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Talent Show 394They put on a silent play, let a guitar hero loose, and danced to Abba. Twice. 
 
That was the scene at the 3rd annual Talent Show at Ojo Amarillo Elementary School this week. A greatly entertaining show.
 
Principal Abena McNeely walked from one end of the gymnasium to the other, waving at parents, cheering the students, and celebrating every performance by ringing a loud brass bell.
 
"It's all about self-expression. Being in front of an audience develops social skills, special skills, it discovers talents they didn't know they had. And it's also a lot of fun," McNeely said.

Arpelar Photos 3Update: Shiprock High School got third place in the 4A State Chess Championship. Also, Newcomb High School and Career Prep High School got third place in 1A to 3A State Chess Championship. Congratulations!
 
For the first time, all Central Schools high schools will be present to represent the district at the NMAA State Team Chess Tournament taking place today and tomorrow in Albuquerque. A group of 29 students and staff left for the tournament earlier today, ready for the mind sport.

Dr. Joseph Chee 04 13 1
Dr. Joseph Chee says that the most rewarding aspect of his profession is learning from his students. Last week, the New Mexico Public Education Department distinguished his dedication and named Dr. Chee as Indian Educator of the Year during their Spring Government-to-Government Summit in Española.
 
Dr. Chee, a Navajo language teacher at Career Prep High School, said that receiving the award was really rewarding, especially since he feels that he isn’t just teaching, he’s sharing his life experiences with students, and learning from them.

Secody 31
Shiprock High School senior Melanie Secody has signed a letter of intent to play with the Northern New Mexico Eagles. Mandy Montoya, Associate Head Coach for Northern New Mexico College Women’s Basketball was joined by Secody’s mother, Melissa Atcitty, along with students and family members during a signing ceremony at the high school.
 
Secody says she started playing basketball when she was four years old.
 
“I knew I was good at basketball. It is a sport that both my parents played. It helps me with stress and I decided to keep going with it,” said Secody.

Cultivating CodersThe Central Consolidated School District hosted a community conversation on computer science this week with the leadership of the Navajo Nation, Teach for America New Mexico and Cultivating Coders. The conversation, which also included Shiprock High School students and staff, provided an update on last summer’s exciting coding boot camp, as well as a discussion on economic development in New Mexico.
  
Last Summer
A unique opportunity became available to nine Shiprock High School students last summer: an intensive coding boot camp, conducted by Cultivating Coders, an Albuquerque-based technology company that delivers condensed web-development classes.

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Kirtland Central High School was celebrating more than student excellence during last week’s 120th Day Count Assembly. The school rewarded student quality by presenting certificates, but it didn’t stop there, it also made sure their hard work was noticed beyond the classroom and celebrated by their peers. And their peers responded with loud noise.
 
The Math Department selected students who improved their technical writing and challenged themselves, working until problems were solved: Colton Warner (9th grade), Crimson West (10th grade), Jaben Haws (11th grade), and Zachary Burrell (12th grade).

The Skyhawk Remix Game
UPDATE: Team Russell won the Skyhawk Remix Game, 37 to 34 (Team rosters below). Also, the audience voted for Hanna Begay and Kaden Nelson as their most valuable players. Great celebration!
 
Newcomb High School will hold a celebration game between the Newcomb Lady Skyhawks and the Newcomb Skyhawks to congratulate their basketball teams on making the state tournament. The Honorary Officials for the Skyhawk Remix Game are Ben Tensay, CCSD Athletic Director - Head Official, and Videna Silvers - Newcomb Substitute Teacher - Official. The event will include audience voting on the MVP of the Game. During halftime of the game, the state wrestling qualifiers will be honored: match 1, Jawaun Charles vs Tyler Howe, match 2, Shaundale Davis vs Sheridan Staley. Admission is free.

Competing with Class 466Not only was there a great crowd and perfect weather, there was plenty of local pride. The streets were lined with signs, ribbons, confetti, and the flash of smart phones. Everywhere you looked, people cheered.
 
That was the scene today during the Parade of Champions, an event organized by the Central Consolidated School District (CCSD) to honor this year's competing scholars and athletes, and their success in local and state competitions.
 
The floats represented many events, ranging from science fairs to state basketball tournaments.

CCSD Competes with Class 1
The Central Consolidated School District will hold a parade honoring this year's competing scholars and athletes on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Shiprock.
 
The parade is open to the public and starts at 10 a.m.
 
The Route
Our school teams in several floats will be joined by representatives from the school board and district.
 
The parade will begin at Shiprock High School and march to the Shiprock Chapter House.

 

Lady Chiefs 80 by 72
Update: The Lady Chieftains won the 4A finals by defeating Hope Christian 47-42.
 
Earlier today, Shiprock High School’s Lady Chieftains played an exciting game against Robertson High School. Shiprock won the game 61-56 in overtime and are now headed to the 4A finals.
 
“It was a pretty close game, but our defense was outstanding and it made the difference,” said Coach Larenson Henderson right after the game.
 
The Lady Chieftains will take on Hope Christian in the 2017 U.S. Bank State Basketball Championships - Class 4A - Girls tournament.
 
Photos courtesy of Curtis Ray Benally.
 
 
 
Science Fair Medal
The Central Consolidated School 2017 District Science Fair was actually three science fairs held over three days: The Elementary Science Fair was Feb. 7; the Middle School Science Fair was Feb. 9; and the High School Science Fair was Feb. 13. All three science fairs were held at the District’s Phil Thomas Performing Arts Center in Shiprock.
 
“They did amazing. It was incredible to watch the journey these kids have been through from the school fair to this,” said teacher Deb McGee with Kirtland Elementary School. “It’s exciting to see. I’m so proud of them.”

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Students, parents, and teachers proved education is a family affair during a parent night Feb. 21, 2017 at Mesa Elementary School in Shiprock. It was a chance for the students to show parents their finalized school science fair projects on display.
 
“We had about 40 projects, an increase. And the projects are quality,” said Jeff Hammons, the enrichment teacher at Mesa Elementary. “The kids can actually direct a project where they steer it to where they want it to go, and they really take ownership of it. And they can see a completed project. The kids take pride.”
 
The importance of a school science fair in education was well known to parent Ned Begay who was there to see his son Nevaughn’s project, which took 1st place for physical science in his grade.

CCSD Logo Artist 80 by J72

The new Central Consolidated School District logo is simplistic yet also complex.

Its overlaying messages of educational partnerships with the Navajo Nation (the Shiprock), New Mexico (the Zia symbol), and the U.S. Department of Education (the blue ring)—combined with an eagle in flight and a report card symbolizing student success through hard work—add up to a complex design on a very small canvas. The district is a public school system under the state of New Mexico.

The new CCSD logo was designed and drawn by Shiprock High School senior Malachi Lee, who used colored pencils under tight guidelines: The design had to be recognizable when the logo appeared as small as an inch in diameter.

Art is a family affair for Malachi.

“It’s pretty much in my family. I grew up around my uncles, and my brothers, and my dad pretty much doing art …. The stuff I like to do is what reflects on to me. I let my hand do the drawing and see what comes out in the end.”

Judy Nelson Elementary Opens J9 80 by 72

A little boy showed up alone in the doorway of the new $20 million Judy Nelson Elementary School. He had tears in his eyes, was scared, and barely spoke. He was one of the last students to arrive. It was Jan. 3, 2017—the first day in the new school.

Judy Nelson—standing in the school’s doorway—had greeted students as they arrived. On the wall behind her was a bronze plaque with the name of the school—her name—on it. It was 8 a.m. and most of the school’s 595 students were now in their new classrooms.

Ms. Nelson was never a teacher, but she carries the same message of unconditional love, compassion, and caring for students. She began that message in 1967 when she was hired as secretary of Grace B. Wilson Elementary School in Kirtland—a position she kept for 50 school years before retiring in June 2016.

Christmas Parade 80 by insert
Arnold Pete’s ears were freezing.
 
The Central Consolidated School District Maintenance Department worker was playing the guitar while singing a variety of Christmas songs on the CCSD float during the Dec. 9, 2016 Shiprock Parade of Lights, which began at 6 p.m. at the Shiprock Chapter parking lot after it was dark.
 
The temperature was around the freezing mark. Arnold couldn’t cover his ears—a musician has to be able to hear his music as he plays.
 
Proving one is never too old to be a kid at Christmas, the Maintenance Department put together an “I’ll be Home for Christmas” float depicting a reindeer pulling Santa’s sled. Maintenance workers and their families on the float waved and tossed candy to children standing on the sidewalk with their parents.