Desktop Schools Popup

Select a School

American Indian Education

A high school student dances during a powwow.
The mission of the American Indian Education program is to meet the unique cultural and academic needs of our American Indian learners. Our program explores the rich indigenous heritage, history and narratives of the many American Indian tribes, and strives to restore and promote the innovation and importance of the culture. Students across the district and at all grade levels participate in programming honoring American Indians. 
Funding for the program comes from a grant under the Federal Government’s Title VI authorization and from the Minnesota Department of Education’s World’s Best Workforce initiative.

The following FREE services are offered to District 196 students enrolled in the American Indian Education Program:

  • Cultural enrichment classes for students and their families
  • Reading enrichment for elementary students
  • Seasonal cultural events for the entire family
  • Field trips and other experiential learning opportunities
  • Academic advocacy
  • Middle School Leadership Groups
  • Tutoring for High School students (see below for more details)
  • ACT Prep Courses (see below for more details)
  • College visits
  • Information for post-secondary planning (financial aid/scholarships)

Enrolling in the program

In order for students to participate in the American Indian Education program under the Federal Government Title VI eligibility, the student’s parent must complete the Title VI Student Eligibility Certification Form (506). This form is maintained at your child’s school and will not be released without your written approval. It does not need to be completed every year. For more information, visit the National Congress of American Indians website and click on “Directory” to search for tribal information. (Title VI funding only recognizes Federal tribes.)

Contact us

14301 Diamond Path
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Phone: 651-423-7890

Native American Parent Advisory Committee

Join the Native American Parent Advisory Committee (NAPAC)! The purpose of this group is to serve in an advisory capacity for planning and implementing programs and events that will support District 196 American Indian students and their families. NAPAC membership consists of parents and/or guardians of identified American Indian students attending District 196 schools, secondary student representatives and teacher representatives. Learn more about NAPAC. 

Teacher Resources

Ojibwe and Dakota Culture Trunk Check Out:

Native American Authored – Lending Library Check Out:

Questions? Call 651-423-7890 or email Lisa Turgeon at

Our Team

Lifetouch headshot of Francisca El-Zeenny, cultural family advocate

Francisca El-Zeenny

Cultural Family Advocate
Office: 651-423-7935
Cell: 612-244-0974

Assigned schools:

  • School of Environmental Studies
  • Falcon Ridge Middle School
  • Scott Highlands Middle School
  • Cedar Park Elementary School
  • East Lake Elementary School
  • Highland Elementary School
  • Parkview Elementary
  • Thomas Lake Elementary School
  • Westview Elementary School
Portrait of Fonda Smith.

Fonda Smith

Cultural Family Advocate
Office: 651-423-7882
Cell: 612-244-7197

Assigned schools:

  • Rosemount High School
  • Rosemount Middle School
  • Diamond Path Elementary School
  • Rosemount Elementary School
  • Shannon Park Elementary School
Lifetouch headshot of Lisa Turgeon, cultural family advocate

Lisa Turgeon

Cultural Family Advocate
Office: 651-423-7890
Cell: 612-991-2741

Assigned schools:

  • Eagan High School
  • Black Hawk Middle School
  • Dakota Hills Middle School
  • Deerwood Elementary School
  • Glacier Hills Elementary School
  • Northview Elementary School
  • Pinewood Elementary School
  • Red Pine Elementary School
  • Woodland Elementary School

Jorja Valandra
Office: 651-423-7912
Cell: 651-200-8327 

Assigned schools:

  • Apple Valley High School
  • Area Learning Center
  • Eastview High School
  • Dakota Ridge
  • Valley Middle School of STEM
  • Echo Park Elementary School
  • Greeleaf Elementary School
  • Oak Ridge Elementary School
  • Southview Elementary School
Portrait placeholder that says No Photograph Available

Megan Bard-Pankow

  • Academic Coach
  • Supervises Indian Education Tutoring Program
  • ACT Preparation Course instructor

Educational supports