Cantor: Navajo Elementary offers cultural linchpin for south Scottsdale community

Rebuild or restore Navajo Elementary School because a vital part of what Scottsdale values will be lost forever if we don’t. Our children and education have been the gold standard ever since this bend in the road was named Scottsdale.

Nancy Cantor

The history and foresight of developers who gave us our southern neighborhoods included schools in their planning, a necessity to those plans. Every element of quality of life that Scottsdale values are anchored in our neighborhood schools.

Public schools and strong neighborhoods sustain today and have been the linchpins of growth and economic vitality for all of Scottsdale. And, that should never be cast as unimportant.

Schools were included in the Scottsdale town enrichment planning and acknowledging that education for all children made the fabric of our city stronger.

When I served on the Neighborhood Enhancement Commission for the city of Scottsdale, nominated first by Mayor Drinkwater, and having spent over 28 years on boards and commissions all involved the aspect of stable neighborhoods, having strong neighborhood schools and city partnerships.

“Schools should be centers of neighborhood vitality; likewise, neighborhoods and communities should serve as health centers of learning for families and children.” Those aren’t my words but rather words from educators and urban planners.

Navajo was on the list to be rebuilt. That should not be ignored. We must do it. Include the Navajo staff, administrators and parents who work, learn and play there every day, those who live and travel in those neighborhoods every day.

Include them in the design and planning and let their knowledge and skills play a part in creating the right learning space for today and tomorrow, so that enrollments, increase or decrease, can be useful, efficiently, equitably maintained for years to come.

We like to tell the world that Scottsdale is cutting edge in all things, well, let that be fact and not fiction. Let us do the job for Navajo.

Editor’s note: Ms. Cantor is a Scottsdale resident and longtime community advocate

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