Bethel School District

Native American Program (Title VI)

Big picture

What is Title VI?

  • Grant based program
  • Optional for eligible students

Eligible students are as follows:

Indian means a student, or that students Parent and/or Grandparent who is-

(1) A member of an Indian Tribe or Band, as membership is defined by the Indian Tribe or Band, including any Tribe or Band terminated since 1940, and any Tribe or Band recognized by the State in which the Tribe or Band resides

(2) A descendant of a parent or grandparent who meets the requirements described in paragraph (1) of this definition

(3) Considered by the Secretary of the Interior to be an Indian for any purpose; (4) An Eskimo, Aleut, or other Alaska Native

(5) A member of an organized Indian group that received a grant under the Indian Education Act of 1988 as it was in effect on October 19, 1994.

Native American Program Staff

Director - Sean McKenzie

In his 3rd year as the Director of Native Education, Sean dedicates his time to helping our program grow and provide for our students and families.

One of the main roles as the Director is for Sean to guide our Native American Teachers to seek opportunities for our students. He supports our staff in helping our program to develop a presence in our schools and community.

Additionally, Sean works diligently to support our Indian Parent Committee. The work generated with the volunteers from this committee steer us throughout the school year. Collectively we set goals and discuss opportunities that we would like to see made available for our students.

South End Native American Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA)

Mrs. Barger (Eastern Band Cherokee)

Mrs. Barger's history in Bethel is quite lengthy. She began as a student in Kindergarten at Roy Elementary and later became a graduate from Bethel High School. As a teacher she has spent all 19 years of her career with the Bethel School District. In the classroom she was a Learning Assistance Program Teacher, 8th Grade English Language Arts, and P.E.

She has been a part of the Native American Education program for 4 years. Mrs. Barger is passionate about helping our Native American students succeed and goes above and beyond her realm of duties to ensure they do. In her free time, she likes to watch her children play sports, fish, and harvest foods with her family.

Schools Served: Bethel HS, Challenger HS, Bethel Accelerated Academy, Cougar Mt. MS, Bethel MS, EPSOC, Liberty MS, Roy Elem, Centennial Elem, Rocky Ridge Elm, Shining Mt. Elem, North Star Elem, Kapowsin Elem, and Frederickson Elem, Bethel Hope Learning Center, and other Preschools that coincide with the above mentioned elementaries.

North End Native American Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA)

Mrs. Wippert (Blackfeet Nation)

She is in her 2nd year with the Bethel School District. She is coming to the district with over 12 years experience working with Native American students. Mrs. Wippert has been a classroom teacher and an instructional coach prior to coming to Bethel. It has always been Mrs. Wippert's dream to work with kids and she enjoys watching students blossom. In her free time, she enjoys beading, reading books, and spending time with her family.

Schools Served: Spanaway Lake HS, Graham-Kapowsin HS, Bethel Virtual Academy, Spanaway MS, Cedarcrest MS, Frontier MS, Spanaway Elem, Thompson Elem, Evergreen Elem, Naches Trail Elem, Camas Prairie Elem, Clover Creek Elem, Nelson Elem, Pioneer Valley Elem, and Graham Elem. and Preschools that coincide with the above mentioned elementaries.

Meet our Indian Parent Committee Board

Join us!

The Indian Parent Committee is designed to provide guidance and support for our Title VI Students. The Board, along with the program staff, work together to monitor the activities throughout the school year.

These activities include:

  • Assessing the needs of Native American students
  • Developing program goals
  • Assisting in the implementation of the program

If you are interested in volunteering your time to support this committee please let us know!

Program Goals for 2021-2022

The Bethel School District Native American Program in partnership with our Indigenous Parent Committee sets goals each school year. This year we have decided to carry forward the goals from 2020-2021. Collectively we felt that the goals set would be impactful to the educational success of our students.
Big picture
Big picture


Do you have a student in 8th-12th grade? If the answer is YES, then discuss with them if they would be interested in participating in NAYLA- Native American Youth Leadership Academy.

NAYLA focuses on teaching students about Culture, Unity, Leadership, and Mentoring. Students will participate in 4 gatherings a year. Each gathering is focused on a specific theme. The NAYLA planning committee is a group of volunteer Title VI Staff and students. They work collaboratively to plan and facilitate each meeting.

At this time it is uncertain if the meetings will be in person or face-to-face. We held all of our meetings via zoom last year. When safety permits in-person meetings, they will be held at the Puyallup Youth Tribal Center.

Interested students are required to complete an application that they will receive from their Native American Teacher or can be printed by click on the link below. Once completed, students can email them to Mrs. Barger or Mrs. Wippert or they can bring them to school and ask the front office to place them in their Native American teachers box at that building.

Bethel Native American Program Does the Puyallup!

Big picture

Native American Days @ The Washington State Fair

Did you know that each year the Washington State Fair committee plans 2 special days to honor our Indigenous First Peoples of the Land aka Native Americans? This year was no exception, with two days specifically showcasing Native Americans in Education. There were many booths set up from various public, collegiate, health and wellness, and others offering a plethora of information and resources.

The Bethel School District Native Education Program set up a booth with information, a student activity center, free books, program information, and a hands-on display of artifacts that individuals were allowed to engage through hands on exploration. We had the great honor of meeting many new families as well as made continued connections with others. All in all, it was a great opportunity to network and share information about our program. We had several parent and student volunteers either helping with our booth or participated by dancing at the Outdoor Stage. If you or your student would like to participate next year please let us know.

As Native Educators it's important keep our program goals, objectives, and vision clear and concise. Building a strong foundation to an amazing program geared towards Native Americans is one of the best assets for tribal communities.

If you are interested in volunteering or participating in our events please reach out to either myself or Rachael, we are happy to be of an assistance. (Contact information is listed above)

Mrs. Wippert and Mrs. Barger

Big picture

"The Three Sisters" Kimora, Rhoda, and Victoria- Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs