say making straight A’s is what it takes but teachers know straight A’s do not make up a total student. Curiosity, love of learning, and respect of others add to the mix.
Ms. Nichols, 2nd grade teacher, said of Hoshonti that he is very well behaved and always has his work finished and turned in on time. He is an excellent reader and loves social studies. The Civil and Revolutionary Wars are of special reading interest to Hoshonti.
Fifth grade student Denyunhia Willis is competitive in basketball and likes doing outside and weekend activities. She brings her willingness to participate to the classroom where she excels in reading aloud and is not afraid to lead or be open to new learning experiences.
These are just two of the students who have been named super student throughout the year. But they are representative of all of them.
Left to right: Denyunhia Willis, Joslyn Jones, Lane Rust, Jadlen Wallace, Erin Willis, and Hoshonti Alvarez-Colecio
Jones Academy Student Places at Curriculum Contest
Jones Academy Student Places at Curriculum Contest
Over 50 schools participated in the 34th Annual Scholastic Contest in Wilburton on April 2, 2013. Hartshorne High School sent 25 contestants, several of whom were Jones Academy students. In the Division III section of the competition, which included 17 schools, Justin Jefferson placed 6th in the English Grammar and Usage category. The subject area covered components of grammar, standard English usage, and mechanics directly related to effective writing. Justin is a senior at Jones Academy from Battiest, OK. He is a member of the Choctaw Nation and has been accepted at the University of Oklahoma for the 2013-2014 school year.
Pictured is Justin Jefferson
JA Students Attend Career Fair
The Choctaw Nation Career Development office sponsored the 6th Annual Career Expo in McAlester on April 3, 2013. Over 1400 students and guests attended the event at the Southeast Expo Center. Approximately 150 vendors participated, representing area businesses, prospective employers, military recruiters, and post-secondary schools of higher learning and vocational training. Sixteen junior and senior Jones Academy students attended the affair. They collected information on educational, employment, and career resources. A highlight of the day was a presentation by motivational speaker Grant Baldwin, who challenged his audience to develop a plan for lifelong career success. He encouraged the students to cultivate a personal talent, be fueled by passion, and to enjoy their life’s calling. The Choctaw Nation also featured a traditional cultural display during the career fair.
Jones Academy students Ethan Begaye, Anika Antone, Sunshine Hendricks, Jordan Estrada, and Breanna Toledo speak to CNO Scholarship Advisement Program representative.
Jones Academy students Glenda Red Feather, Sunshine Hendricks and Anika Antone in front CNO cultural display.
Jones Academy Student has Work Published
Senior Jones Academy student Lacy Walker has recently had an essay accepted to be published by Creative Communication, a book and online publisher in Smithfield, Utah. The company is a publishing agency that promotes creative writing for school age students in the United States. Lacy’s entry was written as a class assignment for her English teacher, Charlotte Moss, at Hartshorne High School. The essay is a short, poignant narrative about Lacy’s grandmother’s house. In the work, the student personifies her grandmother’s house, describing its power and characteristics that have shaped her life. Lacy plans to attend classes at Bacone College in the fall of 2013. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation from Coalgate, OK. Here is a small excerpt from her essay.
“She has a small farm, and a rather large garden that needs tending to. Usually, that is how visitors pay for their stay. The house was once a beautiful pearl color, but now has faded to a dark brown from all the dust and dirt. Paint is slowly chipping away. You can tell the house is worn out. It is worn out not so much from rain, sleet and snow, but from all the secrets it has held over the years. The house is exhausted. So much has happened inside grandma’s house.”
Picture of Lacy Walker by Kristi Lindley
Jones Academy Students Inducted into the Honor Society
Four Jones Academy students were recognized for their academic achievements and citizenship by the Hartshorne Public Schools this past spring. Tenth graders Billie Jo Nunn and Holly Andersen as well as seventh grader Seth Crow were inducted into the Oklahoma Honor Society. Junior Melissa Sam was inducted into the National Honor Society and Oklahoma Honor Society.
The students were honored for their academic excellence, character, and leadership in the classroom. They received their awards at the Hartshorne Honors Banquet in late March. Melissa and Billie Jo are members of the Choctaw Nation. Seth and Holly have their memberships with the Cherokee and Sisseton-Wahpeton tribes, respectively.
Pictured below (left to right) are Honor Society Students Billie Jo Nunn, Holly Andersen, and Melissa Sam. In a separate photo: Seth Crow.
On a related note, Seth also made the 2012 Southeastern Oklahoma Band Director’s Association Honor Band. He plays the French horn and was selected to perform in the Seventh Grade Symphonic Band at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, OK.
Brenda Martin Honored as Teacher of the Year
Jones Academy Elementary School teacher Brenda Martin (pictured at right with Jones Academy Superintendent Brad Spears) has been chosen as the Hartshorne School District Teacher of the Year for 2011-2012. Ms. Martin, who teaches a combined third and fourth grade class at Jones Academy, was recognized by her colleagues for her dedication to her students and professionalism in the classroom. The devoted teacher has taught for seven years at the elementary school. She is known for “running a tight ship” and for drawing out academic excellence from her students.
Ms. Martin is a 1980 graduate of Hartshorne High School. She received her Bachelor’s of Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, OK and finished her master’s degree at East Central University in Ada, OK. Before coming to Jones Academy, Ms. Martin taught on the elementary and junior high level in Haileyville, OK.
Ms. Martin is married to Johnie Dale Martin and has two daughters Krystal and Jennifer, and a grandson, Rowdy. She enjoys horseback riding and has competed nationally on the rodeo circuit. Ms. Martin is a member of the Choctaw Nation.
Former Jones Academy Student Receives Bachelor's Degree
Former Jones Academy student Sunny Clifford has received her Bachelor of Arts in Literature/Communications from Oglala Lakota College in Kyle, SD. Her graduation date was June 24, 2012. Sunny and her twin sister Serena were 2003 graduates of Hartshorne High School. Since graduation, Sunny has been gainfully employed as park ranger for the National Parks Service in Pipestone, MN and the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority (tribal parks) in the south unit of the Badlands National Park. (This region is slated to be one of the first tribal national parks.)
Sunny attended a decentralized college and had to travel sometimes over 80 miles one way to get to school. She rarely missed class and maintainedCl a 3.82 GPA throughout her college career. Sunny also studied (literature) abroad in England at Oxford in the summer of 2011. She spent time in London and Paris, basically, in her words, doing 'hands-on' literature. Sunny’s immediate plans include becoming a teacher of English and working as a park ranger in the summers. She is the first person in her family to attain a bachelor’s degree. She considers it an honor to share her accomplishments with the Choctaw community and is grateful for the opportunities afforded her by the Nation and by Jones Academy.
Jones Academy Student Serves as House Page
According to the Oklahoma House of Representatives High School Page Program website, hundreds of students from across the State have the opportunity to take part in the yearly intern program during the legislative sessions. This year, Jones Academy student Billie Jo Nunn was selected to serve as an intern from April 16th through the 19th. Some of her duties included running errands, delivering supplies, dispatching messages and documentation to various parts of the capitol. Pages also participated in the House Page Mock Legislature during the week. Billie Jo reported that the experience taught her more about how legislation works and how laws are passed.
Jones Academy Students Selected for Boys and Girls State
Two Jones Academy students were selected as representatives of the American Legion Boys States and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State camps this summer. Melissa Sam was nominated as a Girls State delegate for Hartshorne High School at the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, OK. Justin Jefferson was the Boys State representative at Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College in Miami, OK.
The symposiums were held concurrently during the week of May 26 through June 2, 2012. During the conferences, the students were tutored on the workings of state government and developing leadership skills. The delegates were also encouraged to participate in public service and practice good citizenship. In several sessions, guest speakers and state representatives spoke to the students about civic duties and making a difference in life. Governor Mary Fallin and former Governor George Nigh lectured at the Norman congress.
Students were also challenged to participate in simulated campaigns by running for political office. Melissa was in a race for State Treasurer while Justin was active in an election for a judicial position. Both Melissa and Justin expressed that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were grateful for the opportunity.
The 2012 Jones Academy Graduates
Shane Richard Black is the 18-year-old son of Kawa Black, Jr. and Sharon Newbreast of El Reno, Oklahoma and the grandson of Kino and Agnes Little Hawk and the late Kawa Black, Sr. of El Reno, Oklahoma. He is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. Shane has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne Public Schools since sixth grade. He was selected as Jones Academy Outstanding FFA Student this year. After high school, Shane will attend Eastern Oklahoma State College in the fall with plans to major in psychology.
Martina Daryl Delaware, age 18, is the daughter of Jerry and Josephine Williams of Hartshorne, OK. Martina is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. She has attended Hartshorne Public Schools for 3 years and was on the varsity basketball and softball teams. After high school, Martina plans to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College and major in psychology.
Eighteen-year-old Edward Allen Gaddis III is the son of Edward Jr. and Nadine Gaddis of Poteau, OK. He is the grandson of Stacey Lefler of Logan, UT. He is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Eddie participated in the Hartshorne High School Band. He will attend classes this fall at Carl Albert State College in Poteau to study culinary arts with plans to become a professional chef.
David Lee Gordon is the nineteen-year-old son of Glenn and Mickey Gordon of Tulsa, Oklahoma. David is a member of the Cherokee Nation. He has been a resident of Jones Academy and attended Hartshorne Public Schools for 3 ½ years. David has enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Tasina Genyia Lone Elk is the 18-year-old daughter of Emory and Riva Red Feather of Pine Ridge, SD. She is the granddaughter of Genevieve Chase In Sight of Pine Ridge. Tasina is a member of the Oglala Sioux Indian Tribe. She has been a student of Jones Academy and attended Hartshorne Public Schools for 4 years. She was a member of the Hartshorne High School choir for three years and a participant in the Learn and Serve Program at Jones Academy. Tasina was voted the Most Helpful Student at Jones Academy two years in a row and designed the logo for the Rhythm Nations Against Bullying Program. Tasina is planning to join a branch of the armed forces and serve her country.
Lucinda Fay Roberts, age 18, is the daughter of Suzette Roberts of Tuskahoma, OK and the granddaughter of the late Robert and Frena Snyder. Lucinda is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She has attended Hartshorne Public Schools for 6 years. Lucinda was a member of the Hartshorne High School Band and Color Guard for 4 years. She is planning to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College and pursue a career in music.
Eighteen-year-old Joshua David Sam is the son of Morris Sam of Hartshorne, OK and Germaine Sam of Baldwin Park, CA. His grandparents are Cornelius and Norma Sam of Salonia Community, OK and the late Jerry and Roberta Jean Ornelas. Joshua is a member of the Choctaw Nation of OK. He was a participant in the Choctaw Nation Youth Advisory Board, the JA Writers Journalism Club, and the varsity track team. Josh received the Robert Woods Scholarship for his academic and athletic achievements. Josh plans to attend the Dallas Institute of Art to pursue a career in graphic arts.
Mariss Lynn Smith is the eighteen-year-old daughter of Michael and Jerri Harshbarger of McAlester, OK. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation of OK. Mariss was active in the Choctaw Nation Youth Advisory Board while a resident of Jones Academy. In the fall, she will attend classes at the Kiamichi Technology Center in McAlester and study Practical Nursing.
Alyssa Michele Trujillo, age 18, is the daughter of Michelle Hamilton and Harold Trujillo of Chamisal, NM. She is a member of the Pueblo of Picuris Tribe in Penasco, NM. Alyssa transferred from Penasco High School her senior year. She took all of the Oklahoma End-of-Instruction Tests required by the state and met the standards for graduation. Alyssa is planning to attend Northern New Mexico College this fall to complete her general studies.
Courtney Nicole Wallace, age 18, has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne Public Schools since the sixth grade. Her guardians are her maternal aunt, Tonya Wallace and her grandfather J. D. Wallace of Oklahoma City. Courtney is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She lettered in fast pitch softball and made the Principal’s Honor Roll. Courtney was also active on the Jones Academy FFA hog show program. She plans to enroll at Oklahoma City Community College.
Lore'anna Rose Williams is the eighteen-year-old daughter of Stacy Lefler of Logan, UT. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Loreanna became a resident of Jones Academy her senior year of high school. She transferred from Van Buren, AR. Loreanna met all of her Oklahoma End-of-Instruction Tests requirements for graduation. She was a member of the Hartshorne High School Choir. Loreanna plans to be gainfully employed this fall and enroll at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Sante Fe, NM the following spring. She is interested in becoming a museum curator.
Children’s Art Exhibit Celebrates Generosity
In December, a children’s art exhibit called “Celebrating Generosity” was held at the Jones Academy Elementary School in Hartshorne and at the Choctaw Nation headquarters in Durant, OK.
The event was an effort to commemorate an act of kindness performed by the Choctaw tribe for the people of Ireland in 1847. It was a friendship forged in the darkest of hours. The Irish people were enduring the potato famine of the 1840’s. Over a million people would perish during this plight called “an drochsaol.” Out of their meager means, the Choctaw people sent a monetary gift to provide sustenance and encouragement to the people of Ireland. This act of compassion saved many lives, and the people of Donegal, Ireland have not forgotten. The townspeople have observed this generous deed in ceremony and dedications.
The exhibition involved the artwork of students from the community school of Gaelscoil na gCeithre Máistrí in Donegal and those from Jones Academy Elementary. Students from both schools designed beautiful works of art in recognition of the event of 1847. They also celebrate the people’s friendship and their distinct cultures.
The art pieces were first displayed in Ireland in October of 2011. The Irish community saw the art projects at O’Donnell’s Castle. The children’s works were then transported to America and exhibited at the elementary school, and then again in Durant. The simple art reminds the observer of a time of great sacrifice and goodwill, a time when language and cultural differences offered no barriers to the grace of God and men.
Students Sweep Hartshorne
Six Jones Academy Learn and Serve students participated in the Downtown Hartshorne Cleanup Project on Saturday, November 5, 2011. The downtown cleanup is an annual project sponsored by the Hartshorne Chamber of Commerce.
A total of 25 volunteers participated in the event and approximately 30 bags of trash were collected. The students got up early Saturday morning and spent the day sweeping sidewalks, picking up leaves and debris, and treating weeds. All this was done in an effort to beautify downtown Hartshorne.
Students participating in the event were Kaitlin Bell, Selena Avila, John Stoneroad, Mariel Sam, LaBrae Jim, and Logan Weekoty. Jones Academy students lived up to the Learn and Serve motto,“ Helping others one by one, greater deeds can be done.”
PICTURED AT RIGHT (left to right): Labrae Jim, Mariel Sam, Selena Avila and Kaitlin Bell
PICTURED AT LEFT (left to right): Selena Avila, Logan Weekoty, John Stoneroad, and Kaitlin Bell
Elementary Runners Excel
Jones Academy elementary students promoted health and fitness by participating in the Choctaw Nation Diabetes .5K run on Saturday October 29, 2011 in Talihina, OK. Eleven Jones Academy elementary boys and girls, eight years old and under, ran in the event. The program was sponsored by the Choctaw Nation Wellness Department.
Event coordinator Teresa Davis reported that 65 participants ran or walked the ninth annual .5K race. Jones Academy students Jenaro Lujano and Terrell Warrior placed 1st and 2nd in the boys’ division.
Ms. Davis added that the Wellness Department also sponsors six .5K runs per year, as well as a fitness camp during the summer at Tushkahoma and a Dribblers Basketball Program for Pre-K to 4th graders at a local school.
PICTURED .5K Runners 2011:
Top Row: Zander Thomas, Jenaro Lujano, Madison Cheek, Terrell Warrior, Melvin Birthmark
Middle Row: Alanna Brown, Joslyn Jones, Elygin Solomon
Bottom Row: Melina Tushka, Seneca Jones, Melvin Willis
Choctaw Nation Provides ACT Workshop for Native American Students
For Jones Academy students, getting an education is about more than academics. On December 2, 2011, the Choctaw Nation Educational Talent Search program sponsored an ACT test prep workshop at the Kiamichi Technology Center in McAlester, OK.
The seminar’s facilitator, Chad Cargill met with about 75 Native American youth from area high schools including Jones Academy students. This is Cargill’s eleventh year working with the Talent Search program. In the past, the ACT test trainer has taught thousands of students on how to prepare for the college entrance exam.
Through a mixture of humor and insight, Cargill teaches techniques on how to improve test scores. He promotes taking the ACT more than once, but his real message is about preparing for the test each time. There is no substitute for hard work.
As his teaching has evolved, Cargill has added to his instruction the idea of service. He now admonishes students to be active members in their community and to give back to their neighborhoods and home towns. Cargill encourages education, but he reserves time to speak to students about taking the initiative to serve others. Remarkably, Chad Cargill’s message blends well with the principles and values of the Choctaw Nation. Education is important, but servant leadership is the priority.
PICTURED (left to right) Creighton WhiteBuffalo, Caitlin Allen, Cheyenne Neal, Nathan Gaddis, Dilon Shirley, Holly Andersen, and Justin Jefferson at ACT Workshop.
Jones Academy Students Make Ivy League Friends
Jones Academy students attended the Ivy League and Friends Conference this fall and met with college representatives from some of the most elite schools in the country. Recruiters from about fifty universities met with prospective Native American students. Participating institutions included Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, and as far west as Stanford and UCal Berkeley.
The Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program expanded their annual Ivy League seminar in an effort to serve more Indian youth. The symposium was held on Friday and Saturday, November 4th and 5th at the Choctaw Resort and Event Center in Durant, OK.
About 250 friends, families, and prospective students attended the conference. Jones Academy student Melissa Sam, who hails from the Los Angeles, CA area, expressed a strong interest in attending Stanford University.
Pictured Left to right Jones Academy Students who attended the Ivy League Conference: Nathan Gaddis, Melissa Sam, Justin Jefferson and Joshua Sam
Jones Academy Celebrates Thanksgiving
The holidays are officially here! Jones Academy students and staff celebrated their annual Thanksgiving Supper with family and friends on November 16, 2011. Guests were treated to a steak and shrimp supper with all the trimmings as well as calorie defying desserts of all varieties.
Jones Academy hosted about 200 guests including support staff, sponsors, and student families. There was plenty of food and fellowship which made for a good evening. This year Jones Academy enrolled a record high 193 students grades 1-12.
A special thanks goes out to Chief Pyle, Asst. Chief Batton, the Tribal Council and the entire Choctaw Nation family for all the support and assistance we have received this year.
Jones Academy is truly thanksgiving.
Jones Academy Students Receive STAR Treatment
Jones Academy students were recognized for their academic achievements by the Choctaw Nation Success Through Academic Recognition (STAR) Program for the spring 2011 semester.
STAR honors Choctaw students for classroom excellence and perfect attendance. This semester the students were rewarded with Wal-Mart gift cards valued from $10 and $25. Students receiving these awards are enrolled in the Hartshorne public schools.
PICTURED BELOW: from Right to Left: Melissa Sam, 11th grade, Jeremy Pitts, 5th grade, Joshua Sam, 12th grade, Shelby Tushka, 6th grade, and Cheyenne Neal, 11th grade. Other recipients not pictured were: Kendale Willie, 8th grade, and Billie Jo Nunn, 10th grade.
Jones Academy Students Attend Mountaineer Mania
Jones Academy seniors attended Eastern Oklahoma State College’s Mountaineer Mania on November 2, 2011 in Wilburton, OK. The event's theme this year was “Make Your Mark.” According to the school’s website approximately 435 students from 35 area high schools visited the campus for the annual recruiting fair.
EOSC President Dr. Steve Smith, the school’s cheerleaders and band gave short presentations. Afterwards, the students were able to tour the campus and visit with different departments and school organizations. A large portion of the event was held outdoors with booths set up to distribute information about various services and activities at EOSC.
All the students received free t-shirts and were served lunch. Some students were lucky enough to win prizes such as school scholarships, iPods and other assorted gifts. Jones Academy has 12 seniors this year who are projected to graduate in May of 2012.
Jones Academy Students Tour Technology Center Showcase
Not all students want to go to college when they finish high school. For many of those the Kiamichi Technology Center (KTC) in McAlester, OK offers an alternative. KTC opened its doors on November 16, 2011 to area wide schools in an effort to showcase the varied career choices in vocational training.
About 140 tenth graders including Jones Academy students from the high school and the alternative center attended the open house. They were able to tour the facilities and visit voc-tech classes in different fields. Students from Jones Academy observed sessions in photography, welding, early child care, health careers and commercial home services – and more. The prospective students were genuinely excited about the career opportunities offered by KTC.
PICTURED BELOW - KTC counselor Shelly (far left) speaks to Jones Academy students at the KTC Showcase.
Former Jones Academy Student Perseveres
The Jones Academy Scholarship Foundation is presently providing funding for 23 former students who are attending institutions of higher learning. One of those students is Lee Pell Meashintubby, who graduated from Hartshorne High School in 2003.
Lee is a wife, mother of three, and works part-time for Kibois Community Action Inc. (Sometimes she works up to 30 hours a week.) Lee is also enrolled in the rigorous nursing program at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton where she will complete her first semester next month. She was on the Dean’s honor roll for the fall 2010 and spring 2011 semester before she was accepted into the nursing program this year.
In spite of numerous challenges, Lee has persevered in her quest for an education. She is an example to all present day and former Jones Academy students. She embodies the Choctaw, Jones Academy and Hartshorne Miner spirit to “Never Give Up!”
Lee is enthusiastic about her future and loves her classes, regardless of her demanding schedule.
Students Attend Dare to Be Different Conference
Twenty-five Jones Academy students and staff attended the “2011 Dare to be Different” teen conference this fall held at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester, Oklahoma. The event was sponsored by the Pittsburg County Local Service Coalition Youth Team (LCS) in an effort to promote good lifestyle choices and prevent at-risk behaviors.
The LCS team’s purpose is to assist youth in developing and implementing “youth specific” strategies to address social issues identified as high risk. The keynote speaker was Kirk Smalley, founder of “Stand for the Silent,” a grassroots program aimed at stemming bullying behaviors among youth today. Mr. Smalley gave an impassioned speech to about 300 area ninth graders about the dangers and effects of bullying behaviors. The Smalley’s lost their 11 year old son due to suicide in the spring of 2010 as a result of being tormented and harassed at school.
In other breakout sessions, presentations were offered in the areas of teen pregnancy, meth abuse and suicide prevention, developing healthy dating relationships, and promoting nutritious lifestyles. Students who attended the conference gained a healthy respect for their peers as well as insight into how their behaviors affect others.
PICTURED BELOW - Left to Right: Thomas Etsitty, Ke’ana Watashe, Brandon Bissonette, and Wesla Butler
Eighth Graders Attend College Conference
Six hundred eighth grade students from the immediate McAlester, OK area attended the Fifth Annual Career and College Tour on November 8, 2011. The event was sponsored by Eastern OK State College, Kiamichi Technology Centers, the City of McAlester, McAlester Regional Health Center, and the Choctaw Nation. Several Jones Academy students participated in the fair and found valuable resources to aid them in the future.
The program featured about fifty vendors from college departments and local industries which offered career choices for students. The main activity included a “life game” and a presentation by motivational speaker, Jim Franks.
During the life game activity, the students learned the practical lessons of managing household budgets and living expenses. Mr. Franks discussed the importance of making good decisions early in life, to prepare themselves early for future success and avoid at-risk behaviors.
PICTURED BELOW - Left to Right: Kirkland Loman, Darianne Valdez, Ava Trujillo, Danielle Murillo, Delanie Lime and Naomi Christmas
JA Student, Holly Andersen, Attends Medicine and
Health Sciences Workshop
Holly Andersen, a ninth grade student at Jones Academy, has been selected to attend the Indians into Medicine Program (INMED) this summer at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences in Grand Forks, ND.
The six-week summer workshop is a comprehensive education program designed to assist Native American students who are preparing for health careers. According to INMED’s website, the program enrolls students interested in nursing, clinical psychology and various other health specialties. “As of 2005, the program has graduated 163 medical doctors.”
This is the second year that Holly has been selected for the program. The institute’s coordinator, Thelma Martin expressed excitement about having her back this summer. Holly is an academic overachiever and diligent about her studies at Hartshorne Junior High. She is also a member of the Oklahoma Honor Society.
Holly is a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe from Agency Village, SD.
PICTURED Left to Right: Kirkland Loman, Darianne Valdez, Ava Trujillo, Danielle Murillo, Delanie Lime and Naomi Christmas
Choctaw Nation’s March Against Meth
Students of Jones Academy participated in a March Against Meth Walk this spring in an effort to address the devastating effects that methamphetamine has on a community. The month of March was Meth Awareness Month.
Students from the Jones Academy Alternative Center along with the Choctaw Nation Youth Advisory Board and the Learn and Serve Program joined in the event to educate the Jones Academy elementary school students about the consequences of doing meth. The team came together to pass out information about the negative influences of substance abuse and to persuade students to remain drug-free. The group also gave away lime green rubber bracelets that bore the message “March Against Meth.”
The older students performed a puppet show for the 1st – 4th grade classes as well as a skit for the 5th and 6th grade classes. Both presentations had anti-drug messages. The day ended with the students signing a banner to Bust thru Meth. The students then participated in a walk, ran through the banner, and signed a pledge to be leaders against meth and remain drug-free.
This collaborative effort was sponsored by the Choctaw Nation Wind Horse program and coordinated by Amber Hearn, a Methamphetamine-Suicide Prevention Initiative specialist.
Jones Academy Staff Members Earn Degrees
Jones Academy graduates were not the only ones to be congratulated for their academic achievements in May. Recently, some Jones Academy staff also walked across the stage and received their diplomas from schools of higher learning.
Staff members Freddie Jones (elementary boys’ dorm,) Bonnie Smelser (elementary girls’ dorm,) and Kim Russell (recreation supervisor) all reached academic milestones. Mr. Jones received his Bachelor of Arts in Counseling/Psychology at East Central University, while Mrs. Smelser and Ms. Russell each earned an Associate of Arts in Psychology at Eastern Oklahoma State College.
By their example of determination, these staff members are practicing what they preach --getting a good education is of utmost importance!
Honor Graduates Kim Russell
(left) and Bonnie Smelser
received degrees at EOSC
Jones Academy Students Successful at Oklahoma Youth Expo
Brandon Anderson, a ninth grader from the Jones Academy 4 – H Club, exhibited the 1st Place Class III Chester Barrow and Reserve Breed Champion Chester overall at the Oklahoma Youth Expo (OYE) on March 16th – 21st in Oklahoma City, OK. Brandon’s Chester Barrow was the overall champion out of 250 Chester barrows competing at the OYE.
This event is the world’s largest junior livestock Show with over 2400 market barrows participating. A total of only 65 market barrows qualified for premium sale honors. Brandon and his barrow “Second Chance” were among the very elite group selected for this honor. This barrow was bred and raised at Jones Academy. Brandon is a member of the Choctaw Nation and is from Camp Verde, Arizona
Cheyenne Neal, a sophomore from the Jones Academy 4 – H Club, showed the 1st Place Class VIII Hampshire Barrow at the Oklahoma Youth Expo. Cheyenne won first place competing against 46 other exhibitors throughout the state in her weight class.
Her entry was selected as Reserve Champion Division I Hampshire. Cheyenne and her barrow “Warrior” went on to qualify for the premium sale. Warrior was named the eighth Hampshire barrow overall. There were 16 weight classes of Hampshires, and more than 750 Hampshire barrows competing at this event. Only 16 Hampshire barrows were selected for the premium sale honors. “Warrior” was bred and raised at Jones Academy.
Cheyenne is Mississippi Choctaw from Davis, OK. She is a member of the Hartshorne Miner Cheerleading team, enjoys raising and showing her swine projects, and riding horses at Jones Academy.
Other Jones Academy 4 – H students participating in the Oklahoma Youth Expo were Tyler Dressman and Billie Jo Nunn. Tyler Dressman exhibited a 2nd Place Class III Yorkshire Barrow. Billie Jo Nunn showed both ninth place and a seventh place Hampshire barrows.
Jones Academy 4-H students appreciate Chief Pyle, Assistant Chief Batton and Choctaw Nation Tribal Council for their continued support at livestock premium sales.
Jones Academy Last Nine Weeks Super Students
Left to right—Shianne Myers, 5th grade;
Mariella Chatkehoodle, 6th grade; Truvon
Willis, 4th grade; Gavin Smith, Senior at
Campus Alternative School; Odalys Lujano,
3rd grade; Zander Thomas, 2nd grade;
McGavyne Lone Elk, 5th grade; Madison
Cheek, 2nd grade; and Bryan Hawkins,
Family Day at Jones Academy
Approximately 250 to 300 parents, relatives, friends, alumni, and students attended the annual Family Day festivities at Jones Academy on May 14, 2011. Families and friends visited the students at Jones Academy and spent a day of fun and food with their loved ones. Children as well as children at heart participated in several exciting indoor and outdoor activities.
Attendees enjoyed the Tiki Rock Climb, a race car simulator, Dance Dance Revolution, the Fun Flush, a giant inflatable obstacle course, and various other games. Family portraits were also done during the festivities.
Some families and friends traveled from as far away as New Mexico and Mississippi while others from Oklahoma utilized transportation provided by Jones Academy. Two meals and refreshments were also provided for the families throughout the day. The weather cooperated beautifully and everyone appeared to have a great time.
2011 Jones Academy Graduates
Danielle Bobbie-Michelle Cruz is the 17 year-old daughter of John and Angela Cruz of San Juan Pueblo, NM. She is a member of the Ohkay Owingeh Tribe. Shelby was on the Principal’s Honor Roll this year and a member of the high school softball team. She is interested in pursuing a career in cosmetology.
Koty Collin Duran is the 18 year-old son of Tina Gasper of Zuni, NM and the late Aaron Duran. His is the grandson of Madeline Lowsayatee of Zuni, NM and the late Anson Gasper, Shirley Duran of Tesuque, NM and the late Joseph Duran. Koty is a member of the Pueblo of Tesuque Tribe. He has enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Dakota Miguel Estrada is the 17 year-old son of Pamela Estrada of Pickens, OK and Jesus Estrada of Houston, TX. He is the grandson of Patricia and Floyd Choate of Pickens, OK. Dakota was a member of the varsity football and power lifting teams. He also was active in yearbook and the Upward Bound Program. Dakota is a member of the Choctaw Nation of OK. After graduation, he will attend classes at Southeastern Oklahoma State University for two years and then transfer to the University of Oklahoma to finish a degree in engineering.
Kayla Denise John is the 18 year-old daughter of Alan John from Conehatta, MS. She is the granddaughter of Evelyn John of MS. Kayla is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribe. She has attended Hartshorne High School for 2 years and has been active in girls’ varsity basketball and track. Kayla made the All-Tournament Team at Tushka, OK and the Black Diamond All-Conference First Team in 2011. Kayla plans to attend classes in the fall at Haskell Indian Nations University.
Destiny Elaine Mathis is the 18 year-old daughter of Cynthia Adams of Poteau, OK; and Randall Mathis of Talihina, OK. She is the granddaughter of Linda Watson of Talihina, OK and Daniel and Rotha Mathis of Leflore, OK. Destiny is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She has attended Hartshorne Public Schools for 4 years. She is enrolled at Seminole State College where she will attend classes this fall.
Jaren Trae Richards is the 18 year-old grandson of Elaine Gibson of Antlers, OK. He is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He has attended Hartshorne Public Schools for six and a half years. Jaren was a member of the varsity football, track and power lifting teams. He is scheduled to attend classes in the fall at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and major in criminal justice. Jaren was the co-recipient of the Robert Woods Scholarship Award for 2011.
Gavin Keith Smith is the 18 year-old son of Teresa Daniel of Wewoka, OK and David Daniel of Woodland, TX. He is the grandson of Violet Louise Daniel and David Daniel of Idabel, OK and Edward and Grace Smith of Seminole, OK. Gavin is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. He has attended Hartshorne Public Schools for seven years. He was an active member of the high school band for 3 years and also part of the JA Writers and the Jones Academy newsletter staff. He is enrolled at Seminole State College where he will be a full-time student this fall.
Jacona Thlocco-Deere is the 17-year-old son of Autumn Thlocco and George Deere of Oklahoma City. His grandparents are Bryant and Constance Thlocco of Kansas City, MO. He is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. After graduation, Jacona plans to be gainfully employed.
Tracey Cierra Tiger is the 18 year-old daughter of the late Diane Tiger of McAlester, OK and the late Gary Tiger of Shawnee, OK. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She has attended Hartshorne Public Schools for eight years. She has been active in student council and varsity basketball. She made the Principal’s Honor Roll. Tracey’s honors also include making the Basketball All-Tournament Team twice and All-Conference player her junior year. She would like to pursue a career as a court room stenographer.
Shaylin Pedro-White Buffalo is the 17 year-old daughter of Melissa Pedro and Derwin Lime of El Reno, OK. She is the granddaughter of Phyllis and Ed Naranjo of Ibapah, UT and Virgil Pedro of El Reno. Special recognition goes to Melvin Roman Nose of El Reno, who has encouraged Shaylin throughout her life and educational endeavors. He has been a mentor and “grandpa” to her. Shaylin was a member of the Hartshorne High School yearbook staff and the Learn and Serve Program at Jones Academy. She is an enrolled member of Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. She plans to attend Southwestern Oklahoma State University and pursue a career in nursing. Shaylin was a co-recipient of the Robert Woods Scholarship Award for 2011.
De-Jay Wyly is the 17 year-old son of Mary and Alfred Wyly, of Kansas, OK. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He has been a resident of Jones Academy and attended Hartshorne Public Schools for seven years. De-Jay was a member of the Gifted and Talented Program and graduated fifth in his senior class. He also participated in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. De-Jay has enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Jones Academy Students Perform Well
at Pittsburg County Junior Livestock Show
Jones Academy 4-H students competed at the Pittsburg County Junior Livestock Show held in McAlester, OK March 2-5, 2011. About fifteen school districts were represented with approximately 300 entries. Overall, seventeen Jones Academy students were selected for the premium sale honors on Saturday night, March 5th.
According to Brandon Spears, the Jones Academy Agricultural Supervisor and 4-H leader, the success was due to a lot of hard work and commitment on the part of the students and staff.
Mr. Spears explained, “The students and staff work as a team. They spent many late hours out caring for their animals and preparing for this event. There is a lot of work that is done behind the scenes that goes unappreciated until the competition begins.” He added, “The students were rewarded at the premium sale for their labor, but what is really important is learning the value of hard work and dedication.”
B. J. Nunn exhibited the Breed Champion in Hamps Class and was named Grand Champion (overall breeds) at the Pittsburg County Junior Livestock Show in McAlester, OK March 2-15.
The Jones Academy 4-hers are now preparing for the Oklahoma Youth Expo held during spring break in Oklahoma City. B.J. Nunn exhibited the Reserve Grand Champion (overall). The Hamp was bred and raised at Jones Academy. B.J. is a ninth grade Academic Honors Student from Muldrow, Oklahoma and is a member of the Choctaw Nation.
Jones Academy students who placed at the Pittsburg County Junior Livestock Show were:
- Chesters Class: Brandon Andersen, 1st Breed Champion, Gabriella Bernal, 2nd Place Reserve Champion
- Hamps Class: B.J. Nunn exhibited the Breed Champion and was named Grand Champion (overall breeds). Liliana Bernal, 2nd Place Reserve Champion
- Spots Class: Courtney Wallace, 1st Place Breed Champion, Mariella Chakethoodle, 2nd Place Reserve Breed Champion
- Crosses Class: Liliana Bernal, 1st Place Breed Champion
- Breeding Class: Taron Wise 1st Place Reserve Breed (Poland), B.J. Nunn, 1st Place Reserve Breed (York)
Jones Academy Students Receive STAR Awards
Jones Academy students were recognized for their academic achievements by the Choctaw Nation Star Program for the fall 2010 school semester.
Success Through Academic Recognition (STAR) honors Choctaw students for classroom excellence and perfect attendance. Students were rewarded with Wal-Mart gift cards valued from $10 and $25. Students receiving these awards are enrolled in the Hartshorne public schools.
PICTURED from Right top Left: Seniors Jaren Richards
and Tracey Tiger, Cheyenne Neal (10th grader), Alisha
Picone (9th grader), Shelby Tushka (5th grader), Billie
Jo Nunn (9th grader), Kendale Willie (7th grader) and
STAR representative, Jason Campbell.
2011 Career Expo - Map Your Future
By Denell Cooley
Courage. Courage to step out. Courage to step out and achieve what you set out to accomplish. These were the words of Sam Glenn addressing an audience of 1500 high school students at the Fourth Annual Choctaw Nation Career Expo on April 6, 2011.
The event was held at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester, OK. Mr. Glenn, also known as the Attitude Guy, is a nationally acclaimed corporate speaker and author of “A Kick in the Attitude.” His book is an account of his own journey to success with instructions about remaining positive while moving toward one’s own success.
Shane Black and Ruben Kauley (far left) visited with a Southeastern Oklahoma State University representative (far right).
Mr. Glenn’s motivational speech included a creative blend of humor, inspiration, and an art demonstration. He used a cloth canvas to create a landscape with valleys, mountain peaks, and a winding path. He then applied the composition to illustrate a person’s successes and failures in life and the hard choices one has to make at times.
After the presentation, the students were then able to attend breakout sessions and meet with over one-hundred and fifty vendors representing businesses, colleges, vocational schools, human services specialists, military recruiters, and prospective employers. Students were encouraged to pick up information from the various displays as well as visit with the vendors and ask questions.
Each student received a free tote bag from the Choctaw Nation for the items they collected at each booth such as brochures, employment applications, pencils, pens, key chains, stress relievers, and more. There were also door prizes which included a nineteen inch television, an IPad, t-shirts and other assorted gifts.
This event was sponsored by both the Choctaw Nation Career Development and the Scholarship Advisement Programs. About twenty-five Jones Academy students attended the fair and collected valuable information to assist them in making important decisions about their future. The students also came away with the knowledge that it will take courage to step out and achieve what they set out to accomplish.
Jones Academy Students Celebrate National Library Week
Jones Academy elementary school students celebrated national library awareness through the week of April 14, 2011. Students participated in several activities in an effort to observe the contributions libraries make to our communities. The first and second grade elementary students did an arts and crafts project and learned about bears and turtles during National Library Week (see pictures). Elaine Garvin, Jones Academy librarian, has done various activities with the students through out the year including story telling, coloring contests, design a library theme t-shirt and motto, reasoning games, and library skills.
Left to right-Zander Thomas (1st Grade), Mrs. Garvin, Madison Cheek (2nd ), Melina Tushka (2nd ), and Lastenia Lainez-Ortiz (2nd.)
Thisyear, the elementary students have learned the Dewey decimal system and practiced their sign language skills. Mrs. Garvin has endeavored to teach the studentsthat learning and reading can be great fun!
Senior and Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma Visit Jones Academy
The Senior Miss Indian Oklahoma, Dayla Amos and Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma, Megan Larney visited the Jones Academy campus on Wednesday, April 6, 2011. The Indian pageant representatives spoke to the students about their platforms and the areas of interest which affected their communities. During the assembly, Miss Amos addressed the issue of diabetes and the impact on American Indian people. Miss Larney encouraged the students to be leaders in their respective Native American communities.
Jones Academy students Maleah Butler, Caitlin Allen and Justina Butler visit with Junior Miss Indian Oklahoma, Megan Larney and Senior Miss Indian Oklahoma, Dayla Amos.
Miss Amos discussed how she grew up in a family that was affected by diabetes. She watched as members of her family took medication or shots for their diabetes. Initially, she thought it was fun until she realized later, the severity of the problem. She also became aware of the effect that the disease was having on the Native American population and the high rate of diagnoses among tribal members. Throughout her presentation, Miss Amos advised the students about preventative measures they could take in an effort to avert the disease. She encouraged the students to practice healthy lifestyles such as eating a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Instead of drinking pop, she suggested that students ought to drink nutritious juices and/or water. Miss Amos added that students needed to increase their physical activity and get plenty of rest. She said these basic life changes would improve their health and increase longevity of life.
Miss Larney discussed the importance of taking leadership roles and the impact that good leaders can have on a community and future generations. She encouraged the students to start taking steps now toward positions of responsibility and representation in order to be positive influences in their tribal communities. Miss Larney challenged students as to their level of comfort in speaking up. She admitted that she was scared to speak up at times, but realized that she must be willing to do this in an effort to be a role model in the community and lead by example. She admonished students not to be afraid and be willing to step up into leadership or representative roles. According to Miss Larney, by practicing these qualities in an athletic setting, a classroom or in life, students are preparing to become leaders of tomorrow and future generations. She revealed to the students that one day it was possible they could be representatives in tribal government or chiefs of their sovereign nations.
Dayla Amos is the twenty year old daughter of Choctaw Nation Tribal Councilman Mike and Vicky Amos of Broken Bow, OK. Eighteen year old Megan Larney is the daughter of Walter and Rebecca Larney from Wewoka, OK.
Jeffrey Herrington Honored by TeenNick and Above the Influence
From where are the heroes of tomorrow coming? They could be coming from right here in southeastern Oklahoma. Jones Academy student Jeffrey Herrington was recently profiled on TeenNick.com for his community service work and ongoing efforts to promote a safe and drug-free environment. According to the website, the program that featured Jeffrey is a partnership between TeenNick’s HALO Awards and Above the Influence. The program recognizes young adults across the country for providing creative opportunities which encourage other teens to foster a substance free environment within their communities. Jeffrey’s story was showcased in February 2011.
In the past, Jeffrey has promoted drug-free advocacy through prevention meetings, which included role-playing with fellow students and skits on risky behaviors such as drug and alcohol use. Jeffrey is also a committee member of the Choctaw Nation Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative. As a member of the committee, Jeffrey has provided a teen’s perspective on the impact of methamphetamine on the youth and community. Jeffrey's motivation to promote community service was fostered by his family and his own aspiration to advocate to his community and peers against drug use. Jeffrey has been involved with the Choctaw Nation Learn and Serve America Project at Jones Academy since 2008. He has served the program in several capacities including class representative and Co-Chairperson in 2009-2010. Jeffrey is a sixteen year-old Choctaw from Dibble, Oklahoma. He is a sophomore at Hartshorne High School.
For more information on teens making an impact in their communities go to www.teennick.com/halo-abovetheinfluence.
Jones Academy Elisa Reyes Wins Art Contest
Jones Academy student Elisa Reyes recently won a poster contest to help stem the problems of methamphetamine use and suicide among Native American youth. Elisa’s poster will be displayed on an outdoor billboard in Shawnee, OK and numerous magazines distributed by the Potawatomie Nation. One hundred and twenty-six tribes received the nationwide Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative Grant. Grant, including The Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
The Potawatomi Tribal Youth Services Program sponsored the grant and proposed an art contest for Native American youth in the U.S. Thirty-five entries were submitted from outside Oklahoma and as far away as Washington State. Six students from Jones Academy participated in the contest.
In her age group, Elisa submitted a drawing voicing the theme of methamphetamines and its effects on the Native American culture. She received her award plus an IPOD Touch at the MSPI banquet held at the Cultural Heritage Museum in Shawnee on Feb 26, 2011. Elisa is an eleventh grader from Pine Ridge, SD. Amber Hearn, a Prevention Specialist with the Choctaw Nation MSPI and Wind Horse Program in McAlester, OK, facilitated the art contest and assisted the students at Jones Academy.
Jones Academy Third Quarter Super Students
Jones Academy Super Students are chosen by their classroom teachers for their all around performance in the classroom and social skills. These commendable students represent six different tribes at Jones Academy.
In front, are Jenaro Lujano and Jose Lainez-Ortiz, both 1st graders and Kaylen Panteah, 3rd grade. Back Row: Bryan Hawkins, 6th grade, Gabriela Bernal, 5th grade, Mariella Chatkehoodle, 6th grade; Xynissa Thlocco-Deere, 5th grade; Lakota Dixon, sophomore; and Lena Goodbear, 4th grade.
Jones Academy Staff Members Recognized
Eleven staff members from Jones Academy were recognized with service awards this year. These individuals were acknowledged for their contributions and faithful service to the students at Jones Academy and the Choctaw Nation.
Robert Smith and Arlie Marris received awards for 25 years of service. Mr. Smith currently is the student dorm manager for the facility. He is a former student who attended Jones Academy for five years until his graduation in 1963. In October of that year, he started working in the maintenance department when the school was under the auspices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BIA then handed the daily operations over to the Choctaw Nation in 1985. In all, Mr. Smith has worked for Jones Academy for 47 years.
Arlie Marris is currently the assistant dorm director. He has served Jones Academy students for a total of 37 years. He also worked for the school when it was directed by the BIA. Mr. Marris is a Vietnam veteran.
Other staff receiving service awards were as follows: Five Year Awards: Rita Hammers, Fred Jones, Mary Kuykendall, and Morris Sam. Ten Year Awards: Charles Thomason and Homer Tobey Fifteen Year Awards: Rhonda Faulkner, Robert Ray, and Brad Spears.
PICTURED - Left to Right are: Arlie Marris, Brad Spears – Jones Academy Administrator (background), Bob Pate – Tribal Council Member, Robert Smith and Delton Cox – Tribal Council Member
Nutrition Class Contest at Jones Academy
The sixth grade students at Jones Academy participated in a contest during nutrition class with Mrs. Sparks, Registered Dietitian with the Choctaw Nation Health Services, on developing a healthy breakfast menu. Each student was asked to create a healthy breakfast selection using the food guide pyramid and their knowledge of what they have learned in nutrition class. This year there were two winners -Mariella Chatkehoodle and Felicity Leflore. Each student’s breakfast recipe will be served to all staff and students on campus.
L-R Felicity Leflore and Mariella Chatkehoodle
Coloring Contest Winner at Jones Academy
All elementary students at Jones Academy were given the opportunity to participate in a coloring book contest facilitated by the McAlester Choctaw Nation Clinic. Jennifer Epps, a dental hygienist with the MCNC, presented the winner, first grader Lastenia Lainez-Ortiz, with a $10.00 gift card to Wal-Mart.
Alumni Students Visit Jones Academy
Recently, two former students returned to campus and paid the Jones Academy students and staff a welcomed visit. Josh Billie (class of 2008) and Melissa Canterbury (2009) traveled from the Mobile, Alabama area and took a break from school and work to visit old friends. After her finals were completed, Melissa called Josh in Foley, AL (which is about 45 minutes away) and invited him to come to Jones Academy with her. Josh thought it was a good idea and took some time off at work. The two connected with friends, teachers and staff at Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School and were here for about a day and half.
Melissa is a sophomore at the University of Southern Alabama in Mobile. She is on a scholarship as a manager for the football team and works at a Kohl’s Department Store about 30 hours a week. Melissa has recently changed her major to become an athletic trainer. Josh is gainfully employed as an assistant manager at the very popular EKCO Unlimited clothing store in Foley. Josh lives with his brother Joseph Billie (class of 2006,) who also works in Foley. Josh loves having his own place, a car, and the independence of being on his own. His immediate plans are to return to school and enroll at USA in the spring. He wants to pursue a degree in drama and has recently started writing and recording his own style of music.
Thanksgiving at Jones Academy
Chief Pyle sups with former employee Inez Sitter.
Mrs. Sitter worked for Jones Academy for over 60
years before retiring.
Staff members enjoying a hearty meal are
L to R: Shalon Roe, Kim Sanders, Karen Neal
Students L to R are McGavyne Lone Elk,
Corey White Calf, Hector Bernal, and Aaron Alvizo
Tia LaRoche and Daniell Cruz
Tyler Mitch and Kara Redbird
Jones Academy 2nd Nine Week Super Students
Pictured in front are Melina Tushka, 2nd grade and Melvin Birthmark, 1st grade. Behind are Ashton Wise, 5th grade; Elisa Reyes, Junior; Cody Clark, 6th grade; McGavyne Lone Elk, 5th grade; Desma Valdez, 4th grade; Brittany Dixon, 6th grade, and Xynia Thlocco-Deere, 3rd grade. The students are selected for being the best they can be in areas of academics, citizenship, and conduct.
Choctaw Student Maranda Rosiere Attends
Collegiate Honors Conference
Former Jones Academy graduate (2009-10) and Choctaw member Maranda Rosiere recently attended the National Collegiate Honors Council in Kansas City, MO. She went as a representative of the honors program at Eastern Oklahoma State College.
During the conference, held October 20-24, 2010, Maranda was able to attend lectures and presentations pertaining to honors program issues and higher education. She also visited student exhibits and participated in round table discussions and break out sessions during the conference.
According to Maranda, she met people from all over the world, including honor students from Africa, Pakistan, and China. She remarked that she was “in awe” to meet some of the “smartest people in the world.” Maranda also expressed how grateful she was for the opportunity to attend the conference at the invitation of her professor and honors director, Ruth Brelsford.
Jones Academy Receives Irish Visitor
The Choctaw people were 16 years removed from the Trail of Tears when, in 1847, they heard of the plight of another people. Across the Atlantic in northern Europe, Ireland was experiencing the catastrophic potato famine of the 1840’s. Over a million Irish people would perish during the time of this great calamity.
The Choctaws understood suffering. Out of the depths of their own poverty, there was an outpouring of compassion. The tribe sent a monetary gift to encourage and assist the Irish in their despair. There was no political motive or advantage for the Choctaws to do this. They simply acted from their generosity and out of their kind nature and saved many lives.
When Seosamh MacSuibne traveled 4,000 miles in late October of this year from his home in Donegal, Ireland, it was to express the gratitude of the Irish people to the Choctaw Nation for the kindness shown to them over 160 years ago.
Seosamh MacSuibne (pronounced SHOW sef mac SIV nee uh) was the director of a Gaelic language immersion school in Donegal last year when his students began corresponding with Jones Academy elementary students. The pen pals forged a friendship that would lead to Mr. MacSuibne’s travels across the Atlantic Ocean to visit Jones Academy and the chief of the Choctaw Nation.
He came as an ambassador of goodwill bringing gifts, tributes, and a message of gratefulness from the people of Ireland. Mr. MacSuibne expressed that the people of Ireland had never forgotten what the Choctaws had done for them in 1847. In May of this year, the residents of Donegal held a day of recognition at the Gaelic school to commemorate the sacrifice of the Choctaw people and the bond shared by the two nations.
At the school ceremony they hoisted the Choctaw flag, which they fly daily on their campus. There was a parade and a march to a hallowed cemetery outside of town where many of the Irish who perished in the Famine had been buried. Music was played and a flower bed in the shape and colors of the Choctaw seal was dedicated to the memory of those lost and to signify the friendship of the Irish and Choctaw peoples.
Mr. MacSuibne also brought a proclamation from the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan. She is the deputy prime minister and the second most powerful member of the Irish government. The document was a signed declaration of the union between the Irish and Choctaw nations.
Chief Pyle and Brad Spears signed their part of the resolution melding a friendship with the people of Donegal and Ireland. Along with his visit to Durant, Mr. MacSuibne was also able to visit Jones Academy and meet with several of the students. He gave a short presentation and then exchanged gifts.
Mr. MacSuibne brought flutes from Ireland for all the children, two drums, books, art prints, tweed hats and an Irish flag for the elementary school. The visit was an effort on Mr. MacSuibine’s part to teach a new generation of Choctaws and Native American students the lessons of sharing and to strengthen the bonds between the two peoples.
Students at Jones Academy Receive Free Laptops
Students at Hartshorne Junior High are benefiting from the 1 to 1 Digital Classroom Grant that will change the way students do their class work. As part of the recent federal stimulus money and the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act, each seventh and eighth grader received a free laptop to assist them in their academic efforts. To date, about forty Jones Academy students have received their laptops.
John Two Bulls on laptop
The idea of the program is to teach students how to navigate available technology and improve their research skills. Students receive and complete their classroom assignments regularly on their laptops. The laptops, class work, and homework have become integrated.
It appears that students are staring into the way of the future. Will textbooks become obsolete? One thing is certain—Jones Academy students are on the cutting edge of learning. This will be their opportunity to prepare themselves for the future and the high tech world of education and business
Maleah Butler on laptop
Jones Academy Seniors Get Ready for the Future
Jones Academy 12th graders have been busy this year getting ready for their post-secondary school futures. Besides finishing all of their high school requirements for graduation and testing for college entrance exams, the students have been busy preparing for the opportunities ahead.
(left to right) Destiny Mathis, Kayla John, Koty Duran, and Danielle Cruz sign up for activity during Mountaineer Monday at EOSC.
The seniors attended a college fair held at Eastern Oklahoma State College on October 26, 2010 in Wilburton, OK. They were able to meet with recruiters from 30 different universities and several field representatives from assorted professions. EOSC also sponsored the annual Mountaineer Monday on November 1, 2010.
This event allowed our students to tour the campus, classrooms, and dorms as well as get information about admissions, testing, and financial aid. (A record 420 seniors from the immediate area attended the exhibition.) Jones Academy seniors will be making visits to other institutions of higher learning and vocational training this year.
They are in the process of making some heady decisions about their immediate futures.
Jones Academy Student Participates in Veteran’s Day Activities
The American Legion Post 180 in Hartshorne, OK celebrated Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2010. There were about 120 in attendance to commemorate the sacrifice and service of men and women who had performed their duties honorably in the military.
Post Commander George Bishop conducted the ceremony. Colonel Beckner, from the McAlester Ammunition Plant, was the guest speaker. Jones Academy’s own Tasina Lone Elk performed the national anthem after the posting of the colors. Tasina is the daughter of Riva Red Feather from Porcupine, SD. She is a member of the Oglala Sioux Nation.
Colonel Beckner and
Tasina Lone Elk
Students Growing Through Enrichment Program
The Enrichment Program continues to be a vital part of the Jones Academy experience this year. Students are engaged in developing their artistic talents as well as learning new skills. Two art classes were added to the extra curricular activities this fall.
Janie Umsted, who is the director of the Indian Territory Art Gallery in Durant, OK, instructed our students throughout the semester. Teri and Curtis Billy, with the Choctaw Nation Art Project, also provided lessons for the Jones Academy students.
Guitar and piano tutorials have been ongoing. On any given day one can see students practicing their instruments after hours and on their own. In their maturing they have come to understand that every skill is perfected through practice and repetition.
Richard Pedro and Chris
Colungo are jamming
Jones Academy Students Caught Being Good
In an effort to promote a positive climate and improve the quality of student character, Jones Academy has a program in place to achieve these goals. That program is called “Caught Being Good.” Jones Academy staff is encouraged to “catch” students in acts of kindness, courtesy, and selflessness. Students “caught being good” are cited for positive behaviors and recognized for their example. As an added measure, the students’ names are placed in a drawing to reward individuals for their good choices. The students selected receive a Wal-Mart gift card as acknowledgement for their conduct. The program has helped to boost morale among students and staff and develop a positive atmosphere at the school.
(left to right) Tobias Goodbear, Shalane Black, Chiv Begaye, and Justin Jefferson
Joe Simpson and Elisa Reyes
Jones Academy Students Visit to Six Flags
Jones Academy students grades 7-12 enjoyed hours of recreation and fun when they traveled to Six Flags Over Texas on Saturday, October 9, 2010. The amusement park outing was a reward to the students for good behavior and academic performance during the first nine weeks of the school year.
Staff and students opened the park at 10 AM and closed it at 10 PM. It was full day of leisure, rides, food, and games. Many were driven to the point of exhaustion and slept all the way back to Oklahoma.
Jones Academy Students Attend ACT Workshop
About 100 students attended the ACT Workshop held at the Kiamichi Vo-Tech in McAlester on October 1, 2010. Sponsored by the Choctaw Nation Talent Search Program, the seminar featured Chad Cargill, who directs pre-ACT clinics for students throughout Oklahoma. Mr. Cargill is a motivational speaker, but also lends his expertise to students in developing better test-taking skills and improving general academic performance.
The speaker kept the high school students engaged throughout the 3 hour session with a rapid fire approach to his in depth lessons and his generous use of humor. Mr. Cargill encouraged the students to take the ACT test more than once and to study even harder between the periods of test-taking. He also inspired the students to think of ways to serve their respective communities and challenged them to become a selfless generation.
Seven Jones Academy students attended the seminar and came away with an appreciation for hard work, making good choices, and a sense of urgency to help those in need.
Jones Academy Scholarship Foundation
Serves Former Students
One of the benefits of attending Jones Academy is getting financial assistance after you have completed your high school education. The Jones Academy Scholarship Foundation offers funding for students who have attended Jones Academy and are pursuing a post secondary education. Students who qualify for the program need to have completed one academic year of school at Jones Academy.
Students are funded whether they are attending an academic institution of higher learning or receiving training in a vocational or technological setting. Currently the foundation is sponsoring twenty-four former Jones Academy students in various colleges, universities, and technology centers throughout the country.
Upward Bound Director, Robert Ray, is a student liaison for the foundation. Reflecting on the years that he has provided assistance for students, Mr. Ray expresses that he is “thrilled” that the foundation has so many kids on the program. Students are required to submit their class schedules and grades every semester.
Students currently enrolled in the program include class of 2009 Melissa Canterbury, Cassandra White, and Megan Duran. Melissa is attending the University of Southern Alabama in Mobile. She receives a stipend as the football manager and works at a Kohl’s retail store. Cassandra is in her sophomore year at Lakota College in Kyle, SD. Megan is at the University of New Mexico in Zuni, NM. Graduates Jessica Phelps (2004) and Lee Pell Meashintubby (2003) are both pursuing nursing degrees at Eastern Oklahoma State College.
Other Jones Academy graduates attending institutions of higher learning include Rachelle Dinardo, Bacone College (Tahlequah, OK,) Kim Ramone, Langston University (Langston, OK,) Christen Voice, Haskell Indian Nations University (Lawrence, KS,) Johnny Cervantes, Murray State College (Tishomingo, OK,) Tranette Turrieta, Northern New Mexico College (Espanola, NM,) Warren Clegg, Southeastern OK State University (Durant, OK,) and Tracy Lewis, University of Central OK, (Edmond, OK).
Photos from Left to Right: Christen Voice was a Homecoming Queen attendant at HINU. Melissa Canterbury, and Tracy Lewis
1st Nine Weeks
Jones Academy Super Students
Niine Jones Academy students were selected by their teachers for being well-rounded and achievement oriented. They also represent 6 of 30 tribes at Jones Academy.
L-R front: Wiyaka Eder, 4rd grade; Lastenia Lainez-Ortiz, 2nd grade; Shelby Tushka, 5th grade; Hector Bernal, 3rd grade and Zander Thomas 2nd grade
Back Row: Mariella Chatkehoodle, 6th grade; Daisica Rice, 5th grade; Joseph Simpson, 6th grade and “Notable Student” Joshua Sam, a Junior at the Campus Alternative School.
Jones Academy Students Receive STAR Awards
Jones Academy students were recognized for their academic achievements by the Choctaw Nation Star Program for the spring 2010 school semester. Success Through Academic Recognition (STAR) honors Choctaw students for classroom excellence and perfect attendance. Students were rewarded with Wal-Mart gift cards valued from $10 and $25.
Elementary students receiving their awards are L-R:
Gabrielle Benavidez (6th grade) Michelle Tushka (5th grade), Wilmer Guerrero (5), Jimmie Renae Yeager (3), and Enrique Guerrero (6)
Junior High School students receiving their awards are:
(front row): Jeffrey Yeager (7th grade), Cheyenne Neal (10th grade), Kirkland Loman (7), Tyler Dressman (7)
(back row) Alisha Picone (9th grade), Deshaun Suetopka-Garcia (7), Mia Benavidez (7), and Kendale Willie (7 grade)
Jones Academy Health Screenings Include Hearing Assessments
The Choctaw Nation Health Services offers an array of benefits to the Jones Academy students during their nine months of residence. Students receive health screenings which include physical exams and vision, dental, and hearing assessments. They also have access to the Talihina Hospital and the McAlester Clinic. Pictured is Director of the Choctaw Nation Hearing Clinic in Talihina, Lana Moses and Jones Academy Elementary second grader Jordan Hayes.
Jones Academy Alumnus Wins Scholarship
Former Jones Academy student, Judy Picone, was a recent recipient of the prestigious O.J. and Mary Christine Harvey Educational Foundation Scholarship at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, OK. Judy, a sophomore at SOSU, was recommended by university staff and the Choctaw Nation Scholarship Advisement Program. The nomination was then approved by the Harvey Foundation Board. The award is worth $5000 a year until she graduates. The scholarship was granted on the basis of need and academic performance. This year Judy is receiving the Presidential Leadership Class Award which covers resident tuition at SOSU. She also works in the recruiting office at the university and has been featured on the school’s brochures. Judy is an English Major and has goals of becoming an English Professor. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and active in the Native American Council at SOSU.
The Value of Hard Work at Jones Academy
This is a story about hard work, diligence and devotion. Justin Daniel came to Jones Academy in the fall of 2000. He was a first grader from the Wewoka, OK area. His parents were struggling at the time to provide Justin and his siblings a stable home life. In a short time, Justin adapted to life at Jones Academy. He persevered, worked hard and did his best to meet the school’s expectations.
Just a few years later when Jones Academy opened their FFA program for enrollment, Justin jumped at the chance. He threw himself into the program and listened to his instructor, Brandon Spears. This is where the fun began and Justin’s luck started to change. He started winning.
He can now recite his hog show achievements like an acrobat doing mental gymnastics. During his fourth grade year, he won Reserve Breed Duroc at the Pittsburg County Fair; in the fifth grade, he had Grand Champion overall at the Pittsburg Jr. Livestock Show. As a six grader, his hog was Supreme Breeding Gilt at the Pittsburg County Jr. Livestock Show. He then went on to the Oklahoma City Youth Expo and captured Champion Hampshire and Reserve Grand Champion overall.
The same pig sold for an astonishing $21, 500. This is where all the hard work and long hours started to pay off. A year later, he would win Reserve Grand Champion at the Pittsburg County Jr. Livestock Show. During the same show season, his Chester Barrow made the sale at the Oklahoma City Youth Expo earning Justin $2500. He won Reserve Cross Barrow the next year at the Fort Smith Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair. The winnings continued.
Justin readily admits now he can’t recall the numerous jackpot shows and the cash prizes that his hogs have earned him. He seems humbled by his fortunes and is filled with gratitude for the opportunities Jones Academy has offered him. Life has not been perfect at the academy. At times Justin has stumbled, but he perseveres and presses on with his work and life.
To date he thinks he might have over $30,000 in his savings. He is preparing for college or some kind of vocational training after he graduates. That’s a year away. His future looks promising. For now, Justin works quietly putting in long hours attending to his charges. This is a life about hard work, diligence and devotion.
Jones Academy Provides Haven for Siblings from Ohio
When Enrique Guerrero first arrived at Jones Academy in the fall of 2005, he was a bright-eyed, energetic first grader from Ada, OK. The following year, his family moved to Columbus, Ohio and Enrique brought his younger brother Wilmer along for the Jones Academy experience. The boys adjusted well to boarding school and excelled in academics and athletics.
Enrique and Wilmer are enrolled in the Choctaw Nation STAR (Success Through Academic Recognition) program and have received numerous incentives for their classroom performance. The boys’ mother, Anita Jennings, was so pleased with Enrique’s and Wilmer’s achievements that she made applications for the boys’ siblings, Lastenia and Jose. Lastenia is in the second grade and Jose is in the first. Lori Wells is their teacher at Jones Academy Elementary.
The economy and unfortunate circumstances had placed hardships on the family and Lastenia and Jose struggled in their previous schools. Ms. Wells acknowledges, however, that Lastenia and Jose are catching up and making strides every day in their classroom work. She believes the students will “do fine” because they are eager to learn and they respond well to instruction.
Enrique, Wilmer, Lastenia, and Jose are a long way from home, but they have found Jones Academy to be a home away from home and place to enhance their education.
Summer Work At Jones Academy
Jones Academy hired twenty-five students to work through the WIA summer work program sponsored by the Choctaw Nation. The students did a remarkable job mowing, cleaning, painting and refurbishing the facilities on the Jones Academy campus. Besides being paid for their labor, the students enjoyed the experienced of knowing a job was well done.
Boys cleaned up the playgrounds (L-R) Lee Scott, Austin Stevens, Alan Harjo, and Aleex Chatkehoodle.
Lucinda Roberts stripped and waxed floors.
Martina Delaware painted freestyle murals.
Work crews mixed with social worker Mary Canham
(L-R) David Gordon, Shaylin WhiteBuffalo, Richard Pedro, Mary Canham, Jarn Richards, Francis Brown, Courtney Wallace, Bennie Simpson and Alan Harjo
Tracy Lewis is Awarded McClure-Wood Scholarship
Jones Academy high school senior Tracy Lewis was the 2010 recipient of the James “Mickey” McClure Scholarship. The scholarship is sponsored by the Robert H. Wood family in honor of James Mclure. Robert Wood was a coach and teacher at Jones Academy from 1942 through 1947. Mclure was a student at the academy as well as captain of the boxing team. The scholarship is bestowed to students who have demonstrated strong leadership skills and academic excellence. The students must have also displayed good citizenship and sportsmanship qualities as part of the grant requirements. Tracy was presented with the award during a reception for Jones Academy graduating seniors.
Tracy’s other honors include the Hartshorne/Haileyville Student of Today Award, the OSU Academic Achievement Award, National Honor Society, Oklahoma Honor Society, the Superintendent’s Honor Roll and the UCO Bronco Merit Tuition Waiver Scholarship. After high school, Tracy plans to attend the University of Central Oklahoma majoring in accounting.
Tracy is the 17 year-old daughter of Marcella Torres and the granddaughter of Louisa Resendiz of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne Public School for 7 years. She was a cheerleader, the yearbook editor, involved in Gifted and Talented, a member of the Learn and Serve Project and a varsity softball player.
Jolene Christine Atencio is the 18 year old daughter of Renee Cata and Joseph Atencio of San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico and the granddaughter of Pat and Irene Cata. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for 6 years. Jolene’s activities include Yearbook and FCCLA. Her plans after high school are to attend college in New Mexico and become a nurse or a cosmetologist.
Shawn Black is the 18 year-old son of Kawa Black Jr. and Sharon Newbreast of El Reno, Oklahoma and is the grandson of Agnes Little Hawk and Kawa Black Sr. of El Reno, Oklahoma. He has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne Public School for 5 years and is involved in track and weightlifting. After high school Shawn will attend Eastern Oklahoma State College in the fall.
Francis Brown is the 18 year-old son of Gordon Howell of Pawnee, Oklahoma and Shelly Brown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.Heis the grandson of Della and Chief Perez of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Francis has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne Public School for the past five years. After graduation, Francis will received training at the Talking Leaves Job Corp in Tahlequah, OK.
Warren Clegg Jr. is the 17 year-old son of Warren Clegg Sr. of Carthage, Mississippi and Cynthia Billy of Philadelphia, Mississippi. He is the grandson of Russell and Corinne Willis of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Warren has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for one year and he is involved in Varsity Baseball. After high school Warren plans to attend Southern Oklahoma State University to earn a degree in Wildlife Biology.
Sarah Melissa Harrison is the 17 year-old daughter of Jerry and Harriet Harrison of Shawnee, Oklahoma. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for three years. Sarah is enrolled at Eastern Oklahoma State College and plans to pursue a career in Art or Graphic Design.
Rachel Michelle Chalepah is the 18 year-old daughter of Spencer and Victoria Chalepah of Earlsboro, OK. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for two years. Rachel plans on attending the Gordon Cooper Technology Center in the fall and specializing in childcare services.
Ronnie Leach is the 18 year-old son of Mark and Kay Leach of Stilwell, Oklahoma. He has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for one year. He is involved in football and baseball. After graduation he plans to attend the Indian Capitol Technology Center in Stillwell, OK.
Tracy Lewis is the 17 year-old daughter of Marcella Torres of Broken Bow, Oklahoma and the granddaughter of Louisa Resendiz of Broken Bow, Oklahoma. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne Public School for 7 years. Her honors include: the Hartshorne/Haileyville Student of Today Award, OSU Academic Achievement Award, National Honor Society, Oklahoma Honor Society, the Superintendent’s Honor Roll and the UCO Bronco Merit Tuition Waiver Scholarship. After high school, Tracy plans to attend the University of Central Oklahoma to major in accounting.
Maranda Rosiere is the 18 year-old daughter of Calvert and Melissa Reading of Stigler, Oklahoma and the granddaughter of Bobby and Marilyn Simmons of Muse, Oklahoma. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for two years and is involved in the Choctaw Nation’s Learn and Serve Project. Maranda’s plans after high school are to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College for two years and then transfer to the University of Oklahoma to study psychology or nursing. Maranda Rosiere has received the Eastern Oklahoma Sate College Academic Leadership Scholarship and the John T Liebrand Memorial Scholarship to assist her at EOSC this coming fall. The academic grant will provide $500 each semester toward her tuition and full room. The Liebrand award, which is administered by the McAlester Scottish Rite, will fund $1000 toward Maranda’s college expenses. Maranda was also accepted into the Honors Program at EOSC. This program will cover her full tuition for up to 15 hours.
Stewart Simpson is the 19 year-old son of Warren and Jennifer Simpson and grandson of Wanda and Kenny Justice of OKC. He has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne Public School for 7 years. His activities include: football, weightlifting and track. After graduation, Stewart plans to be gainfully employed until he turns 21 years of age and can train to be a tribal policeman.
Micah Tiger is the 19 year-old son of Gary and Diane Tiger. He has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne Public School for 7 years. His activities include: basketball, football, track, FFA, and FCCLA. After high school Micah plans to attend Seminole Junior College and major in Psychology.
Stephanie Trujillo is the 17 year-old daughter of Leonard Trujillo and Terry Atencio of Espanola, New Mexico. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for three years and is involved in Yearbook and is a basketball manager. After high school Stephanie plans to attend Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkowa, Oklahoma and eventually attend cooking or photography school.
Christen Leigh Voice is the 18 year-old daughter of Shannon M. Voice and Daniel Jimenez of Dallas, Texas and the granddaughter of Toni and Wilson Hitcher of Dallas, Texas. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for three years and is involved in basketball, softball, Student Council, and Yearbook. Her honors include: Basketball District Champions, 2010 Basketball Homecoming Queen, Who’s Who Most Athletic, Best Defense 2007, and the Principal’s Honor Roll. Christen plans to attend Haskell Indian Nations University and then transfer to the University of Kansas.
Linda Williams is the 17 year-old daughter of Martha Henry of Philadelphia, Mississippi. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for four years. After graduation Linda plans to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College and then transfer to a beauty school.
Olivia Williams is the 17 year-old daughter of Martha Henry of Philadelphia, Mississippi. She has attended Jones Academy and Hartshorne High School for four years. After graduation Linda plans to attend Eastern Oklahoma State College to study nursing.
Choctaws Dedicate Elementary School
At Jones Academy
$10 Million State-Of-The-Art Facility
At the foot of Pocahontas Mountain a few miles
northeast of Hartshorne, tucked into a peaceful country backdrop
of mountain and forest in southeast Oklahoma’s Ouachita range,
a special event will occur at 10 a.m. September 4th for the
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) that also benefits all Native
The place is Jones Academy and the event is the dedication
of the Academy’s new $10 million Elementary Academic Facility.
The event is special because of Jones Academy’s purpose and
history in Native American education. Jones Academy is a
center for elementary and secondary school age Indian children
whose circumstances in life require more than education.
They also receive 24/7 residential care.
Choctaws Dedicate Elementary Academic Facility at Jones Academy