Governance & Administration Organizational Chart:
Head of School
Shawna Allison Becenti
Clans: Táchii’nii (Red Running into the Water Clan), ‘Áshįįhi (Salt People Clan), Mą‘ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan), Tł‘ógi (Hairy Ones or Weaver-Zia Clan)
Mrs. Becenti was raised in Farmington, New Mexico, but has family ties to Tohatchi, NM, Crownpoint, NM, Ganado, AZ, and Parker, AZ. She is an alumna of Navajo Preparatory School and received a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Secondary Education from University of New Mexico and a Master of School Administration degree from New Mexico State University. She is a proud mother of five children and grandmother of one grandson. Mrs. Becenti has been married twenty years to Kevin R. Becenti of Crownpoint, NM.
Mrs. Becenti spent her entire adult years in the area of education. She taught social studies courses at Piedra Vista High School, Rocinante High School, and Navajo Preparatory School. She entered administration at Navajo Preparatory School as an Athletic Director and Discipline Officer. She spent the last ten years teaching at Kirtland Central High School. She spent three years as Kirtland High’s Assistant Principal and Athletic Director, and seven years as the Principal. Kirtland Central High School was named a Bronze Medal School in the US News Best High Schools under her leadership.
Mrs. Becenti is honored and excited to return back home to where her educational journey began. She is an example of the school’s motto, Yideeskaago Naataanii.
Associate Head of School for Academics and Operations
Mr. Neil is a lifelong resident of San Juan County, attending Elementary and Middle School in Aztec, NM and spending his high school years at Grace Baptist Academy, while graduating from the Bible Baptist Shepherd School in Farmington, NM.
After high school, Mr. Neil moved on to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, with minors in History and Bible/Theology from Simpson University in Redding, CA. Mr. Neil continued his education by receiving his Teacher Certification from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO and then receiving both a Master’s in Business Administration and Educational Administration license through New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM. He spent two years teaching and coaching at Aztec High School, followed by six years at Farmington High School. In 2010, Mr. Neil transitioned out of the classroom for six years working at Pinon Hills Community Church as Associate Pastor in Student Ministry. In 2016, Mr. Neil returned to the education field, serving as Dean of Students, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director at Kirtland Central High School. He was given an opportunity to join the family at Navajo Prep in 2018 to serve as Dean of Instruction and has found a home amongst the amazing students and staff at NPS.
Mr. Neil has been married to his wife Stevie since 2001 and has two children. He loves to spend his free time fly fishing, camping, and playing golf.
Associate Head of School for Advancement and Outreach
Darah Tabrum is the Dean of Student and Community Engagement. The Student and Community Engagement department includes admissions, college guidance, school-based health center, academic support, counseling, and social and emotional wellness. Her family is from New Zealand, but she has lived in New Mexico for over ten years and feels lucky to call the Four Corners home. She earned her Bachelor of Art degree from Agnes Scott College in Political Science and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from the University of New Mexico. Prior to working at Navajo Prep, Ms. Tabrum taught college success, gifted, and coordinated early college and college access initiatives. She believes deeply in supporting student identity development and supporting students to accomplish their dreams. Outside of work, you might find Ms. Tabrum enjoying a hike outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and seeking an adventure!
Division Director of Student Life and Wellness
Clans are: Tsi’naajinii, Kinlichii’nii and African American.
Mr. Denetso is originally from Klagetoh, AZ and is a 1996 graduate of Ganado High School. Mr. Denetso went on to pursue an athletic career at Arizona State University and a brief stint playing professional football overseas. Mr. Denetso received his Master's degree from NMHU as a Clinical Social Worker and his B.S. degree in Family Studies/Human Development and Thematic in Education. Mr. Denetso has extensive work experience in behavioral health and social work. Mr. Denetso has served at NPS for approximately nine years in the following areas: Dean of Student Life in the Residential Program and Admissions Coordinator. He has also coached football, baseball, and track. Mr. Denetso enjoys giving back to the youth, is active in the community, and is a motivational speaker for our youth. In his free time, he enjoys being with family, friends, and anything that involves sports. Mr. Denetso reports, “I am living the dream working at NPS with your children".
Division Director of Business and Human Services
Manuel Watchman is the current Director of Finance, and was previously the Director of Human Resources. Mr. Watchman brings twelve years of HR experience. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Boston University in International Relations and a Master's degree in Finance from the University of Massachusetts as of May 2022. He has worked at two other schools and is familiar with regulations. Additionally, he has worked in many aspects of HR including benefits administration, management, training, and more. When not at work, he enjoys spending time with family, home improvement, volunteering, and has recently assisted a nonprofit small business organization.
Director of the Dine Bizaad Center
Mr. Belin is the as owner of Hashké – Hozhó Design and Collaborative and Adjunct Instructor with Diné College with the Navajo Cultural Arts Program. Mr. Belin has been in the education field for nearly a decade working with fellow teachers, consultants, and language instructors to perpetuate the Navajo Language and Culture through curriculum building, trainings, and presentations. Throughout the year, Mr. Belin is consulted to work with youth and demonstrate hands on workshops in historical and cultural knowledge. “I don’t consider myself an expert, but I am the bridge that connects the knowledge banks that are our elders to the young and discouraged learners with modern approaches to language learning and scaffolded instruction to understanding the complex concepts of Sa’ah Naaghei Bik’eh Hozho.” Mr. Belin has been featured on Native America Calling, American Indian Republic, 21st Century Native leaders podcast and Indian Country Today as a cultural representative and is a Billy Mill’s Running Strong Dreamstarter. “Teaching the Navajo Language to our young leaders and helping them understand the complexity that is the Diné way of life is a lifelong endeavor.”