July 21, 2022
Morehead State University’s Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education developed an unexpected partnership with a tribal school in Waubay, South Dakota, resulting in a mutually beneficial relationship for students in both institutions.
The Enemy Swim Day School, a P-8 school, is a tribal Dakota school where faculty and staff integrate Dakota language and culture into the curriculum and the school environment. The school mistakenly sent a flyer to MSU (instead of Minnesota State University in Moorhead, Minnesota) looking to partner with colleges to send student-teachers to the school.
“It was the spring of 2021, and many schools were closed to student observers. As a tribal school, I thought that this school might offer a unique opportunity for our students to engage with diverse students in a virtual environment,” said Dr. Kimberly Nettleton, director of Quality Assurance and Accreditation (QUAA) for the Volgenau College of Education and associate professor of education. “The more I spoke to the principal and superintendent, the more I realized what a unique opportunity this could be for both our candidates and the students in South Dakota.”
Three students completed some or all of their spring student-teaching semester during the spring 2022 semester.
Katie Fraley (Class of 2022) and Lola Meyers (Class of 2022) went to The Enemy Swim Day School for student-teaching placement for their last eight weeks of the semester. Fraley is from Sandy Hook and Meyers is from Pikeville. Both graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Learning Behavior Disorders and Elementary Education.
In January, Trey Martin (Class of 2022) arrived at the school and spent his entire spring semester there. Martin is from Mt. Sterling and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education, Grades 8-12. He said the hands-on experience has been invaluable. He plans to sign a contract to teach at Tiospa Zina High School in Sisseton, South Dakota, in the 2022-23 academic year.
“I had more experiences here in the first week than most people have with several years of teaching,” he said.