Four added to Head Start probe; previous allegations surface

WINDOW ROCK

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Historic photo of Shonto Prep.

Four more Navajo Nation Head Start employees — Tauve Begay, Cheron Watchman, Ella Dodson, and Karlene Henderson — have been added to an investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement at the program, according to Navajo Nation Superintendent of Schools Tommy Lewis, who is heading up the investigation.

Sharon Singer portrait

Sharon Singer

Head Start Superintendent Sharon Singer has been under investigation since last month and her administrative leave, which was set to expire last week, has been extended to July 28, Lewis said. According to Lewis, Henderson is Singer’s sister. The four have also been placed on leave.

But documents released to the Times indicate Singer’s questionable financial dealings predate her employment at Head Start. Before she was hired as superintendent of Navajo Head Start, she was superintendent of Shonto Preparatory School, where nearly $300,000 was misspent, a 2015 investigation by the school reveals.

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Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo's beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at Chrisp@navajotimes.com.