Ted Hibbeler is a member of the Muza Pon Kesh Ka Tiospaye (Ironshell Family) of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate’ (Burnt Thigh Nation) from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from the University of Nebraska in 1978, and he went on to teach high school English classes and coach football, basketball and track at St. Francis Indian School on his home reservation during the 1980’s. In 1990, Ted moved to Hastings, Nebraska and completed his Master of Arts in Teaching from Hastings College. He and his family then moved to Phoenix, and he became the Director of the Native American Education Program for the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD). Under his directorship, the Native American student retention rate rose from 75% to 94%, the graduation rate rose from 50% to 85%, and the college-bridge rate for seniors rose from 10% to 50%. The Arizona Department of Education chose the PUHSD Native American Education Program as a model program and the City of Phoenix awarded the program with the Mayor’s Partnership Award. Ted retired from the district in 2008.
Since then, Ted has gone back home to the Rosebud Reservation to work with students in an alternative education setting and to continue his coaching career. Recently, he has returned to Phoenix to teach English, communication and American Indian Studies classes on the collegiate level. He has been involved in working with Native American students for the past thirty years as an administrator, teacher, coach and father.