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For Immediate Release: Oct. 23, 2007
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

New program aims to recruit American Indian educators into school administration

Twenty applicants will be accepted into a new program aimed at recruiting, educating and placing American Indian educators into administrative positions in schools with high populations of Native students. The Indian Leadership Education and Development, or I LEAD, program is a partnership of the South Dakota Department of Education and Montana State University in Bozeman. It is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

“Montana State has developed a model that we think will be effective in getting more American Indian teachers into administrative positions in our state. We are thankful that they invited South Dakota to be a part of this important project,” said Keith Moore, Indian education coordinator for the South Dakota Department of Education.

Educators who are accepted into the program work toward a master’s or specialist’s degree in educational leadership and, ultimately, certification as a principal or superintendent. The grant covers the cost of their education. In exchange, participants agree to serve as an administrator in a school or education-related agency serving a substantial Native American population for a time period equal to the length of their participation in the program.

Candidates must be a member of a federal or state recognized tribe or have a parent or grandparent who is, or was, a tribal member. Candidates must be certified to teach in South Dakota and hold a bachelor’s degree. Candidates must be admitted to Montana State University’s graduate program.

Classes will be delivered during the school year using a mix of online and face-to-face instruction, Moore said. Participants also will spend six weeks during the summer studying on campus in Bozeman.

For more information or to request an application for the program, call the South Dakota Department of Education at (605) 773-3134. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15, 2007.