Ceriss Blackwood grew up in the Four Corners as a La Plata County foster youth. Against all odds, she graduated from Ignacio High School and was college bound. Blackwood earned her Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Human Development & Family Studies at Colorado State University (CSU) in 2008. After working for Denver Public Schools Title VI Indian Education Program for 2 years, she returned to CSU. The Board of Governors conferred her Master of Arts Degree in Ethnic Studies with an emphasis on Tribal Education in 2013.
Following graduation, Blackwood taught 5th grade on Navajo Nation for a few years through Teach For America before returning to Colorado to raise her children. As a Tri-Ethnic woman, she values bringing up her family rooted in culture and her ancestral land. She is deeply committed to positive educational outcomes for all students and families. Blackwood is excited to work for a district committed to excellence and lifelong learning. Durango School District 9-R hired her in the middle of the 2018-2019 SY as the Multi-Cultural Equity & Impact Program Manager to support Native American and diverse programming across the district.
In the summer she enjoys time with her children at Navajo Lake, where her biological family’s land was originally located. Throughout the year you will find her volunteering for cultural and diversity programs in La Plata County. Blackwood is an avid reader and adores working on beadwork and traditional outfits for her children, in colder weather. She appreciates her community and is grateful for all the opportunities in her life. Her hope is to pay it forward and inspire other students and families to reach their own goals & aspirations.