By Kevin Thranow
The Rosebud Sioux Tribe Education Committee and 4Rosebud sponsored a public forum for Todd County School District school board candidates last week at RST council chambers in Rosebud.
Six candidates, including Timothy Cournoyer, Sr., Alex Frederick, Monica Rahn, Melissa Whipple, Sandra Wright, and incumbent Debra Boyd were on hand to answer questions prepared by the forum sponsors as well as questions submitted by the audience in attendance. Candidate Calvin Jones was unable to attend. The event was streamed live on the RST YouTube channel, and can be viewed in its entirety on the Rosebud Media Network, accessible at www.rosebudsiouxtribe-nsn.gov.
The prepared questions were divided into three categories: General Platform, for which candidates were asked why they were running and what their ideal school district would look like; Lakota Language and Culture, including plans to ensure robust Lakota language instruction, changes in how Lakota culture is taught, and research that students learn better when they feel represented in the curriculum; and Family and Community Engagement, covering the topics of promoting family engagement in the education process and how the school board can work with RST Education for the benefit of students and families.
Each candidate was allowed brief opening and closing statements. In their introductions, the candidates outlined their qualifications and made a case for their candidacy and platform. Closing remarks reflected back on the ideas and solutions proposed during the forum’s question and answer period.
Rosebud Sioux Tribe Council Representative and Education Committee Director Rita Means welcomed the participants and attendees. Abby Menter and Sage Fast Dog of local education organizing coalition and forum co-sponsor 4Rosebud moderated the forum.