Educator on Rosebud Reservation gets $25K with ‘Oscars of Teaching’ distinction
The Milken Educator Award is given to top educators across U.S. each year
A music and Lakota language teacher on the Rosebud Reservation has won a $25,000 national award for his work in the classroom.
Albert “Bobber” Her Many Horses, a music and Lakota language teacher at Todd County Middle School, was surprised with the Milken Educator Award during a school-wide assembly Tuesday, attended by state dignitaries like South Dakota Education Secretary Joe Graves and U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds.
Having grown up in Mission himself, Her Many Horses was recognized for his involvement in the community, helping to facilitate in-school activities for students, and coming up with creative approaches to using technology in the classroom. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Her Many Horses continued to teach his music classes at a high level and successfully produced the school’s winter and spring concerts in a virtual format.
Her Many Horses is the only recipient of the award from South Dakota this year.
“Her Many Horses has all the hallmarks of what constitutes a first-rate teacher: He is an expert in his fields of music and the Lakota language, he is highly adaptable to new technologies and new situations, and he is an exceptional role model for his students and fellow teachers at Todd County Middle School,” Graves said. “His hard work will inspire his students throughout their lifetimes, his dedication to them ensures that.”
In addition to his teaching duties, Her Many Horses also devotes time outside of the classroom to helping tutor students in the subjects of math and science, volunteers with the school’s wrestling program, and assists the high school pep band during games. He is also actively involved in South Dakota Destination Imagination, a nonprofit that inspires students to grow into the next generation of innovators and leaders.
During the summer, Her Many Horses also teaches at Sinte Gleska University, an accredited tribal university on the Rosebud Reservation.
“Her Many Horses is a leader in the community of Mission and has had a significant impact on the students at Todd County,” Rounds said. “He is not only a role model to his students, but for teachers across the state and country as well.”
In addition to receiving $25,000, Her Many Horses will have the opportunity to attend a Milken Educator Awards Forum alongside other award recipients in Los Angeles next year. Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Milken Award will be given out to up to 75 teachers around the country this year.