SMIS CLASS OF 2021 AWARDS

SMIS-AWARDS-KAYDEN
SISTER MARY HONORA AWARD | CHIARA HOLGATE, CO-SALUTATORIAN

Sister Mary Honora served as a dynamic example of the pioneer spirit of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. She arrived at St. Michael Indian School in October 1910 and served her beloved Navajo for fifty years until her death on August 12, 1962. She was a friend to Chief Dodge and Father Anselm and to many other tribal leaders and Franciscan missionaries. This award is given to a student who is reverent of the traditions and culture of the Navajo and other peoples within the school community. 

ST. KATHERINE DREXEL AWARD | GRACE BELGARDE, VALEDICTORIAN

Saint Katharine Drexel, Foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, established St. Michael Indian School in 1902 as an index of her commitment and Christ-like devotion to the oppressed in American Society. Through her inspiration, Catholicism enhanced the land without subverting the profound spirituality and elegant traditions of the Navajo. This award is given to a student who honors a commitment to personal dignity and respect for the rights of others. 

SISTER KATHARINE BARRETT AWARD | KAYDEN WILLIAMS, CO-SALUTATORIAN

Sister Katharine Barrett held responsibilities as Principal from 1979-1989. In the early 1980s, with declining enrollments and fiscal constraints, the closing of the school became an imminent possibility. Sister Katharine marshaled the support of the community in persuading the General Council of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament in sustaining the continuance of the school as a resource for Navajo youth. This award is given to a student for service and loyalty to the school community.

GRADUATION SPEAKER: DR. JARON KEE (’11)

Jaron Kee, MD is Diné (Navajo) and from Crystal, New Mexico on the Navajo Nation. In 2019, he received his undergraduate and medical school education at the University of New Mexico through the Combined BA/MD Degree Program. 

Dr. Kee is now a resident and newly elected Lead Resident (formally Chief Resident) in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico Hospital. Jaron plans to return to his home community with the goal to practice full-spectrum care. Jaron is a 2011 alum of St. Michael Indian School. LaKeisha Kee, his younger sister, graduated in 2015. 

 

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