Jonathan Santos Silva
Founding Executive Director
Jonathan Santos Silva is the Founding Executive Director of The Liber Institute and Chairman (creator and host) of The Bored of Ed, a podcast that amplifies the voices of inspiring BIPOC educators who are changing the face of education. Prior to these ventures, Jonathan provided technical support to South Dakota’s Native American Achievement Schools. He has also served as a school founder & principal, instructional coach, and education consultant. His education career began at Little Wound School on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where he taught secondary math and called play-by-play for Mustang Athletics.
Jonathan holds an M.A. in Education Administration from the University of South Dakota and a B.S. in Business Administration from Northeastern University. He is also a 2017-2018 Cambiar Catalyst (formerly School Systems Leaders) Fellow and 2019 TNTP Bridge Fellow.
RoseMary Clairmont (Lakota name: Wo ihan ble ito kab mani win, which loosely translates to "Following a Dream Woman") is one of 13 siblings between her parents and stepparents. She is a foster parent to two beautiful Lakota girls, ages 10 and 12, and pack leader to 4 dogs. She loves yoga, mud runs, and hiking. As a family, RoseMary and her daughters enjoy camping, fishing, mud runs and traveling.
Professionally, RoseMary is an Education Specialist with Rosebud Sioux Tribe Education Department with 16 years of K-12 teaching and administration experience. Her responsibilities include supporting schools in interpreting tribal education code and leading a taskforce on education in the pandemic. She is completing the final year of a doctoral program, where she supports a leadership cohort as a Culture Ambassador. "I love the work I do to build better experiences for our Native students. My previous experiences have led me to my current work with my tribe and supporting The Liber Institute and what it stands for."
Sage Fast Dog
Sage D. Fast Dog Sr. is Sicangu (Burnt Thigh) under the Titunwan Oyate (Prairie Dwellers People) of the Oceti Sakowin (Seven Council Fires). He was raised on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation, home of the Burnt Thigh people, and attended elementary and secondary school there. He graduated from St. Francis Indian School and received a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Lakota Studies and a Master’s degree in Education at Sinte Gleska University. He taught Lakota Studies at Todd County Middle School for 11 years prior to applying for fellowship with NISN in 2016.
Sage successfully completed 13 years as an educator for Todd County School District and left the district in 2019 to become the first ever Director and Head of School for the Wakanyeja Tokeyahci Wounspe Tipi (Children First Learning Center) on the Rosebud Reservation, which opened doors virtually in the fall of 2020. He is active in the community and serves on the Todd County School Board. Sage is a traditional singer and dancer on the powwow trail, takes part in the Lakota spiritual way of life along with his 4 children, and proudly shares his home with his wife in Mission S.D.
In her time working on the Teach For America – South Dakota leadership team, Josie Green has worked along side first and second year teachers in a variety of roles and is currently serving as a Managing Director of Local Impact Strategy. In this role, she designs and implements the team's strategy to develop teachers' ability to build and strengthen their own learning, rooted in radical kinships and critical hope. Josie's work expands teachers' perspectives and knowledge, enabling them to go beyond westernized schooling expectations, honor indigenous ways of knowing, and advance the academic and personal growth of their young people in partnership with communities and families.
Sarah Pierce is Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. She has 8 years of experience working and advocating for Title VI Indian Education Programs, working at Rapid City Area Schools in South Dakota and at Omaha Public Schools in Nebraska. Sarah holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a master’s of education degree from Creighton University, and a PK-12 Administrator endorsement from the University of South Dakota. She leads NDN Collective’s education equity campaign work, expanding opportunities for Native American students to have access to culturally relevant and culturally responsive learning environments.