Vigorously Academic, Beautifully Diverse, Thoroughly Christian
Rehoboth Christian School • P.O. Box 41, Rehoboth, NM 87322-0041
505.863.4412 or 1.800.657.9345 • Fax: 505.863.2185 • www.rcsnm.org
In the past century, God has given Rehoboth the tools
and opportunities to “flourish in the land” (Gen. 26:22).
Class of 1997
Graduates serve in professional fields ranging from medi-
cine, education, and engineering to tribal government and There are many students who come to Rehoboth
for a quality education they cannot receive anywhere
the church. With one of the most diverse student bodies of
else in the area. This was true for Mechem Slim, a
any Christian school in the country, Rehoboth consistently
graduate of Georgetown University Nursing School,
prepares students to be leaders in their communities and who is back in Gallup working for the Indian Health
churches. Native American, Anglo, and Hispanic young Services at the Gallup Indian Medical Center.
Growing up fifty miles from Rehoboth in a single
people graduate from Rehoboth with the perspective, skills,
parent home on the Navajo reservation never kept
and discipline to fully engage their work and culture. In addi-
Mechem from pursuing a career in medicine. Her mother’s teaching salary provides the
tion to the first high school graduating class in 1949, there main income for the family, including Mechem’s uncles and grandparents, and at times this
have been over 1,000 Rehoboth graduates and countless was challenging for the Slims. Mechem, however, continued to work towards her goals.
She looks back fondly on her time at Rehoboth. “The standards of excellence and
others who have benefited from the school. The following are
education are high compared to everywhere else…the teachers had higher expectations
profiles of just a few of the men and women who have used the
and they pushed us to our potential,” says Mechem. Not only do teachers have these
education they received at Rehoboth Christian School as a high expectations for students in the classroom, but they also have hope for the students’
springboard to powerfully and positively affect their world. futures. “They were sure we made [education] a part of our lives, rather than merely
something we learned to get a grade.” By the time she was at Georgetown, Mechem was
Rehoboth has one of the most diverse student communities of any Christian already accustomed to working hard to reach her full potential. This practice in academic
school in the country—in terms of ethnic, economic, religious, and aca- excellence carried Mechem through her four years in college and into her work in the
demic diversity. Students from richly diverse backgrounds learn together hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. Today, she knows that Rehoboth started her on a path that
from their teachers and each other to live in a 21st century that will need gives her the opportunity to serve the native peoples of this area.
their thoughtful, caring, and transforming influence. We believe that Christ
transforms individuals, communities, and cultures—the story of Rehoboth
Christian School gives abundant evidence of it.
– Ron Polinder, Executive Director
Scott Diddams Anthony Emerson
Class of 1985 Class of 1980
Scott Diddams first Anthony Chee Emerson tells a story about
experienced physics as a how, after quitting the 8th grade basketball
Rehoboth student when he team because he didn’t want to get up for
estimated the mass of a school early morning practices, his dorm parent at
bus by measuring the contact Rehoboth assigned him chores at that same
surface area of the tire touching
early hour to teach him a lesson about the
the cement while accounting
value of dedication to the work God gives us.
for tire pressure. “My first class in Physics was at Rehoboth with Mr. Jim DeKorne,” says
“This was an important lesson,” he says.
Diddams, “he and other Rehoboth faculty prepared me well.” Today, Dr. Scott Diddams
“I now have a drive to succeed and know, with hard work, while keeping Christ first, there
together with a group of researchers, have developed the world’s most stable timepiece,
are not any limitations on what I can accomplish.”
utilizing a single atom of mercury. This clock has the promise of being accurate to within
Now Anthony is an award-winning artist and owner of the Emerson Gallery in
a second every few billion years. This astronomical accomplishment received coverage by
Farmington, NM. He has received the prestigious Patrick Swazo-Hinds Memorial award for
National Geographic, Science Journal, Nature, ABC News, The New York Times, and other
media from across the world. excellence and innovation in painting from the Indian Arts and Crafts Association at the
Employed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Scott’s work is world-renowned Santa Fe Indian Market. He was also selected as the poster artist for the
shaping the future of communications and probing some of the fundamental theories 75th Diamond Anniversary Celebration Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial.
of physics. Behind every phone, global positioning system, and data transfer tool is a Emerson truly enjoyed his time at Rehoboth. “I have many fond memories of dorm
clock. The accuracy of that clock impacts the effectiveness of that tool. Although changes life, hiking up the Hogbacks behind RCS, dorm-wide hide and seek, and even working in
in consumer products are many years away, his work directly affects other scientific the kitchen washing pots and pans, scraping trays, and scrubbing potatoes.” His talents
discoveries. “We are now able to probe the fundamental laws of physics and look and interest in art were encouraged by his high school art instructor, Elmer Yazzie. During
at the inner workings of atoms and molecules at a finer scale than has been possible this time he became familiar with the basics and the stage was set for his future career.
in the past,” remarked Scott. Anthony is successful, but humble. “You have to remember who you are, where you came
Growing up in New Mexico and being educated at a richly diverse place like Rehoboth
from, and how you got there,” he says.
has put its mark on Scott’s view of the world. “The Navajo see beauty all around and
have songs and sayings about walking in that beauty. Although I miss the rich diversity of
New Mexico, my work allows me to unveil the beautiful aspects of the universe and better
understand the wonders around us. And for that I am grateful.”
Bryan Kamps Viviene Fransisco Tallbull
Class of 1978 Alberta Bates
Dr. Bryan Kamps has spent time in the places that most Viviene Francisco Tallbull and Alberta Bates are
only see on CNN. In early 2004 he arrived back in Gallup, NM quick to note that the gifts that have brought them
after a 3 month stint at a US Army Combat Support Hospital success come from God. “It is an instinct that God
in Afghanistan. Kamps, an Orthopedic Surgeon in Gallup since puts into you,” Tallbull says. Instincts, however, need
1995 and a member of the US Army Reserve since 1990, to be accentuated with learned skills and values.
focused his talents on helping both American soldiers and the
That is where Rehoboth Christian School came in.
people of Afghanistan. “Although we were primarily there to care
Foundational spiritual values, discipline and
for U.S. and Coalition troops, the fortunately small number
accountability, and a measure of independence needed in a boarding school are qualities
of American and Coalition injuries allowed us to focus on Afghan civilians,” Kamps says.
that continue to bless them in their life and work. In praise of her education in the basics,
Kamps recently returned to his practice at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital in Gallup, NM.
Viviene says, “I learned to add, subtract, and write at Rehoboth —when a resume comes
While facilities, patients, and circumstances are much different than they were for the past three
in, I know if it is correct or not.”
months, many challenges remain. Kamps works to serve the diverse population of the area, and
In September of 2003, Viviene Francisco Tallbull and her sister Alberta Bates opened
he feels that his time at Rehoboth Christian School helped prepare him for these duties. “The close
Christian community that I grew up in and exposure to different cultures was formative for my the Navajo Ace Hardware store. Viviene, a 1971 Rehoboth graduate, got into the
Christian outlook and provided me with experiences I use in my practice today.” business world when she formed a construction company with her husband,
After graduating from Rehoboth in 1978, Kamps went on to receive a Bachelor of Science from Russell Tallbull, in the late 1980’s. They also opened a Subway restaurant on the Navajo
Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI in Biology and Chemistry and graduated from the University of Nation. Younger sister Alberta, after attending Rehoboth, acquired a degree in Business
New Mexico School of Medicine in 1988. Following an internship at Blodgett Hospital in Grand Rapids, Administration from The University of New Mexico and gained valuable retail experience
MI, he completed two years of General Surgery residency at Michigan State University in East Lansing, from Ann Taylor and Nike.
MI, and then four years of Orthopaedic Surgery residency at McLaren Hospital in Flint, MI. Tallbull and Bates see the importance of having business leaders on the Navajo Nation.
The Kamps family has a rich history in medicine and strong connection to Rehoboth Christian They hope to help create a base of economic development and inspire future students
School. Bryan’s grandparents, Jacob and Isabel Kamps, were missionaries to the Navajo, and his to excel in business on the reservation. Rehoboth was an inspiration to them and they
father, John, was born at Rehoboth. Bryan lived on campus while his father worked as a physician,
want to continue the pattern of change that began at the school.
and his mother as a nurse at the original Rehoboth Mission Hospital located on the campus
grounds. “The fun group atmosphere and the incredible diversity on the school’s campus are things
I will never forget,” Kamps says.
Dr. Wilbur Tso Larry & Kathryn (Toledo)
Class of 1970 Manuelito
Dr. Wilbur Tso has a wide variety of memories Active in the education of Navajo children
from his time at Rehoboth. Buffing the hallway floors since 1977, the Manuelitos, both graduates
at the high school, peeling potatoes in the kitchen, from the class of 1964, have long been
and, of course, pulling the girl’s pigtails at school teachers, educators, and builders. Larry has
instilled in him a sense of humor as well as a strong built over $100 million in educational facilities
benefiting Native American communities
work ethic which has served him well to this day.
and Kathryn pioneered bi-lingual curriculum
He made lifelong friendships and was prepared for
a future that would see great success.
“The first people that really believed in
After attaining his undergraduate degree from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI
me were my teachers Miss Rooze and Miss Bystervelt,” said Kathryn. After completing a
and his PhD from the University of Utah, he moved to Farmington, NM and started a
BA and a MA from the University of New Mexico, she turned down admission to medi-
family medical practice in 1986. Today, Dr. Tso serves the people of Northwestern New
cal school, deciding instead to raise her family. Later, she became one of few Navajos to
Mexico with a combination of Christian ethics and medical knowledge gained in nearly
receive her PhD, graduating from Arizona State University.
20 years of experience. Larry is one of few Navajos owning a multi-million dollar business, completing
From annual picnics and fun with classmates to hard work in the kitchen, Tso is $60 million in construction projects last year with ChuskaSahara, one of the largest
thankful for his Rehoboth experience. He was equipped with self-discipline, confidence, construction companies in the Southwest. “I was not a star student; I realized I was behind
and a vision of what tomorrow could become. The school and the people he was in academically because I moved from school to school before coming to Rehoboth in
contact with started him down a path that would lead to service to his people. 8th grade,” he stated. “But Miss Stob took special interest in me, helped me after school,
There is no doubt that Rehoboth holds a strong position in his history. “I think the and by sophomore year I had caught up with my peers.”
impact is self-evident. Anyone who has been a student here and has been a participant Personalized teaching from high quality faculty members at Rehoboth lays the
in RCS history is definitely a success to me, no matter what station in life they now foundation upon which success is built. Today, Kathryn continues to devote her life to
occupy,” Tso says. developing methods to incorporate local Native knowledge into state educational
standards as a professor at Arizona State University. “Rehoboth’s high academic standards
coupled with spiritual teachings have grounded our family, secured our marriage, and
made our family strong,” says Kathryn.
Ed, Sharlene &
Generations of leaders have been
educated at Rehoboth. Few families
have had an impact on the Navajo
Nation like the family of Edward T.
Begay and the late Cecelia Damon.
Ed T., as he is known by many,
graduated from Rehoboth in 1956 and went on to become one of the great leaders of Navajo
Nation serving as a Council Delegate for 32 years and Speaker of the Navajo Nation legislative
branch for 4 years. Additionally, he served as Vice-Chairman for the Tribe, or Vice-President as
it is known now, from 1983 to 1987.
Political service was part of the family as his wife Cecelia Damon’s father was also
Vice-Chairman of the Tribe. Cecelia’s mother, Irene, finished Rehoboth’s 8th grade, the highest
grade offered at Rehoboth in the 1940’s. Cecelia, who later became a registered nurse,
graduated from Rehoboth in 1956 with her high school sweetheart Ed T. The leadership as
well as community and church involvement demonstrated through the years by the family
continues to be passed down through the generations to sisters Sharlene Begay-Platero and
Older sister Sharlene ‘80, serves in the Navajo Division of Economic Development working
to bring jobs to lower the nearly 60% unemployment level across the Navajo Nation. As former
chair of the Rehoboth School Board, Sharlene has invested countless hours in the future of the
school helping to prepare for the enrollment of her two preschool aged children.
Sandra ‘81 is a leader in Sandia National Lab’s Native American Renewable Energy
Program. A Stanford trained structural engineer, Sandra is the official liaison between the Labs
and the Nation on issues of renewable resources like wind and solar energy. She serves in
many volunteer capacities, including the University of New Mexico Board of Regents. The
family is a model for generations of Rehoboth graduates serving their community and working
to improve the quality of life on the Navajo Nation.