Making a difference one student at a time

I am nominating Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California Education Advisor Lori Pasqua for employee of the year.

She has been employed by the Tribe for 22 years, beginning in September 1988. She's a 1980 graduate of Carson High School and attended Western Nevada College, Carson City and obtained an AA degree in liberal arts with a minor in anthropology.

Her office is located at the Douglas High School in Minden. She works with all American Indian students, grades 9-12. Daily she assists students with academic studies, attendance, cultural activities. She closely monitors her students for academic and attendance issues. If a student is absent she immediately contacts the parents to check on the student.

She will also go to the student's home, if necessary, and discuss their problem and encourage them to stay in school.

Under her supervision, guidance and tutoring, the graduation rate has greatly improved for the Indian students. When she began working with the program in the year 1994, there were five students graduated from high school. This last school year ending June, 2010, Douglas High School graduated 18 Indian students.

Over the period of four years of high school, the students are required to pass 17 Competency Tests and the High School Proficiency exam.

Douglas County School District is the only district in the state that requires students to pass the 17 tests to graduate. She also assists them with credit recovery in order to graduate from high school.

In addition, she prepares the students for higher education beginning their freshman year. She counsels them to take classes that will help being accepted into a college/university. She assists her students in preparing for the ACT and SAT college entrance exams.

Also, she works with and explains in detail how to fill out the financial aid packet (FASFA)/Pell Grant and ensure they meet all deadlines and to make sure the college's financial aid officer fills out the form prior to deadlines.

She takes her students to the University of Nevada, Reno, to allow them to see how college life would be, sit in on classes and tour the dormitories.

Also, she prepares the students for today's jobs, emphasizing computer/internet skills, also math/accounting and English/writing/spelling skills, writing resumes and interview skills.

She is the advisor of the Indian Club at the high school and encourages the students to be proud of their Indian heritage and to participate in cultural activities. To keep herself updated on tribal history she attends the Tribal Cultural Preservation Committee meetings. She initiated and coordinates the Western Nevada College Pow Wow which has become an annual event. Lori and her mother also coordinated the annual Nevada Day Pow Wow held at the end of October.

In her position she works and collaborates with numerous people at the high school and community. Lori is constantly networking and looking out for any opportunities and grants for the Education Program. She is vice-chairman of the Nevada Indian Commission's Education Committee.

Lori is a Washoe tribal member and resides on the Dresslerville Indian Colony with her significant other of 18 years. She is the daughter of Lana Hicks of Fallon, Nevada and Eugene Pasqua of Susanville, Calif. She has two adult children who both graduated from Douglas High School - Fawn Hunter of Gardnerville and Serrell Smokey of Lawrence, Kan.

Meg McDonald prepared this nomination for Lori Pasqua.


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