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News and Announcements from DODE Admin

Vol. 2 – March 24, 2023

Welcome to the Department of Diné Education’s weekly update newsletter. Each week, we will bring you the latest updates within DODE that showcase the work our staff put in on behalf of our Navajo children.

Read on to hear about this week’s big updates from our department and education across the Navajo Naiton.

The Department of Diné Education first extends its condolences to the family and friends of the Honorable Ben Shelly, former President and Council Delegate of the Navajo Nation, who passed on Wednesday, March 22.

We join the rest of the Navajo Nation divisions with sharing their respects to the late president. This passing will undoubtedly bring families and communities together to remember the impact of Ben Shelly, and DODE aims to carry on its mission on behalf of our leaders past and present. You may view the joint statement from the Office of the President and Vice President and the 25th Navajo Nation Council online.

During the special meeting of the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee on March 21, Delegated Assistant Superintendent of Navajo Head Start Roy Tracy led the presentation of the cumulative report for Navajo Head Start. The report covered the key operations of the five NHS districts: Shiprock, Crownpoint, Window Rock, Chinle, and Kayenta/Tuba City.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Harold Begay also spoke to the committee members about the work Head Start does for our youth. The discussions that followed showcase the expectations of HEHSC as well as our NHS leadership and shall serve as a goalpost for our staff to reach. The recording of the special meeting is available online for viewing.

We extend our appreciation to all our Navajo Head Start staff for their outstanding work and presentation!

Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren made a surprise visit to To’Hajiilee Community School and then Native American Community Academy in Albuquerque on Wednesday, March 22.

Students at both schools were given the opportunity to speak with the president in a casual setting that allowed for relaxed conversation about their studies and their goals for the future.

President Nygren shared his upbringing with the students as well as the decisions that led him down his educational and professional path.

The message shared by the president to all the students at both schools was to follow what brings joy to their hearts and make our Navajo people proud. Additionally, he shared this statement:

“Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Don’t be afraid to fail.”

We extend our gratitude to President Nygren for taking the time to address our Navajo students. The full release detailing the visits can be viewed on the OPVP website.

Students from Tuba City High School attended the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools Conference in Washington, D.C. March 12-14. These students, selected for their academic achievements and leadership skills, and their school administrators participated in discussions on education policy and advocacy in addition to learning about the impact of federal land on local schools.

We are proud of our local school for this incredible opportunity to participate in a crucial discussion at a national level. You may read the whole story on the Navajo-Hopi Observer website.


  • Save the date! The Navajo Nation Library and other centers around Window Rock have announced their participation in the 2023 Week of the Young Child, hosted by the Navajo Nation Early Childhood Collaborative.

    From Monday, April 3 through Friday, April 7, families can join the annual celebration that focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

    The schedule of free events includes Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, and Family Friday. For more information including event details and locations, visit the Navajo Project I-LAUNCH Facebook page.

  • DODE continues its foundational discussions with the 25th Navajo Nation Council as well as the Nygren-Montoya Administration with overhauls to their online presence, outreach and collaboration with those divisions, as well as presenting their capital needs and ongoing goals and achievements as outlined in the March 24 issue.

    These weekly publications are part of the improved outreach, and we welcome invitations to partake in future events and gatherings so we may share how our stakeholders are working on behalf of our schools and students as well!

  • Reminder! The 2023 Navajo Nation Seal of Bilingual Proficiency Assessment was approved for March 31, at the CATE Center, 301 North Court Avenue, Farmington, N.M. following the Office of Standards, Curriculum & Assessment Development receiving registration forms from Farmington High School students.

    The listed schools with students taking the assessment and their respective times are Farmington High School from 9:00 am- 9:50 am; Piedra Vista High School from 10:20 am – 10:50 am; Many Farms High School from 11:15 am – 1:00 pm; and Rough Rock Community School from 1:20 pm – 3:30 pm.

    For more information on the Navajo Nation Seal of Bilingual Proficiency Assessment, contact the OSCAD office at (928)871-7660.

That’s it for this week’s edition. Thank you for reading!

Until next time!

  • Cody M. Begaye
    Senior Public Information Officer