TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Longtime educator Rita Bunch has been named the Superintendent of Sequoyah High School, and started her position July 1.

Bunch, of the Peavine community in Adair County, has worked more than 40 years in education, formerly serving as Watts Public School and Zion Public School Superintendent, among other roles.

“I’m excited about what we are going to accomplish this school year and what successes we are going to have,” Bunch said. “I also love brainstorming and thinking outside the box, so I’m trying to identify those people that love technology the way I do. I am hoping to bring even more technology to the school in the near future.”

Sequoyah students begin classes on Thursday, August 11, with nearly 350 students enrolled for the upcoming school year, about 90 of them as incoming freshmen.

Justin Brown serves as the school’s assistant principal and the search for a principal is still underway.

The Cherokee Immersion School will also welcome Ramona Ketcher to help with curriculum and accreditation at the Immersion School. Ketcher was formerly the Sequoyah principal.

“I am most excited about hearing our language entirely spoken, read and written throughout the day by our teachers and students,” Ketcher said. “Our students will be able to pass on the spoken and written word to future generations. Knowing the efforts that are being made to not only increase the number of Cherokee speakers but also make the language part of our student’s culture and traditions is exciting to me. I’m excited to be able to be a part of something that is going to make such a huge impact on generations to come.”

Jeromie Hammer will continue his role as the Cherokee Immersion School principal, while Wyman Kirk is the school administrator.

“I know our students are in great hands with these exceptional leaders,” Cherokee Nation Chief of Staff Corey Bunch said. “We are looking forward to providing our Cherokee and Native students with a top education and bright future this school year.”