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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 29, 2002 - Issue 64


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GAP Primary School — Biggest Little School in Tuba City School District

by Suetopka Thayer, TC Public Relations DIrector

What they don’t have in size or numbers, they have in heart and dedication.

The thirty-six students at GAP Primary School are lucky enough to have the time and attention of a small and very personal staff to oversee their classroom instruction, meals, activities and outdoor recreation and emotional well-being.

The students and staff are like a little family in this area of the Navajo reservation that is nestled beneath the majestic, rust colored sandstone Echo Cliffs.

Ages range from Kindergarten to second grade and there are two special teachers who provide instruction — Mary Jane Chissie and Bessie Tsingine. The rest of the staff is made up of one Navajo language instructor, one parent assistant, one foster “grandmother,” one bus driver, one secretary and one cook. Principal Richard Bermudes serves as their half-time principal, as he has oversight of the Cameron/Dzil Libei School also half time.

In this community of approximately 2,100 residents, which is 98 percent native, the year ended on a high note of accomplishment and outstanding achievement.

The following students at GAP Primary recently received awards :
Most Improved Reading Nicholas Acothley
Christine Hanks
Hillary Tsinigine
Jamal Blackhat
Citizenship Travis Tso
Most Improved Math Stefan Benally
Penmanship Willana Nez
Stefany ManyWhiskers
Spelling Bee Shannon Tsinagine
Garrison Bigman
Aaron Yazzie
Most Improved Spelling Leeton Manymules
Perfect Attendance Tim Tsinagine
Kristen Yazzie

In these times when everyone thinks that bigger is better, this school is a real example of the fact that smaller and more personal service does the trick.

Tuba City, AZ Map
Maps by Travel

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Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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