OIE Director’s Vision
Haa Marauweka! (Hello all! In Comanche language) My name is Julian Guerrero Jr. and I have the pleasure of serving as the current Director of the Office of Indian Education (OIE) at the U.S. Department of Education. I joined the Department back in August of 2020 and have been hooked on helping the OIE grow and strengthen its capacity, collaboration, and constituent services to our grantee communities.
Home will always and forever be my hometown of Lawton, Oklahoma. I grew up in a military connected family and we lived in Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, and overseas in Stuttgart Germany. Although I spent many years living across the world, Oklahoma has always been the center of gravity in my heart. I am Comanche and Kiowa and being in Lawton allows me to be close to my Tribal Nation and family relatives.
Surprising and supporting the people we were hired to serve every day. It is such a great feeling when a grantee or constituent is shocked by how much we may have helped them with an issue. I am fulfilled every day in this role as a civil servant when I know that we focused on helping others understand how to better serve, empower, partner, and/or better represent the interests of Native American students.
I learned the value of a dollar in the food service industry working at Papa Johns full-time while being a full-time student at the University of Oklahoma.
That is such a hard question, I have had so many incredible teachers. A few honorable mentions would be Gina McGowan (4th Grade), Shawn Gale (5th Grade), Nicole Paxton (11th Grade), Alisa Fryar (University Professor). However, my favorite teacher goes to Mr. Greg Morris who on paper was my HS counselor but served as such an incredible teacher to me. What mattered most was that he inspired me to see potential in myself when standardized tests told me an entirely different story.
After we finish our family Thanksgiving Dinner, the first thing we all do is make sure someone goes to the living room TV to play The Muppet Christmas Carol. I’m pretty sure that we know each line word for word!
Always half full! We have such an incredibly short amount of time on Mother Earth with such a solemn responsibility to make it a better place. I like to recite that my Native ancestors did not come this far for me to be a pessimist overnight.
Equate my self-worth with my job. I like to say that I’m on my third life because I burnt out on my first two by believing that my identity was my career. Whenever I received critical feedback from supervisors, I took it to heart and over stressed on everything. I soon realized that – to live a full life and do great work – all you need to do is make sure you work with empathy and integrity. Everything else will fall into place.
OIE Director’s Vision
- Stronger and More Meaningful Technical Assistance
- Improving Relationships with Grantees
- Continuous Improvement Planning (Grantee Satisfaction)
- Increased Discretionary and Formula Collaboration
- Streamlining Internal Procedures
- Improving Employee Morale
- Increase OIE Visibility
- Timely and Transparent Support
- Stronger Connections with State Indian Education Offices
- Consistent Communication During COVID-19