Albert “Bobber” Her Many Horses stands out as a leader in his community, both inside and outside of his classroom at Todd County Middle School (TCMS), where he teaches band, chorus, general music and Lakota language classes. This hometown hero understands the challenges his students face to succeed because he faced them himself as a young man growing up in Mission. Despite the many barriers in front of TCMS youth, Her Many Horses maintains high expectations for his fine arts students. He motivates them to strive for their personal best while instilling self-confidence and responsibility within themselves, and he understands that cultivating talent requires imparting dedication and accountability while fostering mutual respect. His students’ musical and scholastic achievements are a testament to Her Many Horses’ steady, positive presence in their lives, making his classes highly attended and immensely popular.
Consistently innovative and forward-thinking, Her Many Horses embraces the use of technology in his curriculum, becoming the first teacher in the school to integrate iPads in his music classes. During the pandemic, Her Many Horses was tasked with teaching music classes virtually due to school closures, and he successfully produced the winter and spring concerts in virtual format via Zoom. To combat his students’ shyness over performing in that manner, he helped them create memojis to be applied as filters over their recorded videos, eliminating the visual impediment to their self-confidence and synching all individual videos to create a masterful musical performance.
A respected leader both in and outside the classroom, Her Many Horses sponsors an in-school wellness group focusing on student mentoring. It has become one of the most engaged and active groups in the school, with its members consistently placing in the schoolwide “Wildcat Challenges” based on attendance, grades and behavior. He also dedicates his time to tutoring math and science, volunteering for the wrestling program, assisting the high school pep band at games, and teaching summer classes to education majors at Sinte Gleska University. Her Many Horses’ leadership is far-reaching as he serves alongside Native American tribal members on the Lakota Language and Culture committee, advising the integration of Lakota language and culture within schools. In an effort to foster trust and build confidence among his students, their parents and the school leadership, Her Many Horses also serves on TCMS’ parental advisory board, facilitating a partnership between the school and community.
He actively supports South Dakota Destination Imagination, a nonprofit volunteer organization that inspires and equips students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders through competitive challenges assessed by a team of educators and industry experts from various fields. Her Many Horses’ personal connection to the organization and history as a participant himself goes beyond simple involvement to a deep commitment rooted in his own experience and desire to make a positive impact on the community in which he was raised.
Her Many Horses earned his Bachelor of Arts in music education from Augustana University in 2011.
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