February Graduate

Dakota ThompsonDakota Thompson

Stilwell, OK
Cherokee Nation
Gates Millennium Program

University of Oklahoma
Doctorate of Education- Educational Administration, Curriculum, & Supervision


Community Service

Since I am a full-time school counselor, most of my community service activities stem from my position. I serve on various graduate school panels, student engagement panels, and assist local community programs in the northeast Oklahoma region. I serve on the Oklahoma State Superintendent’s School Counseling Advisory Council which is a group of selected school counselors convening at different periods within the school year to help bring awareness, policy implementation, and key mentoring/college prep/ career tech platforms for the students in the state of Oklahoma.

As a GMS Scholar, I have served as a campus engagement leader, mentor, and outreach coordinator for the northeast Oklahoma area during my time at Northeastern State University. For two years, I served as the Central Southern Advisory Council Member for the GMSAA, helping GMS Scholars in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, & Nebraska with internship, fellowship, career awareness opportunities and other networking paths available for our Scholars.

At Stilwell High School, I lead an international tour every other year for students, teachers, parents, and/or community members in the area. In that aspect, I host community events as fundraisers to make our community more aware of the purpose and opportunity of traveling abroad.

I mentor current college students throughout the state and especially at my alma mater, Northeastern State University.


My name is Dakota Thompson. I am from Stilwell, Oklahoma and I am currently a high school counselor at Stilwell High School. I received the Gates Millennium Scholarship in 2007 and became very involved in the program since day one. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mental Health Psychology in 2011 and a Master of Education degree in School Counseling in 2013, both degrees earned at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK. I am currently a doctoral student in the Education Administration, Curriculum, and Supervision program at the University of Oklahoma campus in Tulsa, OK. I am a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation.

Stilwell Public Schools serves mostly at-risk, low income, Native American students; our district demographics of Native American students is over 70%. Because of this and my background with the GMS program, I owe my desire to complete a doctorate degree to the students and families I serve. I believe a degree in Educational Leadership will help guide me as an educational professional in a very high need area in Oklahoma. My current research topics are success strategies for rural education, at-risk Native American populations, and Native American student learning styles and how to incorporate these models in our school system.

In 2014, I received the Outstanding Ambassador Award from the GMS Alumni Association, the first Gates Scholar to ever win this award. More recently, I was named as a finalist for the 2017-2018 Oklahoma School Counselor of the Year and being nominated again for this award for the 2018 cycle.