Vol. 1 – March 17, 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 for our department.
Last week on March 9, the Department of Diné Education hosted visitors from the Robert Ryan Project as part of a series of visits to various Navajo Nation divisions. Our guests visited to find philanthropic opportunities on the Navajo Nation and are strong believers in education.
Superintendent Dr. Harold Begay welcomed the staff and provided an overview of DODE’s mission to strengthen Diné language, culture, way of thinking/being, and high academic standards for students and families. We thank the Robert Ryan Project for their time and look forward to cultivating partnerships to help us better serve the children of the Navajo Nation.
March 2 was proclaimed as Read Across America Day, wherein we aim to recognize the value and strength of literacy in our society and to share those traits with our children. While there were several delays due to circumstances beyond our control, the Navajo Nation Library along with NTUA was able to host the Read Across America event on March 16.
Visitors got to partake in guest readings, literacy-based activities, and find free books provided by NTUA and KMPG. We want to thank our partners in helping us put on this event. Visit the Navajo Nation Library website for more information on upcoming events.
As part of their meetings with division leaders and staff, DODE welcomed John Tsosie (far right) of the Office of the President and Vice President on March 14. Program managers including (from far left to right) Denise Thomas, Office of Dine Youth; Claudia Edgewater, acting assistant superintendent; Dr. Ferlin Clark, Office of Dine School Improvement; and Brent Nelson, IT, presented their program’s goals and capital needs to Mr. Tsosie ahead of a meeting with the Navajo Nation Chief of Staff.
Through these conversations, the department aims to cultivate strong communication between DODE and OPVP so we can better coordinate on behalf of our schools and will welcome their support and collaboration on future education projects.
The week of meetings was capped on March 16 when DODE welcomed Chief of Staff Patrick Sandoval (below) and shared their presentation on the department’s goals and capital needs. But the meeting was preceded by a department potluck where staff shared a meal and casual conversation as an introduction between the Nygren-Montoya Administration staff and program managers.
Sandoval shared President Buu Nygren’s words that education for an individual is crucial for them to reach their full potential. With the support of OPVP staff, DODE aims to prepare for joint work sessions with the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee to share their plans and needs for the department. We thank all our guests for their time and support with our efforts.
AROUND THE DEPARTMENT
- The Office of Diné Youth received a $15,000 grant from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Native Services to use on Diné Youth clubhouse repairs in Many Farms. Program Manager Denise Thomas and ODY staff met with President Buu Nygren to receive the award. We thank Boys & Girls Club of America and appreciate their ongoing support on behalf of our Navajo children and communities!
- DODE congratulates the Navajo Times & Navajo Nation Spelling Bee Champion Tazbah Spruhan from Tsehoostooí Middle School, runner-up Josiah Harper from Hilltop Christian School, as well as all the competitors in the March 9 event at the ODY center in Fort Defiance. Literacy is a key component in education, and good spelling is a part of that.We wish the champion and runner-up the best of luck in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in National Harbor, Maryland from May 28 to June 2! You may read the story of the event in the Navajo Times.
- The 2023 Navajo Nation Seal of Bilingual Proficiency Assessment was approved for March 31, at the CATE (Career and Technology Education Building) 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