Pictured above: The Umatilla Robotics Team in Texas. Heidi traveled with the team to the Robotics World Finals in Houston, Texas last month.
I recently spoke with Umatilla School District Superintendent Heidi Sipe. Heidi was named 2016 Oregon Superintendent of the Year and it is clear why she was given this honor. She has a deep respect for her students and community and works every day to find ways to positively impact their school experience.
Through my role at Chalkboard Project, I have been able to learn more about the meaning and plans for implementation of SB 13, Oregon’s legislation requiring that tribal history and culture be taught in Oregon’s classrooms. This work is meaningful to me professionally, but also as a Native parent of a school-aged child in Oregon.
Earlier this year the report, From a Nation at Risk to a Nation at Hope, confirmed what is intuitively known about supporting student learning but is often left out of the discussion. Based on research and conversations with young people, parents, teachers, school and district leaders, and community leaders, the report found that science and experience converged on one main point: “Children learn best when we treat them as human beings, with social and emotional as well as academic needs.