Roxanne Begay-James

I am Diné and grew up on the Navajo reservation. I am of the Zuni Edgewater clan, born for the Folded Arms People. My maternal grandparents are the Manygoats clan, and my paternal grandparents are the Bitterwater clan. I love to read! I enjoy reading to my daughter and read the newspaper every day. I have always known that I was going to work in education. I love my job and serving our students, parents and community members.

Rosemarie Flores

Rosemarie Flores
Administrative Assistant

Hello, my name is Rosemarie Flores. I am the Administrative Assistant for Native American Student Services. I was born and raised here in Tucson and am a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. I am a mother of three children who I love to spend my free time with. This is currently my second year working in education and I am looking forward to working with NASS and being apart of the Tucson Unified School District.

Felicia León
Program Coordinator

Felicia León is a 7th generation Tucsonan, mother, and 30+ year educator with a passion for diversity and inclusion in our schools. Felicia
has always worked in diverse communities in Arizona, Texas, and California. Her daughter, Nizhóní (Diné), and her experiences over the years in Native American Studies has been central to her work. Felicia is certified in Elementary Education (K-8) and endorsed in Early Childhood Education (Birth-Ages 8/grade 3) and Spanish Bilingual (PreK – 12). Felicia graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Elementary Education and minor in Spanish. In her free time, Felicia serves her community on the Barrio Anita Taskforce. Her interests include: Mariachi Music, Southwest Literature, Native American Poetry, Star Wars and Civil Rights history.

Sydney Holiday

Sydney Holiday
MTSS Facilitator

My name is Sydney Holiday. I am the Multi-Tiered System Support (MTSS) Facilitator for Native American Student Services. I am Diné originally from Tuba City, Arizona on the Navajo Nation. I have resided in Tucson for many years. I obtained my bachelor's degree in Elementary Education at the University of Arizona. I previously taught 3rd grade for 4 years on the Tohono O'odham Nation. My passion in my educational career has always been to serve our Native students and families. In my current position, I do my best to ensure our Native students are receiving support academically, social emotionally and behaviorally through the MTSS process. 

Daniel Dorrance

Daniel Dorrance

Social Worker

Greetings, I’m Daniel “Dan” Dorrance. I was raised, educated and then employed in Iowa for numerous years. My work with youth and families through the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services led to my pursuit of further education in the field of social work. Being a school-based social worker with Native American Student Services has been a wonderful experience for me. I will forever be a lifelong learner. During my free time you could find me at home with my wife, along with our dog and cat. Or you could find me traveling, hiking or spending time with relatives and friends. Our move to Tucson several years ago has been a positive experience. I also enjoy birding, camping, cactus rescue, reading, playing mandolin and the night sky.

Jean Luke Pereira
Behavioral Specialist

Hello, My Name is Jean Luke Pereira. I am originally from Nogales AZ. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Human Services from the University of Arizona. My work experience has been in Behavioral Health providing services to support individuals in accomplishing their physical, mental health goals and most importantly improve their quality of life. I am currently working as a Behavior Specialist with Native American Student Services for Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) where I work as a team in supporting students and finding ways to improve behavior concerns to improve academic goals. I look forward in continuing to work with TUSD staff and find solutions for the students we serve.

Batula AbdulkadirBatula Abdulkadir
Student Success Specialist

Greetings, my name is Batula Ismail Abdulkadir, I was born in Kenya and raised in Tucson. I come from a family of 12 children. I am currently a new member of Tucson Unified School District, and I will be working as a Student Success Specialist with NASS. I have gained knowledge and experience working with young children by supporting them academically and emotionally. My knowledge is supporting young children academically and finding where each child needs support and implementing materials and providing parents with resources. I graduated from Pima Community College and earned Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education (ECE), Associate of general students & Advanced certificate Early Childhood. Earned my Bachelor of Applied Science with emphasis degree from the University of Arizona. My hobbies are cooking alone, henna design, movies, and spending time with my family. I am looking forward to a new adventure with NASS.

Brianna Camacho
Student Success Specialist

Greetings, my name is Brianna Camacho and I work with Native American Student Services within the Tucson Unified School District. I am a Student Success Specialist and I serve Miller Elementary school. I work with Native American students who need extra academic, and behavioral support. I also support students with improving their school attendance. In addition, I also work collaboratively with principals and MTSS facilitators/coordinators at my sites as well as NASS to ensure the academic success of my Native students. I am Pascua Yaqui; I graduated from The University of Arizona and enjoy working within the educational field. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my fiancé and 2 young daughters. I look forward to working with my families and students for the remainder of the 2023-2024 academic school year.

Anita Cuellar
Student Success Specialist

My name is Anita Cuellar, and I am a Student Success Specialist for the Native American Student Services Department. I graduated from the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s in Business Administration and a master’s in Educational Leadership. I provide academic, behavior, attendance, and mentor support. I collaborate with the administrators, teachers, and staff to ensure student success. I look forward to working with my students and families.

Priscilla Flores
Student Success Specialist

Jolene Jose
Student Success Specialist

S-keg Tas! Good Day! I am currently serving, Safford K-8, and Mansfeld Middle School, Pueblo high school, and anywhere as needed. I am a co-sponsor for the Tribal Images Youth Council. I am Tohono O’odham and a native Tucsonan. I love spending time with friends and family, as well as traveling. I enjoy what I do and am always excited to meet new students and help the Native American population achieve their goals.

Feliciana Martinez
Instructional Specialist

Lios Enchim Ania. Greetings! My name is Feliciana Martinez, and I am a member of the Pascua Yaqui Nation from the Old Pascua community. I live with my family. I have worked for Tucson Unified for 30 years, and I am the Instructional Specialist for the Native American Student Services (NASS) department. I currently work at the Southwest Education Center. I serve elementary schools upon teacher request, providing Yaqui and other Arizonan Native art lessons for students in grades Kindergarten through 5th. I am also responsible for creating the NASS high school graduation gift – a Yaqui Deer Dancer sculpture with the Tohono O’odham Nation “Man in the Maze” background that represents the NASS logo. I enjoy working with your children. Lios em Chokui. Thank you. 

Juanita Mesquita

Juanita Mesquita
Student Success Specialist

My name is Juanita B. Mesquita. I have the pleasure of being a Student Success Specialist with Native American Student Services. I have been working with the Tucson Unified School District for 34 years. As a Student Success Specialist, I support our Native American students and families through their educational journey. I work in collaboration with our families, schools, district, community, and tribes. I am an enrolled member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and reside on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation. I am the proud mother of Richard 38 years old, Julian 30 years old and Thomas 18 years old. I also have six grandchildren, Hailo, Rainen, Serene, Zafrina, Eufemia and Yaritza. I look forward to an amazing school year!

Vanessa Padilla
Student Success Specialist

Hello, my name is Vanessa Padilla. I am very excited to work with Native American Student Services as a Student Success Specialist. I am a Tucson Native that has worked with Tucson Unified School District for over 25 years. It has been a pleasure working with the Tucson community and students. I look forward to a successful school year.

Denice Tsinajinie
Student Success Specialist

Yá'át'ééh (Hello in Navajo), My name is Denice Tsinajinie. I come from the Navajo Nation I grew up in Saint Michaels, Arizona. My clans are Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak Wood People), To’tsohnii (Big Water), Kinyaa’aanii (Towering House), and Ta’neeszahnii (Tangle Clan). I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies with a minor in Psychology from the University of Arizona. I am currently employed with Native American Student Services (NASS) as Student Success Specialist for Tucson Unified School District (TUSD).
My family has been a huge impact on my education path especially after high school. I understand the challenges and hardships of pursuing an education at a university level, but with the right support system anything is possible.
I am very excited to work with indigenous students across TUSD. I enjoy motivating, empowering, collaborating, and guiding indigenous students to higher education or careers they will be successful in. I look forward to a great school year with the students and their families!

Kierstyn Tsosie
Program Specialist

My name is Kierstyn Tsosie and I serve as the Program Specialist for Native American Student Services. My focus areas are Advanced Learning Experiences and College and Career Readiness. I come from the Seba Dalkai Community on the Navajo Nation. I am born to the Near the Mountain Clan (DziƂ t'aa Kiyaa'aanii), born for the Bitterwater Clan (Todichiinii). My maternal grandfathers are of the Bitterwater Clan (Todichiinii), and my paternal grandfathers are of the Black Streak Wood People Clan (Tsi'najinii). I have a passion supporting Urban Native American students navigate high school and help them define their own success. I hope to help students find power and resilience in their self-determination and sovereignty to make positive changes in their lives.

Denia White
Student Success Specialist

Greetings, my name is Mrs. Dénia WhiteI am part of Native American Student Services in Tucson Unified School District.
I am very excited to work as a Student Success Specialist, supporting American Indians/Alaska Native Students across TUSD who need extra academic and behavioral support within the classroom. 
Passion, being humble, having patience and resilience are traits that I believe most reflect me as an individual. I believe this is the key to being successful in any endeavor, especially in education. I enjoy collaborating with faculty, staff, and student leaders to brainstorm new ideas and discover ways to better serve our students. I strongly believe, “It’s about strengthening student success”.
I look forward to a wonderful school year with our students and their families! I’m really excited about it.