Many students learn a second language in high school as a requirement.
Being bilingual helps students in a variety of ways, from increasing their employment opportunities to improving their English skills.
Tahlequah High School Spanish 1 and 2 teacher Natalie Cloud encourages students to get the full value of their education.
“I try to make learning Spanish fun, but I also try to persuade students that it will make them a more qualified employee in their future endeavors if they choose to learn Spanish,” Cloud said.
A Miami High School graduate, Cloud earned an associate’s degree in general studies from NEOA&M College in Miami, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish education and Master of Education degree educational administration from Northeastern State University.
She’s working on her doctorate in school administration at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa.
It was Cloud’s high school Spanish teacher who inspired her.
“I chose to teach Spanish because of the wonderful high school teacher Anne Chambliss,” said Cloud. “She inspired me to want to teach others Spanish. She was always so excited about her subject area and made it easy for others to learn it.”
The foreign language teacher taught here from 1999-2004, then moved back here in 2009, so she’s taught in Tahlequah nine years. She’s also worked as an administrator in Iowa at Fort Madison Community School District as the 21st Century Community Learning Grant Director at two elementary schools and taught Spanish 1, 2 and 3 at Bluestem High School in Leon, Kan. She has 15 years’ experience.
“I love when students identify a grammar structure from their native language that they thought they didn’t understand until learning a second language,” Cloud said.
Making her students comfortable helps them learn and succeed, so Cloud stands at her door each morning and greets them in Spanish or in English.
“I enjoy the relationships with students that are formed over the period of time we are together in class,” she said.
“I want the students to know I was fair, consistent and that they know I truly enjoyed having them as students.”
Cloud really loves her career.
“I enjoy the constant learning and changing that is ever-evolving in the world of education,” Cloud said.
She especially likes teaching at Tahlequah High School.
“THS is an exceptional place where everyone is constantly striving to improve our school,” she said
“I have many great co-workers that I bounce ideas off and share things or activities that work and sometimes don’t work,” she said.
Part of a students’ success is having the support of their parents.
“Parents should stay just as involved at the secondary level in their students’ education as they do at the elementary level, and the secondary level should accommodate them more in this,” Cloud said.
She encourages new teachers to discover their own style.
“Try, try, and try it again until it works,” said Cloud.
Many students learn a second language in high school as a requirement.
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Sherman Alexie Jr., self-professed “res” American Indian, dislikes casinos, mascots and Oklahoma for stealing his favorite basketball team.
Northeastern State University welcomed the celebrated poet, writer and filmmaker to campus Wednesday, and the audience was treated to 90 minutes of witty and unblinking observation from the perspective of an American Indian all-too-familiar with life on a reservation.
Alexie, named one of the 21st Century’s top 20 writers by The New Yorker, delivered what was essentially a standup monologue to a packed house in the auditorium of the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center. Some of Alexie’s best-known works are “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” a book of short stories, and the film “Smoke Signals.”
Woman serving time for burning baby seeks judicial review
A Cherokee County mother sentenced to 17 years in prison for burning her 14-month-old baby with an iron is asking for a judicial review.
Court records show Jodi Leann Rock, 21, requested a copy of her judgment and sentence, and this week filed an application for a judicial review. Copies of her request have been submitted to a judge and the District Attorney’s Office.
Concerns expressed as SB 573 awaits House vote
With an Oklahoma Senate bill now awaiting a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, some parents are voicing concerns about the futures of rural K-8 schools in Cherokee County.
Senate Bill 573 calls for a commission to establish charter schools throughout the state. A charter school receives taxpayer funding, but functions independently. They can be founded by an array of interests, including teachers, parents, universities and nonprofits. In Oklahoma, tribal entities can establish charter schools.
Man gets suspended sentence for possession
A 37-year-old Webbers Falls man has been given a suspended sentence on drug-possession charges.
Dusty Kayl Skaggs was charged with endeavoring to manufacture methamphetamine earlier this year after he and 43-year-old Misty Hayes Paden, of Muskogee, were arrested during execution of a search warrant.
NSU students observe Earth Day
Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).
Rural smallholders host annual show
More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.
Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop
Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.
Communiversity Band performs Sunday
Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
“Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
“We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”
Council concerned over reports of land contamination
Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.
Council tables cell tower permit apps
Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.
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