NJOMA Winners, Nominees Bound For Las Vegas

A small group from Wolf Point Junior/Senior High School will attend the 2019 National Johnson O’Malley Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nev., March 4-6.

Halle Paige Reddig has been named overall winner of the ninth- to 12th-grade category of the student art contest. She will travel to Las Vegas with her mother and teacher Patricia Payne to accept her award.
Jewel Olson won second-place in the 9-12 category and Teanna Rose Runsthrough took second place in the fourth- to eighth-grade category.
NJOMA was formed as a nonprofit educational organization with the goals of creating an effective forum for the discussion of educational and related matters of mutual concern among the members of the educational community, developing standards of educational excellence for Indian students served by the educational programs within the U.S., maintaining appropriate lines of communication and collaborative efforts with other public, private, tribal and federal educators and educational programs, maintaining formal liaisons with tribal, state and federal governmental agencies and other educational organizations, including but not limited to National Congress of American Indians, National Indian Education Association and other alliance organizations and advocating for Johnson-O’Malley programs and the rights of Indian children from 3 years old through 12th grade.
Payne has been nominated for Teacher of the Year. She is a dual certified professional teacher in both elementary K-8 and special education PreK-12. She is currently the high school special education teacher and case manager and has been a junior high girls’ basketball and volleyball coach. She received her bachelor of art degree at the University of Montana in Missoula and her masters of education from the Mild/Moderate program at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among her many accomplishments, she is founder and organizer of the first Fort Peck WaYaWa Youth Summit, which provided educational awareness and resiliency against methamphetamine, alcohol and suicide.
Among the notes and letters submitted in support of Payne’s nomination, one parent writes:
“I know that my daughter is not the only child that feels the love and support from Ms. Payne but she makes each child feel they are the only one. Ms. Payne is a mother, grandmother, teacher and leader. She is active in our community and school, JOM vice-president, basketball and volleyball coach. ... Ms. Payne is not only a wonderful teacher with a huge heart but a role model for our young Native women.”
A student writes: “Ms. Payne is the best teacher that I ever had. When I had my bad days, she would always make me be in a good [mood] by cheering me up and giving me hug. She is very kind to every kid in her class. ... Ms. Payne’s classroom is quiet and you feel safe and comfortable. She expects her students to use manners and be respectful.”
The results for the teacher of the year award will be announced at the conference.


Photo: Students (front row, left to right) Teanna Runsthrough, Jewel Olson and Halle Paige Reddig are Wolf Point’s winning entries to the National Johnson O’Malley Association’s student art contest. Teacher Patricia Payne (back left) is the school’s entry for Teacher of the Year. Student work was supervised by art teacher Vivian Schultz (back right).