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Education Briefs | Descheny wins gold at SkillsUSA competition

Courtesy photo
Ryan Descheny, a senior at Navajo Pine High and a student at UNM-Gallup, holds the car for which he won a gold medal in welding April 9 at the New Mexico SkillsUSA competition held in Albuquerque.


Ryan Descheny, 19, a senior at Navajo Pine High, won a gold medal in welding at the New Mexico SkillsUSA competition held April 9 in Albuquerque.

Descheny qualifies for the national competition in Atlanta and plans to leave for Georgia on June 20.

He is Honágháahnii, Tabaahá, Hashk’aa hadzohi and Naakai dine’é.

He is taking welding classes at the University of New Mexico-Gallup and represented the college when he won the New Mexico competition.

He is the son of Audrey Descheny and Ridcey Descheny.

His mother said he is a Native American “Navajo” who is from and lives on the Navajo Nation.

“Winning first place, receiving a gold medal, and bringing it back home was a huge achievement,” she said. “He’s a young man who works hard and wants to be recognized by the Navajo Nation.

“Anybody who has a dream and a goal can do anything in life,” she said.

NTU students win 5 golds at SkillsUSA competition

Courtesy Photo
The Navajo Technical University team, with medal winners in front, are shown at the New Mexico SkillsUSA competition in Albuquerque on April. 9.

CROWNPOINT – On April 8 Navajo Technical University students won five gold, three silver and two bronze medals at the New Mexico SkillsUSA competition.

At the state leadership and skills conference in Albuquerque, NTU had 17 students entered. One bronze medal was for a three-person team.

NTU’s gold medalists are Chris Wesley for automotive service technology; Araya Yazzie for carpentry; Vivianne Joe for culinary arts; Tyson Tsosie for electrical construction wiring; and Antonio Platero for Job Skill Demo A.

These five gold medalists are eligible to compete at the National SkillsUSA Leadership and Skills Conference in Atlanta in June.

Silver medalists are Kelly Bitsoi for culinary arts; Nilsson Wood for electrical construction wiring; and Angela Shepherd for job skills Demo A.

NTU’s bronze medalists are Rozanne Manuelito for related technical math; and the team of Kanisha Faber, Marcus Burbank and Ashton Jones for welding fabrication.

Andy Harvey Indigenous youth media workshop

FLAGSTAFF – Applications are open for Northern Arizona University’s 10th annual Andy Harvey Indigenous Youth Media Workshop for students in grades 8 to 12, with preference to Native American high-school juniors and seniors.

The workshop is June 19 to 25 and students will stay on the NAU campus and learn how to tell stories using the skills of digital filmmaking, photography, audio production and broadcast journalism.

The workshop concludes with a live student-produced newscast in NAU’s 3-camera high-definition TV studio.

This year’s workshop will also include a Broadcast and Media Career Fair, where students will learn about internships and career opportunities from Arizona broadcast and media professionals.

Tuition is $50. Scholarships are available.


Nominations open for Coconino Co. teacher of year, rookie teacher of year, lifetime achievement

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Education Service Agency on Friday announced that nominations are open for the 10th annual teacher of the year, 5th annual rookie teacher of the year and the 2nd annual lifetime achievement awards.

The awards celebrate and honor full-time teachers from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade.

If nominated, teachers submit an essay with letters of support. A panel of five judges will score the applications and determine the top six candidates in each category. The top six will be interviewed.

All finalists will be recognized at an event in spring 2023. The teacher of the year will automatically receive a nomination for the Arizona Teacher of the Year Award.

To nominate, submit a completed Coconino County nomination form at

Nominations must be received by June 1 at 5 p.m.

Information: 928-679-8070 or

7th Hawk Tank Business Plan contest

DURANGO – Fort Lewis College and San Juan College are hosting the 7thAnnual Hawk Tank Business Plan Competition on Saturday, April 30 at 8:30 a.m. at Fort Lewis College.

Winners are competing for a total of $22,000 in cash prizes. This year, community members are invited to attend in person or stream the presentations online.

This competition, which is run by FLC Event Management students, is open to teams led by current college students, recent graduates, and Four Corners area high school students.
The title sponsor is Baird Wealth Management.

In the college track, the first-place student team for FLC and SJC will each earn $5,000. Then, in the final round, they will compete head-to-head for an additional $5,000 prize.

In the alumni track, students who recently graduated from FLC and SJC will compete to win a $5,000 prize for the best business plan.

High school students from the Durango/Four Corners regions compete to win up to $8,000 in scholarships to the FLC or SJC and cash prizes up to $500.



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