Meet Our People

The story of Red Cloud Indian School is largely shaped by the students who pass through the halls each year, working to better themselves and their community. The following are profiles of Red Cloud alumni who are actively engaged leaders in their communities and fields of study. Whether they've become artists, scientists, graduate students, or doctors they will always be Crusaders!

Alum DeAndra

DeAndra McLaughlin '11

Red Cloud Digital Marketing Specialist

As an exceptional writer with an undergraduate degree from Stanford and a masters degree from South Dakota State University, today she serves as Red Cloud's Digital Marketing Specialist, helping to share the stories of our extraordinary students and staff with audiences far and wide. And her journey is far complete: next fall, DeAndra plans to begin work toward her doctorate in Indigenous Health. Read Full Interview

Alum Genriel

Genriel Ribitsch '14

Future Graduate School Student

Like many Red Cloud graduates - Genriel Ribitsch fought to find her place when she left home to start her college journey. But she soon became a leader on her college campus, serving as president of the Native American student group, and working with other young advocates to fight racism and discrimination on campus. Now, with one undergraduate degree completed and another nearly finished, she is applying to graduate school to follow her passion for science, and her dream of serving her community as a doctor. Here, she shares thoughts on her journey so far, and her hopes for the future. Read Full Interview

Anpotowin (Savannah) Jensen '14

Stanford University Graduate Student

Savannah Jensen discovered a passion for science at Red Cloud School, which ultimately allowed her to excel at Stanford University, where she just graduated with a degree in environmental engineering. Now she is pursuing her master’s at Stanford, in Environmental and Civil Engineering.

“Pine Ridge is my homeland and has grounded me from the beginning. I am proud of my community and all the Lakota culture that they held onto and continue to thrive and live.” Read Full Interview

Paulina Fast Wolf '07

Oglala Lakota College Center Director

Paulina Fast Wolf connected deeply with her culture as a student at Red Cloud. And today, she is not only an advocate for tribal colleges—she is the youngest center director in the history of Oglala Lakota College, here on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Today, she is helping other Lakota students find their way through the college experience, and learning how both education and Lakota values are key to creating positive change on the reservation. Read Full Interview

Steven Wilson '17

Thrust into the national spotlight for his powerful performances of the national anthem in Lakota, Steven Wilson suddenly found himself with a platform for expressing the complexity of being proud to be both Native and American. Many, many people were interested in hearing his story. Read Full Interview

Samantha Janis '07

Child Advocate

Samantha Janis did not reach this point in her life by travelling in a straight line, and that turned out to be a very good thing. Samantha’s path has equipped her with a wide and nuanced base of knowledge that she applies to the complex task of protecting children on the Pine Ridge Reservation through her work with Child Protective Services. Read Full Interview

David Anaya '08

Program Support Specialist and Comedian

The system of academic support that David Anaya experienced at Red Cloud High School has truly come full circle. Dave’s current work with low-income youth in the Twin Cities during their college application process allows him to share the gift of guidance that made such a major impact on him. And his ability to see a subject from many angles allows him to not only be an effective teacher, but also an incisive comedian. Read Full Interview

Marissa (O'Bryan) Pitts '06

Mother and Nurse

For Marissa Pitts, Red Cloud’s valedictorian in 2006, finding common ground with others has made all the difference in her life. Her experience moving halfway across the country and working as a nurse with patients from a variety of backgrounds taught her the art of forming strong and lasting relationships. Marissa taps into her connection-oriented spirit every day, both as a mother and as a nurse working in the postpartum unit. Read Full Interview

Tamera Miyasato '97

Education Consultant

Can you imagine traveling to Italy to star in an independent film while simultaneously working as a legal secretary? How about working in the production office of an Oscar-winning feature film followed by developing a unique classroom management strategy for high schoolers? Tamera Miyasato ‘97 can–because these are just a few of the unexpected turns her life’s path has taken. Read Full Interview

Kristin Weston '07

Nurse at Methodist Women's Hospital

Kristin is the type of person who seeks out challenges. In her words, “staying in your comfort zone is no fun!” It is no surprise, then, that Kristin participated in rodeo as a child and runs marathons today. Her personality and drive have led her to pursue a career in nursing that involves working 13-hour night shifts in the High Risk Labor and Delivery Department at Methodist Women’s Hospital in Omaha. Read Full Interview

Kaylynn Two Bulls '07

Future College Professor

Kaylynn believes that higher education holds the key to a bright future for her community. Just as teachers at Red Cloud gave Kaylynn the push to believe that college was possible, her role as a Jump Start Advisor at the South Dakota School of Mines gives Native American students there the same confidence to continue their own educations. Read Full Interview

Tracy Charging Crow '02


She handled her first set of teeth as a sophomore in high school. It was in that moment that she decided to blaze a path to a career as a dentist. From rigorous academic training to the challenge of working with nervous patients, Tracy’s drive and commitment to her goals has propelled her to success in her career. Read Full Interview

Tate Locust '04

Paramedic and Future Nurse

She never expected to pursue a career in healthcare, but in 2008, a chance meeting led her to become a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She found her calling in emergency medicine and set out on a journey to work as a full paramedic—soon to become a registered nurse. Read Full Interview

Kyla Woodard '10

Grad Student and Future Social Worker

After spending the first part of her life in California, Kyla Woodard returned to the Pine Ridge Reservation and found her cultural community and spiritual home. Through her education at Red Cloud, she discovered her passion for serving others and her desire to create positive change for Indigenous people. Read Full Interview

Elaine Yellow Horse '03

Prosecutor for the Oglala Sioux Tribe

Growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Elaine Yellow Horse never expected to become a role model for young people. But after graduating from Red Cloud, she discovered a passion for tribal law and criminal justice—a passion which led her to become a tribal prosecutor. Read Full Interview

Dylan Fills Pipe '08

Assitant Program Coordinator, Native American Healthcare Scholars Program

After graduating from Red Cloud with a Gates Scholarship in hand, Dylan Fills Pipe ’08 began his studies at Creighton University and discovered a new passion for public health. Since graduation he has worked to improve health in tribal communities across South Dakota and today he is helping to mentor Native youth. Read Full Interview

Ken Franks '08

Environmental Health Officer

During his time at Red Cloud, Ken Franks ’08 took a class in chemistry and developed a fascination with science. After graduating, he went on to study at Fort Lewis College, earning a degree in Public Health. Read Full Interview

January Tobacco '13

Stanford scholar and aspiring law student

January Tobacco ‘13 graduated as valedictorian from Red Cloud High School and has continued to thrive in her studies at Stanford University. She is about to start her third year at Stanford. Read Full Interview

Myriam Rama '15

Creighton University student, future pediatrician

Myriam Rama ‘15, is one of the three 2015 graduates to receive the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship. Myriam has big plans for the years to come, starting with Creighton University. Read Full Interview

Dr. Dena Wilson '95

Cardiologist at Indian Health Services

Dena Wilson knew by the first grade that she wanted to be a doctor. During her years at Red Cloud, she says she was challenged academically, and gained the skills to help her pursue her dream. Read Full Interview

Charles 'Chuck' Trimble '52

Princple founder of the American Indian Press Association & former Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians

"It’s amazing to look back and say that we helped to pass the Indian Financing Act, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Religious Freedom Act... I learned so much at Red Cloud, and I give thanks to the Jesuit Fathers and scholastics for what I learned, that provided a basis for all that has come after." Read Full Interview

Marty Cuny '73

National award-winning artist, writer and actor.

"People always used to ask me, ‘what do you want to be when you get older’ and I’d respond quickly. ‘I want to be a writer,’ I’d say. Reading was huge for me throughout school—I felt like I could learn anything if I could just find the book with the right information. I have to thank Red Cloud for providing me the attention and lessons in those formative years to learn the language and how to write it." Read Full Interview

Anthony Fresquez '61

Native Education Advocate, Educator and Administrator at Oglala Lakota College

"Red Cloud afforded you a lot of opportunity academically. The Jesuits are internationally renowned for academics, and I had very good instruction in language arts, science and math. I was the first in my family to ever go to college, and while I was able to succeed academically." Read Full Interview

Cherella Hughes '12

Student of Chemistry at Fort Lewis College in preparation for becoming a pharmacist.

"In order to prepare yourself for college, you need to go beyond expectations, really absorb the information that is being taught and understand the subject matter. Being prepared for college is in your hands, not your teacher’s." Read Full Interview

Christian McGhee '08

Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach at Red Cloud Indian School

"I would get made fun of a lot for not being a ‘regular’ kid on the reservation because I didn’t want to stay out late and party. But for me, that was an easy sacrifice in order to achieve my goals of being an athlete and playing basketball." Read Full Interview

Maka Clifford '05

Lakota Studies Teacher at Red Cloud Indian School and graduate of Columbia University's Teacher's College.

"That’s really something I want to do as a future teacher on the reservation—globalize the thinking of students, and globalize the experience of students. It’s important that they learn their own culture and history, but it’s also important for them to branch out and know the world." Read Full Interview

Maisie Herman '00

Social worker at Denver Indian Family Resource Center

"Red Cloud helped me to build a strong sense of self discipline and structure, which I believe laid the foundation for being able to get to where I am at today. I remember feeling like we were learning about the people we would become and positions we would someday have. We were learning how to work together and coordinate our efforts. It really widened my perspective." Read Full Interview

Rilda Means '08

Community Relations Coordinator and graduate student at Oglala Lakota College in preparation for Law School

"I see myself being in Graduate School in the next five years. I see myself graduating from Law School within ten. I see myself being a positive role model for anyone that needs someone to look up to or to reach out to, to get some help with their own goals and dreams." Read Full Interview

Juliana Clifford Brown Eyes '09

Owner of Jonan Photography Studios and professional bassist for musical group 'Scatter Their Own'

"While we don't come out and directly say that in our songs, we write the songs with a concept or feelings we have during ceremonies like the sweat lodge, sun dance, or hanbleceya (vision quest). In this way we pay tribute to our elders. And when we are able to perform around the world, we feel like we are sharing our culture and teachings with others." Read Full Interview

Archive: Alumni Profiles

The story of Red Cloud Indian School is largly shaped by the students who pass through the halls each year, working to better themselves and their community. The following are profiles of former Red Cloud students.

Are you an Alumnus looking for more information? CLICK HERE