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:
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:
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.
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.