ST. MICHAELS, Ariz. – Council Delegate Jonathan L. Hale (Oak Springs, St. Michaels) congratulated students, parents, and administrators at a dedication ceremony on Thursday, to celebrate the completion of three newly constructed group homes on the campus of St. Michaels Association for Special Education in St. Michaels, Ariz. The school is located on the Navajo Nation, and is dedicated to the care and education of special needs children and adults with moderate and severe learning disabilities.
The newly constructed group homes are named, “Ayóó aníí níshní, Bitsiidi Hoghan, and Diné Bi’ Hoghan,” and consist of bedrooms, special amenities, and storage to provide residency for the students year around. The $1.4 million project was fully funded by the Navajo Housing Authority.
During his keynote address, Delegate Hale commended the administration, staff, governing board, and NHA for working together to construct the new groups homes, which replaced the old group homes that were built in the 1970’s.
“The conditions of all school buildings should be a priority for our children. We need to invest in our children and provide opportunities for them to succeed. The new building addition to SMASE would allow our student to be safe and comfortable,” said Delegate Hale.
St. Michaels Association for Special Education executive director Michelle Spencer, expressed her appreciation for Navajo leadership and NHA for their continuous support. The hogan shaped group homes will provide a peaceful and heartwarming environment for students and residents, she added.
Delegate Hale also greeted and thanked the parents in attendance for their continuous support for the school and the students. The school currently provides educational services for 50 students and clients.
The group homes are ready for occupancy upon inspection by the Arizona Department of Economic Security/Division of Development Disabilities.