Hello parents, grandparents, and community,
 
I want to begin this superintendent’s report by recognizing seniors, not just CCSD’s seniors, but all students graduating this year.
 
For weeks, I have been thinking of what to say to the Class of 2020, trying to avoid platitudes or the idea that graduation this year is less in any way. While it is true that ceremonies have to be postponed, for now, your graduation is still a really important milestone. Finishing high school, maturing into young adults, and learning how to be productive citizens and representatives of your communities is no small feat.
Ashinee George
In the photo: Ashinee George, right, and her mom Cheryl, left. Ashinee will run track and study nursing at Mount Marty College, where she has been accepted on a scholarship. Lucky Lancers!
 
This week, my office learned of a member of the Class of 2020, who has received an academic and athletic scholarship to run track and study nursing at Mount Marty College, in Yankton, South Dakota. Ashinee George, of Shiprock High School, will attend college in a state she has never been to, away from family and friends, because she believes that her community needs more health professionals. She will run track because she loves the sport, and she will become a nurse because she wants to give back to her community. That is nothing short of inspiring.
 
Stories like that abound in our county, and we are proud of the Class of 2020 because they love their communities and know that they will be great role models to the next generation of students.
 
A couple of years ago, during a graduation ceremony at Newcomb High School, Guila Curley, one of our most charismatic teachers, delivered one of my favorite speeches to graduates, which concluded with these words:
 
“My family used to teach me, ‘Wherever you go, remember you represent us, whatever you do, people will say, oh you are so and so’s daughter, so and so’s granddaughter, and they will think of us if you don’t act the way you are supposed to.’ Remember that as you go out into the world. Remember your people. Remember that they prayed for you, and hoped and dreamed for you. Remember that they need you. Need you to uplift our people.”
 
Yes, remember those words as if they came from your own family. You can read the whole speech here.
Superintendent Desk 1
In the photo: Test and Go (TAG) event at Shiprock High School, sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health, Indian Health Services, and the National Guard.
 
Working with the Community, for the Community
On May 4th and 5th, as part of The New Mexico Department of Health’s ongoing COVID-19 testing efforts, CCSD hosted health and emergency personnel at Shiprock High School, for a Test and Go (TAG) event. Hundreds of people attended the free testing site, which originally was planned to take place at the City Market Plaza, but was better accommodated outside of the Chieftain Pit.
 
The event, sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Health, Indian Health Services, and the National Guard, played an extremely important part in our efforts to flatten the curb of the pandemic. We are happy to have played a role in the event and to help our community.
 
Our thanks to the community for coming in early (before 6:00 a.m.), and waiting patiently to be tested. Stay safe, everyone.
Rhys Balasuit
In the photo: Rhys Balasuit is New Mexico’s winner of the National History Day contest. The photo is from earlier this year, during his 3rd place finish at the CCSD Spelling Bee.
 
Celebrations
More than half a million middle and high school students participate in the annual National History Day. The event helps students learn critical thinking, problem-solving skills, research and reading skills, and also self-esteem and confidence. This year, National History Day, the non-profit history education organization, made the decision to conduct its 2020 National Contest virtually. And now for the great news, Rhys Balasuit, of Kirtland Middle School, is New Mexico’s winner and he will be participating in the national contest in the month of June. Rhys is one of our brightest students, you’ve probably seen him participating in various events, including the Science Olympiad and the Spelling Bee. Congratulations, Rhys! Good luck in June!
 
It is also my pleasure to announce that we have thirteen students from Newcomb Middle School and Newcomb High School that won medals on the New Mexico Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) State Competition! They have also qualified to attend their Virtual National Conference on July 7-9, 2020.
 
The students that won are Michaela Roanhorse, Kimora Pete, Nannibah Willie (Gold, Food Innovations), Yanabah Marshall, Dayanah Randall (Silver, Entrepreneurship), Jules Morris, Talishae Negale Silver (Silver, Repurpose and Redesign), Sarah Lomaintewa, Esham Peters, Atticus Moton (Silver, Repurpose and Redesign), Lilah Yazzie (Silver, Job Interview), Destiny Lee (Silver, Job Interview), and Lorna Peterson (Silver, Teach and Train).
 
Congratulations, Skyhawks! A big thank you also to coaches Ronalyn Manores and Maria Buena Canda.
 
I don’t want to forget to highlight recent school events, like Judy Nelson’s parade a couple of weeks ago, the special visitors at Ojo Amarillo, and principals reading to our students, just to name a few. It’s great to see these events, and they help us to keep connected with our students and their families. It’s outstanding work.
Superintendent Desk 2
In the photo: (Top left) staff works on preparing our offices for the summer season. Staff is also working on much needed repairs at the main administration building (bottom left), and creating a “Champions Lane” at Shiprock High School. All projects are on schedule (right panels).
 
Lastly, I want to put three more items on your radar that we’ll be discussing in the coming days.
  • The first one is highlighting the incredible work teachers, school nutrition professionals, maintenance, and technology staff are doing. They have been hard at work while our buildings are closed. They’ve been teaching, delivering meals, and preparing our offices and school buildings for the summer season, as well as completing projects like the repairs at the main administration building and creating “the Champions Lane” at Shiprock High School. Thank you to our CCSD workers for helping us continue the work ahead of the summer months, and be ready to get back to regular business.
  • The second item I want to mention is our upcoming events. CCSD staff are working on a few projects for our students, including diploma distribution, and we’ll make those announcements in the coming days. Stay tuned.
  • The third item I would like to underline is the labor of Board President, Gary J. Montoya, Board Vice President, Suzette Jean Haskie, Board Secretary, Christina J. Aspaas, Board Member, Charlie T. Jones, Jr., and Board Member, Sheldon Pickering, in front and behind the scenes, making sure Central Schools are providing the best services to our families.

And finally, and more on a personal note, I want to express my gratitude to San Juan College High School. SJCHS has asked me to provide a message to their first graduating class, which will be livestreamed on Facebook this month. I’m truly honored to have been asked to be a part of their celebration. My message to the Class of 2020 centers on perseverance and embracing change in life: "I want to congratulate you on a job well done and leave you with this: you know the value of perseverance and hard work, you know it because it pays off and you are graduating today, looking forward to a new path, whether in college or starting a new profession." I hope that message resonates with all the graduates of the Class of 2020.

As always, should anything change, we will use our parent call system and post the information on ccsdnm.org, and our social media channels.
 
Ahéhee’.
 
Dr. Dave Goldtooth
Interim Superintendent of Central Consolidated School District