TCUSD Navajo spelling bee

Winners connect reading, writing, speaking and spelling in Navajo

Second grade winners from the TC Primary School Navajo spelling bee (Photo courtesy of Susie Store).

Second grade winners from the TC Primary School Navajo spelling bee (Photo courtesy of Susie Store).

TUBA CITY-A large part of the Tuba City Unified School District (TCUSD) mission statement is to connect its student population to the larger, competitive academic world as well as promoting culture and language along with positive role modeling and character building.

To that end, the Navajo Language Program at TCUSD creates supportive programs that enhance, nurture and strengthen its Native languages-including Hopi-for both the junior high and high school areas.

The mission statement of the TCUSD Navajo Language Department is "to teach students to speak, read, write in their language providing them with the opportunity to better demonstrate and practice multiple world views, values and belief systems. Students are then exposed to their own [N]ative language and culture and can draw upon this...knowledge to incorporate appropriate cultural values in the many aspects of learning to become...healthy, confident, responsible and well rounded individuals in a global society."

Based on that mission statement, students are encouraged to learn to speak, understand, and become familiar with their Native languages on a daily classroom basis at TCUSD.

Students from kindergarten through twelfth grades at all TCUSD schools are offered either Navajo or Hopi languages. At the high school level, Navajo History and Government is also offered as an elective and is a requirement to qualify for the much coveted Chief Manuelito Academic Excellence Scholarship.

To meet with this ambitious goal, primary school students from Tuba City Primary School recently participated in a Navajo language spelling contest.

The following students were winners for spelling words in the Navajo language: kindergarten winners-first place, Chanell Barrett (teacher-Mrs. Yazzie); second place, MacKenley Nez (teacher, Ms. Bryant); and third place, Morgan Miranda (teacher Ms. Ruess).

First grade winners: first place, Celisha Meyers (teacher-Mrs. Tsinnie); second place, Reann Dodson (teacher, Miss Tsingine); and third place, Deandra Sanchez (teacher, Mrs. Preston).

Second grade winners: first place, Erinn Benally (teacher, Ms. Ferro); second place, Cynthia Bilagody (teacher, Mrs. McCloskey); and third place, Anaston Werito (teacher, Ms. Cooley).

Third grade winners: first place, Myah Iron (teacher, Mr. Roberson); second place, Rohnesia Begay (teacher, Mrs. Tallas) and third place, Tami Meyers (teacher, Mrs. Tallas).

For more information about the Navajo or Hopi Language programs at TCUSD, or more information about the Chief Manuelito Scholarship programs offered at TCUSD, call the Public Relations office at TCUSD at 928-283-1185.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to technical limitations, the kindergarten spelling bee winners could not be listed on this page. To see full-size photos of all the winners, click on the link below.

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