February 2020 Newsletter

CUSD Indigenous Education Program

Upcoming Events

Indigenous Parent Committee Meetings:

At the Chandler Care Center: 777 E Galveston St Chandler AZ 85225

5:30 pm-7:00 pm

  • Wednesday, February 5
  • Wednesday, March 4
  • Wednesday, April 15

21st Annual Gila River Close Up Event: March 16-18th, 2020

  • This event is a 3 day-civic education and leadership program for Gila River Indian Community high school students. View event description and registration form with this link.
  • The event will take place at the Gila River Governance Center, the Akimel O'odham Loditha Kud Ki (courthouse), the O’odham Ha Ki, and the Four Point by Sheraton (lodging in Chandler). View event agenda

Other Events:

  • February 15 Deadline - STEP UP research experience for 11th and 12th grade Native American students. 8-10 week research experience. For more information click here.
  • March 1 Deadline - 2020 Vision Maker Media Short Film Production Fellowship. For more information click here.
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Be featured in the monthly newsletter!

If you would like the newsletter to highlight opportunities/events to bring our community together, one of your students' accomplishments, or any relevant info to the Indigenous Ed. program, contact us!

U of A- Native American Science and Engineering Program

Through one-on-one college preparation coaching with university affiliates, building a computer from its essential components, interactive workshops, and family events, students learn how to effectively prepare for the college admissions process, receive important information about academic success, and are exposed to different STEM career paths. The introduction to the year-long program begins in the summer, with interactions continuing throughout the year through their awarded technology device.
  • Priority Deadline: February 14, 2020
  • Regular Deadline: March 6, 2020

Community Service at the Indigenous Wellness Garden!

A member of Chandler High School’s Native American Club recently reserved a plot at Native Health's Community Garden located within Agave Farms. CHS Native American Club members can volunteer together to help the community, accumulate hours to build their resume or meet other goals (such as National Honors Society service hours), learn about gardening, native plants and health, and build relationships with club peers and others at the garden. When the crops are harvested, they will be donated to a food bank. Guidance and advice provided by Garden Coordinator Dr. Melissa Kruse-Peeples. Days: Saturday mornings, exact dates and times TBD.

Mul-Chu-Tha Art and Essay Contest

In celebrating the 58th Annual Mul-Chu-Tha Fair and Rodeo, Gila River Indian Community youth (grades 4-12) are encouraged to enter the Tribal Education Art and Essay Contest!! All winners will be invited to the Mul-Chu-Tha award ceremony at the fairgrounds during Community Day on March 6, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. View application packet here.

Important Info:

Missing Forms: In order to receive services from the Indigenous Education Program, PLEASE get the following documentation on file:

  • Title 6 and/or JOM forms for each student
  • Student or family member tribal enrollment identification (CIB, tribal ID, etc.) for each student

Funding Requests: The IEP offers funding up to $600 per student each school year for summer school, SAT/ACT test registration, dual enrollment, and other select class fees.

Please contact your high school academic counselor first for information and deadlines.

*Summer school funding requests are now open. Summer school tuition is funded on a first come, first serve basis.*

Indigenous Scholarship Opportunities

Attention prospective college students! Check out these scholarship opportunities and organizations. Take note of those deadlines!

Indigenous High School Advisors

At 5 CUSD high schools, we partner with 7 school staff to provide academic counseling to Native American students enrolled in our program, as well as sponsor the schools' Native American clubs. If you are seeking any assistance with your child’s academics, behavior, health, attendance, or other concerns, these advisors are your connection to school and community resources.

  • Basha High: Nancy Spilsbury (480) 224-2264
  • Casteel High: Jessica Burt (480) 424-8341
  • Chandler High: Brett Parks-- Sophomores/Seniors (480) 812-7784
  • Chandler High: Carole Kaitz-- Freshmen/Juniors (480) 812-7760
  • Hamilton High: Amy Furrow-- Freshmen/Seniors (480) 883-5032
  • Hamilton High: Margarita Jimenez Trujillo-- Sophomores/Juniors (480) 883-5274
  • Perry High: Megan Driving Hawk (480) 224-2954

Contact Us:

Indigenous Engagement Specialist - Tia Gramzinski

(480) 883-4488


Gila River Advisor - Andrew Garcia

(480) 883-4492


Gila River Advisor - Shelly Aday

(480) 883-4486

Director of Federal Programs - Monica Romero

(480) 883-4485


Administrative Assistant - Diana Moreno

(480) 883-4493