Jovannah Poor Bear-Adams has added the responsibility of Dakota Adventist Academy vice principal, starting in July of this year. She and her family moved back to the Dakotas two years ago when she accepted the English teaching position after Gary Way retired.

Born on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, Jovannah grew up on the reservation as well as in the surrounding area, spending a lot of time in Rapid City. She and her husband, Zak, graduated from Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, and accepted positions at Holbrook Indian School in Arizona. While there, Jovannah served in several different capacities including girls’ dean, registrar, vice principal and dean of student services—all while teaching various English courses. She also taught a “Next Level Prep” course where students explored what they wanted to do after high school and the different opportunities available to achieve their goals. The experience she gained teaching the prep course has propelled her to work those aspects into a unit for DAA’s senior English class.

For the past two years, in addition to teaching English, Jovannah has also taught a pottery class. Although she loves pottery, she has passed this role on to her husband and DAA’s art teacher, Zak. He is versed in the technical aspects of pottery and will do an excellent job taking over the class.

While Jovannah will still be teaching English at DAA, she will also be working half-time as the vice principal. This role will focus on assisting students to keep good attendance, and working with student leadership, as well as being the primary person in charge of administrative discipline. She will do all this while also working on her master’s in educational leadership. Her master’s degree will allow her to take leadership in higher administrative positions in order to gain experience in situations a principal would handle.

Since Jovannah was baptized at the age of 16, she has received a negative response from her family regarding her faith. Because of this, her attempts to be her family’s advocate for Christ haven’t seemed like a possibility. Their mother forbade her from taking her brother, Forrest, to church, which broke Jovannah’s resolve to reach out to her family about God. However, her brother went to live with Jovannah and Zak as a teenager while he attended Holbrook Indian School. During a mission trip to Belize, he made the decision to be baptized. Today, Forrest has joined the DAA team and accepted the role of food service director. Jovannah is thrilled with this development and thanks God for answered prayers.

Zak and Jovannah have five children, two of which attend Brentwood Adventist Christian School in Bismarck. The family is happy to be living and working in this part of the country.