From the Eagle’s Nest

You can travel the world and never find medicine pouches a beautiful as these. Pictured are medicine pouches made by the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy staff as one of their cultural projects this school year.

Students take virtual trips

As the school year starts winding down and we all look back at the summer we didn’t have last year, and start making plans to ensure a summer of fun happens this year, please remember to stay cautious and continue to follow the health requirements that the Tribe’s Incident Management Team and Tribal Council have in place for us. 

If you choose to travel, take your mask and hand sanitizer. We have many wonderful things to explore in our area and traveling to those places are just a simple day trip away. Remember to call ahead of time to ensure that places and sites are open. Most lakes are open and ready for fishermen, women, girls and boys; the Four Corners Monument is open; you can go to for some beautiful trails to hike around Durango. Chimney Rock may be opening up on May 15; you can travel over Wolf Creek to see some natural mountain beauty or load up your bicycles to head to the many small towns in our area and ride on their bike trails. While these places might not be “traveling,” they are enjoyable. 

During this time of year, school field trips often take place. With our school ending the year with remote, online learning, the students have traveled many places.

Our toddler level traveled to cities in search of community helpers, some of our primary students have traveled to Asia or South America, and our elementary students have traveled throughout the world.

Though it is not the same, the students have enjoyed the virtual trips and learned much about other cultures, countries, traditions, and the people that live there. 


For this edition of the Eagles Nest, our focus is on Upper Elementary teacher Lori Smith, who joined SUIMA at the beginning of this school year, coming by way of Sunnyside Elementary in the Durango School District.

Lori Smith, Upper Elementary Teacher

Ms. Smith is married to her husband of 31 years; has two children: Erin and Conner; a miniature Australian shepherd, 3 cats and a rabbit. 

When not spending time at home with her family, she can be found somewhere in the mountains. Lori is a seasoned traveler who brings her excitement in learning about other countries to her students. 

One of Ms. Smith’s favorite quotes is Wei Wu Wei, which essentially means “What is, is, and let it be.” The best part of working at SUIMA is learning about the Montessori philosophy. Advice that she offers to all students is to be curious about your world, ask questions, try new things, and learn every day. 

Thank you, Lori, for being part of the SUIMA family.

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