Christian “Cash” Velasquez-Rodriquez demonstrates his strength by doing pullups.
Meskvlwv Wesley provides entertainment by telling several jokes during SUIMA’s talent show.
Jinora Mills amazes the audience by singing, “Don’t You Worry” by Black-Eyed Peas.
Photo Credit: courtesy SUIMA
Photo Credit: courtesy SUIMA
Photo Credit: courtesy SUIMA
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Pawaaghani Pɵˈɵkwatʉ – Eagle’s Nest

As I mentioned in the last Drum, for the next few weeks, the focus of these articles will be on the history of the school.  

As you may recall, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy took place on Oct. 25, 1999, but let’s go back a few years before this. Based on what information I have, in 1997, the development of a private school (future “Family Center” aka SUIMA) and a 24-hour childcare center, were beginning to be looked into. 

In 1998, it was recommended that the Family Center be incorporated into the Tribe’s Campus Plan. That same year, Tribal Council approved the opening of Blue Sky, the predecessor of SUIMA. It was considered a school within a school under the administration of the Ignacio School District and housed at the SUIT Education Center.  

This school remained in place until SUIMA’s construction was complete. In April 1999, the Education Department was divided into three segments to include private, public, and higher education. In August of 1999, Tribal Council decides against a 24-hour childcare facility.  

SUIMA School Board 

With the school year at the half-way point, our School Board hosted a talent show for the students. We had at least 15 students who participated with displays of humor, singing, exercising, puppetry, and reading their self-authored stories. We also had a teacher who acted out the book “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” written by Judith Viorst. Thank you to the Southern Ute Royalty for opening up the show and coming to support these students. We plan on making this an annual event.  


Send winter clothing for outside play: boots, snowpants, coat, gloves, hats. The students go outside every day when the temperature allows.  

Parent Advisory Group  

The next PAG meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. via Zoom. These meetings are typically held every third Tuesday of the month. Please consider helping with upcoming fundraiser opportunities as we are looking to make improvements to our playgrounds. 

Family Night group 

Thank you to the parents and staff of SUIMA who helped with our recent concession stand and to those who have volunteered to help with the upcoming concessions stands. The money being raised will help us continue to provide fun activities and events for the school as well as support the upgrades we see are needed to our playgrounds.  

Upcoming Events 

  • Early Release at 2 p.m. every Friday! 
  • Jan. 26: No School – staff training day 
  • Feb. 2: Ute Language fishing project  
  • Feb. 7 & 8: Possible field trips for primary  
  • Feb. 14: School Board meeting  
  • Feb. 16: End of second trimester 
  • Feb. 19: No school in honor of Presidents Day 
  • Feb. 20: AG meeting  
  • Feb. 26 – Mar. 1: Parent/family teacher/guide conferences 
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