Former Tuba City administrator steps into critical technology education role

Tuba City Unified School District Beyond Textbook Coordinator Sharlene Navaho. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

Tuba City Unified School District Beyond Textbook Coordinator Sharlene Navaho. Photo/Rosanda Suetopka

TUBA CITY, Ariz. - Sharlene Navaho, one of the Tuba City Unified School District's (TCUSD) top administrators for the past seven years, will begin a new administrative role, one that is important in the transition and upgraded education for all students at Tuba City District.

Navaho is the new Beyond Textbook Coordinator and is working at the Tuba City District office serving under TCUSD Superintendent Dr. Harold G. Begay.

Navaho has a long history with the district, starting as a student herself in kindergarten through eighth grade.

After going to high school in Massachusetts, and then on to undergraduate and graduate work, Navaho moved up the ranks in the district starting as a first grade teacher at Tsiniibaas Habitiin Elementary School in Gap while coaching volleyball at Tuba City Junior High for several years. She then moved to second grade teaching for a few more years.

In 2007 she was promoted to principal at Dzil Libei Elementary School in Cameron, serving there for a few years. She moved into the principal position at Tuba City Primary and Eagles Nest Intermediate School within Tuba City proper. She served as principal at Tuba City Primary for a few more years before her most recent promotion to Beyond Textbook coordinator for the entire district.

Navaho is tasked with the responsibility of moving both students and staff members into the digital age of education and research, ensuring that there is a seamless transition from regular hardcover textbooks to updated technology access, using upgraded and new technology including ipads, laptops and other digital devices.

"My goal is to provide leadership in the on-going development and improvement of the entire Beyond Textbook program in our district in accordance with the current policies of TCUSD," she said. "My task is to work with all of the principals at each school in the areas of classroom management, instructional strategies and implementation of Beyond Textbook programming. The BT program provides a framework for the teachers and will help our students who may transfer between schools within our district or other Beyond Textbook schools.

"This will especially help our students who are transient to not fall through the cracks because teachers are provided with a calendar for when state standards are taught throughout the year. Beyond Textbooks allows our teachers to be creative and innovative with the delivery of their instruction and the sky is the limit with the materials and resources they can use in their classrooms."

Navaho said the district is preparing children for a future where they might land a job that may not even currently exist.

"It is important for our teachers to integrate technology in their lessons and throughout the educational day for our students to use and become completely familiar with," Navaho said. "As an example, our current Tuba City Primary School is planning to replace the outdated system of checking out books from the library and is working on having books and materials for students in the online library. The students will have complete access to library books through their electronic devices available at the school. "

Navaho said once the new TCUSD digital elementary school is built students will use tablets, ipads, and laptops on a daily basis.

"Presently, all of our principals and teachers use Google Docs to share documents with their colleagues," she said. "Upgraded technology at TCUSD is a big part of our plan for the new digital school and with these expectations, principals, teachers and staff have to educate ourselves to be able to provide the best possible learning experience and education for our students."

Navaho said she is extremely interested in sharing her knowledge and her ideas with parents and community members and encouraged parents to volunteer or ask their students' teachers about what kind of data is used to teach their children.

"I'm very proud of my Tuba City roots and believe that Tuba City District has some of the best educators in the state of Arizona working diligently with our students on a daily basis to make sure there are various opportunities for them when they leave our grade schools and high schools," Navaho said. "We have so many eager and gifted students here, that learning this new technology is just a must for our teachers to keep up with our students' special skills and enthusiasm. I do believe in our schools and I know we have the teaching expertise to provide a challenging educational experience for our students. Everything we do impacts the life of a child. "

Navaho is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, from the Ta'neeszahnii (Tangle People) born for Kinyaa'aanii (Towering House people) maternal grandfathers Lo'kaa'Dine'e (Reed people) and paternal grandfathers (Ashiihi People). Her parents are Buck and Gloria Navaho Jr., and she is the oldest of a family of five children.

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