Native American Education

Contact Us

Native American Education SPS logo

Native American Education Staff

I am Nuu-chah-nulth FN, Ahousat Band. I started my career as the Title Vll Coordinator in the Edmonds School District #15 for six years and then taught 5th grade for my practicum. Working for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe at the Muckleshoot Tribal School, I taught 4th grade for four years. Here, I was on the Leadership Team, Accreditation Team, PLC Leadership Team, and Culture and Language Leadership Team and was an Instructional Team Leader for grades 3-5, Since Time Immemorial Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum Trainer, and Middle School Co-ed Soccer Team Coach. I also worked at the Muckleshoot Tribal College as the Muckleshoot Occupational Skills Training (MOST) Instructor. I participate in Tribal Journeys and travel with my canoe family on Vancouver Island, BC. To reach me, please email me at gtmorris@seattlschools.org or call (206) 252-0948.

I am proud to be a part of the Native American Education team at SPS. Not only do I descend primarily from the three tribes above, I am also descended from the Squaxin, Snoqualmie, and Stillaguamish tribes. I was born and raised on the Yakama Nation reservation, and I recently discovered from my Muckleshoot and Puyallup relatives that both my maternal grandparents descend from the House of tciaƚtsa. I am even prouder to be their granddaughter.

I finished my 30th year as a classroom teacher Spring, 2021. Writing curriculum that reflects my tribes, my culture, and my family has always been my passion. I began my journey in early 2005, writing curriculum for the Washington State Historical Society and continued into 2007 as the principal writer for Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State. I still am one of the principal writers, but with a much larger writing team these days! Some of my projects include curriculum for the State of Oregon, the University of Montana’s Regional Learning Project (Now a part of the STI curriculum), the National Park Service (Honoring Tribal Legacies) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (Why Do the Foods We Eat Matter? and The Fish Wars). I also contributed a chapter to Narrowing the Achievement Gap for Native American Students.

Please feel free to reach out to me at  balkanfoster@seattleschools.org if your student attends Denny or Chief Sealth. I am humbled to work in partnership with families and provide advocacy in a variety of forms whether it is navigating the school system, attending IEP meetings or just being a person in the building who, “gets your student’s back.” All Native students may take my class, focusing on identity safety and academic achievement. Students enrolled in šəqačib earn elective credit towards high school graduation.

Although I have been an educator in Seattle Schools for a quarter century, I was recruited for the šəqačib postion in 2015. šəqačib is a Southern Lushootseed word meaning, “raising of hands.” My thanks to the Muckleshoot language department for this beautiful name. I decided when I began this work to use the name as a metaphor to guide my work and what I do to support students. Everything is done for/with students to “lift them up.” It is an honor to support students and lift them towards their goals and dreams as they claim their rightful places as leaders.

I attended the University of Washington and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts. While at UW, I was an athlete on the Women’s Varsity Crew Team. I also attended Seattle Pacific University and graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching. I hold Washington State Teaching Endorsements in English, Visual Arts, Language Arts and Special Education. I believe in the transformative power of education and believe quality teaching is an art and an act of love. When I am not teaching, I enjoy time with my spouse and our two children.

I am excited to have the opportunity to provide support to our Native students, their teachers and families this year! Some of you may know me from the Native American Education Summer Literacy Program for our elementary students. For more than 10 years, I have also taught middle and high school in the Seattle Public School District at Interagency, Whitman Middle School, and Franklin High School.

My parents moved to Southern California from back East before I was born, and I spent most of my life and teaching career in the Inland Empire. I moved to South Seattle because of my love for diversity and now call the Northwest my home. Thank you for welcoming me, and know that I am committed to your students’ success! Please feel free to email me at  sdhawkinson@seattleschools.org.

Penaho (Hello). I am Paiute-Shoshone, Navajo and Mono, and am from the Paiute-Shoshone reservation of Lone Pine California. I work as the Re-entry/Intervention Student Specialist with the Native American Education program. Essentially, I am a source of support for Native American students and their families to help students achieve academic success! Success that I know your student absolutely can achieve.

If you’re needing help with absolutely anything, I can help facilitate support! Some of the services the Native American Education program and/or I can provide are:

  • Help facilitate resources and supports already available at your school and/or community.
  • Check in regularly with your student, teachers, family, counselors and all others supporting your student.
  • Provide structural support in terms of assistance for organization and consistent overview of grades, attendance, class assignments, and other pertinent information on your student’s academic progress.
  • Assist in the re-enrollment process for your student.
  • Provide online support for you and your student.
  • Act as a cultural advocate and liaison for your student and family.
  • Assist with high school credit retrieval.
  • Keep you up to date on resources available, including, but not limited to scholarships, internships, employment and other programs.

However, if your student or family ever need assistance with any other issue or anything that arises, please never hesitate to reach out to me at lnfonoimoana@seattleschools.org. If I am unable to help, I will set you up with the individual, program, etc. that potentially can. I would so greatly love to be a source of support for you and your family!

I have a bachelor’s in Athletic Training, and have long desired to attain a job that allows me to service my fellow Native American people, namely the youth. I love any outdoor activities, especially mountain biking and rock climbing as well as beading and dancing the traditional dances of my people. 

I am the daughter of Emma McCarty Dulik and Michael Dulik, Sr. and Granddaughter to Jesse Ward McCarty and Harry McCarty, Sr.  I am a proud a member of the Makah Nation. Being the youngest of 14 children, I believe family connections are essential. My greatest joy in life is spending time with my husband and supporting my two girls in all they do.

My career has always maintained close connections to Native people and communities.  My first role in service was as the Education Coordinator for the Makah Nation Tribal Government Branch (seven years). I then continued my pursuit of serving tribal people in the role of Indian Education Manager for the Marysville School District No. 25 (15 years), where I worked in close partnership with the Tulalip Tribes Tribal Government branch and Tulalip community.

Throughout my career, I maintain a passion and intentionality in advocating and giving voice in the public school system to those with whom I partner: students, families, community members, tribal leaders and colleagues. In my role as a Seattle Public School Family Support Worker, I focus on partnering with Native students and families, in alignment with SPS’s Strategic Plan, who are “furthest from educational justice.” I work in collaboration and partnership with SPS’s Native American Education program as well as Family Support and McKinney-Vento program staff. My email is  lcdulikdalos@seattleschools.org if you need to reach me.

My name is Rachel Kresl and I am the librarian with Native American Education. I am Diné (Navajo) from my mother’s family and I descend from the Dibé Łizhiní (Black Sheep), Tsé Ńjíkiní (Cliff Dwellers), and Áshįįhí (Salt) clans. On my father’s side I am Czech Republic and Norwegian. For a little bit about me, I completed my bachelor’s degree in K-12 Art Education with an emphasis in drawing and painting in Alamosa, Colorado. I spent my college experience teaching art to kids of all ages throughout several schools and after-school programs in Alamosa County. During this time, I was also a circulation and reference librarian for the university’s school/public library.

I moved to Seattle, Washington in 2017 and have been substitute teaching with Seattle Public Schools since 2018. Outside of my work life, I began studying my Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington in 2019. My passions throughout school have revolved around youth and children’s services and supporting and amplifying Native American communities. I am extremely grateful to have this opportunity in the Native American Education department and am honored to share Native voices and works with the students, educators, and families in Seattle Public Schools. My email is rmkresl@seattleschools.org if anyone needs to contact me or wants recommendations for their next read.  

Hello, my name is Khemarak Pom, known on campus as Mr. Kam. I am the Instructional Assistant in šəqačib at Chief Sealth International High School alongside Boo Balkan Foster.

My job is to help students navigate the rigors of school. The goal is to give academic support for Native youth. I assist in core subjects with emphasis on science and math.

I grew up in the Southwest Seattle neighborhood and it’s been a pleasure to go back to my roots at Sealth.

I’m an avid Seahawks fan and seriously wish the NBA comes back to Seattle.

My name is Brian Jortner and I work alongside Stacia Hawkinson as the Instructional Assistant for the šǝqačib classroom at Nathan Hale High School and Jane Addams Middle School. I grew up in a small town in Maine, and graduated from Oberlin College in 2014, where I studied Philosophy and Sociology. I moved out to Seattle with a group of friends shortly after graduation, and I have been working with youth ever since. Since moving to Seattle, I have worked as a skateboarding instructor, after-school program counselor, and Test Prep tutor. In my free time I enjoy skateboarding, playing tennis and going to Mariners games.

I am excited to be working with Native students in our šǝqačib classroom. I often work with students on academic support, primarily on math support. I believe that every student can succeed if they are given the opportunity to learn in a way that caters to their unique learning style and I do my best to help each student in a way that works best for them, and be supportive in any way that I can. You can feel free to reach out to me any time at br.jortner@seattleschools.org

Hello, my name is Victoria Hildebrand, I’m Koyukon, Athabascan from the interior region of Alaska. I come to you from the Muckleshoot Tribal School in Auburn, WA, where I have taught HS History since 2008. My work prior to Muckleshoot Tribal School included extensive teaching and coaching experience in many rural Alaskan villages, there I worked with Alaskan Native youth of all ages. While living in Fairbanks, Alaska, I’ve worked with the summer Head Start program where I gained extensive knowledge of the educational challenges facing very young urban Native students. Additionally, I have worked as the summer coordinator for the Association of Interior Native Educators (AINE). AINE’s goal is to increase the cultural knowledge base of Native teachers who are employed in schools serving significant numbers of interior Alaska Native students. As Coordinator, (and eventually, Program Director), for this program, I spent numerous hours in planning, administering, and evaluating the Alaska Indigenous People’s Academy (AIPA) (a three-week workshop created under the auspices of AINE). AIPA’s purpose is to bring together Alaskan Native Elders and Native teachers to collaboratively develop a culturally relevant curriculum for classroom implementation. My additional duties concerned networking, conferencing and teacher training. I hope to be reaching out networking with parent and students within the Seattle Public Schools advocating for the success of their child(ren). I will also be supporting students and parents with Special Education plans, graduation challenges, and other academic challenges concerning parents and students. Do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have my email is vlhildebrand@seattleschools.org .