TUBA CITY, Ariz. - In the last two weeks, Greyhills Academy High School has been bustling with activity to bring in the school year. On Aug. 5-6, the staff went through an orientation to get prepared for the school year. Some of the more notable events were the speeches made by the staff such as Athletic Director Toney Begay, who has been with the school since it opened almost 40 years ago. He is due to retire at the end of the year.
Begay spoke of how when he first went to boarding school, it was a new experience coming out in the country. He says that he was always impressed by a particular teacher throughout his educational experience. While at Stewart Indian School, he cited the athletic director there as being a major influence in his life. In his last year of his schooling, the basketball team went to state, which had never happened before. He wanted to make the point that each teacher can make a good impression on students if they work for the student and are dedicated to teaching the student.
He periodically goes back to Stewart, Nev. to visit his alma mater on occasion.
Mr. Lemaul Adson from the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) is a longtime Tuba City resident. He also made a comment on his bus driver Manuel Baca, who would wait to make sure he was safe when he got off the bus after practice because he was genuinely concerned for him. He stated that he sees this as a practice that could be used by everyone in the educational field.
Parents also made comments that everyone from a cook to the principal has a part in the child's education. Greyhills is a unique school and represents more than a school. One parent believed the school should be more of a "brand" that would get people to think, "What does Greyhills stand for when you mention the school?"
Another event that occurred was the early morning Blessing Way ceremony led by Adair Klopfenstein, or Mr. K. He was recently hired and came with traditional ceremonial experience. Staff members, students and parents participated in the hogan on the campus. This was very powerful in that during the whole ceremony, rain fell down quite heavily with lightning and thunder echoing some of Mr. K's chants. This is believed to be a good sign from the holy ones, as they are called in Navajo culture.
Later in the day, parents were invited to an open house to meet the staff. Parents packed into the auditorium to hear introductions of staff members from different areas of the school. Later, parents went to their children's classroom to talk directly to the teachers and find out what to expect during the school year.
Greyhills Academy High School is currently trying to increase enrollment in their school. For more information call (928) 283-5977.