Tuba City Unified District honors retirees and long-term employees at dinner award ceremony

Tuba City Unified School District honored its 2014 retiring faculty and staff May 13 with plaques and Pendleton blankets for their years of dedicated work. Pictured from left: Byron Poocha, Tanya Gorman-Keith, Samuel Denipah, George Begaye, Chester Beard, Brenda Piestewa and Thomas C. Jones Jr. Rosanda Suetopka/NHO

Tuba City Unified School District honored its 2014 retiring faculty and staff May 13 with plaques and Pendleton blankets for their years of dedicated work. Pictured from left: Byron Poocha, Tanya Gorman-Keith, Samuel Denipah, George Begaye, Chester Beard, Brenda Piestewa and Thomas C. Jones Jr. Rosanda Suetopka/NHO

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Each year the Tuba City Unified School District Governing Board honors and recognizes its employees by putting on a catered dinner and presenting awards to faculty and staff for their long term dedication to students and community.

This year, nine employees will retire: Chester Beard, George Begaye, Samuel Denipah, Thomas C. Jones Jr., Dr. Tanya Gorman- Keith, Brenda Piestewa, Byron Poocha, Pearl Puhuyaoma and Evelyn Spencer.

Natalie Alfred, who works at Tuba City High School, will retire after 40 years of service. Alfred received a custom Warrior jacket to honor her years of dedication to her students and fellow staff members at the student academic awards assembly May 15.

Maxine Begay and Bernise Holliday were recognized for 35 years of service.

Phillip Giorsetti and Lucy Lamesa were recognized for 30 years of service.

The 25-year awards went to Regina Akee, Marilyn Atcitty, Debbie Brodie, Phillip McCabe, Fern Pooyouma and Janet Tsingine.

Fifteen-year awards went to Belinda Badonie, Dr. Harold G. Begay, Woody H. Begay, Michael Belinte, Nancy Dennison, Adelbert Goldtooth, Louise Kerley, Sharlene Ann Navaho and Ronya Peshlakai.

Bennie Bighorse, Kristine Mary Cole, Cherish Erin Hardy, Denise Masayesva, Linda Lee Miller, Priscilla Tallsalt, Jerilyn F. Tsinigine, Bernice Yazzie and Gerril Yazzie received 10-year awards.

Raymond P. Begay, Heidi Coochyumptewa, John A. Goatcher, Effie Hyden, Michael Earl Johnson, Leo Manygoats and Florentina Salaba received five-year awards.

Principals and administrators including Director of Nizhoni Accelerated Academy Henry Henderson, Director of Exceptional Services Sandra Roe, Tuba City Junior High Principal Harriet Sloan, Tuba City High School Assistant Principal Mary Frances Begay, Dzil Libei Elementary School Principal Sanora Isaac, Tsinaabaas Habitiin Elementary School Principal Marilyn Reed and Director of Transportation Orson Bigman presented the awards.

Tuba City Unified School Board Member Lee Tsingine and Human Resource Director Adelbert Goldtooth gave out awards to all of the attending retirees, who received acknowledgement plaques and Pendleton blankets for their years of dedicated service.

"I want to thank and say how grateful I am for all of our hard working employees," Tsingine said. "It's good that we take the time to recognize all the contributions that our staffers make for our students. We really must let them know that they do make an impact every single day that they are here for our wonderful students and it's good to take this moment to show our appreciation."

The catered dinner was a Cinco De Mayo themed meal with James Bilagody providing entertainment and an invocation from Royd Lee.

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