Robert Brave Heart Sr. - Executive Vice President
Bob has dedicated more than 25 years to educating the children of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. At Red Cloud, he has served many capacities, including as a charismatic leader in the classroom and as a coach on the court, a dedicated principal, an understanding and compassionate director of spiritual formation, and as superintendent. Bob is committed to continue to provide a quality education for the students of Red Cloud and he is focused on increasing the number of Native American teachers. In addition to his roles at Red Cloud, he has been the president of the Big Foot Athletic Conference (1990-1993), a member of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (1993-2001), Red Cloud High School's representative to the Lakota Nation Invitational board, and is a member of the Gray Eagle Society.
Angie Eagle Bull - Vice President for Finance
Angie grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and comes from a long line of family members who have attended school and worked at Red Cloud Indian School. After graduating from Red Cloud in 1979, she attended New Mexico State University for one year before enrolling in Oglala Lakota College back home. She graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1994. Before accepting her current role, she was a major gift officer and director of direct mail operations in the advancement office.
Jane Farrell - Director of Donor Relations, Director of Planned Giving & General Counsel
Jane has served as Red Cloud's chief legal counsel for several years, a service she has provided while also leading direct mail operations in the advancement office. Helping Red Cloud was a practice begun by her father, the late attorney Martin Farrell. Since 1950, the elder Farrell handled all the school system's legal work pro bono through his firm in Hot Springs, South Dakota, 60 miles to the north. When Jane joined her father's practice in 1981 she, like her father, gave freely of her services. Jane joined the staff of Red Cloud full-time in 2000.
Walt Swan Jr. - Superintendent of Schools
Walt Swan Jr. is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and received his Bachelor’s degree from Black Hills State University and his Master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University; earning a fellowship from the American Indian Leadership Program under the direction of Dr. John Tippeconnic. For the past 16 years, Swan served in a variety of capacities within Native American education, fulfilling school roles of educator (including at Red Cloud in 2000, teaching social studies) and administrator, and later as Director of Indian Education and Educational Line Officer for the Bureau of Indian Education. Walt worked with more than 25 tribes in the northwest, southern and eastern regions, and on several reservations in South Dakota. He has led successful program turnaround efforts at every level of school administration, from the business office to personnel, with the mindset that no school or program is complete without student academic achievement as the cornerstone of the school’s most important work.
One of the compelling reasons for Walt to return to Red Cloud is the strong leadership that exists. He feels the leadership has always been excellent and always points to student success. It is crystal clear that student academic success is paramount to the entire institution. That is what Walt was a part of as a teacher and has high expectations for as the Superintendent.
Fr. Peter J. Klink, S.J. - Vice President for Mission and Identity
Fr. Klink first came to Red Cloud Indian School in 1975 and taught in the high school. After completing subsequent studies in theology, he was ordained in 1981. He served as an Interim Principal at Our Lady of Lourdes in Porcupine for one year, prior to serving at the Jesuit Novitiate in St. Paul for two years. Fr. Klink then returned to Red Cloud, serving as President from 1985-1991, at which point he was asked to head the National Office of Jesuit Social Ministries in Washington, DC. He returned to Red Cloud in 1995, to serve in succession as Superintendent of Schools, Director of Development, and finally as President again from 1998-2010.
Thomas 'TJ' Lynch - Director of Technology
TJ grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts just outside of Boston. After attending Merrimack College, TJ came to Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School as a Red Cloud Volunteer and served from 2000-2002. When his service was complete TJ chose to stay and spent the next 10 years at Our Lady of Lourdes in various capacities. TJ has worked in technology support, assisting in the classrooms, as Our Lady of Lourdes' Business Manager and as a 21st Century Community Learning Centers Grant Director. During those years, TJ also found time to study and graduated from the University of South Dakota with his MBA, and after spending three summers in California, graduated from the University of San Francisco (a fellow Jesuit institution) with his master's degree in Catholic Educational Leadership.
In July, 2013, TJ spent a year as the Director of Campus Management at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep (CRSM) but now admits that while he loved working for CRSM, he couldn't stop thinking about South Dakota. In 2014 he was humbled to accept the position of Director of Technology and return to Red Cloud Indian School. He says that there is an amazing amount of energy he gets from working with staff and students at Red Cloud and Our Lady of Lourdes. Working at Red Cloud, he says, is not a profession, it is a calling.
Jill Marshall, Senior Advisor for Strategy & Operations
Jill is Senior Advisor for Strategy and Operations and works closely with Red Cloud’s leadership to support the organization’s priorities, and provides communication, financial oversight and planning tools to facilitate execution of programs and activities related to the organization's strategic plan, financial planning, and advancement efforts. Jill works for Red Cloud from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, and calls South Dakota her “second home”, having worked for more than half of her career to improve the lives of youth and families across the state, beginning with her time on the staff of U.S. Senator Tom Daschle. Jill is passionate about her work at Red Cloud because of her commitment to helping nonprofit organizations realize their missions more effectively and her belief that social justice can only be realized through action not rhetoric. Jill began working at Red Cloud in 2008."
Colleen McCarthy, Vice President for External Affairs
Originally from Cincinnati, Colleen started as a Red Cloud Volunteer in 2003. After teaching social studies and religion, she left for further volunteer work with the Marianists in southern India. Always persuasive, the Jesuits asked Colleen back to serve in the Advancement Office in 2008, filling the roles of Major Gift Officer, Director of Annuities and currently as Vice President for External Affairs. Colleen graduated from the University of Dayton in 2003 with a BFA in Visual Communication Design and earned her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of South Dakota in 2015.
Colleen loves when people realize the impact they have made and are excited about that. She says she doesn't know anyone involved with the organization - from teachers to staff to donors to students - who is working for their own personal gain. To be able to see, everyday, people working so hard for someone else or something greater than themselves is a unique opportunity.
Tashina Rama - Executive Director of Advancement
Tashina Rama (Lakota/Ojibwa) came to Red Cloud from New Mexico where she was the Director of Financial Aid for the New Mexico Higher Education Department working under New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson’s administration for three years. Prior to that gubernatorial appointment, she worked in education for several years beginning at the Native American Preparatory School in Rowe, NM, St. John’s College in Santa Fe and the University of New Mexico’s Institute for Public Policy.
At Red Cloud since 2009, Tashina started off as the Director of Student Advancement and Alumni Support before accepting an appointment as the Executive Director of Advancement. Tashina holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration with a minor in Native American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Tashina is married with five children, three dogs and four horses!
Lisa Swallow - Director of Human Resources
Lisa Swallow, joined Red Cloud Indian School in 2014 as the Director of Human Resources. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree from Black Hills State University and is certified as a Lay Counselor. She comes to Red Cloud after working in leadership positions for more than nine years with other faith-based non-profits in the Human Services field.
Lisa finds it inspiring to work with such a devoted group of individuals to ensure future generations of Lakota people can improve their lives and those of their families and their community through a common goal of educating the mind, body and spirit.
Lisa, is a native-born Californian, yet has spent most of her life with her family in the Black Hills Region and the plains of the Pine Ridge Reservation. She says, “Coming back, is like coming home”. Lisa and her teenage son look forward to joining Red Cloud Indian School community.
Veronica Valandra - Pastoral Coordinator
Veronica Valandra (Sicangu Lakota) began work in July of 2013, as the Pastoral Coordinator for the Pastoral Team at Red Cloud Indian School. Veronica previously worked as the Director of Native Ministry for the Diocese of Rapid City for the past 10 1/2 years. She also worked for 35 years for the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a Realty Specialist in the Branch of Real Property Management at Rosebud Agency in Rosebud, SD, where she retired in November of 2002.
She is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, a graduate of St. Paul's High School in Marty, SD and the Aberdeen School of Commerce in Aberdeen, SD.Veronica served four years on the National Advisory Council of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC and was very active at the national level in Native Ministry and served on several national committees on behalf of Native people.
Veronica had the privilege of attending the canonization of St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Rome in October, 2012, and is a member of the national Tekakwitha Conference and is also a Franciscan Associate. Also in 2012, Veronica was presented the Inaugural Award at the National Tekakwitha Conference for her service to the Church.
While on the Rosebud Reservation she was very active in her home parish of St. Bridget's in Rosebud. She participated in the four year Ministry Formation Program in the Diocese and was commissioned as a Lay Minister in May, 1999. Veronica is a widow, mother of three grown children, a daughter Ann and two sons, James and Carl. She has four grandchildren, twins Matthew and Megan, Mark, and Calvin.
Michael Welch - Special Assistant to the President
Originally from Worcester, MA, Michael first came to know Red Cloud Indian School as a volunteer in the 1980's and 1990's, teaching middle school religion. He later fulfilled the roles of high school religion teacher, campus minister, Director of Development, and Associate Pastor at Our Lady of the Sioux Parish in Oglala. After leaving to raise his family back on the east coast, Michael ultimately joined Saint John's High School, most recently serving as Headmaster for fifteen years. Today he is back at Red Cloud, having taken on the role of Special Assistant to the President where he seeks to sustain and forward the mission of Red Cloud in service to the school and reservation community. Michael's family also lives out Red Cloud's mission: his wife Bridget teaches 4th grade at the school and three of his children have served as Red Cloud volunteers. Michael has his Bachelor's in Psychology from Marquette University and Master's in Pastoral Ministry, as well as Catholic School Leadership, from Boston College.