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St. Stephen's starts year with new teachers, nurse, superintendent

Sep 11, 2015 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer

St. Stephen's Indian School has welcomed new staff members into the 2015-2016 school year, including Frank No Runner, the new superintendent. No Runner is a Blackfeet tribal member and originally from Browning, Mont.

Superintendent

No Runner was the superintendent at Northern Cheyenne Tribal Schools in Busby, Mont., for two years before he arrived at St. Stephen's. Before that, he was the high school principal and assistant superintendent for five years at a public school in Lame Deer, Mont.

He graduated in 2009 from Montana State University with a master's in educational leadership. He received his superintendent endorsement in 2010 and is now a doctoral candidate. No Runner said his personal vision always is to help American Indian students on the reservation.

"I had a pretty tough background growing up, but I had the opportunity to succeed," he said. "I want to help other kids to be able to do that."

No Runner said he feels he can relate to American Indian students at St. Stephen's, because he's a young superintendent. The 36-year-old said he's probably had some of the same experiences children on the Wind River Indian Reservation have had.

"Sometimes they just need someone to believe in them," No Runner said. "They basically have the world at their fingertips, and they need to explore and find that out for themselves."

College itself was a challenging journey for him, No Runner said, and he'd like to pave the path that leads to that point for his students.

"My philosophy is that every student is sacred," No Runner said. "I hope to make a difference."

No Runner moved to St. Stephen's with his wife, Pattee Beneet, and their two sons: Patrick, 5, and Michael, 3. Beneet has been hired as an English teacher at St. Stephen's Indian High School.

Fifth grade

Greg Juneau is the new fifth-grade teacher at St. Stephen's Indian Elementary School. Juneau said he joined his friend No Runner at St. Stephen's. He previously was a teacher at the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Schools where he taught sixth grade.

He also was a K-8 music teacher in Missoula, Mont. He's also from Browning, but he attended school and graduated in Missoula. He attended the University of Montana and received his master's degree in elementary education.

Juneau said he immersed himself in other American Indian cultures, traditions and languages during his college and teaching career. He said he is glad to learn the Arapaho ways, but he plans to instill the same idea in every American Indian student.

"I base my class on respect," he said. "That's huge in the Native American culture."

He said he prefers teaching at schools where the majority of the students are American Indian, because they have "a lot more in common." Juneau said he tells them he's their "helper," not their teacher. He also has noticed there aren't many male American Indian teachers.

He said it's a bit of a surprise to him, because his family members have strived to obtain the best education they can. His father worked with children and his mother has taught elementary grades for more than 30 years. Two of his brothers have graduated with master's degrees and another brother soon will graduate from college as well.

"That's the kind of upbringing I had," he said.

Juneau has a wife and two daughters.

New staff

Renee Lawson is the new registered nurse at St. Stephen's. She previously held a nursing position at the Arapahoe health center and graduated from Central Wyoming College. She has lived on the Wyoming reservation for more than 20 years but is an enrolled Oglala Lakota tribal member with the South Dakota Pine Ridge Reservation. Her husband is an enrolled Northern Arapaho tribal member, and they have three daughters.

At the high school, Ben Sanders and Macey Fegler are new teachers. Sanders is a business teacher, and Fegler is a math teacher.

Fegler is a graduate of the University of Colorado where she received bachelor's degrees in math and psychology. She is working on her master's degree in teaching with online courses from the Western Governors University. Thanks to a transitional teaching license, Fegler said she has one year to work on the master's, and then she can be granted a license.

Fegler is not new to Fremont County. She attended grades K-12 in Riverton and attended Central Wyoming College for a year.

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