Roberta Patten was sworn-in as a member of the Board of Regents for the San Carlos Apache College in February 2019. Here is Regent Patten’s biography in her own words:
“I would like to acknowledge my parents, Virginia and Edmund Hunter, who unknowingly set a path to be dedicated and work hard to accomplish goals. The principles of life were real as they struggled to swim upstream. My parents were determined to survive with only an eighth and fourth grade education off the reservation. They are my guiding light in good times and bad. I am proud I am Ch’ilniihyé nadn’áíyé (“walnut trees grow”) and born for Deschíídn (“red streak people”). I was born in Chicago, raised in Peridot, and presently a member of the Seven Mile Wash District. I am one of nine siblings. I have three sons, one daughter, and eight grandchildren.
“Education has been a lifelong endeavor for me. I am a graduate of Globe High School, and also a graduate from Northern Arizona University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. I graduated from University of Texas of El Paso with a Master’s Degree in Special Education.
“My career began as soon as I graduated from NAU as a first grade teacher at the San Carlos Unified School District in 1977. Teaching has always been my contribution to society, encouraging students to obtain a degree and passionately become an advocate for their career. Throughout the years I have taught elementary, junior high, and junior college students. I retired from San Carlos Unified School in 2007 and soon after became a career counselor for the San Carlos Wellness Center. Presently, I teach 6th grade at San Carlos Middle School. During the summer I teach a group of 20 select students in the Pathways into Health Program. This is a multi-grade level group of students from 1st to 8th grade who spend the month of June becoming aware of science skills, health professions, and our Apache culture. The primary goal is to motivate these students to obtain a degree and become a health professional.
“My career has brought gratifying experiences that have given me opportunities to mature in the field of education. My passion has always been to be in the classroom teaching. In addition, I am currently serving on EAHEC (Eastern Arizona Health Education Council); I have served as a Globe School Board member and also on the advisory board for INMED (Indians into Medicine-UofA).
“This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve as a Regent comes at the epitome of my career. I realize the hardship, sacrifice, and dedication to turn negatives into positives leads to reaching goals. I look forward to working with the other Regents to make things happen for San Carlos Apache College and the community of San Carlos.”