Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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Choctaw Nation to Participate in National Rulemaking Committee for No Child Left Behind

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

For more information please contact:
Judy Allen, Executive Director of Public Relations
Judy.allen@choctawnation.com
580-924-8280 ext. 2249
529 N. 16th
Durant, OK 74701

DURANT, Okla. (January 18, 2010) – The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was recently honored when a Tribal representative was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to participate in the No Child Left Behind School Facilities and Construction Negotiated Rulemaking Committee. Joy Culbreath, Executive Education Director for the Choctaw Nation, has joined with 21 other Tribal representatives who will work together for the next two years to prepare and submit reports regarding BIA-funded school facilities. When asked for comment, Mrs. Culbreath replied, “I am honored to serve on this committee and my hope is that we will develop policies that will positively impact the lives of American Indian children in all parts of the United States.”

“I would like to see every child have the same opportunity to learn,” she said.

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 directed the Department of the Interior (DOI) to improve education in Indian country, review the process for prioritizing repair an replacement of Indian education facilities, and ensure that Indian people are involved in review of the DOI’s prioritizing process.

The committee has the task of preparing a catalog of BIA-funded school facilities and issuing a report concerning school replacement and new construction needs. A formula will be developed for the equitable distribution of funds to address those needs. The committee will also determine major and minor renovation needs.

Albuquerque served as the location for the first meetings, which began on January 5, featuring introductions, committee rulemaking and organization, and initial information.

A graduate of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Culbreath began her career in education at her Alma Mater in 1967. She worked with a variety of programs during her 27 ears at Southeastern including several federal TRIO programs such as Upward Bound, in business education and as an advisor in the counseling center.

Culbreath retired from Southeastern but not from education. Soon after leaving Southeastern, she began building an adult education program for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. One of the most successful programs instituted by the tribe, it has grown from 19 students earning GEDs in 1993-94 to over 100 graduates annually. Culbreath was appointed executive director over all the Choctaw Nation’s educational programs in 1997.

“Joy is accepting this challenge in the same manner she has many other tasks, with a determination to ensure that no child is ever left behind,” said Chief Gregory E. Pyle. “She has spearheading many of our greatest accomplishments such as constructing a state-of-the-art elementary school on the grounds of Jones Academy, developing an exemplary language program, and devising numerous top-quality programs to serve all ages, from early childhood through higher education and adult education.

“The committee is lucky to have Joy on board,” he said.

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