Navajo Prep hosts first back to school pow wow

Joshua Kellogg
IT specialist Tonia Clark helps a new class of freshmen set up their email addresses on Wednesday at Navajo Prep. The school is organizing the first Back to School Benefit Contest Pow Wow, which will include dancing, music and concessions. The pow wow will raise money for the school.


FARMINGTON – Navajo Preparatory School staff, students and parents are coming together to organize the first Back to School Benefit Contest Pow Wow Saturday morning on the school grounds.

Business Manager Sheryl John said she hopes the event attracts families who are in Farmington for back to school shopping during the New Mexico Gross Receipts Tax Holiday Friday through Sunday.

“They could enjoy some nice pow wow music,” John said.

Student volunteers helped organize several fundraisers in the past including an annual haunted house around Halloween and a color run called UV SPLASH by Color Dash 5K in September last year.

The event starts at 10 a.m. with a gourd dance and will take place outside in the oval-shaped grass field located between the Betty Ojaye Center and the Edison Wauneka Administration Building.

Leland Becenti talks to incoming freshmen about discipline on Wednesday at Navajo Prep.

Students will be volunteering in multiple areas of the pow wow. Students involved in athletics, for example, will help operate the concession stand. The list of students who are volunteering has not been finalized but those who participate will receive a portion of the money raised by the event, John said.

John has been working with Master of Ceremonies Elvin Keeswood to help recruit some of the drummers, dancers and the arena director for the program.

“I’ve been pow wowing for a long time, it’s part of my life,” Keeswood said. “It’s great, we need to support the students at the school.”

He helped organize the school’s Annual Pow Wow in December and is the father of student Cameron Keeswood, a junior.

Keeswood said he loves how a pow wow can bring different families together to socialize and visit with each other.

“What we want to emphasize is family and have a good time,” Keeswood said.

Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

Incoming freshmen Keona Hosteen, left, and Stephan Velazquez attend a workshop during orientation on Wednesday at Navajo Prep.

If You Go:

What: Navajo Preparatory School Back to School Contest Pow Wow

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Navajo Preparatory School, 1220 W. Apache St., Farmington

Cost: $5

More Information: Call 505-326-6571, Ext. 113, or 505-444-0360 for more information