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FARMINGTON — Suzette Hoskie and Kerby Johnson are running for the position 5 seat for the Central Consolidated School District Board of Education.

The seat represents the southern portion of San Juan County and includes the communities of Sanostee, Little Water, Burnham, Newcomb, Sheep Springs and Naschitti.

Ruthda Thomas, who currently represents the area, did not seek re-election.

Suzette Haskie

Suzette Haskie decided to run because she wants students to receive the best education to prepare them for life after high school.

"This starts with providing our students with culturally responsive instruction and academic learning outcomes that promote each student's unique identity," she said.

Haskie is an Army veteran, a single mother of two sons, and works as a senior education specialist for the Navajo Nation Department of Diné Education. She earned a master's degree in education and has 20 years of experience working in education and social work.

Through her work at the tribe's education department, she understands how to collaborate with tribal, state and federal programs and organizations.

"I value integrity when dealing with others and I am always striving to grow and learn through work and life experiences. I want to share my knowledge and experience to help our students achieve the highest quality education our school district has to offer," she said.

Challenges she sees facing the district are maintaining enrollment, reducing levels of absenteeism and increasing participation by parents.

"I feel our school district needs the school board's advocacy to address these areas for our students," Haskie said.

She added that there also needs to be stability in leadership that promotes consistency through the years.

Kerby Johnson

Kerby Johnson wants to be a "strong voice and advocate" for students, parents, teachers and communities, that is among his reasons for his candidacy.

"I'm also running to help enhance the educational opportunities and ensuring a quality education for all students to succeed," he said.

Johnson also wants to make sure students in the southern area of the district receive equal treatment by receiving adequate funding and tools they need to succeed.

"The biggest challenges I see are funding for our schools, enhancing student outcomes on learning and making sure every student has access to a great education," he said about the overall challenges facing CCSD.

He graduated from Newcomb High School and earned an associate degree in psychology from Diné College. He represents the Newcomb, Toadlena-Two Grey Hills and Tooh Haltsooí chapters on the board of trustees for the Kinteel Residential Campus Inc. in Aztec.

Regarding that service, Johnson said he has worked hard to build a productive relationship with the Aztec Municipal School District by enhancing student learning, improving student achievement and creating a safe learning environment.

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

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