Meet our 2023 Seniors
My name is Basil. I’ve been a student at St. Joe’s since the first grade. During middle school, I was involved in basketball, cross country and track. I was involved in the Native American Club in high school.
There are many memories throughout the years that I’ve made that I’ll definitely think about in the future. My plans for after high school are to complete the welding diploma program at Southeast Technical College, and then see where life takes me.
I would like to say “thank you” to Leonard and Aleece, Peter and Mary, Laura, Doug, Jan, Tim, Rebecca, Trond and Stephanie, Neil and Kristen (and Finley), Antwan, Stefen, Renee, Mike and April, Norm and Lilli, Kim and Andy, Phil, Lucy, and last, but definitely not the least, Aaron and Melissa. I can’t forget to mention Brian, Mark “Shoney” and Evan at the Rec Center. I’m sending a special thanks to my middle school teachers — you know who you are.
My advice to the younger students — just have fun. I believe you have two lives; your second life starts when you realize you only have one life. Please stay on top of your homework; when you find yourself behind, remember it’s better to get things done than to have all answers correct.
My name is Collin. I’ve been at St. Joe’s since the third grade. The sports I’ve been involved with are basketball, track, football and cross country.
Some of my favorite memories while attending St. Joe’s was the seventh grade cultural trip, home trips, and the senior home trip to Minneapolis. I would like to thank Dave and Jean, Odis, Neil and Kristen, Rob, Evan, and the rest of my houseparents over the years.
My plan for next year is to attend Lake Area Technical College for automotive technology.
My advice to younger students is get out your comfort zone — it’ll help you in the long run.
My name is Josie. I’ve attended St. Joseph's Indian School for five years. During my time at St. Joe’s and Chamberlain High School, I have been a part of volleyball, Native American Club, and HOSA.
I’ve been here long enough to make a lot of memories. There are many memories that come to mind, and if I had to pick a couple, it would be with Bobby and Angie at the Crane home.
I’m sending a huge thank you to Robert for inspiring me in my program choice, Rigo and Julie for being great role models and always being there, Aaron and Melissa, Darcy and Jessica, Douglas, Lucy and Phil, and Amanda.
My plans for next year are to attend the Culinary Academy of South Dakota at Mitchell Technical College.
My advice for younger students is to be involved and take any opportunity that is given to you.
Hello, my name is Larsten. I’ve attended St. Joe’s since eighth grade. I was a part of the Native American Club and was able to sing the Honor Song along with the others who were a part of the club.
Some of my favorite activities I’ve participated in at St. Joe’s were painting, seeing the horses, and going swimming. I have a TON of great memories of St. Joe’s, such as our senior trip to Minnesota! We ate at a Chinese restaurant where they made the food in front of us, stayed at a really big hotel, and visited a native coffee shop that was called “Pow Wow Grounds.” LOL. We also visited the mall — the place was so huge that I got lost so many times. Another one of my favorite memories was living in the Crane home and hanging out with the “OG” girls. Going fishing and the night drives are something I’ll always remember, along with visiting San Diego, CA, for a donor luncheon trip! I feel being a part of St. Joe’s is great. I’ve met and made so many friends, learned so much, and visited places I never thought I would have the opportunity to visit.
I’m sending a big THANK YOU to everyone who I ever interacted with in my life. You’ve all helped me become who I am now, and I’ve learned so much. I want to thank my parents for always pushing me to do my best in anything. They are a huge reason why I'm the strong, independent woman I am today. My parents showed me that I can do anything I put my mind to; they are my biggest supporters, and I appreciate them so much. There are some shout-outs I HAVE to give — the first one goes to Angela and Benny for all the talks (whether they were good or bad) and the advice or just funny stories; they were also my first houseparents at St. Joe’s. I’m sending another shout-out to Angela and Robert — they were truly my second family. I love Angela and Robert and thank them for everything they ever done for me. I’ll forever cherish all the memories. Another shout-out goes to Jessica and Darcy. Living in Crane home with them taught me so much. I want to thank them for always listening to my rants and helping me through whatever I was having trouble with in the moment. I want to thank Aaron and Melissa for helping me prepare for my adult life. I also want to thank Doug, and Dan for helping me pass math; he was a huge part in me graduating. I’m sending a thank you to Krista for all the help with school, driving, jobs, applications — you’re great! Lastly, I want to thank Darcy B. There’s nothing to it, Darcy is heaven sent.
My plan for the fall is to attend Western Iowa Technical Community College in Sioux City to become a veterinarian assistant! My advice to younger students would be to be outgoing, make friends, and join as many things as you can while you’re in school. Also, step outside of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and most importantly, be yourself.
Hi, my name is Taivin, and I’ve been a student at St. Joe’s for eight years. My favorite things to do are play my electric guitar, workout, listen to music, and hang out with my friends.
My favorite memory is when I got bit by a toothless dog after hiking Black Elk Peak. I would like to thank all of my houseparents — especially Norm and Lilli, Kim and Andy, and Glenda and Brian. I would also like to thank the rec center staff — Evan, Mark and Brian. I’m sending another thank you to my St. Joe’s middle school teachers — especially Matt, Joe, and Sarah.
My plan for next year is to attend Lake Area Technical College for building trades technology. My advice for younger students is to put school first; it’ll be worth it.
Hi, I'm Mariah. I’ve been a student at St. Joe’s for 12 years — a “lifer” basically. As for activities throughout high school, I was a member of the Native American Club.
My favorite memories are the out-of-state trips, with the most recent trip being the senior home trip to Minnesota. My favorite part of the trip was visiting Valley Fair and enjoying the crazy rides and good food. I’m a big foodie.
I want to thank all of my family and friends — especially Julie. Julie is my St. Joe’s mom, sticking with me to the end. My plan for next year is to attend Mitchell Technical College in the information systems technology program.
My advice to younger students is to learn to embrace challenges rather than avoid them.
Philámayaye — thank you — for the support and encouragement you so generously share with the Lakota students!
Meet our 2022 Seniors
My name is Andrew, but most people call me Andy. I’ve been at St. Joseph’s since sixth grade.
While I was a student at St. Joe’s, I was involved in football for a year, basketball for a year, softball for seventh and eighth grade, and archery since seventh grade. In high school, I participated in wrestling for one year.
One of my favorite memories is playing hide-and-seek and “Chupacabra” in the Cyr Home.
I want to thank all of my houseparents, counselors and teachers from St. Joe’s to high school.
My plan for next year is continue being a certified nursing assistant. My advice for younger students is the thing everyone says — do your work even if it’s boring, and pay attention because it’s going to be hard to get caught back up.
Hi, my name is ShyAnne. I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School since seventh grade.
During middle school, I participated in volleyball, basketball, softball, and archery. In high school, I participated in volleyball for four years and basketball for two years.
I have a lot of favorite memories with a lot of people, places, and things, but the most important would be placing first in archery at the Dakota Oyate Challenge and taking the Minnesota home trip.
I would like to say thank you to all of the St. Joe’s staff and my houseparents who have helped me with all I have been through. I would also thank my godparents for everything they did for me, and for loving me as their own.
My plan for next year is to continue working as a certified nursing assistant. My advice for younger students is to keep going and don’t give up. You will have obstacles that will be challenging, but don’t ever stop.
My name is Joaquin. I have attended St. Joe’s for about eight years.
While attending St. Joe’s, I played basketball, football, softball, some bowling, and archery.
My favorite memory is when I made associates with my friends at St. Joe’s. I would like to thank my houseparents.
I plan to join the Army National Guard. My advice would have to be: just be yourself, dude. Be your own dude, and don’t fall into bad influence.
Hi, my name is Marques. I have been at St. Joe’s for eight years.
One of my favorite memories has to be when we always played hacky sack with the boys freshman year.
I would like to thank all of my houseparents, counselors and anyone else who pushed me to finish school.
My plans for next year are to do welding at Mitchell Technical College. My advice I would give to younger students would be to be yourself no matter what others think of you. I’m not saying you should be more outgoing and go outside your comfort zone, but just be yourself.
My name is Jeren. I have been at St. Joe’s since first grade, so a whopping 12 years.
I participated in football, basketball, and track in middle school. In high school, I participated in football and basketball.
My favorite memory at St. Joe’s was definitely not cutting my head open on the monkey bars in the second grade — it was actually participating in a donor luncheon in Los Angeles with Tayeden and Colton my freshman year; the trip was such a fun experience. Plus, we went to a Lakers game and they won. I can officially say I was in the same arena as LeBron James.
I would like to thank all of my family, friends, and counselors. I would also like to thank my houseparents throughout the years. I would also like to thank my teachers for helping me actually enjoy school.
My plan next year is to attend Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado for business administration. My advice for younger students is do not be afraid to try new things, and put full effort into the activity you want to do. Enjoy high school to the fullest, trust me.
Hi, my name is Josette. My Lakota name is Waȟčá Číkʼala Wíŋ, which translates to “Little Flower Woman.”
I’ve attended St. Joe’s since the fourth grade. I’ve participated in many activities throughout my years here. I’ve been in clubs such as the Native American Club, Junior Beta Club, and National Honor Society. I’ve also contributed to various sports such as cross country, volleyball, basketball, cheer, and track. I even dance at many powwows and have held many titles as royalty.
It’s hard for me to pick just one favorite memory. I’ve had so much fun and have made so many. Some I remember are my seventh grade cultural trip; it was cool get out of school and learn more about myself as a person, culturally. Also, honorable mention, was the time spent with my eighth grade class — we were so close. Graduation was a highlight that year as well. My time here has been the best and I have met so many close friends I will forever cherish.
I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who has been in my life and contributed to help me become the person I am today. There are a lot of people to thank, and I feel they should know who they are. Also, most importantly, I would like to thank my family – especially my siblings – for pushing me to become a better role model and showing them that they can do anything regardless of what obstacles they may face.
My plans for this fall are to attend the University of South Dakota for engineering, and I also plan on picking up a minor in Native American Studies.
My advice for younger students is DO NOT be scared to talk to anyone! I’ve met so many great people just from simply stepping out of my comfort zone. What comes around goes around, so make the best of your time and stay positive. If you’re still too scared, don’t fake it ‘til you make it; fake it until you become it! Confidence is key.
Philámayaye — thank you — for the support and encouragement you so generously share with the Lakota students!
Meet our 2021 Seniors
My name is Jacie. I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School for four years. Over the years, I have been involved in the Chamberlain High School (CHS) Native American Club, the CHS Fall Play and was a CHS boys’ basketball manager.
My favorite memories during my time at St. Joseph’s have to be relaxing on a hammock and for cruises in the evenings.
I’d like to thank the following people for their support throughout the years: my mother, sisters, and other family members involved in my life, as well as all of the staff who worked with me and watched me grow into the person I wanted and needed to be.
I plan to attend college and work toward the career I want following graduation.
Hi, my name is Carolina. I have attended St Joseph’s Indian School since the eighth grade, or for five years. I’ve been involved in the Chamberlain High School fall play, I managed the CHS boys’ basketball team, and I’m currently the president of the CHS Native American Club.
My favorite memory at St. Joseph’s was traveling to Germany with my friends — it was a 100 out of 10 experience. There are a handful of people I would like to say thank you to, but I do not want to miss anyone. So, if you have ever helped me in any way while I’ve been here at St. Joseph’s, you know who you are.
I will be attending college in the fall.
Hi, my name is Lillian. I’ve attended St. Joseph’s Indian School since the sixth grade. I have been involved in volleyball for three years, the CHS Native American Club for three years and the fall play for two years.
My favorite memories are traveling to Boston for a donor luncheon, traveling to Germany for the exchange program and meeting new people throughout the process.
I would like to thank all of my houseparents and everyone else who helped me along my journey.
I plan to attend college in the fall and major in Photography.
Hi, my name is Trinity, and I have attended St. Joseph’s since the first grade; some would call it being a “lifer.” I was involved in many activities while living here, including basketball, football, cross country, track, golf and softball. I danced at the St. Joseph’s powwow for eight years. I love to draw, play video games, and just sit inside and chill.
When you have been a part of St. Joseph’s for 12 years, it’s hard to find just one favorite memory. I can easily say my days in the Cyr Home with my houseparents are at the top. I cannot forget every home trip I have been on with each home I’ve lived in — any time I was with the boys we just had a good time. One memory that really sticks out is when I went to Terry Peak. While I was snowboarding down the slopes, I thought I was going to hit a ramp, but my board got stuck underneath the snow in the front of it. I did a full front flip and somehow landed it. There were people on the ski lift who watched it and cheered for me afterward, which felt cool.
I would like to thank every houseparent and teacher who had to put up with me every day. Every single one of those people taught me something new almost every day. Those people should know who they are — there are too many people to list. Let’s not forget about my blood family, friends, and other St. Joseph’s staff members. I wouldn’t have made it this far without those people entering my life. Everyone has had an impact on me and made me who I am today.
The people of St. Joseph’s are my family. St. Joseph’s is my home. Gotta’ love St. Joe’s!
My plan is to attend technical school for the Building Trades Technology program in the fall.
Hi, my name is Tayeden. I have been living at St. Joseph’s for eight years, or since the fourth grade. Throughout my time here, I’ve been involved in basketball, football, softball, track and CHS National Honor Society.
My favorite memories throughout my whole time here would be during my sophomore year of high school; it was one of the craziest and most adventurous years yet. I went to Los Angeles for a donor luncheon and had a blast. The biggest memory would be going snowboarding with my home and chilling out in the lodge.
There are so many people I could thank for my journey here, especially my houseparents. I am thankful for all of you and the times we spent together. I’m sending a huge thanks to my houseparents and counselor for helping me through my developmental years — whether that be through the good or hard times. Thanks to the Rec Center staff for also dealing with me these last couples of years with me being in the gym 24/7. Lastly, I would like to give a huge shout-out and special thanks to my uŋčí or grandma. Without my grandma, I don’t know where I’d be in life and I wouldn’t be the same person I am today without her. She has a special place in my life and heart forever.
As for my plans, the biggest path I’m exploring is going to a technical school. My final decision will depend on where my mind wants me to go and what scholarships are available.
Philámayaye — thank you — for the support and encouragement you so generously share with the Lakota students!
Meet our 2020 Seniors
Diana is a member of the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe. She has attended St. Joes for 4 years. She has participated in Paws Transportation, help employment, attended donor luncheons, and travelled as far as Germany. Her favorite class is math. Diana hobby in her spare time involves art. Her favorite memory was when there was a snake in the ceiling and her houseparent got scared and left. Her favorite thing about St. Joes is the people you meet and she is grateful to have her own space in her St. Joes home. Diana’s future plans after graduating high school is to attend South Dakota State University to become a NICU nurse.
Nicholas is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. He has attended St. Joes for 10 years. He participated in basketball and football. His favorite classes are Government, math and literature. Nicholas’s hobbies include working, exercising and running. He couldn’t choose a favorite memory because he has too many to count after attending St. Joes for 10 years. Nicholas says the best thing about the home life at St Joes is how nice the homes are. He is grateful for everything that St. Joes has done for him. His future plans are enlisting in the military and enrolling in a Tech School.
Meet our 2019 Seniors
My name is Camron, and I have attended St. Joseph’s since the second grade. I wasn’t one to be in activities much (because I really like my free time), but I was involved in the Explorer’s Club during middle school, and archery for a short time, as well. As a minor brag, I took first place at both the Lakota Nation Invitational and the Dakota Oyate Challenge Archery Tournaments in ninth grade. Other than that, I enjoy playing a lot of video games, drawing, occasionally writing, and reading.
When you’ve been at St. Joseph’s for over 10 years, it’s rather difficult to pick one favorite memory. Although, I can safely say any of the game nights with the Perky Home are easily at the top. There’s also every single home trip, and any time I’ve just had a really good laugh with the boys.
I would like to thank every houseparent I’ve ever had. Every houseparent taught me something during my time at St. Joseph’s — whether it was directly said or through my quiet, ninja-like observation.
Let’s not forget my teachers, as they have literally taught me something new almost every day. They would be Stacy, Heather, Peggy Thomas, Steve Conway, Ron Byers, Brock Sundall, Craig Barcal, Linea Schoenhard, LaRayne Woster, Mr. M, Pam Shroyer, Sarah Moran, Dave Baldwin, Matt, Mrs. Donovan, Mr. Rademacher, Mrs. Waterbury, and Mr. Toering (there’s probably other people I missed here, too).
Lastly, I would like to thank my family, friends, Krista … and the man, the myth, the absolute legend: my counselor, Scott. I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have without everybody.
Currently, my plans for next year are to attend Dakota State University and major in Computer Game Design. It certainly doesn’t seem like a very easy thing to do, but I’m hoping it’ll be a fun challenge.
I have a load of advice I’d like to give to younger students, but I’ll try to keep it short. Do your homework. I know everybody says this one, but it can’t be stressed enough. Doesn’t matter how smart you are, either. It’s easy to lose motivation and let the assignments pile up. In the words of Shia LaBeouf, “just do it.” Next, don’t be afraid to try new things. Whether it’s a club, extracurriculars, getting a job or making new friends. I was the guy who very rarely did any of that, and I probably would’ve had a better high school experience if I put myself out there a little more. Also, keep your priorities in check. Whatever is necessary to achieve your goals should be at the top of your list. The staff and teachers are there to help you. Lastly, survive. It’s a dangerous world in high school. Especially if you don’t have ninja skills like me.
My name is Jered. I’ve been attending St. Joseph’s for eight years. In high school, I got a job and started working to earn money to help pay for things that’ll benefit me in the future.
My favorite high school memory is a hard one to pick because there were so many good memories at St. Joseph’s. One of my absolute favorite memories is the Seventh Grade Cultural Trip. It was fun hanging out with friends and also visiting new areas that I hadn’t been before.
At the moment, there’s a lot of people to thank, including my houseparents over the years. I would like to thank Luke and Wendy for making my childhood fun. I would also like to thank Tim and Jess, also Rich and Tara for just being fun in general. Also, Aaron and Melissa for dealing with me too.
My plan for next year is to move to Colorado for college for about a year. My older brother and I are renting an apartment so I’ll try out college there for a year to see if I like it.
My advice for younger students is to do what you want to in high school and don’t be scared to make friends. Life is short. You’re here for a good time, not a long time. Also, don’t fall behind on schoolwork and pay attention in class — it’ll help you a lot in the future, trust me.
My name is Listella. I have attended St. Joseph’s non-consecutively since the fifth grade. I left my junior year, but came back for my senior year and it was by far, the best decision I ever made.
In middle school I played basketball, volleyball, track, and softball while doing cheerleading. My freshman year, I was brought into the world of theatre. I was too shy to go up on stage and act, so I did stuff behind the scenes, such as creating props and moving stuff across the stage in between scenes. The plays I had participated in were: “the Wizard of Oz”, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Peter and the Starcatcher”. My sophomore year, I decided to get out of my shell and become a girls basketball cheerleader, while also being the mascot. I joined the Lakota Nation Invitational knowledge bowl team, and that was quite the experience. I was part of the Native American Club all throughout high school, with the honor of becoming president my senior year. My senior year, I participated in girls’ basketball as a manager.
My favorite/embarrassing memory would have to be in sixth grade. That time of my middle school years has probably been the most embarrassing. I decided to play some football with my friends. I didn’t think it would be extreme because we weren’t wearing any pads. It was Joe’s (Religion teacher) first year. He joined in the game and Daryl had just showed us a play to run. I didn’t follow, but I still tried to run it, and Joe actually tackled me. I brought this up recently and he has no recollection of the incident.
I would like to thank Bob and Angie. They made my experience at St. Joseph’s awesome. Thank you to Rachel and Chuck because you taught me that I can’t always get what I want (LOL). Thanks to Aaron and Melissa, you guys have done so much for me by teaching me things that I know will be valuable. I can’t thank you enough. I am thankful for Dee Awna because she was the new sheriff in town and knew how to put me in my place … not that there were many times she had to do it.
You can have a plan, but it may not always go accordingly. I wanted to go to Mitchell Tech and become a Radiology Technician but because of my procrastination, I will be attending the following year. The goals I have set for myself are still in reach, and because of that mindset, I believe I can achieve anything. I believe everyone can if they work hard enough.
The most given advice is to keep up on your school work, and it’s true. Stay on top of your homework, take the opportunities offered and stay out of drama.
My name is Louie. I’ve been attending St. Joseph’s Indian School since the fifth grade.
While in middle school, I was involved in everything except cross country. I was involved in basketball in high school.
Every day at St. Joe’s was a blessing, so every day I had a good memory — there’s too many to name.
I would like to thank every person who knows me or has helped me in some way. I am grateful for all of you! I would like to thank my houseparents, Sue, Scott and Krista.
My advice to younger students is don’t do drugs and stay in school. Work hard in everything you do. Don’t care what other people think — do what you feel is best for you.
My name is Sarah and I have attended St. Joseph’s Indian School for five years.
During my time at St. Joseph’s and Chamberlain High School, I have been involved in volleyball, Native American Club, HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) and cheerleading.
I’ve been here long enough to make a lot of memories — there are many that come to mind! Although, the best is yet to come when I graduate.
I’d like to thank the houseparents and staff who have supported me throughout the years, the teachers and staff at Chamberlain High School for the encouragement, and my family for always helping me see the positives in life.
After I graduate, I plan on furthering my education. I have several plans in mind and I’m still unsure on which I want to pursue. I don’t know where I’m going, but I know it won’t be boring.
My advice to younger students: try your best in your academics. High school isn’t always great, but there is no limit to what you can accomplish. Never let anyone’s negativity discourage you. Honestly, you’re living for yourself, so as long as you’re happy, your own opinion matters most.
My name is Treyah. I have been attending St. Joes for six years. I’ve participated in basketball since middle school, dancing, cheerleading, softball, and also have been in the Native American Club.
My favorite memory would have to be my sophomore year when a couple girls and I wanted to go to the playground in the evening. We asked our houseparent, Angie, if we could go, but she was unsure about it. She said what if someone were to kidnap us or something. She eventually let us go. Long story short, she scared the heck out of us that night and disguising herself. It’s funny to think about now, but at the time we were mad about it.
I would like to thank ALL THE STAFF that helped me throughout my years. A HUGE thanks to Kathrine and Fred, Angela and Bob, Norm and Lilli for putting up with me the longest, and also Aaron and Melissa for helping me out a lot this year. Oh yeah and Mrs. Vanderley: thanks for probably being the best teacher. I cannot forget my parents who are my biggest supporters out there. I love you guys. Also, my counselor, Amanda: thank you for being there all the time. Although sometimes we don’t always agree, I appreciate your help the most! I guess a big thank you to Joe for being the best cousin, and Krista!!
My plans for next year is to attend the University of South Dakota. I’m undecided on what to do yet. My advice for younger students (and I know you hear this a lot but trust me, you need to do it) is do your work. Get it done! Do not fall behind in school. If you plan on doing sports, please take that advice. Don’t forget to have fun, though. Before you know it, you’ll be a senior and wonder why the years went so fast. It does go by fast, so be involved in things, have fun, and take advantage of opportunities.
My name is Wankiya and I have attended St. Joseph’s for six years. I was involved in basketball, football, softball and archery in middle school. During high school, I participated in basketball and football.
A few favorite memories are the home trips, Seventh Grade Cultural Trip, riding bikes in the rain, playing hide-and-seek and ball tag.
Thank you to the houseparents — a couple of the houseparents are Dick and Carol, Paula, Joseph— and my family and friends.
My plans for next year are to attend Mitchell Technical Institute to earn a degree in welding.
My advice for the younger kids is to do your homework on time. I know it sounds I’m barking up the same tree, but it’s true. Don’t be like me and wait until the very, very last minute to do your work.