Lawrence school district names new Native American Student Services coordinator

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The Lawrence school district has named Kenneth St. Pierre, an Ihanktonwan/Yankton Sioux, as the new Native American Student Services coordinator.

St. Pierre is currently a social studies teacher at Free State High School, but he will step into the new role immediately, pending school board approval, according to a district news release Friday afternoon.

“His prior teaching experience includes serving as a home school and cultural coordinator and Native American Studies teacher for the Andes Central School District and an Indian Studies/Tribal Government teacher for the Marty Indian School, both in South Dakota,” according to the release, and he earned his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees at Haskell Indian Nations University.

He previously served as an operations specialist for the U.S. Navy, earning Meritorious Unit Commendations and Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Battle “E” National Defense Service Medals, according to the release.

St. Pierre said in the release that he’s thankful for his students at West Middle School, where he worked last year, and Free State.

“I look forward to continuing to work with students and families and to collaborate with community partners on the creation of an Indigenous curriculum for Lawrence Public Schools,” he said.

Cynthia Johnson, the district’s executive director of inclusion, engagement and belonging, said in the release that “Kenny is an outstanding selection to lead Native American Student Services.”

“I had the opportunity to work with him as he completed his student teaching at Lawrence High School,” Johnson said. “Kenny comes to us with a diverse background and a dedication to serving our Native American students and families and teaching others about the rich legacy of Indigenous cultures.”

St. Pierre replaces Kelly Walker, who resigned to seek other professional opportunities, according to the release.

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