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Phillip Valandra

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Bio

I'm Native American, and I live on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. I am happily married. I have 6 children ranging in age from 3-21. My wife works for our tribe as 1 of 20 Council Representatives. I stay home with our 3-year-old and 6-year-old and homeschool them while I go to school full-time. I enjoy being with children and watching them grow. I have been in the educational system here on our reservation for 15 years. This summer I will graduate with my AA in Elementary Education. This degree if only just an AA is something that I am very proud of. I am currently pursuing my BA in Elementary Education at the local university. I have dreams and aspirations to become a principal or vice principal at one of our local schools here on the reservation. Where we live impacts how our children learn and grow within our educational systems. I have been a part of public, private, and federally-run schools. I have seen the policies for each place and how they differ from each other. I believe that is as mentors, teachers, and policymakers should have the cichlid's best interests in mind when making hard decisions. I love being in the classroom and love making an impact on the next generations. We have a powerful saying “Leave this place better than you found it, make it better for the next 7 generations” which means our thoughts and actions today will have an everlasting impact. So even though we teach in the moment, if you are looking forward to the next 7 generations your teaching will have that much more meaning.

Education

Sinte Gleska University

Bachelor's degree program
2013 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Education, General
  • Minors:
    • Education, Other

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Education

    • Dream career goals:

    • Para professional

      St Francis Indian School
      2021 – 20232 years
    • Para professional,

      Sapa Un Catholic Academy
      2014 – 20206 years
    • Para professional

      Todd County school district
      2004 – 20117 years

    Sports

    Basketball

    Varsity
    1997 – Present27 years

    Awards

    • lettered varsity

    Research

    • Education, General

      Sapa Un Catholic Academy — Para professional
      2014 – 2020

    Arts

    • Sapa Un Catholic Academy

      Music
      winter and spring concerts
      2014 – 2020

    Public services

    • Volunteering

      Sapa Un Catholic Academy — Coordinator
      2014 – 2020

    Future Interests

    Advocacy

    Politics

    Volunteering

    Tracey Johnson-Webb Adult Learners Scholarship
    Little Miami Brewing Native American Scholarship Award
    My name is Phillip Valandra and I am a lifelong resident of the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and my primary goal is to teach in our homelands. With over 15 years of experience in the field of education, I have held various positions in educational facilities, ranging from being a paraprofessional to a being teacher in a classroom, and even a homeschool coordinator at BIE school in Saint Francis South Dakota. I have always been passionate about teaching and I believe that the need for teachers who can connect with their communities and students is more important than ever before. I have been taking classes at Sinte Gleska University for the past 10 years and have received wonderful support from my family and community to achieve my goal of becoming an elementary education teacher. I take pride in building bridges between teachers and parents, as well as establishing a strong connection with my students. It is a great feeling to see kids that I have taught or helped and now be teaching their kids, which is a testament to my teaching skills and my values. I am confident in my abilities as a teacher and I believe that gaining respect within the community plays a big part in helping one become a better teacher for their students and administration. I plan on pursuing my Master's in Elementary Education to further enhance my skills and hopefully become a principal or vice principal someday. With the person I am and the values that I hold close to my heart, I am confident that I would be a good candidate for a position of that caliber. Where we live impacts the education that we are teaching our children. we come from a social economic satus that falls below the poverty guidelines of the government. We have an 88% unemployment rate within our reservation. We are the third poorest county in the United States. So anything I can do as in teacher a friend and a mentor to help students have success in their educational journeys, I am willing to do. Some of the disadvantages students have here on the reservation are primarily because they’re native American and they get looked at as someone different or something different. So therefore the teachers that are hired that aren’t from here have that same outlook on our students. So I believe in having homegrown teachers. Having teachers who have lived on the reservation or lived that life of growing up here on the reservation is an advantage for that teacher. I want to change some of the ways that our students are looked at, and some of the ways that our students are taught. Having our culture and our way of life intertwined with the teachings of the Western philosophy of education is a balance that I am learning to deal with. If I am selected for the scholarship, it would help my family my students, and my community by molding me into a great teacher for my people.
    Sandy Jenkins Excellence in Early Childhood Education Scholarship
    My name is Phillip Valandra and I am a lifelong resident of the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and my primary goal is to teach in our homelands. With over 15 years of experience in the field of education, I have held various positions in educational facilities, ranging from being a paraprofessional to a being teacher in a classroom, and even a homeschool coordinator at BIE school in Saint Francis South Dakota. I have always been passionate about teaching and I believe that the need for teachers who can connect with their communities and students is more important than ever before. I have been taking classes at Sinte Gleska University for the past 10 years and have received wonderful support from my family and community to achieve my goal of becoming an elementary education teacher. I take pride in building bridges between teachers and parents, as well as establishing a strong connection with my students. It is a great feeling to see kids that I have taught or helped and now be teaching their kids, which is a testament to my teaching skills and my values. I am confident in my abilities as a teacher and I believe that gaining respect within the community plays a big part in helping one become a better teacher for their students and administration. I plan on pursuing my Master's in Elementary Education to further enhance my skills and hopefully become a principal or vice principal someday. With the person I am and the values that I hold close to my heart, I am confident that I would be a good candidate for a position of that caliber. Where we live impacts the education that we are teaching our children. we come from a social economic satus that falls below the poverty guidelines of the government. We have an 88% unemployment rate within our reservation. We are the third poorest county in the United States. So anything I can do as in teacher a friend and a mentor to help students have success in their educational journeys, I am willing to do. Some of the disadvantages students have here on the reservation are primarily because they’re native American and they get looked at as someone different or something different. So therefore the teachers that are hired that aren’t from here have that same outlook on our students. So I believe in having homegrown teachers. Having teachers who have lived on the reservation or lived that life of growing up here on the reservation is an advantage for that teacher. I want to change some of the ways that our students are looked at, and some of the ways that our students are taught. Having our culture and our way of life intertwined with the teachings of the Western philosophy of education is a balance that I am learning to deal with. If I am selected for the scholarship, it would help my family my students, and my community by molding me into a great teacher for my people.
    Dr. Connie M. Reece Future Teacher Scholarship
    My name is Phillip Valandra and I am a lifelong resident of the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and my primary goal is to teach in our homelands. With over 15 years of experience in the field of education, I have held various positions in educational facilities, ranging from being a paraprofessional to a being teacher in a classroom, and even a homeschool coordinator at BIE school in Saint Francis South Dakota. I have always been passionate about teaching and I believe that the need for teachers who can connect with their communities and students is more important than ever before. I have been taking classes at Sinte Gleska University for the past 10 years and have received wonderful support from my family and community to achieve my goal of becoming an elementary education teacher. I take pride in building bridges between teachers and parents, as well as establishing a strong connection with my students. It is a great feeling to see kids that I have taught or helped and now be teaching their kids, which is a testament to my teaching skills and my values. I am confident in my abilities as a teacher and I believe that gaining respect within the community plays a big part in helping one become a better teacher for their students and administration. I plan on pursuing my Master's in Elementary Education to further enhance my skills and hopefully become a principal or vice principal someday. With the person I am and the values that I hold close to my heart, I am confident that I would be a good candidate for a position of that caliber. Where we live impacts the education that we are teaching our children. we come from a social economic satus that falls below the poverty guidelines of the government. We have an 88% unemployment rate within our reservation. We are the third poorest county in the United States. So anything I can do as in teacher a friend and a mentor to help students have success in their educational journeys, I am willing to do. Some of the disadvantages students have here on the reservation are primarily because they’re native American and they get looked at as someone different or something different. So therefore the teachers that are hired that aren’t from here have that same outlook on our students. So I believe in having homegrown teachers. Having teachers who have lived on the reservation or lived that life of growing up here on the reservation is an advantage for that teacher. I want to change some of the ways that our students are looked at, and some of the ways that our students are taught. Having our culture and our way of life intertwined with the teachings of the Western philosophy of education is a balance that I am learning to deal with. If I am selected for the scholarship, it would help my family my students, and my community by molding me into a great teacher for my people.
    Schmid Memorial Scholarship
    I am writing to express my interest in applying for the Schmid Memorial Scholarship to support my educational journey and contribute to my family’s well-being. My name is Phillip Valandra, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. Currently, I am pursuing an AA degree in Elementary Education and anticipate completing my BA in Elementary Education by August 2025. My ultimate goal is to further my studies with a Master’s in Elementary Administration. Over the past 15 years, I have navigated the challenges of balancing family responsibilities, full-time work, and higher education. As a dedicated parent homeschooling my two younger children, I have experienced firsthand the complexities of providing quality education while addressing the unique needs of our community. My wife’s role as one of 20 council representatives adds to our deep commitment to community involvement and service. My teaching experience spans various educational institutions, including public schools, BIE schools, and a private Catholic school. Through these experiences, I have observed the diverse curriculum and standards aimed at supporting Lakota children. However, I recognize the inherent challenges in integrating traditional values with Western education systems. My passion lies in bridging this gap by incorporating Lakota philosophy and values into modern education, empowering our children to navigate both the Lakota way and the Western way effectively. Living in the third poorest county in the United States presents significant economic challenges, with high unemployment rates, widespread substance abuse issues, and limited access to essential resources like food. This scholarship would alleviate financial burdens, allowing me to focus more on my studies and contribute meaningfully to my family’s stability. It would provide much-needed relief from concerns about daily necessities like meals and transportation costs, especially in the face of rising living expenses. I am committed to making a positive impact on our community through education and leadership. Your support through this scholarship would not only benefit me personally but also contribute to the broader goal of empowering indigenous communities and fostering educational excellence. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to further discuss how I can contribute to the mission and vision of Schmid Memorial Scholarship . Sincerely, Phillip Valandra
    TEAM ROX Scholarship
    Hello, My name is Phillip Valandra. I am currently enrolled at Sinte Gleska University located in Mission South Dakota. I am a lifelong resident of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. I live in a community called Parmelee. I have a lovely wife named Emily and we have a beautiful blended family. We have 6 wonderful children. We have twins that are 20 yrs old. One works full time as a police officer and the other is a full time student at the University of Southern California. We also have a 19yr that goes to college full time. Then we have our 16yr old that is a sophomore in high school and is very active in extracurricular activities. Next we have our 6 yr old and he is very skilled and does homeschool with me being his teacher. Last we have our baby she is 3 yrs old and loves to sing and dance. She has been had a very tough little life so far suffering from 2 seizures and being labeled with epilepsy. Me and my wife are fortunate that one of get to be with her full time. I have been on this educational journey for 14yrs and have seen many triumphs and witnessed many failures along the way. Our education system is set up in away that is foreign to the minds and bodies to whom they are teaching. I am a proud member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe and I firmly believe that they way we are taught is a very unique and maybe very easy way of learning. Our culture and teachings where very hands on and very focused on what you can do to help our people. I am current on track to graduate with my AA in Elementary Education in August of 2024. I am also working on my BA in Elementary Education and on track to graduate in August of 2025. I am already thinking of taking my education further and perusing a Masters Degree in Elementary Administration. My goal is to become and principal or vice principal in one of the various schools that are located on our reservation. Making a difference on our homelands is something that both me and my wife take very personally. My wife was recently elected to represent our community on the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council. She is very involved in our tribal government and wants to see our people succeed. We are very invested in our community and do a lot of volunteer work to help our people.
    Tim Gjoraas Science and Education Scholarship
    Hello, My name is Phillip Valandra. I am currently enrolled at Sinte Gleska University located in Mission South Dakota. I am a lifelong resident of the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. I live in a community called Parmelee. I have a lovely wife named Emily and we have a beautiful blended family. We have 6 wonderful children. We have twins that are 20 yrs old. One works full time as a police officer and the other is a full time student at the University of Southern California. We also have a 19yr that goes to college full time. Then we have our 16yr old that is a sophomore in high school and is very active in extracurricular activities. Next we have our 6 yr old and he is very skilled and does homeschool with me being his teacher. Last we have our baby she is 3 yrs old and loves to sing and dance. She has been had a very tough little life so far suffering from 2 seizures and being labeled with epilepsy. Me and my wife are fortunate that one of get to be with her full time. I have been on this educational journey for 14yrs and have seen many triumphs and witnessed many failures along the way. Our education system is set up in away that is foreign to the minds and bodies to whom they are teaching. I am a proud member of the Rosebud Sioux tribe and I firmly believe that they way we are taught is a very unique and maybe very easy way of learning. Our culture and teachings where very hands on and very focused on what you can do to help our people. I am current on track to graduate with my AA in Elementary Education in August of 2024. I am also working on my BA in Elementary Education and on track to graduate in August of 2025. I am already thinking of taking my education further and perusing a Masters Degree in Elementary Administration. My goal is to become and principal or vice principal in one of the various schools that are located on our reservation. Making a difference on our homelands is something that both me and my wife take very personally. My wife was recently elected to represent our community on the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council. She is very involved in our tribal government and wants to see our people succeed. We are very invested in our community and do a lot of volunteer work to help our people.
    Cheryl Twilley Outreach Memorial Scholarship
    My name is Phillip Valandra. I am currently a student at Sinte Gleska University located on the Rosebud Reservation in Antelope South Dakota. I am currently on track to graduate with my A.A in Elementary Education in August of 2024 and my Bachelor's degree in August of 2025 in Elementary Education. My experience has been a 14-year-long journey in Education. Always working towards my Bachelors in Elementary Education. I live in Parmelee South Dakota which is located within the boundaries of the Rosebud Reservation. I have grown up on the Rosebud Reservation my whole life. I went through all the school systems that our area has to offer. I have also worked in various schools throughout my career. I have a loving wife of 11 years and have 6 amazing children. I have 3 (20yrs old twins, 19 yr old) that are currently in college, a Sophomore (16) two toddlers (5,3). The babies stay home with me. I am currently enrolled as a full-time student. My wife was elected to the position of Roaebud Sioux Tribe Council Representative for our community of Parmelee. We are very involved with our community and our people. While seeking my degree I am also homeschooling our 5 yr old. So learning to teach and being able to transition that to teaching my own child is such a valuable experience. I will be honest it is very hard to teach to one child but some of the methods that I have learned are helping me here at home. So I want to lead by example and show my kids that no matter how old or how long it takes, it’s very important to finish school. My plans are to become a certified teacher within a school district on our reservation. My dream is to get my masters and help on the administration side. I have had some valuable mentors that have guided me in my educational journey and am looking forward to becoming a highly skilled teacher or administrator. Looking at the disconnect between the school systems and our indigenous teachings is something that I would love to learn to bridge the gap and make it meaningful for our students to not only know their language but practice their own culture. In closing I would like to say Thank you for taking the time to to read my essay. This is an amazing opportunity for anyone that receives this scholarship Sincerely Phillip Valandra
    Debra S. Jackson New Horizons Scholarship
    My name is Phillip Valandra and I am a lifelong resident of the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. I am an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and my primary goal is to teach in our homelands. With over 15 years of experience in the field of education, I have held various positions in educational facilities, ranging from being a paraprofessional to a being teacher in a classroom, and even a homeschool coordinator at BIE school in Saint Francis South Dakota. I have always been passionate about teaching and I believe that the need for teachers who can connect with their communities and students is more important than ever before. I have been taking classes at Sinte Gleska University for the past 10 years and have received wonderful support from my family and community to achieve my goal of becoming an elementary education teacher. I take pride in building bridges between teachers and parents, as well as establishing a strong connection with my students. It is a great feeling to see kids that I have taught or helped and now be teaching their kids, which is a testament to my teaching skills and my values. I am confident in my abilities as a teacher and I believe that gaining respect within the community plays a big part in helping one become a better teacher for their students and administration. I plan on pursuing my Master's in Elementary Education to further enhance my skills and hopefully become a principal or vice principal someday. With the person I am and the values that I hold close to my heart, I am confident that I would be a good candidate for a position of that caliber. Where we live impacts the education that we are teaching our children. we come from a social economic satus that falls below the poverty guidelines of the government. We have an 88% unemployment rate within our reservation. We are the third poorest county in the United States. So anything I can do as in teacher a friend and a mentor to help students have success in their educational journeys, I am willing to do. Some of the disadvantages students have here on the reservation are primarily because they’re native American and they get looked at as someone different or something different. So therefore the teachers that are hired that aren’t from here have that same outlook on our students. So I believe in having homegrown teachers. Having teachers who have lived on the reservation or lived that life of growing up here on the reservation is an advantage for that teacher. I want to change some of the ways that our students are looked at, and some of the ways that our students are taught. Having our culture and our way of life intertwined with the teachings of the Western philosophy of education is a balance that I am learning to deal with. If I am selected for the scholarship, it would help my family my students, and my community by molding me into a great teacher for my people.
    Sacha Curry Warrior Scholarship
    Teaching is more than just a career; it’s a lifelong journey that I’m eager to embark upon. My deep interest in pursuing a career in teaching is rooted in a genuine passion for education, a desire to make a positive impact, and the belief that teaching is a vocation that fosters personal growth and continuous learning. One of the most fulfilling aspects of teaching is the opportunity to nurture a love for learning. I envision creating engaging and dynamic learning environments that ignite a passion for knowledge. Beyond the classroom, I want to encourage students to become lifelong learners who seek answers, explore new horizons, and continue their educational journey long after they leave my class. This enduring curiosity is a gift that keeps on giving, and I want to be the one to kindle that flame. Teaching isn’t just about imparting knowledge; it’s about building strong, meaningful relationships with students. The bond between a teacher and their students goes beyond the boundaries of the classroom. It involves being there for students, listening to their concerns, providing guidance, and being a source of support and encouragement. These relationships contribute to students’ overall growth as individuals, and the idea of playing a role in their personal development is truly inspiring. The field of education is constantly evolving, and this presents a welcome challenge for any aspiring teacher. The need to adapt to changing teaching methods, technologies, and diverse student needs keeps the profession exciting and relevant. This adaptability allows educators to continually refine their skills and stay engaged in their work. The field of education is dynamic and ever-evolving. This dynamism is one of the aspects that excites me the most about teaching. Teachers need to adapt to changing teaching methods, technologies, and diverse student needs. This adaptability keeps the profession exciting and relevant, ensuring that educators continually refine their skills and stay engaged in their work. my interest in pursuing a career in teaching is driven by my genuine passion for education, my desire to make a positive impact, and my belief in the transformative power of teaching. Teaching is not merely a job; it’s a lifelong journey of sharing knowledge, nurturing young minds, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of students. I eagerly look forward to this journey, embracing the opportunity to shape young minds, inspire a love for learning, and contribute to the development of the future generation. Teaching is my calling, and I am ready to answer it with enthusiasm and dedication.