TUBA CITY -- Considering how much time most spend on the job with co-workers, sometimes as close as 10 feet away, including after-hours, overtime or working through deadlines, its kind of like being in a long-term marriage.
Co-workers can share the same office for many years and deserve some kind of special recognition for their endurance, patience and daily ability to negotiate.
Those in the education business, have the added responsibility of enriching and educating students that walk into their office or classroom, making them just a hair short of being a real live hero.
Tuba City Unified School District recognizes its working heroes each year. The gifts that teachers and staff members bring to each school site and office are showcased at an annual steak dinner complete with gifts, plaque recognition and entertainment to show appreciation for the hard work and quality time that each district personnel member puts into nurturing students.
This year, there were six retirees, including Billy Williams, TC Primary School; Jeanne Stoughton, Special Education Department; Wanda Holt, ENIS Special Education; Alice Babbitt, TCUSD Food Services; Kenneth Bustamante, Tuba City High School Teacher; and Benny James, TC warehouse.
Likewise, there was special recognition for longtime employees -- Lulu Adson, a teacher with 40 years of dedicated service at TC Primary and Juanita Sombrero, an administrative assistant, also with 40 years of hard work at TC Primary.
Following close behind in years of devoted service were Beverly Begay, 30 years as an elementary teacher; Susie Store, 25 years, Navajo Language Department; Mildred Yazzie, school clerk for 25 years; and Yvonne Tsimoga, with 20 years as he superintendent's administrative assistant/ secretary.
(Rosanda Suetopka Thayer is Public Relations Director for Tuba City Unified School District.)