Jones Academy Graduating Class of 2023

July 5, 2023

Jones Academy proudly announces its graduating class of 2023.

Kaylyn Renee Porter, age 17, is the daughter of Cody and Wanda Porter of Lindsay, Okla. Kaylyn is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She is the maternal granddaughter of David and the late Barbara Webster. She is the paternal granddaughter of Patty Porter. Kaylyn was an active member of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America at Hartshorne High School. In the evenings this past spring, Kaylyn helped with the elementary school children as a librarian assistant at Jones Academy. She has a passion for reading. Her plans include getting a four-year degree at East Central University and then a master’s in Library Science.

Tushka Humma “Tuck” Watson, age 18, is the son of Lucinda Williams of Albuquerque, NM and Curtis D. Watson of Talihina, Okla. Tushka Humma is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He participated in Future Farmers of America and 4-H at Jones Academy. His hobbies include lifting weights and boxing. He is enrolling at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology in Okmulgee, Okla. in the fall, where he will pursue a career in Electrical Construction.

Samuel Cecil Kaniatobe, is the son of Samuel Kaniatobe of Ardmore, Okla. and Amber Franks of Oklahoma City. Samuel is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He first enrolled at Jones Academy when he was in the third grade. Samuel was a member of the Hartshorne High School band for six years and placed second at district competitions this year as a baritone soloist. He was voted Band King by his peers in 2023. During his years at Jones Academy, he was a member of the school’s STEAM Program and the robotics Botball team. Samuel is also an accomplished and gifted artist. He is registered to attend classes at Haskell Indian Nations University this coming fall. He has a desire to be a Native American artist.

Corbin Macario Tomas, age 18, is the son of Eduardo Macario Tomas and the late Rose Macario Tomas of Philadelphia, Miss. Corbin is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. While at Jones Academy, Corbin was an integral part of the popularity and success of the Jones Academy’s stickball team. He also enjoys recreational basketball. In February, Corbin lost his mother to cancer while he was a student at Jones Academy. Corbin displayed phenomenal courage by asking to return to Jones Academy to finish his studies. Corbin has registered to attend classes at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan. He also has a desire to serve his country in the armed forces.

Elijah Charles Witcher, age 17, is the son of Lisa Hall of Durant, Okla. Elijah is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. He was an officer of the United National Indian Tribal Youth organization at Jones Academy. Elijah represented Jones Academy at the American Indian Science and Engineering Conference in Palm Springs, Calif., this past fall. Elijah is exploring his career options at this moment and is interested in Safety Management.

Founded in 1891 by the Choctaw Nation, Jones Academy is a no-cost American Indian boarding school located four miles north of Hartshorne in Eastern Oklahoma. The school is nestled among 540 acres of rolling pastures and trees at the foot of the Pocahontas Mountains in Oklahoma’s Ouachita Mountain range.

Approximately 200 students attend grades 1st-12th each year from tribal nations across the United States, in particular our neighboring communities in Oklahoma. There is no fee for students to attend Jones Academy. Admission includes travel, housing, and meals.

Jones Academy and its partners are transforming learning experiences for Native youth by helping them discover life pathways and cultivate a sense of cultural identity.

Education at this American Indian boarding school isn’t only about book knowledge. It’s also about the life lessons that create mature, balanced, responsible and compassionate adults.

Due to space limitations, the Biskinik does not run submitted high school graduation or GED announcements.

Jones Academy is owned and operated by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and the Adult Education is a Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma program; this is why these graduates are featured in the Biskinik.