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Dr. Harld G. Begay New Leader of Navajo Schools

Dr. Harld G. Begay New Leader of Navajo Schools
January 12
17:40 2022

Begay Leading the Way

By John Christian Hopkins

During a Special Session, the 24th Navajo Nation Council approved the appointment of Dr. Harold G. Begay as Superintendent of Schools for the Department of Diné Education (DODE).

The vote to appoint Begay was 23-0.

He will now lead the Department of Diné Education and work with the board on its overall direction as Chief Administrative Officer.

“The Navajo Board of Education as the leaders of our local schools made a critical decision to recommend the appointment of Dr. Harold Begay,” Speaker Seth Damon said. “The Navajo Nation believes he will be an effective advocate for our teachers, students, parents, and school districts across the largest Sovereign Nation in the United States.”

In November, the Navajo Nation Board of Education (NNBOE) passed a resolution recommending Begay’s confirmation as Superintendent of Schools.

Delegate Daniel Tso, chair of the Health, Education, and Human Services Committee (HEHSC), sponsored the bill along with co-sponsors Delegate Otto Tso (Tuba City) and Delegate Edison Wauneka (Oaksprings, St. Michaels).

Begay is a proven education leader who is working with Stanford University to prepare Native students for college by linking them with Indigenous students from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Japan, Damon added.

“He brings decades of classroom experience and has published scholarly articles to preserve Native American languages and to uplift Indigenous cultures,” Damon said.

Begay received his Doctorate in Philosophy from the College of Education at the University of Arizona in finance and educational leadership.

Begay, who was once a bus driver for the Tuba City Unified School, is now leading the way in Dine education.

“The outdated education policies of the United States government have shown us that our culture, language, and history is important to the future of our Indigenous people. Sovereignty in the classroom is the first step to protecting our future as Navajo people,” Tso said.

Begay’s clans are Táchii’nii (Red Running Into the Water People Clan), born for Tódich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan).

A United States Marine and disabled veteran from the Vietnam War, Begay has served more than 40 years as an educator, principal, school administrator, and district superintendent advocating for Indigenous students.

In 1994, Greyhills Academy High School, in Tuba City, named him an “Administrator of the Year” and he has since served as the Tuba City Unified School District Superintendent from 2011 to 2019.

Dr. Harld G. Begay New Leader of Navajo Schools - overview

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