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Faculty

General

Keith Neil – Dean of Instruction

[email protected]

 

Donna Fernandez, IB Coordinator

E-mail: [email protected]

Mrs. Fernandez is originally from Northern California and is from the Elem Indian Colony – Southeastern Pomo in Clearlake Oaks, CA. She grew up in both Southern and Northern California and loves the beaches. Mrs. Fernandez graduated from Lower Lake High School in 1988 with honors from the National Honor Society. She chose to attend Santa Rosa Junior College after high school then transferred to the University of California, Davis. One of the reasons she chose both colleges besides the fact that they are great colleges is to be within driving distance of her parents and grandparents. Mrs. Fernandez graduated from UC Davis in 1994 with a BA in two majors – Mathematics and Native American Studies. She currently resides in Bloomfield, NM on the Navajo Nation with her family.

Margaret Staggers – Registrar

E-mail: [email protected]

Ms. Staggers, from Shonto, AZ, retired from the Army in 2005 after serving 24 years. Ms. Staggers received an Associate’s Degree in General Studies from Central Texas College in Fort Clayton, Panama and also received her Bachelor’s Degree (BSM) in Management from the University of Phoenix. She has been employed with Navajo Prep since 2005. She enjoys seeing students succeed at Navajo Prep and achieve their goals

Keshia Beyale – Academic Counselor

E-mail: [email protected]

       Keshia Beyale grew up in Kirtland, NM and is an alumna of Navajo Preparatory School. She graduated from NPS in 2005 and went on to earn her B.A in Psychology from the                       University of Colorado. Upon returning to Farmington, NM, to be closer to her family, she gained experience in  the  mental health field. With a desire to pursue more, she returned           to college and earned her M.A in Professional Counseling & School Counseling from New Mexico Highlands University. As a school counselor she found her passion working with               students on academic & career readiness while also supporting their overall social and emotional development. 

Rainy Crisp – Assistant Dean of Instruction and Athletic Director

E-mail:  [email protected]

Rainy Crisp is from Shiprock New Mexico. Rainy graduated from Navajo Prep in 1998 and attended Arizona State University. After getting her degree in Exercise Science/Secondary Education, she came back to Navajo Prep and begin her teaching career in Physical Education & Health. Throughout the 11 years, Ms. Crisp also taught Fitness Training, Junior/Senior Seminar, was a Class Sponsor multiple of times, the Tobacco Use, Prevention, and Control Coordinator, and a Coach. In 2013 Ms. Crisp received her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from American College of Education and in 2016 received her Administrative License.

Tami Jo Bechdol – Librarian

E-mail: [email protected]

Mrs. Bechdol is originally from Farmington, NM.  She received her Bachelor of University Studies degree from the University of New Mexico and her Master of Information and Library Science from the University of Arizona.

Sam Bader – Student Success Coach

E-mail: [email protected]

        Sam Alika Bautista Bader is originally from Hilo, Hawai’i. He is of multiethnic background and identifies most strongly with his Native Hawaiian  (Kanaka Maoli) and Filipino                      heritage. He graduated with his Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology major, Ethnic Studies minor) from Lawrence University, a small liberal arts college and music conservatory located            in Appleton, Wisconsin. Raised in a family of musicians, he enjoys playing and teaching music in the community in his spare time. He lives in Farmington and is happy and proud to          be a part of the Navajo Prep family.


NIHI IINA (Social Studies) Department

 Lesley Tohtsoni – US History & Senior Seminar

E-mail: [email protected]

Mrs. Lesley (Duffus) Tohtsoni is originally from State College, Pennsylvania. Lesley received her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Reading from New Mexico Highlands University. Lesley has been teaching at Navajo Prep for 25 years. Prior to coming to NPS she taught for 2 years at an International School in East Africa Kenya. Lesley has travelled through Europe and Africa. While teaching at NPS, Lesley met her husband John, and together they enjoy travelling the country and going to George Strait concerts, watching Big 10 football and eating chicken wings. Her favorite hobbies are reading, going to the movies and anything related to Winnie the Pooh.

Denise Jensen – Navajo Culture, NM/AZ History, & Native American Studies

Email: [email protected]

Mrs. Denise Jensen is originally from Chinle, Arizona. Her clans are Water Flow Together, born for Coyote Pass, her maternal grandfather is of the Tangle Clan and paternal grandfather is Towering House. She taught 10 years in her home district then joined the Navajo Prep family in the Fall of 2006. She currently resides in Kirtland with her husband and she is the mother of a 2018 Navajo Prep graduate. Mrs. Jensen received her Bachelor’s Degree from Arizona State University and Master’s Degree from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. Jensen teaches Navajo Culture and New Mexico/Arizona History. She is also the advisor for the Navajo Prep Naat’aanii Youth Council. 

Kim Becenti – Conversation Navajo II

       Email: [email protected]

       Kimberly Becenti is the Conversation Navajo II teacher working with all NPS students taking their second year of Navajo Language classes. Navajo, from Pinon Az. Clans are                         Edgewater Clan born for Many Goats people.Level II Navajo Language and Culture licensed with 4 years at NPS.  Mrs. Becenti enjoys traveling and beading for her children. 

Kevin Belin – Navajo 

       Email: [email protected]

Mr. Belin is the Navajo Language teacher at Navajo Prep, as well 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, 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.”

Larry Sorensen- US Government & History of the Four Corners

E-mail: [email protected]

Mr. Larry Sorensen is originally from West Lafayette, Indiana. Mr. Sorensen received his Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University.

Varissa Dehoyos – Social Studies

      E-mail: [email protected]

Hiroshi Iwanna- Spanish I

E-mail: [email protected]

Mr. Iwanna is originally from Osaka, Japan and graduated from Chuo University in Tokyo with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in American English Literature. Mr. Iwanna received his Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from California State University in San Bernardino.


Creative Communications Department

Roxanne McCasland –  Health

E-mail: [email protected]

Mrs. McCasland is originally from Iowa and grew up on a farm.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Home Economics from the University of Northern Iowa.  Mrs. McCasland has taught for 33 years in New Mexico and is thrilled to join the Navajo Prep community this year.  She is married to her husband, Jim, and they have 2 sons, Jake and Morgan. She enjoys sewing, trying new recipes, and outside activities, like walking, mowing the lawn, gardening, watching sports (baseball), and camping.

Nancy Nelson –  English I & II

E-mail: [email protected]

Cheryl Wolfe – IB English II and Theory of Knowledge

E-mail: [email protected]

Mrs. Cheryl Wolfe was born in Houston, Texas, but spent most of her youth in Satanta, Kansas. In 2004, she and her family moved to Farmington. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English at Oklahoma Panhandle State University and her Master of Arts in Teaching (English) and her Graduate Certificate in Psychology from Western New Mexico University. During the school year, she teaches IB English A: Language and Literature II, Theory of Knowledge and Dual Enrollment Psychology. She is an intense fan of the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings sagas and she is partial to drinking tea. For physical activity, she walks and grows flowers.

Myrna Mendoza – IB English I and Journalism

E-mail: [email protected]

Mrs. Myrna Mendoza is originally from Cebu, Philippines. She received her Master of Arts in Literature from University of San Carlos.

Kevin Belin – Navajo Language

       E-mail: [email protected]

Kyle R. Joe – Graphic Design & Visual Arts

Mr. Kyle R. Joe has been a lifetime resident of Farmington, New Mexico. He graduated from The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) with a Bachelor of Cinematic Arts in 2014 and is currently working towards his masters at the University of Texas Permian Basin. Mr. Joe has been teaching for 5 years. His hobbies which include Film Making, Art, Japanese monsters, and Anime conventions. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” ~Walt Disney
 

Math

Janet Clafton

E-mail: [email protected]

Ann Meyer

E-mail: [email protected]

Mrs. Meyer grew up in the suburbs of Denver and moved to Farmington 28 years ago. Mrs. Meyer has had many careers including being a stockbroker, and travel agent. She started teaching after she moved to Farmington, teaching Math at Piedra Vista High School since they first opened their doors. She finished her degree in mathematics at Fort Lewis College but started her studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She arrived at Navajo Prep with over 20 years of teaching experience, all at the high school level and is very happy to belong to the Navajo Prep family.

Paul Stewart

E-mail: [email protected]

Mr. Stewart is am from Alamosa CO. He received his Teaching degree from Adams State College with a degree in Small Business Administration and a minor in Math. He worked for Farmington Municipal Schools for 21 years teaching math, technology, and being a technology specialist. He then went to Law School at Michigan State University specializing in Indian Law. He has taught at Prep for two years. 


Music

Ursula Messano – IB Music

E-mail: [email protected]

Ursula Messano was born and raised in the small western Colorado town of Delta.  She was educated at St. Mary College and Phillips Theological Seminary.  She taught in Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico prior to coming to Navajo Prep.  She has one grown daughter.  She loves Korean and Chinese soap operas, music, Monopoly, knitting, reading, and spending time with family.  Her instruments are voice, guitar, ukulele, and piano.


PE/Health

Jessica Nez

E-mail: [email protected]

Ms. Jessica Nez is originally from Haystack, NM and attended Thoreau high school. After high school, she followed her basketball career at Howard College in Big Spring, TX.  After obtaining her associates degree at Howard, she decided to go to Fort Lewis college and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis on Teaching K-12. She is currently back at Fort Lewis Pursuing her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Her clans are Towering House People, born for Weavers, my maternal grand-father is Red Running Into the Water and her paternal grandfather is Water Flows Together. She enjoys riding horses, reading and playing basketball. Her goals for the year are to help students be the best student they can be to reach their own goals. Ms. Nez’s favorite quote is “What you put into is what you get out of it.” 


Science Department

Kevin Keeley – Science

E-mail: [email protected]

Kevin Keeley was originally from Lovell, Wyoming. He grew up in Northern Utah where he attended Utah State University and graduated with a B.S. in Biology. At Utah State University he met and later married Karen Bray. They are the parents of five sons. He taught for 17 years in the Seminary program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He received a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Phoenix. In 2005 he became the first Life Skills teacher at Navajo Preparatory school. Today he teaches physical science and IB Environment Systems and Societies. Mr. Keeley enjoys being outdoors, gardening, and loves working with the students at NPS.

Yolanda Flores – Science

E-mail: [email protected]

Ms. Flores is originally from Baguio City, Philippines. She graduated with the degree, Bachelor of Science in Education major in Biology and minor in Chemistry & General Science and Master of Arts in Teaching Biology both at Saint Louis University, Baguio City. While in the Philippines she taught Chemistry and Biology in high school for 10 years then moved on to Saint Louis University , College of Natural Sciences and taught the following courses ( General Botany, General Zoology, Histology, Scientific Research, Comparative Anatomy and Physiology and Entomology, General Chemistry) for 13 years. She also had the chance to teach ESL to Korean and Japanese nationals at Pines International School for two years. In 2005, her “American Dream” came true, and she moved to the USA. She then taught for five years at Baboquivari High School, Sells, AZ (Chemistry, Biology and Physics) and now at Navajo Prep for 8 years teaching ( IB Chemistry 1&2, Chemistry, Human Anatomy and principles of Chemistry and Physics). On the other side of her passion for Science and teaching, she also loves cooking, dancing, singing and gardening.

Allison Henry – IB Biology/Principles of Physics & Chemistry

E-mail: [email protected]

Ms. Henry is a San Juan County import, born in Ruston, Louisiana, but raised in Shiprock, New Mexico.  She attended high school at Shiprock High and graduated from Frankfurt American High School in Frankfurt Germany.  Ms. Henry holds degrees in Biology, Secondary Education, and Special Education from UNM, the College of Santa Fe, and NM Highlands University.  After teaching in Denver for 7 years, she moved her son, Nathan, back to the 4-Corners, and taught with Central Consolidated Schools for 10 years, and finally landed in Eagle territory in 2014.

Mike Gordon – Robotics 

E-mail: [email protected].com

Mr. Gordon is a native of the Dallas area of North Central Texas. Mr. Gordon’s and his  lovely wife Debbie have one son and two grandchildren. His wife loves to cook, and he loves to eat, a match made in heaven. Family is central to the Gordon way of life. Debbie and Mike cherish their regular opportunities to be involved in the lives of the Gordon kids. In addition to teaching, he enjoys mountain biking, woodworking, computer programming, and robotics.

He has an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Fort Lewis is also where he earned his teaching credentials. He has a master’s degree in Science Teaching from New Mexico School of Mining and Technology in Socorro NM. He taught mathematics, Robotics, and Computer Science at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington, NM for 20 years. In 2018, He joined the faculty of Navajo Prep because of their commitment to STEM and International Baccalaureate programs. He is pleased to play a role in helping Navajo Prep students prepare for college coursework and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.