Danielle Grant of Minneapolis schools has been named one of the state's outstanding Indian educators, the first urban district administrator so honored.
The honor was bestowed by the Minnesota Indian Education Association last month. Those cited are selected for their role in education, leadership and for how they reflect Indian culture in their lives or work.
Grant is the district's director of Indian education. During her tenure, the district shifted from an intervention model of serving Indian students to a more proactive approach, the district said.
She also led the district's renewal early this year of an agreement with the directors of local Indian agencies on Indian education in Minneapolis schools.That pact sets specific numeric achievement goals for Indian students. An earlier version of the pact was credited with improving trust among Indian families in the city toward the district. Grant took over her post midway through that pact..
She's the granddaughter of a school superintendent, and her mother, Donna, was a Minneapolis principal and a teacher elsewhere. Grant first worked as a community organizer for Girl Scouts, and later was policy director for the Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board.
Grant said that she tries to listen more than she talks, to be open to new ideas and to work collaboratively, all values she attributes to her native heritage.. Her tribal affiliation is with the Turtle Mountain Ojibwe of North Dakota.