Rolenthea Begay-Schmidt (Navajo Nation)
The May 2020 UTTC “Alum in the Spotlight” is Rolenthea Begay-Schmidt.
“Ya’at’teeh (Hello), My name is Rolenthea Begay-Schmidt. I am Dine’ from the Navajo Nation originally from Whippoorwill Springs but currently residing in Salina Springs, Arizona. I am the third child and daughter of my dearly departed parents, Roger and Phyllis Begay. I am of the Salt Water Clan born for the Deer Spring Clan. My maternal grandfather is of the Towering House Clan and my paternal grandfather is of the Black Streak Wood People, this defines me as a Dine’ Asdzaa’ (Navajo Woman).”
Rolenthea was the first Native American president-elect to serve on the Student North Dakota Education Association (SNDEA). In 2011, she was awarded the David M. Gipp Leadership Fellowship Award for “scholastic achievement and leadership.” Rolenthea was also one of the biggest Thunderbirds fans and never missed a game! In 2013, Rolenthea graduated with honors with a BS degree in Elementary Education.
Rolenthea currently teaches second grade in Chinle, Arizona. Her advice to students is to “stay focused, but most of all, share your knowledge and always remember that you represent your family, your nation and the institution you graduate from. Represent them well. Ahe’hee”