St. Michael Indian School announced in July the newly appointed vice principal, Celie Henderson, who is a SMIS 2008 grad- uate. Henderson has served at SMIS since 2014 as a fourth grade teacher—and then as elementary department head from 2018 to 2020.
Henderson’s promotion to vice principal is supported by an impressive profession- al background in education. In 2008, she was named a Gates Millennium Scholar. Henderson received a Bachelor’s Dual Degree in Elementary and Special Education from Northern Arizona University (NAU) in 2012; is a certified Arizona teacher with a certification in Cross Categorical Disabilities (high incidence) and Low Incidence Disabilities; and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University.
Henderson participated in the notable PRAXIS program at NAU, which is three semesters long and includes 200-plus hours in classrooms that are completed in the Flagstaff schools. Only 16 participants are selected for the program. According to NAU, PRAXIS means “theory to practice.” To apply this philosophy, the instructors place students in actual classrooms, where they teach under the guidance of profes- sional educators. The curriculum covers all required coursework leading toward Arizona credential certification for elementary (grades K-8) and special education (grades K-12). This includes low- and high incidence disabilities.
Henderson is a parishioner at the Mary, Mother of Mankind Catholic Church in Saint Michaels, Arizona, where she is a Eucha- ristic Minister and a member of the Navajo choir.