Board of Directors
john martin

John Martin

Dr. Samuel Hollingshead

Freeman Owle

Janis Kyser


John Martin retired in 2015 following a 30-year career of teaching history and geography in the Knox County, Tennessee, school system.  During this time, on behalf of the Tennessee Department of Education, he authored a unit for elementary, intermediate and middle schools on the life of Sequoyah.

John was called upon in 1992 to help develop policy statements and architectural designs as the Smithsonian Institution worked toward the establishment of the National Museum of the American Indian, which opened on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in 2004.

For more than a decade, John was a member of the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs, having been appointed to three terms by Governor Ned McWherter and to one term by Governor Don Sundquist.  John chaired the commission from 1989 to 1996.  During the McWherter administration, John was selected to officially welcome the Chickasaw Nation back to their ancient homelands of West Tennessee.

Among his other Native activities, John was twice a delegate to the National Congress of American Indians and a delegate to the Governors’ Interstate Indian Council.

The American Indian Scouting Association has also been a big part of John’s life.  He has been a member since 1987 and currently serves on the organization’s board of directors and has completed a term as the National Chair.  John received the Grey Wolf Award, AISA’s highest adult honor, and is a member of the AISA’s Council of Elders.  He is currently serving his third consecutive term as the Chief of the Council of Elders.

John is a former member of the Frank H. McClung Museum Board of Advisors and is a current member of the Tennessee Board Friends of Sequoyah which oversees the operation of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tennessee.  The museum is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Dr. Samuel Hollingshead, Jr., received his Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies in Education and his Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Carson-Newman University.  His Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership was conferred by East Tennessee State University.  He is currently the Assistant Principal at Mt. Horeb Elementary School, Jefferson City, TN.  He is also an adjunct professor for Carson-Newman University.  Previously Dr. Hollingshead has served as an interim principal, and as a middle school social studies teacher.  

Dr. Hollingshead's professional memberships include the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the Tennessee Council for the Social Studies, and the National Council for the Social Studies.  

His community activities include a position on the Jefferson County Historical Society Board of Directors, and the chair of the White Pine Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.  
Freeman Owle was born on the Qualla Indian Boundary, home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, where he attended school in the Cherokee Indian School System, which was run by the Bureau of Indian Affairs through the Cherokee Agency.  After graduating as valedictorian of his class, he attended Gardner Webb College, in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and later received his Bachelor of Science Degree in social work at Western Carolina University.

After graduation he was the director of the Cherokee Children's Home for five years, then received his Masters Degree in Education and  taught third grade and sixth grade classes on the reservation for 12 years.  

Of Freeman's many awards, he is most proud of the Outstanding Teacher of the Year for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a coin of excellence from General Ernst, Rangers, Fort Benning, Georgia, and the North Carolina Folklorist of the Year award in 2001.

Freeman is an authoritative lecturer on Cherokee culture, a craftsman in wood and stone, and an elder of the Cherokee people.

Janis Adams Kyser serves as the director for the Tennessee Center for Civic Learning and Engagement providing professional development opportunities and resources for educators. Janis has a long career in education having taught for 35 years bringing service learning and civic education opportunities to students from K-16.

Janis serves as the Tennessee liaison for the Campaign for Civic Mission of Schools and works closely with the Tennessee and National Councils for Social Studies. She was instrumental through her work with the Tennessee Department of Education and the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy in the establishment of the Tennessee Commission on Civic Education that researched extensively the status of civics learning throughout the state.  Janis works closely with legislators to keep civics in the limelight, recently passing legislation requiring students, once in grades 4-8 and once in high school, to take a project based civic learning assessment.

Janis serves as the state coordinator and trainer for the Center for Civic Educations We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution and We the People: Project Citizen, and the School Violence Prevention and Demonstration program. Janis has directed five Teaching American History grants that provided 120 educators with a Masters degree. She has written grants and received funding for over 20 million dollars in funding. She actively pursues programs and funding to advance Civic Learning that will empower youth to demonstrate their learning, express their voices, and to become actively engaged as responsible citizens.

Advisory Board

Dr. Jefferson Chapman
Nikki Crisp
Dr. John Finger
Syd Golston
Dr. Michael Logan
Larry Wright

Dr. Jefferson Chapman is the Director of the Frank H. McClung Museum at the University of Tennessee, and a Research Associate Professor in Anthropology.  He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1965 and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Brown University in 1968.

He taught history and anthropology at the Webb School of Knoxville for six years before returning again to graduate school.  After receiving an MA and PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, he joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee.  Dr. Chapman has had over 40 years of experience in conducting archaeology in Tennessee.  Appointed Director of the McClung Museum in 1990, Chapman's focus shifted from archaeology to making the Museum a prominent University and community asset.  

Dr. Chapman is Chairman of the Tennessee Archaeological Advisory Council; he also serves on several boards in the Knoxville area including The Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville, East Tennessee Foundation, Knox County Library Foundation, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, and the Thompson Cancer Survival Center Foundation.  He is a member of the Rotary Club of Knoxville and Leadership Knoxville, Class of 1992.
Nikki Crisp of Knoxville is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, headquartered in Cherokee, NC, on the Qualla Boundary. For many years, Nikki has been a champion powwow dancer - competing in both Women's Traditional and Jingle Dress categories.  In addition to powwow dancing, she is involved in living history events and other educational programs throughout the region.

Maintaining Cherokee cultural traditions is important to Nikki.  She has learned the Cherokee language and graduated from the Right Path leadership program sponsored by the Eastern Band.

Nikki is married and has two children and three grandchildren, whom she is helping to learn Cherokee traditional ways.

Nikki and her husband, Anthony, are experts at making Indian frybread. For those attending powwows and cultural events, Nikki's Frybread booth offers an opportunity to try her frybread or an Indian taco, which are always enormous hits with everyone! 
Dr. John R. Finger is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he taught for 32 years.  From 1997 to 2000 he was Head of the History Department.

As an undergraduate, he attended the universities of Missouri and Kansas before earning his Ph.D. at the University of Washington.  In 1969, after teaching two years at Rochester Institute of Technology, he began his long stay at UTK.  

He veered from his original focus on the American Frontier and Westward Movement and fixated on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who remained his major scholarly interest for the rest of his career.  Besides many published articles and reviews he has authored three books: The Eastern Band of Cherokees, 1819-1900;  Cherokee Americans: The Eastern Band of Cherokees in the Twentieth Century; and Tennessee Frontiers: Three Regions in Transition.

His Native American orientation helped him receive a Fulbright Award in 1990 to teach at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.  His travels and lecturing in NZ and Australia helped familiarize him with Maori and Aboriginal cultures.  He is still engaged in research and writing, though it's in behalf of his current passion--fiction.
Syd Golston, past President of the National Council for the Social Studies, is an educational administrator, curriculum writer, historian, and community volunteer.  She taught at all grade levels from 7th to college, specializing in constructivist learning experiences in local and women's history and in citizenship education.  She received many teaching awards and grants when she was a classroom teacher.

Syd w
rote the books Changing Woman of the Apache, Revisiting America, The Death Penalty, and Studies in Arizona History, and many journal articles.  The organizations for which she has written curriculum include the PBS Online NewsHour, Kids Voting USA, UNICEF, and the Commission on the Presidential Debates.  

She has recently retired from the Phoenix Union High School District, Phoenix, Arizona, having served as an administrator since 2000, most recently as the director of a Teaching American History grant from the US Department of Education.

Michael H. Logan, a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee, has held a life-long interest in American Indians.  A native of Denver, he received his training at the University of Colorado (BA), San Diego State (MA), and Penn State (PhD).  

Professor Logan has received a UT National Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award, a Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Teaching, and several other awards for teaching given by various on-campus Panhellenic and fraternity organizations, as well as recognition for excellence in teaching from UT's Evening School and student honorary societies.  

He was also a recipient of the Sequoyah Award, given by the East Tennessee Indian League for promoting public understanding of American Indian cultures and their history.  He has served as the curator for three exhibits at McClung Museum each dealing with various aspects of American Indian art.    

He was  recognized as a Quest Scholar by UT's Research Office for his publication "American Indians with African Ancestry: Differential Fertility and the Complexities of Social Identity" (Human Ecology, 2011, vol. 39, no. 6).
Larry Wright, Jr., recently completed his term limit as the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska's Tribal Chairman.  Larry is an active member of the Heduska (Warrior) Society, which is dedicated to the cultural preservation of traditional Ponca and helping tribal members.  Larry is also a Northern Traditional Powwow dancer and a Sundancer.

He holds a BA in Social Science from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and a MA in Historical Studies from Nebraska Wesleyan University.  He has taught social studies, grades 7-12, in the Lincoln Public Schools.  He has also taught civics, geography, US history, world history and advanced placement government and politics.  

Larry was named the NSCSS Social Studies Teacher of the Year-District 1 in 2004.  Following his stint as a classroom teacher, Larry finished his tenure with Lincoln Public Schools as the Teaching American History Grant Coordinator.  

Larry currently owns his own business, Buffalo Spirit, LLC, General Contracting.  He is currently the Chairman of the Ponca Gaming Enterprise Board and just completed serving on the Board of Directors for the Indian Center, Inc. in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was recently appointed as a Commissioner to the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs.
Bill Carey is the founder and executive director of Tennessee History for Kids, an organization whose website, booklets, and posters are used in more than 6,000 classrooms across the Volunteer State.

Bill is also a former journalist, the author of six books on the history of Nashville, and is a veteran of the United States Navy, having served as an aviator.

He graduated from Vanderbilt University with majors in math and Russian.