CCSD Board of Education appoints Hogback resident to board seat

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Central Consolidated School District Board of Education has appointed a Hogback resident to fill the District 3 seat left vacant by Charlie Jones Jr. after he resigned last month.

Philip J. Kinlichee was appointed in a special meeting on March 8 that centered on presentations by candidates. Those were followed by question and answer sessions facilitated by Board President Gary Montoya, who explained the eight questions were derived by board members.

The vote to support Kinlichee's selection from the pool of three applicants was not unanimous with Board Vice President Suzette Haskie opposing.

CCSD spokesman Roberto Taboada said on March 9 that Superintendent Daniel Benavidez did not have any comment about the appointment.

"If I am selected, I will do my utmost best to serve the community and CCSD," Kinlichee said in opening remarks.

When it comes to appropriations, board members must advocate for what delivers quality education to students, he said.

Taboada explained on March 9 that the district did not have a copy of Kinlichee's resume available and he does not have previous school board experience, but has knowledge of educational issues and the Johnson-O'Malley Program.

Kinlichee was an executive staff assistant for former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and worked with Northern Agency chapter governments and residents to address issues, according to The Daily Times archives.

Other than Kinlichee, there was Cheryl George and Matthew Tso who applied to represent District 3, which includes the areas of Hogback, south Shiprock and Rattlesnake.

George works for CCSD and Tso previously served on the board from 2011 to 2015. Both ran against incumbent Jones in 2019.

Kinlichee will take the oath of office on March 16, according to Taboada.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at

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