RVHS graduates Kara Siegfried, David Helsper return to support Native youth

Troy Krause
Kara Siegfried and David Helsper have returned to the Redwood Area School District in roles where they are supporting the school's Native youth.

Now is a good time to be a Native American youth in the Redwood Area School District.

Kara Siegfried, a 2011 graduate of Redwood Valley High School, and David Helsper, who received his diploma from RVHS in 2015, know that well.

While they saw the benefits of the program when they were in school, as members of the school staff working with the Indian education program, they are witnessing how much that program has grown and been enhanced – all to make the educational experience for students better.

Siegfried and Helsper work for the district, but their roles there are also supported by the Lower Sioux Indian Community.

Siegfried is primarily working with the students at Reede Gray Elementary School. 

Helsper’s focus has been with students at Redwood Valley.

After high school, Siegfried earned a degree in pubic health, and since then has served in various roles for the Lower Sioux Indian Community.

Helsper recently graduated from Concordia College with degrees in Chinese and communications.

He was able to expand his own cultural understanding during a five-month study abroad experience in China in 2019.

Both believe the experiences they have had leading up to their new roles have helped prepare them for what they are doing now.

Siegfried indicated had she not gone into public health she would have gotten involved in education, adding this experience is giving her that opportunity.

Helsper started his role at the beginning of the school year, while Siegfried began her new role earlier this month.

Both believe things have been going well as they interact with students and the school staff.

In addition to assisting students with their academics, Helsper and Siegfried are providing cultural education in the classrooms.

Those opportunities are not limited to the Native students, as they are able to provide information on the Dakota way of life and language to all students.

Helsper and Siegfried are glad to be back in the local district helping the next generation of youth as they learn, grow and understand who they are.