Hello everyone! Welcome back to the 2019-2020 school year! A short introduction about me: My parents are Tiger (Roy) Veit and D’ann Knight Traversie, and I grew up by Thunder Butte on my paternal grandparent’s ranch and south of Cherry Creek on my Aunt Patti Knight’s ranch. I attended Dupree School and graduated in 1995. I was a classroom teacher at Takini School from 2002 to 2006. From 2006 to 2016, I was the 8th Grade English Teacher at C-EB Junior High School. I was the Acting 95-561 Superintendent from 2016 to 2017 for Cheyenne-Eagle Butte Schools. I am the Superintendent at Takini School for school year 2018-2019.
What would students be surprised to find out about you?
Students would be surprised that I am a non-traditional student. I graduated in 1995, started a family, and entered the workforce. During that time, I received an Associate Degree in Social Work from the community college in Eagle Butte. I then received a Bachelor in Elementary Education from the Si Tanka/Huron Community College, all while working two full-time jobs and raising my children. I received a Master of Administration Supervision while taking online courses from University of Phoenix.
What makes a “good day” at school?
Every day is good day at Takini School. It is memorable to see the connections between students and staff, to see the “aha!” moments in student learning, to witness students excited to come to school, to have parents/guardians in support of the vision of the school, to observe students and staff meeting goals that they have set, and to have staff and school board members be 100% student-orientated.
So many students and community admire you and the job you’ve done. How do you make those connections?
Connections are established through compassion, trust, honesty, and partnership. I am transparent and committed. Connections are made when stakeholders are involved and there is an open line of communication. This past year’s success is directly correlated to the teamwork of all staff members meeting the needs of the whole child.
What is the #1 new or ongoing initiative that your school will be focused on this school year?
For the 2019-2020 school year, our theme is Thiwahe (family). This year is the 30th Anniversary of Takini School and we have numerous events and activities planned to foster and support Thiwahe, as Takini School is the second home of the students.
Have you noticed a correlation between parent engagement and student outcomes in your school? If so, what are they?
This past school year, our focus was being student-orientated, meeting and addressing the needs of the whole child. Every parent/guardian event was established to meet student needs, which increased parent/guardian involvement, and resulted in significant students’ academic growth on assessments and increased daily attendance.
Is there one particular innovation/achievement that you are especially proud of in your time with Takini?
There are numerous innovations/achievements that I am proud of at Takini School, such as increased parent/guardian involvement, student academic growth, and student attendance. Two highlights I will always remember are the staff involvement for our high school prom. Staff members partnered with community members and organized a prom dress and suit drive. They also spent the day doing a “prom glam day” assisting students and helping them get ready for their big night. Staff members go above and beyond outside of the classroom time to assist with activities that students have planned, such as our prom.
How important is it to you to develop leadership?
Leadership is very important to the success of any organization. Leadership must be a shared effort to instill ownership of stakeholders. With increased ownership, stakeholders know that their voice and concerns are heard. I like to foster partnership and teamwork. Partnership and teamwork are the success of Takini School, as every stakeholder has the same goal…the success of students.