TCHS features 2007 AIMS stars

Tuba City High students who have exceeded in all three areas of AIMS testing this year include (from left): Jessica Goatcher, Ashley Brown, and Mia Henderson standing with tribal role model, Dr. Joe Chino and his wife, Jennifer at this past week’s AIMS Honor Banquet held at TC High’s Warrior Pavilion. Not pictured, but also exceeding all three areas of AIMS are Chris Holve and McKenzie Butler (Photo by Byron Poocha).

Tuba City High students who have exceeded in all three areas of AIMS testing this year include (from left): Jessica Goatcher, Ashley Brown, and Mia Henderson standing with tribal role model, Dr. Joe Chino and his wife, Jennifer at this past week’s AIMS Honor Banquet held at TC High’s Warrior Pavilion. Not pictured, but also exceeding all three areas of AIMS are Chris Holve and McKenzie Butler (Photo by Byron Poocha).

TUBA CITY-The Second Annual Tuba City High School AIMS (Arizona Instrument for Measuring Standards) Banquet hosted by the TCHS Counseling Department was held recently at the Warrior Pavilion. Each year, it is held in special public recognition of the students who have passed the required AIMS test, a criterion-referenced test with questions developed by Arizona educators and based on the Arizona Academic Standards.

These standards demonstrate student mastery over three critical areas of academics (math, science and language arts) before they can graduate from a state sanctioned public or charter high school.

Making the benchmark were149 Tuba City High School students, with nine students exceeding one of three categories, six exceeding two of three categories and the highest category of achievement for academic prowess, five TC High students exceeding all three categories.

The students who exceeded all three areas of testing are: Ashley Brown, McKenzie Butler, Jessica Goatcher, Mia Henderson and Chris Holve who also won this year's 3A-2006 Championship Individual cross-country trophy.

These students are now eligible for tuition waiver consideration at any of the three state recognized universities, University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University, and can apply for several more competitive scholarships that require exceptional high school level academic achievement.

Students who exceeded standards in two of three areas are Kassandra Dugi, Terrance Geneeha, Corey Hudson, Kirsten Nelson, Lakota Scott and Charles Lee. Lee is also part of the Marine Junior ROTC of Tuba City High's 2007 State Championship Marksman Team.

Special guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Joe Chino (Acoma/Navajo) who currently is a general surgeon for Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation. Dr. Chino accompanied his wife, Jennifer during the 90-minute banquet along with students and their respective parents or guardians.

Chino prepared a special presentation on his own personal education travels, which he thought would be helpful tips for 2007 TC High Seniors to set both long and short term career goals and what he felt was inspirational to him along the way.

Growing up in Chinle, with two very strong, traditional tribal backgrounds, one from the Acoma Pueblo and the other from the Navajo Nation, Chino said he was always interested in working in some capacity in Tuba City after he graduated from high school in Albuquerque.

Chino jokingly told why he returned to this western agency area. "I think it was also because I was especially fond of roasted mutton ribs covered with that tasty red Tuba City sand," he said.

Chino felt that he was inspired primarily by wanting to provide quality health care to reservation residents and that he wanted to be a positive role model for his own tribal people.

In working through the education system dominated by culture, Chino said there were several elements that assisted him while at school, when he away from the reservation environment. These included:

* Maintaining a balance between traditional culture and western social/technology experiences;

* Developing and establishing a solid and supportive relationship with people who were in decision-making capacities or could provide him support in the education environment;

* Maintaining the desire to do positive work through his chosen profession for his tribal community and people.

He also encouraged the students "...to persevere and keep climbing that education ladder that will make a difference in your own home community."

"This is an exciting time in your lives, one that will be filled with important decisions and independence from Mom, so be thoughtful about what it is you want and how it will affect the people around you. You will be happier and more fulfilled for it," Chino said.

The banquet was sponsored by the Federal Projects Program, Director Roland Bennett and musical entertainment was provided by Blair Quamahongnewa, TC High Music teacher along with several of his most gifted guitar students at TC High.

For more information about TC High and its programs, call Tuba City District's Office of Public Relations at 928-283-1185 or 1186.

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