Hopi Junior and Senior High students return to school Aug. 7
KEAMS CANYON, Ariz. - Hopi Junior and Senior High School welcomed back students Aug. 7.
Hopi Jr/Sr High Athletic Director Ricky Greer said the outlook is exciting for both athletics and academics.
Greer said the pandemic was tough on all the schools in rural Arizona so it will be great to return to school in person. The Hopi Tribe rescinded its mask mandate in May so masks are no longer required, but anyone can wear masks if they want to do so.
Hopi Jr./Sr High had about 320 at the high school and 108 at the junior high last year and expects to have about the same numbers this school year. Greer said the staff did not have as much turnover as some past years.
Hopi Junior High is fully staffed after hiring former Hopi High graduate Holly Laban as a science teacher. That was necessary after science teacher Eva Bahnimptewa became the teacher for the junior high alternative program.
Devin Lomayaoma, another former Hopi High graduate, became the weights teacher after previously teaching at Second Mesa Elementary School.
For teaching positions that have not been filled, such as Spanish, Hopi High will be using the Elevate K-12 program. This program, originating from Chicago, is a national program that has teachers teaching online during certain hours. While the students are online, they get to engage with the teacher so they are not just talking to a computer.
These teachers also have to be certified by the state that the students are in.
“It’s a unique innovative program,” Greer said.
Kiara Pahovama, another graduate of Hopi High, is the new assistant junior high principal.
“We’re excited to have her and she’ll be a great addition,” Greer said.
Hopi High has openings for English, math, science, band and social studies teachers.
Hopi Jr/Sr High also has openings for a food service manager and director of federal programs.
The sports teams have begun practicing and will soon get underway. Raleigh Namoki returns as football coach as Hopi will host Greyhills Aug. 18 and will play in the Kickoff Classic at the Skydome at NAU Aug. 26.
“Our players are excited about that. It will be a cool experience for our players,” Greer said.
Eva Bahnimptewa returns as volleyball coach with the first match Aug. 24 hosting Rock Point.
Rick “The Legend” Baker will coach boys and girls cross country with the Hopi Invite on Aug. 29.
Laura Dale will lead the cheerleading squad.
Dempsey Davis, ASA counselor, will coach the chess team which will begin its season the last week in August.
Hopi High has filled the two positions for the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, which were vacant last year.