Superintendent candidate named for Department of Diné Education

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — A candidate has been named for superintendent of the Department of Diné Education.

Ronald Thompson has been named in a legislation that seeks his confirmation by the Navajo Nation Council.

Thompson is the superintendent for Shonto Preparatory Schools in Shonto, Arizona, and has been a principal and teacher in schools on the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo Nation Board of Education supported Thompson's appointment and recommends the council confirm him as superintendent in a resolution issued on April 2.

The board interviewed five candidates for the position and determined Thompson was the most qualified candidate, the resolution states.

The seat has been open since Tommy Lewis Jr. retired from the department in November 2019 . He is now the superintendent of schools for Coconino County in Arizona.

Thompson submitted his application to the education department and the board in December, according to documents attached to the bill.

He wrote in his letter of interest that he has experience working with grant schools, Bureau of Indian Education schools and the public school system.

The Navajo Education Center is pictured on Jan. 14, 2019 in Window Rock, Arizona. The building houses the Department of Diné Education.

"I feel that I will be an asset to your organization as we work towards supporting all our Diné students, employees, parents and community members with strategic processes which will guide, support our efforts towards becoming an exemplar educational school system," he wrote.

Thompson earned his doctorate of educational leadership and a master's degree from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. He earned a bachelor's degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

Delegate Daniel Tso is sponsoring the bill and it was introduced on April 10.

It has been assigned to the Health, Education and Human Services Committee, the Naa'bik'íyáti' Committee and the Navajo Nation Council, where final authority rests.

The Health, Education and Human Services Committee gave the bill a "do pass" recommendation on April 16.

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

Support local journalism with a digital subscription to The Daily Times.