Dorothy Lorentino

Corpus Christi, TX | Years Taught: 1938 – 1974

Dorothy, 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.

Additional 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