Dream Diné has an active Governing Council who is responsible for school governance, fiscal oversight, and strategic planning.
Dream Diné's Staff and Planning Team are all experienced, committed education professionals with a strong commitment to Dream Diné's mission and vision, the community of Shiprock, and the Navajo Nation. This team is responsible for defining the school curriculum, lessons and day-to-day activities.
Telletha Valenski, President
Telletha Valenski is Kinyaa’áanii, born for Hashtł’ishnii. Her maternal grandfather is Tódich’ii’nii and paternal grandfather is Ta’neeszahnii. She is originally from the Crownpoint, NM area and currently resides in the Four Corners area. Telletha has worked since 1997 as a school health education technician to specialist for Navajo Coordinated Approach for School Health at Northern Navajo Medical Center. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Sciences at Northern Arizona University in 1994 and continued her post-graduate studies at Harvard University, Northern Arizona University, and John Hopkins University in respiratory physiology to natural sciences education, and epidemiology. In 1995, while studying at Harvard University, she was awarded a “Certificate of Distinction in Teaching” as a teaching fellow. During her graduate work she was also a graduate student board member of “Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science” (SACNAS) from 1995-1997. She has also taught at Diné College in Shiprock, NM, as an adjacent professor. In recent years, she has become a youth advocate on the Navajo Nation and Xela, Guatemala, College of Albert Einstein. Her passion is to continue empowering youth to excel in academics and to inspire them to give back to their communities.
Lambert Benally, Vice President
Lambert Benally is Diné from Cove, Arizona. He is Bit'ahnii, born for Tabaahi. Lambert is currently a Legislative District Assistant for the Navajo Nation as well as the Program Director of the civic engagement program "Ké the Vote". He previously worked as an Outreach Consultant with Kauffman and Associates, Inc. educating and raising awareness about the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, and as a state-wide Tribal Field Coordinator. He has worked in various Get Out to Vote efforts across the Navajo Nation. Lambert studied Physics at Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University. He has dedicated his personal and professional life to building positive culture, strong voices, and education amongst the Diné people across the Navajo Nation.
Rose Fasthorse Nofchissey, Secretary
Rose Fasthorse Nofchissey is from Shiprock/Gadii’ahi, New Mexico. Currently semi-retired, Rose was the District’s Bilingual/Multicultural Coordinator, a Diné Language & Culture Coach and a Reading Coach with Central Consolidated School District (CCSD). Rose has 38 years of experience as an educator, including teaching reading intervention, Diné language, as well as middle and high school English/Language Arts. During her educational career Rose has also been a Principal, an Assistant Principal and a Dean of Instruction. She has been involved in a variety of curriculum development projects and programs for Diné language and English/Language Arts since 1973. Rose has presented at various conferences and workshops such as National Indian Education Association and National Bilingual Education Association to share her knowledge. Rose is currently the Vice President of the Diné Language Teachers Association (DLTA). She has been involved in several research studies in Diné language curriculum, instruction and assessment. Rose has also published children’s books in Diné Language. Rose has a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from University of New Mexico. She attained her Master’s Degree in Reading from the University of New Mexico. Rose was in the doctoral program in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Az. Rose is licensed as a teacher and administrator, and holds endorsements in ESL and bilingual education in both New Mexico and Arizona.
Kara Bobroff, Member
Kara Bobroff is Navajo/Lakota and was raised in Albuquerque. She began her educational career teaching behaviorally disordered middle school students in Albuquerque. She served as Assistant Principal in Albuquerque Public Schools at a low-income urban school for two years and for four years at a “Distinguished School” in Marin County, CA. As principal of Newcomb Middle School in 2003-2004, Kara worked with 250 Navajo students and seven different reservation communities in New Mexico. When she became Principal in 2003, Newcomb Middle School was recognized for its academic achievement by the local school board. Kara was recently identified as one of the “Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs” in the country and awarded a national Echoing Green Fellowship to establish NACA (the Native American Community Academy) as one of the first urban academies to support language, culture, health and college preparation for youth. Through her work, NACA has been selected as the first “Collaborative Charter” in the state of New Mexico by the Albuquerque Public School District. Kara received her Master’s in Special Education and an Ed.S in Educational Administration as a Danforth Scholar from the University of New Mexico. As a graduate of Albuquerque Public Schools and UNM, Kara has used her professional training and experience in public education to develop thoughtful curricula, rigorous academic standards and real partnerships with parents and communities.
Kimberly Mohs, MD, Member
Kimberly Mohs, MD has lived in Shiprock since 1999, working as an Internal Medicine physician and the Medical Director of Shiprock’s Health Education Center for Wellness. She was trained at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Since 2000 Kim has been the Chair for the Internal Medicine Department for the Northern Navajo Medical Center, Navajo Area IHS in Shiprock, NM. She supervises 9 internal medicine physicians. She is currently the Executive Director of the Radiation Exposure Screening and Education Program, the Medical Director of Diabetes Education and Counseling Center, the Medical Director of the Northern Navajo Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, the Medical Director of Respiratory Therapy, a Clinical Adjunct Professor for the Department of Medicine at the Duke University Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia College of physicians and Surgeons. As a medical doctor, Kim oversees standards of care, provides direct medical care, and direct performance improvement for the service unit’s approximately 4,000 diabetic patients. Kim is also a professional grant writer and researcher. Kim’s community-based work in Shiprock includes developing the Native Lifestyle Balance Program, a medically supervised weight loss and fitness program for NNMC employees and patients with over 275 completed participants. She coordinates the Northern Agency Adolescent Wellness Camp each summer in Mancos, CO. She has coordinated the Shiprock Women’s Shelter Toy Drive and the Elder Gift Basket Drive in Shiprock for the past several years. Kim’s three children were all born in Shiprock at the Northern Navajo Medical Center, and they attend the local BIE school.
Staff and Planning Team
Roselyn Begay, Principal
Dream Diné's first lead administrator is one of the planning team members: Roselyn Begay. Ms. Begay is from the Shiprock community and has dedicated her life to education on and around the Navajo Nation. She received her BS in Elementary Education in 1976 from the University of New Mexico, with a minor in Bilingual Education. She then earned a Masters in Elementary Education in 1981, and a year later she received an Education Specialist Certificate, both from UNM. In 1995 Ms. Begay earned an Elementary Education Administration Certificate from Northern Arizona University. In addition, she continued her education by taking post graduate courses at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA from 2001 to 2004. Roselyn has been a Navajo language and culture teacher for more than 25 years. She was also an elementary school principal for 10 years here in Shiprock, where she applied for and received a grant that allowed her school to implement the district’s only Dual Language program at the time.
Gavin Sosa, Director of Operations and Outreach
Gavin moved to New Mexico in 2002. He taught English/Language Arts for 6 years in the small town of Navajo, NM. He was also a successful cross country and track coach, with his girls winning state titles in 2006 and 2007 and his boys winning state titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007. After leaving the classroom in 2008, Gavin attended Stanford University’s graduate school of education, earning his master’s degree in educational leadership. After completing his degree he returned to the Southwest, working as a Leadership Fellow at the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque. As a NACA Leadership Fellow Gavin worked with NACA’s founders and administrators to learn about the charter school start-up process and school leadership. In 2012 he moved to Shiprock to coach the Diné College cross country and track programs, and to work with the Dream Diné Charter School founding team. Gavin is also an advisor for the Northern Diné Youth Committee (NDYC), a distance coach at Shiprock Northwest High School, and is involved with various community projects across Shiprock.
Lula was born at Toadlena, NM. She grew up splitting her time between boarding schools and Shiprock. She graduated from high school in 1967 from Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, OK. She went on to attend Bacone College in Muskogee, OK, San Juan College in Farmington, NM, UNM Albuquerque, and Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA. Lula earned her BS, MA, and Ed.D all in education. Lula has a K-12 New Mexico teaching certification as well as a K-12 certification in Modern Classical Native Language and Bilingual Education. She has her TESOL endorsement as well as an endorsement to teach Navajo Language. After spending 38 years in the teaching profession she retired in May, 2011. Lula has raised three children: Nathaniel, Shawn, and Marcia, and has six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. After a lifetime in education, Lula still has a dream: to teach young Navajos to become Navajo language and culture teachers, and to witness Dream Dine' Charter School become a place of hope, health and strength!
Michael Thompson was an English/Language Arts teacher and department chairman at Bloomfield High School for more than 15 years. He is currently teaching Native American Studies and English courses at San Juan College in Farmington, NM. He and his wife have close ties to the Shiprock area and have been active in the cultural and educational activities here. Michael has also worked on the development and implementation of the Common Core standards and is a long-time member of the Bisti Writing Project.
Celeste Yazzie is from Gallup, NM and currently works for the National Indian Youth Leadership Project (NIYLP) as an experiential educator. She has been an elementary school teacher at Uplift Charter School in Gallup, as well as a PE and 5th grade teacher at Atsa Biyaazh Elementary School. She was also a middle school/high school personal wellness teacher in Albuquerque. She earned both her bachelors’ degree in History and her masters’ degree in Elementary Education from the University of New Mexico. Celeste has also been involved in the Shiprock community as an elementary basketball and track coach, and as an advisor for the Northern Dine' Youth Committee. She has also been engaged in Native youth leadership development and service projects across the Southwest, as well as working with tribes in the Pacific Northwest.
Ravis graduated from Navajo Pine High School in 2006, and moved to Flagstaff to attend NAU. He returned to Chinle, AZ to care for his grandmother and began volunteering at Canyon de Chelly National Monument and working on his family’s farm in the Canyon. He is now one of Canyon de Chelly’s leading cultural interpretive guides, and regularly gives talks to visitors about the Canyon’s history and importance to Navajo people. Ravis also travels to numerous elementary and middle schools in the area to deepen student’s understanding of Navajo culture and history.