Curriculum Team

Our Mission

Our curriculum teams' are creating Spokane Tribal specific; history, science, and leadership curriculum that is more engaging, meaningful and relevant to the students'. Our team recognizes the challenge inherent in teaching, the practical application of state standards, and are able to develop a curriculum that is experiential and immersive in nature. It is through a mutual understanding and collaboration, the teams maintain alignment with: the common core standards, state standards, grade level expectations, and build in content-based assessments.

Our curriculum teams' are composed of the community members, teachers, administrators, board members, tribal leaders, tribal departments, and other key stake holders. This consortium is supported at all levels which has allowed us to focus on school improvement, increase our students’ sense of belonging, and student engagement in education.

Our curriculum lessons often consist of tribal members as guests’ speakers co-teaching with instructors. The base of the lesson is grounded in the background knowledge, which is both historical and cultural in nature. Teachers then utilize basic “land based learning” techniques to strengthen student inquiry, reflection, and independence by activating prior knowledge. Advanced thinking routines and cooperative learning are highly encouraged and built in as enrichment's to our lessons.


Apolonio “Polo” Hernandez

Demonstration Grant -- Project Director
Wellpinit School District

509-258-4535 Ext. 2345


Jennifer LeBret

Curriculum Teams Coordinator
Wellpinit School District



Marsha Wynecoop

Spokane Tribal Member

Spokane Tribal Language Program Manager/Curriculum Developer

Bachelors of Arts degree in Education-Reading, with a background in Native language curriculum development and Tribal Linguistics

Since 1999, Ms. Wynecoop has been a member of the First People’s Language/Culture Committee. She was instrumental in the creation of the First People’s Language/Culture Certification and Washington State Law in which Washington Tribes can train and certify Tribal Language/Culture teachers. Marsha is carrying out a life-long ambition of reintroducing the children of the Spokane Tribe to their native language.

Melodi Wynne

Spokane Tribal member

MA, studies’ focused on culture and identity, social development, indigenous research issues and methodology, community empowerment, culture and conflict, and facilitation for community change. Melodi has worked four years in education for the Spokane Tribe and Wellpinit School District, including history, science and leadership curriculum, and Tribal College direction.

  509-879-4785 (cell)


Bryan Flett

Spokane Tribal member

Traditional Science, Tribal History, and Leadership Curriculum Developer


Delanie Benzo

Wellpinit High School Science Teacher Since 2012
  • Traditional Science Curriculum Developer
  • BA Biology and Anthropology
  • MA Secondary Education – Chemistry
  • Teaching Certifications – Biology and Chemistry



Joni Scott

Wellpinit School Teacher for 29 years

I am currently teaching Civics, US History, Contemporary World Issues, English and American Sign Language at Wellpinit High School. I graduated with a BA in English, history minor from Whitworth College and I have taught in the Wellpinit School District for 29 years.

  509-258-4535 ext. 2235


Michelle Bruce

Traditional Science Curriculum Developer
Certified Science Teacher at Wellpinit since 2003

  509-258-4535 ext. 2163


Kathleen Rollins

Wellpinit 3rd Grade Teacher
Traditional Science Curriculum Developer

This is my first year at Wellpinit Elementary School. I am very excited to be here in Wellpinit and I am enjoying getting to know the students, families, and staff. I am originally from Milford, New Hampshire. I received my undergraduate degree from EWU and my Masters in Elementary Education from Whitworth University. I have been teaching since 1984 in both the public and private school systems. I especially enjoy teaching science and literature and I absolutely love third grade.



Rick Lambert

Tribal history curriculum developer

I earned an AA degree from YVC and transferred to Central Washington University. At CWU I received a BA in history and my teaching certification. I have a master’s degree in technology. I worked a few years in alternative education then a youth construction program. Eventually taught for several years at Yakima Nation Tribal School and then for the Wellpinit Alliance Program at YNTS. I now teach shop and civics at Wellpinit High School and also work with the Spokane Curriculum team.



Laina Phillips

Wellpinit School District
Tribal History Curriculum Developer
Data Instructional Coach K-5
District Assessment Coordinator K-12

Graduated with a BA in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. Laina has been teaching for 10+years between the Tempe School District in AZ, Coeur D’Alene Tribal School, and Wellpinit School District. She has a 10 year old son who she enjoys watching play baseball. Teaching with a connectedness to culture, tradition, and values are a core of her practice. Laina is excited to be a part of this opportunity and to share it with others. Thank you.

  509-258-4535 ext. 2163


Warren Seyler

Spokane Tribal Member
Spokane Tribe Natural Resource Department
STOI – BPA Coordination Office
Tribal History Curriculum Developer