2020 Charter Leadership Award Winner - Cindy Ward-Thompson
Cindy Ward-Thompson, Director of Bdote Learning Center in Minneapolis.
As one of the school founders, Cindy was instrumental in establishing a dual Native American language immersion program to fulfill a need for language and culture restoration and engage Native students who were being lost in other schools not reflecting their identities. During her 6-year tenure, Cindy has launched a “Grow Your Own” program designed to bring community language and cultural keepers to pursue a teaching career. Cindy has been an active participant in the Tribal Education Consortium, as well as local and national American Indian Education organizations. All of her work has been towards creating an environment for students to know their culture and to grow and achieve their potential. As her Board says, “When we couple this growth with the strength and confidence they are developing in self-identity through cultural programming, Bdote students are indeed looking at bright futures filled with possibilities that will help them to realize their fullest potential. “