Press Release

Release Date: July 10, 2024
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

The Chickasaw Nation Head Start program (Head Start) in Tishomingo, Oklahoma, graduated 24 students in May. Promoting school readiness for children ages 3 to 5 years old, the Head Start program provides support and assistance for each child to develop to their maximum potential.

“The Chickasaw Nation Head Start students have reached an important milestone in their education,” Chickasaw Nation Director of Early Childhood Education Tatum Sallee said. “We are excited to celebrate the achievement of (these students) graduating from the Head Start program.”

In total, the Chickasaw Nation Preschool and Head Start programs in Ada, Ardmore, Sulphur and Tishomingo graduated more than 170 students from four locations in May.

“Our commitment is to enhance our nation’s children and families through education,” Sallee said. “These students have completed the first step to building a strong foundation for growth and advancement.”

Students have access to individualized education plans, health and wellness screenings, nutrition and family engagement, as well as cultural instruction. Upon graduation, students are ready to succeed in kindergarten.

“Thank you for entrusting your children to us this school year and we look forward to their continued success as they become our future leaders. Today is a special day for our young Head Start graduates,” Sallee said during the ceremony.

Graduation photos are available for families at

For additional program information, eligibility guidelines or applications, visit or call (580) 371-3216.

About the Chickasaw Nation Head Start program

The Chickasaw Nation Head Start is a federally and tribally funded program that promotes school readiness using center-based curriculum for children ages 3 to 5.

The educational philosophy employed by the program is based on the principle that early childhood education should address children’s needs in all areas of development, including physical, social, emotional and cognitive health and well-being.

In its 46th year of operation, the Chickasaw Nation Head Start continues to grow. It began serving the Chickasaw Nation in 1978, graduating 33 students.

In conjunction with the Head Start, the Chickasaw Nation Ada Preschool program is tribally funded and serves Chickasaw citizens. The Head Start centers in Tishomingo, Ardmore and Sulphur are both federally and tribally funded and have open enrollment. Applications for both programs are now open.