Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

By Michael Barrett

Eighty-Two Graduate from Red Lake New Beginnings GED Program P3


At the New Beginnings GED Graduation Program held at the Seven Clans Casino and Events Center on Friday, May 20, 2011, there were 82 graduates who received their certificates.

The event began with a feast at 5 PM, followed by the Grand March by the Eyabay Drum Group, and the welcome and introductions by New Beginnings Executive Director Marvin Hanson.

"Let there be no doubt, that you are an accomplished graduate," Hanson said. "All the hard work has paid off, all the tests that you have taken to receive this diploma, you are now educationally accomplished."

"It is truly, a very good day," said Superintendent of Schools Brent Gish in his congratulatory remarks. "I would suggest that it's a great day, a celebration, that these GED graduates are here to attend, and for all of you that have come to witness it. We have been given another day to walk the earth and the many blessings each of us have in life."

Gish stated it was a "celebration of accomplishment" of reaching a goal in life of earning your GED.

"I know that it hasn't come easily, nor without some pain," Gish stated. "You have worked hard to complete the pretest before you were allowed to take the GED test. During this period in life you have made personal sacrifices to get to this day."

"The main thing that I want to stress again to young people," Chairman Floyd "Buck" Jourdain said in his remarks, "this is a beginning. GED, that's the first step. We want to see you in college. And we really want you to come to our tribal college. That's going to be an effective springboard onto BSU, UND, Stanford, wherever it is that you decide you are going to go."

Chairman Jourdain stressed that after GED, go somewhere to acquire additional education because the tribe needed native managers to lead the reservation in the future.

Executive Administrator for the Red Lake Tribe, Leah Perkins, talked about her experiences in continuing her education and the motivating factors presented by mentors.

"She also said, the only thing stopping you, was you," Perkins said. "You [have] to want it, and if you want it, you go after it. There's many things in front of you as you walk--that's the only thing stopping you, is you. There's ways of getting over the obstacles."

Graduating and receiving their certificates included: Andrew Barrett, Crystal Barrett, Michael Barrett, Brandon Beaulieu, Bryan Beaulieu, Gabriel Beaulieu, Melanie Brown, Ryan Brown, Benjamin Cloud Jr ., Dominique Curry, Danika Curry-Johnson, Tiffany Defoe, Keith Dow Jr ., Lacey Ducheneaux, Oyate Eagletail, Allen English, Brandon Fairbanks, Rochelle Graves, Hester Greenleaf, Chelsea Hardy, Gary Head, Sondra Hegstrom, Rose Heinonen, Fannie Howard-Johnson, Charlie Jackson, Allysha Johnson, Debbie Johnson, Paul Johnson, January Johnson, Beau Johnson-Lafawe, Mark Jourdain, Alexander King, Bambi King, James King Sr ., Amanda Kingbird, Phylicia Kingbird, SHawn Kingbird, Verlin Kingbird Jr ., Danielle Ledoux, Elisha Little, Justin Lussier, Latescha Lussier, Laura Lussier, Nodinmakwa, Katrina May, William May, Nia May, Christopher Morrison, Virginia Muneton, Mishaun Neadeau, James Needham, Nora Parkhurst, Stephanie Pemberton, Alan Randberg, Lee Redden, Chad Reynolds, James Roja III, Chad Rosebear, Josephine Roybal, Ashley Sayers, Keith Schoenborn Jr ., Sarah Smith, Natalie Spears, Orland Spears, Darwin Stately, Stephanie Stately, Dorla Stillday, Tyann Stillday, Chris Strong, Jordan Sumner, Lorena Sumner, Jeffrey Thompson, Maiingan Thompson, Mekko Thompson, Cody Thunder, Nicolet Wayka, Promise Weiss, Toni Wells, Amber White, Amy White, Avery White, and Roy White Sr.

A special recognition to one of the graduates, Mr. James King Sr ., was presented to him for his achievements. King, the oldest graduate of this years class, is 71 years old.

"He came in, did a lot of extra work, and as he worked on getting his GED, he did very, very, very well," Hanson said. "And we're very proud of him as a GED graduate."

King was presented with a Pendleton blanket.

"And thank you, Jim, you are truly an inspiration for our GED Program and the Red Lake Band," Hanson added.

New Beginnings GED Program and Red Lake Adult Basic Education staff include: Janelle Clark, GED Coordinator; Mavis LaDuke, GED Coordinator; David Chose, Tutor; Sherrie Clapp, Tutor; Chris Dunshee, ALC Principal; Laura Malott, ABE Coordinator/Instructor; and Kathy Ferrin, ABE Substitute Instructor.

Further information about the Red Lake New Beginnings Program can be found at their website,


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