And so it begins!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Where did the summer go? Monday morning, orientation began for new houseparents, teachers, counselors and support staff. We have 29 new team members for the 2014-2015 school year.

One mentioned she felt God’s call to come and offer her service to St. Joseph’s Indian School. This reflects an attitude many have shared in the past. We are grateful for this spirit of mission and that God calls the right people at the right time to cross paths and serve the Lakota youngsters.

When new staff were asked what qualities they bring to the job, some of the comments included:

  • Patience
  • Empathy
  • Wisdom
  • Humor
  • Compassion
  • Creativity
  • Love of young people

May the giver of all good gifts, our Heavenly Father, enable them to have many opportunities to share these gifts with everyone around them, students and staff.

St. Joseph’s new staff members are on campus and have begun their training.

All St. Joseph’s staff members have extensive training in working with children.

All staff will be back on campus next week, but final touches for the upcoming school year are still being made. The new playground equipment is being delivered over the next few days and it will be a challenge to get everything bolted and in place by the opening of school on August 11. Pilamayathank you – for your continued generosity that allows us to provide a safe environment for the children we serve!

Many guests and visitors have been stopping at the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center.  I hope you and your family will have the opportunity to visit one day soon. It is good to see the museum parking lot filled with vehicles from all over the USA and beyond. Our visitors are impressed by the facility and we have received several great reviews, such as this blog post.

Remember St. Joseph’s annual powwow coming up September 12-13. For more information or to register, visit www.stjo.org/powwow or call 1-800-584-9200.

Please continue to pray for us as orientation continues this week and for the all-staff orientation next week. Together, we will develop a sense of family and provide the best experience possible for our in-coming students.  We are grateful to God for your support and encouragement which allows us to have a positive impact on the children’s lives.

I hope your remaining summer is relaxing and enjoyable.  Stay safe and may God’s blessings continue to be with you and yours!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Summer is nearly over at St. Joseph’s Indian School!

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph's Chaplain

Fr. Anthony, St. Joseph’s Chaplain

I just received a note from Donna, our Human Resources Director – things are looking great for the upcoming school year (which is just around the corner)!

Donna mentioned that our teaching spots have been filled, which is a special accomplishment. Newspapers recently reported that 30% of open teaching positions in South Dakota have not been filled.  We even have two new Family Service Counselors hired. The only area still to be filled is for three houseparents.  Please keep in your prayers that these openings may be filled with the right people.

See St. Joseph’s available career opportunities here!

New staff orientation started today. All staff orientation begins the first week of August. The Lakota (Sioux) students return August 10 and classes begin August 11.  Where did the summer go?

St. Joseph’s hosts donor luncheons in cities across the U.S. Hear the Lakota students tell you their story!

St. Joseph’s students Wankiya and Alan will travel to Cincinnati, Ohio in August for donor luncheons.

Just after school starts, we’ll host our next donor luncheons in Cincinnati, Ohio, August 16 and 17.  Two of our students, Alan and Wankiya, will be there with staff to meet you and share their experiences at St. Joseph’s. Register online now or call 1-800-584-9200 for more information. You can also take a look at our event calendar to see if we’re coming to a city near you!

As we continue moving through summer, it’s rodeo and powwow season throughout central South Dakota – fun for all ages! I hope to see you at St. Joseph’s annual powwow on September 13.

Whether you can attend powwow or not, you are always welcome to stop in and visit St. Joseph’s Indian School and see the good you are doing for the Lakota children. Be sure to make time for the Akta Lakota Museum & Cultural Center!

May God continue to keep you in good health. Know we are praying for you in gratitude for your generosity.  Pilamaya thank you!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

St. Joseph’s Facilities Crew is always busy and summer is no exception! Some projects are big and noticeable – like the new playground. Others are smaller and less

The Lakota children are safe and learning lots thanks to your support!

Thanks to you, the Lakota children have a safe place to learn, play and grow!

interesting… but critical to operations and the safety of the Lakota (Sioux) children nonetheless.

  • As our programs grow, so does our need for new staff and, consequently, office space. The crew reconfigured space in the school library and in the Kateri Building for three new offices this summer.
  • The newly installed windows in the Benedictine Building (where boys and girls in grades 1-3 live) are safe and energy efficient – but every one of the 200+ windows needed to be trimmed out. No small task.
  • While most of the students and teachers are away, carpets get a thorough cleaning.
  • Painting is a never-ending process, both inside and out.
  • Many of our brick buildings are decades old, so tuck-pointing is underway to restore the integrity of the brick.

To keep current with government regulations and innovations in the industry, different members of the Facilities Crew take part in training. Recent classes for crew members covered the proper use of respirators, the benefits of a new scrubber in the Rec Center, and features of a computerized preventive maintenance program.

There are multiple other projects underway:

  • Replacing worn-out carpeting
  • Repairing concrete
  • Caulk, caulk, and more caulk!

The repair and upkeep of St. Joseph’s campus is critical in providing our students with a safe, secure environment.

We couldn’t do it without the generous support of our donors – thank you!

St. Joseph’s Facilities Crew is busy with maintenance and repairs before the Lakota children return to school.

Major summer projects are underway and will be completed before the Lakota children return to St. Joseph’s for the new school year.

Good afternoon from deep in the heart of Texas!

With orientation for new staff and all staff just around the corner, I have taken a few days to make a quick visit to my mother in the San Antonio area and enjoy some vacation time.  Seems hard to believe summer is going by so quickly!

Though I am away from campus, I wanted to take a moment to express some pride in the people who are part of St. Joseph’s Team.

Brock, one of St. Joseph’s fifth grade teachers, was honored for his dedication to community baseball.

Brock, one of St. Joseph’s fifth grade teachers, was honored for his dedication to community baseball.

Brock, one of our fifth grade teachers, was honored with the Distinguished Professional Achievement Award for his years of service to the Chamberlain baseball program!

He started as a volunteer in 2001 with the Chamberlain High School baseball program. He stepped down last year after spending the last six seasons as head coach. He also served as head coach of the Chamberlain Legion baseball team from 2002-2013.

In addition to coaching, Brock has been groundskeeper at the field trying to encourage others to enjoy this summer sport.  He still is active in the baseball program in the area by serving on the Chamberlain Baseball Association Board.

We are proud to have Brock as part of our St. Joseph’s Indian School team!

 

Deacon Bud and Frances are active at St. Joseph’s and in the community.

Deacon Bud and Frances have dedicated their lives to serving the Native American people.

Deacon Alfred “Bud” Jetty and his wife, Frances, are also a vital part of St. Joseph’s Indian School, the local community and the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Deacon Bud serves at St. James Catholic Church in Chamberlain and frequently helps with our Sunday liturgy. He is a positive example to the Lakota students and is also on St. Joseph’s Board of Directors.

Bud and Frances were named Native American Liaisons by Bishop Paul Dudley in 1991. Bud and Frances were both featured in the July 2014 issue of The Bishop’s Bulletin.

Deacon Bud was selected to be State Deputy for the Knights of Columbus (KOC) in 1991 and thus far has been the only Native American to hold the top post in the state.  One of his programs was the establishment of a KOC student exchange program giving both Native and other students the chance to experience other worlds.  More than 50 such exchanges took place in the first three years and still continue today.

Bud and Frances both take great pride in the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha – the first Native American Saint. Deacon Bud was a representative of the Diocese of Sioux Falls at her canonization ceremony in Rome.  Frances and Bud are looking forward to attending the annual National Tekakwitha Conference in Fargo, North Dakota in August.

Congratulations to Bud and Frances! We are honored to have their support and involvement with St. Joseph’s Indian School. We pray their ongoing example of service and dedication is a reminder that each of us is gifted in a variety of ways and are indeed all related and called on to be present to one another as we fulfill Jesus’ command, “love one another, as I have loved you.”

I hope everyone continues to have a safe and enjoyable summer! I look forward to getting back to campus and welcoming new staff to St. Joseph’s Team.

Your prayers are appreciated that orientation go smoothly so staff will be ready to welcome the students as they return for the opening of school on August 11, 2014.

Sincerely,

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Hello my name is Julie and I’m the Manager of our Personal Care Center. As a Personal Care Specialist I have the privilege of working with our awesome donors, answering any questions they might have about the school or our Native American students, and also just getting to know them a little more which is the best part!

Julie, Personal Care Center Manager

Julie, Personal Care Center Manager

We currently have six people working at the Personal Care Center and they are the best group of people to work with. I love hearing all the conversations everyone is having over the phone with our donors – you can tell we all love what we do!

We always laugh a little when we get into a “thank you war” – when we thank the donor and then the donor thanks us but then we thank the donor…well you get the point.

I guess you could say both the donor and we here at the Personal Care Center are very grateful for what we are able to do for the Lakota boys and girls!

I am actually pretty new to St. Joseph’s and to the Chamberlain area. I moved to South Dakota with my husband and two daughters in January of this year from San Diego, California and started at St. Joseph’s not long after our move.

My husband grew up in Chamberlain, so I had visited a couple times before we moved. However, I was shocked to see this amazing school in such a small town! Having lived here for 6 months now, I couldn’t imagine a better place for our students to be and receive a great education.

Although working as a Personal Care Specialist keeps me pretty busy, I love being able to participate in activities with our students and learn about Native American culture.

My favorite memories so far would be helping out at the gymnastics performance, attending eighth grade graduation, Senior Prayer service, attending the staff Inipi (a traditional Lakota (Sioux) purification/prayer ceremony), and visiting the seventh grade Native American Studies class.

In addition to her regular job, Julie participates in lots of activities with the Lakota boys and girls.

Julie, formerly a gymnast herself, helped with St. Joseph’s gymnastics camp!

I also had the opportunity to have dinner in one of the homes where the students live during the school year. It was so nice to see how well-mannered and polite they were when I visited with them. We had a nice healthy meal made by one of the houseparents and one of the students gave me a tour of their home. She was really excited to show me her Hello Kitty bedspread and decorations in her room!

Being in the home that night made me think of how important our houseparents are and just how loving they are to the students. A thought came to me later about what a great houseparent my mom would be.

And wouldn’t you know – my mom will be moving from San Diego to be a houseparent starting next month!

It’s funny sometimes how things work out.

I feel blessed to be at St. Joseph’s Indian School doing what I’m doing, surrounded by great people, great kids and all the great work we do here.

 

Thank you for your generosity!

Julie, Personal Care Center Manager

Greetings to you!

Yesterday was the Feast Day of St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lilly of the

Fr. Anthony is St. Joseph’s Chaplain

Fr. Anthony with the Lakota children

Mohawks.  She is the first Native American to be canonized and holds a special place in the heart of the Native American people.  I’ve had the privilege of visiting the village where Kateri grew up in in New York State.

One of the stained glass windows in Our Lady of the Sioux Chapel on St. Joseph’s campus is dedicated to Kateri.  We ask for her intercession that the Great Spirit will give His blessings and strength to all who seek to follow her dedication and commitment to follow Jesus.

On behalf of all the SCJs, I thank you for your prayers for the success of the recent Provincial Chapter held last week in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. I had the chance to join with Fr. Steve Huffstetter, SCJ and 42 other priests and brothers to discuss various issues to help the members of the Province be supportive of one another and renewed in our dedication to serving the people of God as ‘prophets of love and servants of reconciliation.’

Thanks to your prayers, the Spirit helped move the Chapter in a very positive direction.

We also got to do some celebrating.

Fr. Leonard Tadyszak, SCJ, celebrated the 70th anniversary of his vows. Among Father’s various ministries was his time serving in north-central South Dakota on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation.

The next day, we celebrated Br. Clay Diaz, SCJ, and his Final Profession of Vows.  As part of his training, Br. Clay served at St. Joseph’s Indian School.  His next assignment will take him to northern Mississippi.

On a sad note, we received word that Fr. Larry Rucker, SCJ passed away.  Fr. Larry had served in South Dakota and many in this area still remember him. Please keep Fr. Larry in prayer.

As we continue moving through the summer, various rodeos and powwows will take place throughout central South Dakota. The powwows at Lower Brule and Fort Thompson will take place in early August. I hope to see you at St. Joseph’s annual powwow on September 13.

Remember, you are always welcome to stop in and visit St. Joseph’s Indian School and see the good you are doing for the Lakota children!

May God continue to bless you and keep you in good health. Know we are praying for you, in gratitude for your generosity.  Pilamaya thank you!

Fr. Anthony Kluckman, SCJ

Chaplain

Summer greetings from the Human Resources Department at St. Joseph’s Indian School! My name is Allyssa.

Allyssa, Human Resources Associate

Allyssa, Human Resources Associate

It’s hard to believe that summer is half over and soon we will open the doors to our students and staff. Both veteran child care employees and new staff eager to join in our efforts will return at the end of July in preparation to educate the Lakota (Sioux) students for life – mind, body, heart and spirit.

This summer has once again proven to be a busy one in terms of recruitment of houseparents. South Dakota has a low unemployment rate which makes filling positions a challenge. To be strategic about this, we have to go beyond the borders of our state to find caring, qualified applicants.

We’ve had a great deal of success by targeting residents of Michigan. Economic struggles are never a good thing, but issues in Michigan have benefited the students at St. Joseph’s.

Michigan has reduced and cut numerous social programs, leaving too many nurturing individuals without a mission-oriented job. We’re more than happy to hire them to care for our students!

Recruiting employees from such a distance takes greater effort and more financial resources. But thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are able to fill our houseparent vacancies with well qualified, responsible individuals.

Together, we educate the Lakota children for life – mind, body, heart and spirit.

St. Joseph’s seeks out highly qualified individuals to care for the Lakota children from all over the United States.

Learn more about career opportunities at St. Joseph’s!

In addition to recruiting, we continue to focus on employee wellness over the summer. Houseparents and teachers have the summer off for the most part, but there are many other employees who are hard at work all year long!

Our wellness program, Wiconi Waste –literally life good – takes a holistic approach to the topic, rather than simply diet and exercise. We educate staff in six areas of wellness – physical, spiritual, environmental, intellectual, occupational and social.

St. Joseph’s Indian School wishes a “good life” for all our employees, their families, the students and especially for our benefactors.

Thanks for your support!

Allyssa, Human Resources Associate

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