Skip to main content
A teacher showing a book to students.

Season 2, Bonus Episode: Investing in Native Leadership

We’re hearing from Teach For America leaders about how to overcome the barriers that keep Native educators out of classrooms.

Air Date: March 14, 2023

In this special bonus episode, we hear from guest host and Teach For America alum Kayla Camacho (Dallas-Fort Worth ‘14) and leaders across our network who are innovating culturally relevant methods for recruiting and supporting Native educators to better serve Native students' success.


Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to our podcast insider newsletter.

The monthly ‘One Day Today’ newsletter features our top stories, delivered straight to your in-box.

About The Show

Host Jonathan Santos Silva (South Dakota ‘10) will sit down with innovative nonprofits from across the country that are committed to attracting, training, and retaining BIPOC educators. Each episode will feature thoughtful conversations about how organizations are investing in and providing careers where BIPOC staff can flourish.

Meet the Host
Jonathan santos silva square

Jonathan Santos Silva (South Dakota ‘10)

Jonathan Santos Silva is the Founding Executive Director of The Liber Institute and creator and host of The Bored of Ed, a podcast that amplifies the voices of inspiring BIPOC educators who are changing the face of education. He has provided technical support to South Dakota’s Native American Achievement Schools and has served as a school founder and principal, instructional coach, and education consultant.

Featured In This Episode
Kayla Camacho headshot

Kayla Camacho (Dallas-Fort Worth ‘14), Director of Regional Leadership Operations at TFA LA

Kayla was a 2014 Dallas-Fort Worth corps member, where she taught English Language Arts in West Dallas. Kayla's mixed-raced heritage reflects her diverse culture with both Indigenous and Mexican roots, and she has been a member and supporter of the Native Alliance since she joined Teach For America staff in 2016.

Alec Dugin headshot

Alec Dugin (Greater Tulsa, ‘21), High School Science Teacher

Originally, I am from Phoenix, Arizona. In college, I served as an elected member of the Alliance of Indigenous Peoples student culture alliance to support all Indigenous students reach their goals. Post college, I am serving as a Greater Tulsa Teach For America corps member.  During my first year as a corps member, I created the Indigenous Students Association (ISA) at my site in order to better serve our Indigenous community. I hope to continue supporting the Indigenous community post my TFA/education career experience by going to medical school to eventually serve as a physician in Indian Health Services with the specific goal of improving Native Health outcomes.

Kyrstian Sisson headshot

Krystian Sisson, Recruitment Manager at TFA

Krystian is a citizen of the Mvskoke Nation in eastern Oklahoma. Prior to joining Teach For America, Krystian managed the Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship Program, a program she is an alum of herself. Krystian has a background in social services (working with children and families in schools and with families experiencing homelessness) and in law and policy work (supporting tribal interests in DC at the federal level). 

WaziHanska Cook

WaziHanska, Senior Managing Director

WaziHanska, is an enrolled citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Since 2010, he has served as Senior Managing Director and Founder of the Native Alliance at Teach For America, supporting Indigenous American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian students, teachers, schools and communities. Wazihanska has held many National leadership positions including past President of the National Indian Education Association and a Presidential appointment on the National Advisory Council on Indian Education. A 2005 Milken National Educator and NIEA's National Teacher of the Year, Wazihanska continues to serve on many boards and councils serving Native Education. 

Josie Green headshot

Josie Green, Executive Director, Teach For America South Dakota region

Josie is Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Reservation. After graduating high school from Tiospa Zina Tribal School she continued her educational journey by receiving her BA at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Immediately after graduation she was a lower elementary teacher at the Spring Creek School, home of the Sicangu Lakota peoples in the Rosebud Reservation, SD.

Missy Wauneka headshot

Missy Wauneka, Executive Director of TFA New Mexico region

Missy is a national board certified educator, former school leader and is currently the Executive Director of the New Mexico the Teach For America New Mexico team, wherein she has served for the past 5 years in various roles overseeing Operations, Development, and Program. Missy started her career teaching middle school science on the Navajo Nation and was the Head of School at Albuquerque’s Native American Community Academy Charter Schools before joining Teach For America’s staff. 

Dr. Kim Lanoy-Sandoval headshot

Dr. Kim Lanoy-Sandoval, Chairwoman for NM Indian Education Advisory Committee

Kim is a proud New Mexican with over 20 years of experience in education. Before joining Future Focused, she co-founded LEAP (Leading Educators through Alternative Pathways), a statewide alternative licensure program for teachers. As a mom, educator, and member of the Navajo Nation, she is passionate about creating educational landscapes which value and connect students, families, educators, and communities. She serves as Chairwoman for the NM Indian Education Advisory Committee and is on the NM Professional Practice Standards Board.

Ali Nava headshot

Ali Nava, regional facilitator and coach for Leading Educators Alternative Pathways

With a MA and BA in Early Childhood Multicultural Education from UNM, Ali’s passion is helping teachers create performance-based assessments tied to Project-Based Learning (PBL), differentiated instruction, and the modernization of station teaching and facilitation.

Diane Katzenmeyer-Delgado, Teachers’ Coach, Leading Educators through Alternative Pathways (LEAP)

Teachers’ Coach, Leading Educators through Alternative Pathways (LEAP) 

Sign up to receive articles like this in your inbox!

Thanks for signing up!