Dorothy S. Lorentino

Dorothy Sunrise Lorentino, a woman of Comache heritage, has served for over thirty years as a classroom teacher.

Lorentino’s teaching career was inspired by events in her childhood.
It took a court action on the part of Ms. Lorentino’s parents to allow
Dorothy to attend public schools in Oklahoma in 1918, a landmark
decision for all Native American children at that time. It also was the
first major test of the 1924 Citizen Act.

Dorothy Lorentino seized the opportunity to go to a public school and
in turn spent her career of 34 years teaching in special education. She
has given back many times over to the same system that tried to her a
free and equitable education. Dorothy Lorentino’s story spans almost a
century examining how policy makers denied her and all Native American
children from attending public schools – and how Lorentino provided
leadership in the struggle to overcome educational barriers for Native
American children.

Education

1947

University of Oregon, Special Education Certification

1937

Northeastern State University, Bachelor of Arts

1933

Bacone College, Associate of Arts

Teaching Experience

1972-1974

Lawton Public Schools, elementary special education

1968-1972

Tillamook School District #9 (Oregon), elementary special education

1944-1968

Salem Public Schools, elementary special education

1942-1944

Tohatchi Public Schools, elementary special education

1939-1942

Papago Schools, elementary special education

1938-1939

Phoenix Indian School, elementary special education

Special Recognition

1996

Dorothy Lorentino Leadership Award

1996

Outstanding Woman of Comache County (Oklahoma)

1995

Delta Kappa Gamma Society Lifetime Award

1995

National Indian Elder of the Year, National Indian Education Association

1973

Recognition Service Award Tillamook Education Association

1969

Delta Kappa Gamma Society Initiation