TUBA CITY, Ariz. - The Education Committee of the Navajo Nation Council held a regular meeting at Greyhills Academy Auditorium on June 16. One of the items on the agenda was the reauthorization of Greyhills Academy High School (GAHS).
Jonathan Nez, council delegate from Shonto, sponsored Legislation No. 0849-10 for sanctioning and reauthorizing the grant at GAHS. Nez noted that GAHS had made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for the last six years and recommended GAHS as a successful grant school. He remarked, "This is a very unique school."
School Board Vice President Lee Johnson made a short statement introducing the board members and stated that school president Robert Yazzie had resigned. GAHS Principal Marie Morales credited the success of the school to dedicated teachers, students and parents.
Education Committee Vice Chairman Raymond Maxx voiced concerns about reports of micromanagement. He recommended the board work more with the education staff at the school. He stated the school has been doing well for many years and that the board should not be micromanaging.
"[GAHS] should be a good and comfortable place for students to go to school," he added.
Maxx also wanted to make clear to the board that he would like to get enrollment up and lift staff morale and give time for the board to improve. He made a failed motion to grant GAHS a one-year reauthorization to work on the micromanagement issues. The motion was not seconded.
Committee member Leonard Anthony stated the board receives reports and feels micromanagement needs to be resolved and that the "do this, do that" attitude needs to change because school boards have lost the focus on students.
Outgoing CEO Edwin Tano made a statement to the board and acknowledged concerns at the school. He pointed out the fact that Nez was a former student of his at Kayenta and was now a leader in the Navajo Nation. He stressed that it is the focus of Greyhills Academy to see the potential in all students since they may someday become future leaders as well.
Tano taught and coached at GAHS for 30 years. He is grateful for the many friends on the reservation.
Nez stated the need to get together and start an organizational structure with the boards and the administrations to get more cooperation. He feels that grant schools are necessary for allowing self-determination and self- sufficiency, but that if a grant school or dorm fails, then the matter of tribal sovereignty is brought into question.
Members of the Education Committee include Andy Ayze, Chairman; Raymond Maxx, Vice Chairman; Ida Nelson; Elmer Milford; David Tom; Bobby Robbins; Willie Tracey Jr. and Leonard Anthony.