July 2023 ─ Honoring Our Graduates (Part 1)

Vol. XXIV, No. 4
Muckleshoot indian reservation, wash.
July 2023
From the Front Page

Muckleshoot Celebrates Another Record Year for Education During the Graduation Season of 2023

By Joseph Martin, Muckleshoot Tribal Education Officer

MUCKLESHOOT – The June 2023 Muckleshoot Graduation Season represents the 22nd year that I have been blessed with participating in our annual graduation season for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. I want all of you to know how honored and blessed that I feel to be a part of such a beautiful community here at Muckleshoot! Thank you very much to everyone in our beautiful community for all of your dedication, hard work, support and commitment to achieving excellence in our Muckleshoot Department of Education Programs!

I want to begin by stating that we are extremely thankful to our Muckleshoot Tribal Council, Muckleshoot Executive Committee for Education, the Muckleshoot Higher Education Committee, the Muckleshoot Tribal School Commission, and the Muckleshoot Head Start Parent Policy Council for supporting and sponsoring all of our 2023 Muckleshoot graduation ceremonies.

On Friday, June 9, 2023, we had 900 people gather in the beautiful Muckleshoot Casino Events Center to celebrate 36 incredible Class of 2023 high school graduates from our Muckleshoot Tribal School! I also had the good fortune of listening to all of our Class of 2023 Muckleshoot Tribal School high school graduates introduce themselves to our Muckleshoot Tribal Council members on Friday, May 12, 2023 at the MIT

Casino Events Center. Our Class of 2023 graduates are truly amazing! I cannot wait to witness the incredible accomplishments that our Class of 2023 graduates are destined to achieve!

In the history of our Muckleshoot Tribal School starting with our first high school graduates from MTS in 2001, we have now reached the amazing milestone of having 397 total high school graduates from our Muckleshoot Tribal School!

To put this in perspective, in the nine-year period from 2001-2009, a total of 32 students graduated at the original Muckleshoot Tribal School campus in the old Muckleshoot Community Center.

This means that the old tribal school averaged 3.5 high school graduates each year for the nine years (2001-2009) before our Muckleshoot Tribal School moved to its new campus in September 2009. The graduation of 36 more high school seniors for the 2022-2023 academic year continues our yearly trend of increasing the average number of students graduating from our Muckleshoot Tribal School. In fact, for the past fourteen years (June 2010 through June 2023) MTS is now averaging 28 high school graduates per year.

This was an amazing year for our Muckleshoot Tribal School graduates and we are all extremely proud of their incredible accomplishments. A complete listing of our 2023 grads, their tribal affiliations, and their plans after high school can be found on Page 16.

At our MIT Higher Education graduation celebration at our MIT Casino Events Center, we celebrated the wonderful accomplishments of our Class of 2023 graduates on Thursday, June 15, 2023. We had 30 Muckleshoot Tribal Members graduate with college degrees in our Class of 2023, including Dr. Ada McDaniel who graduated from the University of Washington with a Doctorate of Educational Leadership. We want to congratulate all of our Muckleshoot Scholars who tackled this huge milestone of achieving their college degrees in 2023.

Our Class of 2023 Muckleshoot Tribal Members earning college degrees:

  • Dr. Ada McDaniel – Doctorate of Educational Leadership – University of Washington
  • Glorianna Ortiz-Cross – Master of Business Administration – University of Washington
  • Julia Youngman – Master of Science in Educational Speech-Language Pathology – University of Washington
  • Alexandrea Bachel – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology – Central Washington University
  • Nicholas Bennett – Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Information Technology Management – Western Governors University
  • Justice Bill – Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies – University of California Berkeley
  • Shayna Brown – Bachelor of Arts in Applied Indigenous Studies, minor in Ethnic Studies – Northern Arizona University
  • Rose Davis – Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology – Arizona State University
  • Sahara Hansen – Bachelor of Science – Louisiana State University
  • Adrian James – Bachelor of Arts and Science in Forest Resource Management – Green River College
  • Hailey Joe – Bachelor of Arts in Tribal Governance and Business Management – Northwest Indian College
  • Chante Oliver – Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Social Sciences – Western Washington University
  • Christine Sportsman – Bachelor of Arts in Human Services Leadership – Whitworth University
  • Genevieve Yates – Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice – Central Washington University
  • Rose Arzate – Associate of Arts and Sciences – Northwest Indian College
  • Venecia Barrera – Associate of Arts and Sciences – Northwest Indian College
  • Shalina Chandler – Associate of Science in Accounting – Southern New Hampshire University
  • Kendra Cross – Associate of Arts and Sciences in Early Childhood Education – Green River College
  • Juanita Daniels – Associate of Arts and Sciences in Business and Entrepreneurship – Northwest Indian College
  • Courtney Enfield – Associate of Arts – Walla Walla Community College
  • Cody Foreman – Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity and Networking – Green River College
  • Diana Heredia – Associate of Arts and Science in Public and Tribal Administration – Northwest Indian College
  • Eva James – Associate of Technical Arts in Chemical Dependency Studies – Northwest Indian College
  • Jaqueline Jameson – Associate of Arts and Sciences – Northwest Indian College
  • Stephanie Lindgren – Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education and Diversity Studies – Green River College
  • Joseph Martin – Associate of Arts and Sciences – Northwest Indian College
  • Christopher Miller – Associate of Applied Science Information Tech Systems and Security – Green River College
  • Seaira Pacheco – Associate of Applied Technologies in Esthetics – Clover Park Technical College
  • Shawnita Ross – Associate of Arts and Science – Northwest Indian College
  • Valerie Ross-Zhaawendaagozikwe – Associate of Arts in Environmental Science – Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College

Our Muckleshoot Tribal Members continue to achieve great success by earning degrees and certificates in higher education through the support of our Muckleshoot Scholarship Program. We all want to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of our Muckleshoot Tribal Members who are achieving college degrees from numerous high level programs across the country.

We also achieved another all-time record number of graduates from our Muckleshoot Department of Education programs. If you combine the total number of graduates from Head Start through higher education, it would look like this:

  • Muckleshoot Early Learning Academy (Head Start) – 56;
  • Muckleshoot Tribal School Kindergarten – 43;
  • MTS 5th grade – 54;
  • MTS 8th grade – 48;
  • MTS High School – 36;
  • Muckleshoot students graduating from other local high schools – 18;
  • Muckleshoot Adult and Higher Education Division: college degrees – 30;
  • Post-secondary certificates – 85;
  • High School 21 Plus Diplomas – 25.

Our 2023 Muckleshoot Tribal Graduation Season resulted in another all-time record with a total number of 395 graduates (which beats the all-time record of 378 total graduates established in 2021).

I want to take this opportunity to salute all of our proud 2023 Muckleshoot graduates and all of our families. I am extremely proud of all the dedication and hard work that our students, families and staff members contributed to making the educational experiences of our students so successful. We are looking forward to every one of our Muckleshoot graduates taking advantage of our Muckleshoot Scholarship Program, achieving their college degree or higher education certificates, and being hired for positions of leadership here at the Muckleshoot Tribe, or in our greater community.

I want to thank each and every person who contributed their time and hard work to make this 2022-2023 academic year and graduation season so successful. We all have witnessed and participated in another historic graduation season for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe. Let us also give thanks to our many Tribal Elders and Tribal Leaders whose dreams and hard work have made the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s vision of “education as a lifelong journey” possible.

View the Full Honoring Our Graduates Section

July 2023 Honoring Our Graduates (Part 1)

July 2023 Honoring Our Graduates (Part 2)

More from This Edition

Vol. XXIV, No. 4

July 2023 ─ Honoring Our Graduates (Part 1)

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About the Muckleshoot Messenger

The Muckleshoot Messenger is a Tribal publication created by the Muckleshoot Office of Media Services. Tribal community members and Tribal employees are welcome to submit items to the newspaper such as news, calendar items, photos, poems, and artwork.