Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal member, Kara Four Bear, has been recognized as one of two educators to receive the inaugural Presidential Cybersecurity Educator Award. Four Bear has served the New Town Public School District as an administrator for five years, with the last three years as the middle school principal. Upon her initial commitment to NTMS, it was identified there was room for growth and an opportunity to make positive change for learners and the school. It was determined early on by the middle school teaching team that learners needed to have educational programming that matched their interests and integrated the computer sciences and technology, which includes Cybersecurity and STEM education.
“This has been such an honor. We are just a small-town school looking to make an impact on children’s lives on a global scale. These past few years we have worked to build our school’s educational programming to be more robust, global, and relevant. All efforts and recognition are a direct reflection of the commitment of our teachers, students, and community. Shared leadership and teamwork allow our school’s team to make positive change for our learners,” said Four Bear.
Four Bear has built relationships with the following organizations and through these partnerships and participations, public advocacy for innovative and equitable educational programming and pathways have developed to benefit learners: ND K20-W Initiative Partners; ND Department of Education; ND United; NICERC – National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center; the Microsoft TEALS Program ND Campus Partners – Technology Education and Literacy in Schools; ND Center for Distance Education; Valley City State University; ND Space Grant Consortium.
Four Bear stated, “School transformations are completely possible for all rural schools within North Dakota and beyond, thanks to partners with purpose in evolving education to include Cybersecurity and the Computer Sciences. Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing professions in the world and we are doing our part to create pipelines of creativity and innovation to inspire youth to consider these career pathways. Cybersecurity and STEM training allow students to learn how their digital actions affect their lives, their futures, and the lives of others. It is important for kids to understand that they have an impact when navigating the digital world. At the end of the day…it is all for our youth and communities”.
Kara Four Bear is a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal member who currently resides in New Town, ND. Her educational pursuits have been largely inspired by her love for education and passion for working with youth. Her uncle, Randolph Runs After, has also serves as her educational role model/super hero. Four Bear is the daughter of Clarence Runs After Jr. (deceased) and Laura Comstock of Pierre, SD.