May 17, 2017 - By Alejandra Silva, Staff WriterSt. Stephen's Indian High School held its first-ever National Honor Society induction ceremony recently at the Wind River Hotel and Casino.
The 16 students who had grade point averages of 3.0 or higher were Martina Joy Brown, Antonio John Joseph Divers, Messiah Lee Dresser, Kale Brock Ferris, Trinity Alexis Goggles, Kalista Nicole Groesbeck, Ashlyn Yvonne Jenkins, David Andrew Kills Pretty Enemy, Cassie Elizabeth Lawson, Alana Adelia Moss, Josette Rose Oldman, Kenlin Rain Redfield, Angel Sagewoman Redman, Brandon Michael Whiteplume, Destiny Marie Willow and Windy Boy Devin Yellowplume.
Faculty member Bill Brost approached superintendent and SSIHS principal Frank No Runner this year and inquired about selecting the school's first NHS membership.
"I said, 'Let's make it happen,'" No Runner recalled during the ceremony.
Families, friends, school staff and all the NHS students gathered for the formal event April 24. A dinner was served for all attendees while the Sand Creek Band performed.
No Runner thanked everyone who attended and praised them for being supportive and helpful to the students.
"Give them a hug today," No Runner told the students. "They're there for you whether you've had a bad day at school ... make sure you (do) that for them."
Education is a vehicle that can take students to places they've never been, No Runner continued. He commended all the students for excelling academically and said he was proud of everyone for working hard and being inducted.
"Education opens up a lot of doors," he said.
When school gets tough and there's a temptation to quit, the students should stop and think of their family members, why they're in school in the first place, and where they want to be in the future, No Runner told the students.
"Think of who you can help, what you can do for them," he said. "Don't ever be afraid to be who you are."
William C'Hair provided the ceremony prayer. He said he was humbled and highly honored to be a part of the ceremony. He provided the audience with a short history of how St. Stephen's school began, abruptly closed, then opened up again when the community pushed for the school and education.
Local community member and graduate of Lander Valley High School Jordan Dresser was one of two speakers. Dresser spoke about the achievements that often times go unplanned and are unexpected. He didn't think he would achieve what he has accomplished so far, he said. He had a different mentality about school when he was in high school compared to his time in college, he said.
"I was the type of kid who wanted to be older than I was," he said. "I had to start from the bottom, and I learned the power of education."
He is now the public relations officer at the Wind River Hotel and Casino and received a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wyoming. It was his time working at the casino that led him to pursue museum studies at the University of San Francisco - the casino had targeted interest in developing a Northern Arapaho museum inside the hotel.
He earned his master's degrees from USF and recently served as co-producer of the film What Was Ours.
"Live a well-balance life," Dresser told the students. "This is just the beginning; this is a very big, special beginning for all of you."
Tonia Jo Hall, also known as "Auntie Beachress," showcased a more humorous presence during the ceremony. The comedian began her career when she started producing Youtube videos. Her career kicked off and she landed spots in front of live audiences. She now makes guest appearances as her popular character.
Brost presented all NHS students with certificates with the help of SSIHS teacher and NHS faculty council member, Jennifer Aycock.
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