Indian principal connects with Tulalip students

As the new principal of the Tulalip Elementary School on the Tulalip Reservation in Washington, Teresa Iyall knows the challenges facing Indian students.

After leaving the Coeur d'Alene Reservation in Idaho at a young age, Iyall grew up poor, a common situation at the school, where 78 percent of the students are Native and 78 percent are poor. "I know what it's like to come to school hungry, to not have clean clothes," she tells The Seattle Times.

But Iyall persevered, eventually becoming a teacher and getting her master's in education. She says her goal is to help Indian students achieve and to serve as a role model for them. "I'm a representative not only of myself but of what an Indian administrator looks like to kids and teachers," she tells the paper.

Iyall hopes to improve student test scores and ensure the school maintains a tribal focus.

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Tulalip principal has been there, too (The Seattle Times 5/11)