Leonard C. Burch’s family members stand with two winners of the Leonard C. Burch Day Literacy & Art contest, 1st place winner in the 2nd grade category, Derek Sage (center) and 1st place in the 4th and 5th grade literacy category, Tamarius Roland (to Derek’s left). The awards were presented to the Southern Ute Indian Montessori Academy students on Friday, Dec. 18 in the SunUte meeting room while other awards were presented in the Ignacio Schools respectively.
1st Place: Derek Sage – SUIMA, Lower Elementary 2 (3rd Grade)
First place winner in the Leonard C. Burch Art contest, Ruby Tallbird displays her winning artwork. Ruby is in Kindergarten at the Ignacio Elementary School.
1st Place: Ruby Tallbird – Ignacio Elementary School (Kindergarten)
1st Place winner Reyannen L. Frost, 1st grader at the Ignacio Elementary School shows her artwork with the prize that she won in the LCB art contest.
1st Place: Reyannen L. Frost – Ignacio Elementary School (1st Grade)
Ignacio Middle school 7th Grader, Matthew Belleau won 2nd place in the LCB Literacy contest, shakes hands with Leona Burch.
Eight grader, Santana Edd-Belin, 1st place winner in the Leonard C. Burch Literacy contest. She incorporated Nelson Mandela, Disney and her cat into her winning essay.
1st Place: Reese Appenzeller – Ignacio Elementary School (2nd Grade)
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Photo Credit: Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
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Leonard C. Burch Art and Literacy Contest winners


By Tamarius Roland

1st place, 4th Grade

Leonard C. Burch


Air Force

December 24, 1933



Southern Ute Indian Tribe

Hall of fame- Business

Ignacio, Colorado



By Santana Edd-Belin

1st place, 8th Grade

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela.

I think everyone has that moment, that experience of clicking on a new more daunting headset that changes your perspective of most things and for me it was everything. Before leadership meant ‘control’ and ‘power’ but now after my perspective changed leadership means stepping up and take charge even when things get hard and “have courage and be kind” (this is what Disney teaches me 🙂 .) Leadership isn’t something you can take, you have to it earn it.

Being a leader is harder than most things and most of the time you don’t realize when you’re a leader. Being a leader is having the qualities of honesty and awareness and know what to do and say in any type of crisis.

Leaders are the people in the world who accept that the world we live in isn’t perfect and it can never be perfect be we can make it our home, a safe place.

Being a leader was one of Leonard C. Burch many trademarks he left behind. He was quiet eligible to many well deserved titles and one that he claimed was chairman which he took with pride and did his best to fulfill his duties to the law expressing his hardwork and dedication by being the voice of the people. Leaders are usually someone you can trust and admire. Leonard C. Burch was able to make a strong reliable relationship with many people who trusted him with many things. Burch was a very admirable man who was hardworking and steadfast with every problem he was assigned. He had every characteristic that was need for a great memorable leader who will be remembered for years to come.

When people aren’t there to comfort you, to tell you you’re safe sometimes you just need to melt away in music or drown in the peaceful yet comforting silence of an animal’s company. Sometimes animals can be the best leaders in the world. I can trust that my animals will always be there for me and will know what to do even if they can’t speak to me, but from time to time someone’s or something’s actions are all you need. One of my animals who I can always be reassured that they will sooth my worries is my kitten Queen of Sheba or Sheba. Sheba will know when I am distressed or when I am upset and every action she does for me is for my benefit in someway or another.

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. – The Book Thief Liesel Meminger. To me words can rip my heart out or stitch me back together so sometimes actions are all we need.

Being a leader is one of the hardest things that I try to do and when I show leader characteristics nine times out of ten I don’t realize it. I don’t think I could ever be a good leader, when I wrap my head around the idea of being a leader it seems so overwhelming and hard to do so Nelson Mandela, Leonard C. Burch, and Martin Luther King Jr. made being a leader look easy-ish despite the responsibility and hardship it takes to be a good leader. Someone who is willing to give up some of the best things in their lives to guide and care for something or someone is a true leader in my eyes so I may not be a leader of a nation but I am a leader of myself and that’s good enough for me.

Leaders aren’t the people who take things for granted or people who seem like the best option since they have what others wish they could have like money or riches. True faithful leaders are hard to come by and when you find them you should cherish them.


By Matthew Belleau

2nd place, 7th Grade

What do you think makes a quality leader? There have been many thousands of leaders all throughout history, some real, some fiction, but two figures really stand out to me; Leonard C. Burch and Winston Churchill. These two men have shown leadership to me in a myriad of ways, and also demonstrate three important leadership qualities; honor, integrity, and intelligence.

The first quality, honor, is important because as a leader and a role model, you must not only know the difference between right and wrong, but you must act on it, and make the right decisions. As a leader you must be able to show respect, esteem, and dignity. For example, people who show leadership qualities must know the difference between right and wrong and act on it. The second quality, integrity, is important because as a leader, you must have high moral standards, and always be honest. For example, leaders must be true to their word and always do the right thing. The third and final quality, intelligence, is important because even if you’re not a leader, you must know how to handle various situations and know what to do in certain circumstances. Leaders show this quality by being able to make quick decisions and know that they’re the right ones.

Leonard C. Burch certainly showed all of these qualities. He showed honor by not backing down when people thought things wouldn’t work and knew what was right and wrong. He showed integrity by keeping himself to high moral standards and believed in himself and his tribe. He showed intelligence in his dealings with companies about oil, land and water rights, and was continually elected to be the tribal chairman, all the while maintaining a cooperative relationship with the U.S. Government, the State of Colorado, and neighboring governments.

Another person I see as a leader, Winston Churchill, was another shining example of these three qualities. He showed honor by leading his country valiantly. He showed integrity by not allowing himself to bow to public opinion. He showed intelligence through is strategy and actions as Prime Minister. He lead the war against the Axis powers in World War II, never giving up in the face of evil.

I also do several things that show leadership. For example, I participate in Student Council proceedings, helping plan school events and keeping the school clean. In addition, I participate in martial arts and am a role model for younger students.

What do you think makes a quality leader? There are and have been many thousands of leaders in the world, but two of the most prominent for me are Leonard C. Burch and Winston Churchill. Everyone should have a hero in their life. They were both outstanding examples of leadership, showing honor, integrity, and intelligence. They carried themselves with dignity, kept high moral standards and always knew what was right. They both lead their people to peace and prosperity. All in all, I think you can see why Leonard C. Burch and Winston Churchill are heroes to me.


By Rylee Pearson

3rd place, 7th grade

What do you think makes a leader? I think what makes leader are people who have bravery, honesty, and integrity. Although there are many leaders in the world, two leaders to me are Leonard C. Burch and my grandpa.

The· traits that support a leader are bravery, honesty, and integrity. What does bravery mean to you? Bravery means someone who is not afraid to stand up and do what’s right. Another trait for a leader is honesty. Honesty means someone who tells the truth no matter how hard the truth is. The last trait is integrity. Integrity means being a good person and doing what’s right.

One leader to me is is Leonard C. Burch. He demonstrated bravery in many ways. One way Mr. Burch showed bravery was by standing up and running for chairmen. Another way Mr. Burch showed bravery was by being in the Air Force. Mr. Burch also showed honesty by not telling a lie to his people or his community. The last trait is integrity. Mr. Burch showed integrity by being a leader for his people and helping others. Mr. Burch was a great man and human being. He helped many families and many schools in Ignacio, Colorado. Mr. Burch was a family man; he had seven daughters. Their names are Leonora Burch, Leona Burch, Lena Mae Burch, Lisa Burch-Frost, Leona Lucero, Laurena Burch and Lynette Sage. His wife’s name was Irene. Mr. Burch also had fourteen grandchildren.

One trait that leaders have is bravery. Leaders show bravery by being fair to other people and they help others in need. For an example, my grandpa is a firefighter. He saves many lives everyday. I will never forget this one time when we were camping. I was running down this hill and he told me that I should slow down! I didn’t listen. Right when he told me to slow down again, I tripped over this big rock and slid a few feet. I got a big gash on my knee. I saw him rushing towards me. He picked me up and brought me in our camper, sat me down on the bed and asked me if I wanted bandages. I said, “Yes please” and he wrapped a bandage on my knee. That’s why I know my grandpa is one of my leaders.

I think a hero should also be honest. One way I know that my grandpa is honest is when I ask him if he wants to go rock climbing or if he wants to play the wii with me, he might say yes or no. When he says yes he is honest and plays the wii with me or takes me rock climbing. When he isn’t doing anything he will ask me if I want to go somewhere. We usually go to Durango to get ice cream at Baskin Robbins and we walk around for a little bit. Another reason my grandpa shows honesty is by telling the truth, not lying to me, my family and other people. That’s how I know my grandpa is honest. My grandpa shows all the traits and that’s why he is my leader!

I am twelve years old and I have blond hair and blue eyes. I go to school at Ignacio Junior High. I have learned many thing about Mr. Burch. I hope to meet him when I go to heaven. I participate in school functions. I am in student council. I love helping my school and the kids in my school. My favorite sport is basketball. I am on a basketball team. I also love volunteering at the Manna Soup Kitchen in Durango, Colorado. I love volunteering there so I can see the smiles on people’s faces when they come and eat.

I am a leader in several ways. I show that I am a leader by showing bravery, honesty and integrity. I show bravery by standing up for kids in my school that can’t stand up for themselves. I also show honesty. I show honesty by not lying to people. And when I make a promise I keep that promise. I show honesty by telling the truth. The last trait is integrity. I show integrity by doing what’s right not wrong. I show integrity by standing up for people and kids in my school. I also show integrity by helping the elderly and the family I love. I am so happy to be writing about Mr. Burch; he is my leader and my grandpa is too. Thank you for reading my essay.

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