Deputy Chief Crittenden named Stilwell High School Outstanding Alumni



Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Stilwell High School 2017 Outstanding Alumni

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden is the 2017 Stilwell High School Outstanding Alumni.

Deputy Chief Crittenden is a 1962 Stilwell High School graduate who lives in the Adair County community of Peavine with his wife, Lynda.

Deputy Crittenden was selected by an alumni committee to receive the award during the 36th Annual All-School Reunion Friday and participate in the Strawberry Festival Parade in Stilwell on Saturday. He will receive the honor with fellow 1962 graduate Jerry White.

“He definitely loves Stilwell, having worked for many years overseeing the Stilwell Post Office and meeting lots of the many citizens through the mail process,” said Cherokee Nation Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley, of Stilwell, who nominated him. “He was a member of the Stilwell Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club and has long exemplified a level of commitment to his community that can serve as a model for others.”

Crittenden has served as Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation since 2011. Prior, he served two terms on the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council and was a former commissioner of the Housing Authority. He also worked for the U.S. Postal Service until his retirement in 2004.

In the community, he has served as a Peavine and Marble City school board member and on the Mid County Rural Fire Department. Crittenden has served on the Five Tribes InterTribal Council and was regional vice president for Eastern Oklahoma National Congress of American Indians.

While serving the tribe, he has been a champion for education by helping build Stilwell’s new Child Development Center, investing $21,000 in Adair County Boys and Girls Club and providing funding for school robotics kits and backpack snack programs.

In March, when the community of Greasy lost its ball field, concession stand and student activity center, Deputy Crittenden was among the first on the scene, bringing food and helping clean up debris, Kelley said.

“Adair County is my home, and I’m a proud product of the public school system in Stilwell, where many leaders have come and gone through its doors,” Deputy Crittenden said. “Thank you to the committee for this honor. I am humbled and pledge to continue to help the families and students of Stilwell High School prosper.”

Cherokee Nation News Release
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