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UTTC student to lead teacher organization
FIRST TIME FOR A TRIBAL COLLEGE STUDENT
20 October 2009

BISMARCK (UTN) - A student in the United Tribes Teacher Education Program is the new President-Elect of the Student North Dakota Education Association (SNDEA).

      Rolenthea Begay (Dine’ from the Navajo Nation) was elected by acclamation in September at the SNDEA fall orientation meeting in Carrington, ND. She ran unopposed.


Rolenthea Begay

      The SNDEA is an affiliate of the North Dakota Education Association, the state’s primary teacher membership organization, and the National Education Association. The student group is for students majoring in teacher education. Over 500 students are members at 10 North Dakota colleges that offer teacher training. United Tribes is the only tribal college with a chapter.

      Ms. Begay is the first Native person to be elected to any office in the SNDEA. She is from Chinle, Arizona. She is a first year student in the Sweet Grass Program, a new bachelor’s degree curriculum offered at United Tribes in cooperation with Sinte Gleska University, Mission, SD. She is also president of the United Tribes Teacher Education Vocational Student Organization.

      “She’s a leader,” said UTTC Teacher Education Instructor Leah Hamann, the SNDEA campus advisor. “It’s her willingness to take a leadership role that sets her apart. She’s an engaged participant in the classroom and outside during student events.”

      Ms. Begay will begin her presidency in September 2010. In the meantime, she will serve as understudy to Alisha Webster, Minot State University, current SNDEA president. She will also attend state and national education meetings and conferences and help with student education initiatives and policies.

      The state SNDEA president is a full voting member of the NDEA Board of Directors which meets eight to ten times per year to set policy for the state association.


SNDEA members, from left: Yvonne Howling Wolf, Memoree Dupree-Skinner, Marlarae Cook, Kara Four Bear, Rolenthea Begay and Alisha Webster from MSU.
United Tribes News photos Leah Hamann

      “We’re very proud of her and the entire group of United Tribes teacher education students who are serving on ad hoc and standing committees of the SNDEA,” said Lisa Azure, UTTC Teacher Education director.

      Ms. Begay and seven other United Tribes teacher education students are to attend the state teacher’s convention in Grand Forks, ND, at the end of October. The United Tribes chapter is in its third year as a SNDEA chapter.