Valley Journal Reports On Juneau, CCSSO Visit To St. Ignatius

This story was published in the Valley Journal Oct. 27, 2015.

“A celebrity of sorts was at the Mission School District on Wednesday, and third-grade students swarmed around her asking for her autograph.

Superintendent Denise Juneau signed autographs for the St. Ignatius 3rd grade class.

“This is so awesome,” Braedon Ferris, 8, said holding a pen and paper in his hand as he waited his turn. “It’s really cool we are getting to meet her.”

Denise Juneau, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Montana, was the person of interest. The students said that they understand the impact she has on their education, and they were excited that she came to their school.

Juneau was at the school with a group of representatives from the Council of Chief State School Officers that compile information on schools and make recommendations about education as a whole for the entire country. The CCSSO is an organization made up of public officials that lead departments of education, which includes Juneau.

CCSSO Executive Director Chris Minnich flew in from Washington, D.C. to tour the school. He met with half a dozen other visitors affiliated with education. Minnich said that the group was looking at a few rural schools around the state.

“We are looking at Montana as an example,” he said explaining that Montana schools were incorporating Indian Education for All into the classrooms in ways that other states would like to follow. He also said that they were looking at all of the services at the schools in Montana from mental health to extracurricular to find out what was working for rural schools.

Mission School District Superintendent Jason Sargent welcomed the group during a short introductory speech explaining the many programs at the school.

“We’ve got a lot of outstanding things going on,” he said adding that the school of about 500 students was 60 percent Native American representing 13 different tribes.”

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