CHINLE, ARIZ. (Jan. 6, 2015) – Encouraged by a visit from Senator Carlyle Begay, LD7, Chinle High School announced a 2015 resolution to become the first “A” rated school on the Navajo Reservation. To launch their mission, school officials invited Sen. Begay to share his personal education story with the students. This morning, Sen. Begay spoke to the 976 students in attendance cheering on their goal to become an “A” school.
“From a very young age and growing up on the Navajo Nation the importance of education was always stressed in our family,” said Begay. “My message to the students is to be proud of who they are as Native students, proud of where they come from and proud of being a part of a school that is preparing them for the future. Children in Arizona deserve an excellent education that will give them the skills that they need for the jobs of the future.”
Today’s assembly also focused on the school’s new motto: “We’re On Our Way to Becoming an “A” High School.” Chinle High School is the largest Native American school in the United States and is currently a “C” rated school.
According to school officials, Chinle High students earned the highest combined AIMS score out of all of the Navajo Reservation high schools last spring.
“We’ve seen growth in the last few years thanks to the efforts of the school leadership and staff targeting the areas of math and reading,” said Quincy Natay, Superintendent of Chinle Unified School District. “A big thank you to Sen. Begay for making the trip out here to speak with the kids about the opportunities education creates. The Senator helped the kids believe they can one day become a lawyer, doctor or engineer.”
“As Arizona’s K-12 schools begin to implement higher academic standards, it is important for all stakeholders to recognize, anticipate and plan for the impact on American Indian students, which are an academically vulnerable population,” added Begay. “Tribal lands suffer from extreme poverty, the highest teacher turnover rate and highest dropout rate in the state, so these kids should be especially commended for overcoming true adversity.”