Meet the Team
Head of School - Cindy Giago (Oglala Lakota)
Cindy brings a lifetime of service and commitment to students, from her as a as a Project Manager for Tiospaye Sakowin Education and Healing Center/Tasunke Wakan Okolakiciye; two grassroot organizations out of Porcupine, SD and as a Social Worker at Wounded Knee District School. As she puts it, "I feel that I am a pinnacle of the struggles that we as Lakota people face having grown up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in poverty but being resilient enough to survive." In our words, not only to survive but to prevail. She is the perfect founding leader for our School.
Administrative Assistant - Maria Helper (Oglala Lakota)
Maria brings her experience both as a member of the team at the Lakota Waldorf School and the mother of four daughters. Maria lives on Percy and Agnes White Plume's horse farm, and spends her birthday every late December on horseback, on the Annual Chief Big Foot Memorial Ride to Wounded Knee.
Teacher - Helene Gaddie (Oglala Lakota)
A Powwow dancer and science/math teacher, Helene takes the girls outside and then brings the outside into the classroom, to teach math and science through the lens of traditional Lakota plants, animals, and the stars. She is famous, among other things, for her Stinging Nettle Pesto, and her geology class, called "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
Teacher - Dusty Nelson (Oglala Lakota)
Dusty is a visionary Lakota educator, having worked as a Lakota Language Teacher, Lakota Woglaka Wounspe, Kyle, SD, as well as translating children's games into Lakota. She is engaged politically on the Pine Ridge, and carries the vision of the School as a fundamentally different way to empower Lakota girls.
Teacher - Jessye Stein
Jessye graduated from Boston University with a BA in Philosophy & Political Science, Minor in Spanish Language & Literature. She volunteered last year at Red Cloud Indian School as a computer sciences teacher and bus driver. She is studying the Lakota language, and is team-teaching with Dusty and will serve as an on-site tutor for the girls.