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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 28, 2003 - Issue 90


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Loneman Grad Earns National Honor

by Barbara Tomovick, Rapid City Journal Assistant Editor

Loneman School logoA student from Loneman School is the National Indian School Board Association's pick for 2003 K-8 Student of the Year.

Wylie Thomas Janis, 14, Oglala, is the brother of last year's winner, Jessica Janis.

Their mother, Melissa Blacksmith, teaches reading at Loneman School.

Wylie Janis was the eighth-grade class valedictorian when he graduated from Loneman this year. He was one of several students the school nominated for the award, Loneman junior-high principal Terry Porter said.

Janis was chosen based on his promotion and understanding of and appreciation for the American Indian culture and heritage in an educational setting and among the general student body of his or her school; academic achievement and strong educational commitment; personal enhancement and self-improvement; and leadership and participation in student, educational and community affairs.

He will be recognized at a breakfast awards ceremony July 24 in Grand Rapids, Mich., during NISBA's annual summer institute.

Janis has won numerous awards in school, including the Eagle of the Year-Male Athlete Award for 2002-03 and a lengthy list of citations for academic excellence in language arts, reading, science, computers, math and more. He participated in the Gifted and Talented Program as well as cross country, football, basketball and softball.

While attending Loneman from kindergarten through eighth grade, he missed only two days of school and never had an incident report written on him, according to Porter. He was on the honor roll every quarter of every year and graduated as an honor student.

"Wylie is a dedicated young man and was a joy to work with," Porter said in a written statement. "He represented himself, Loneman School Corp. and the Lakota people in a good way. He is a caring individual and an outstanding leader."

Janis is currently participating in the Indians Into Medicine Program in Grand Forks, N.D. In the fall, he plans to attend Red Cloud High School, near Pine Ridge, where his sister is a sophomore.

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