Pandora C. Mike
Tsé Bit’ A’í Middle School
Central Consolidated School District
Shiprock, New Mexico
Pandora Mike is a Native American (Diné) woman educational leader, mother, grandmother, and member of the Navajo Nation. Her clans are Naakai Diné nili (born of the Mexican People clan), Hooghanlani yashchiin (born for the Many Hogans People clan), Todichi’iinii da bi cheii (Bitter Water People clan of Maternal Grandfather), and Ta’neesdzahnii da bi nali (Tangle People clan of Paternal Grandfather). At Tsé Bit’ A’í Middle School (TBAMS), where she serves as principal, Mike’s leadership incorporates core values founded in the Diné philosophy to support the needs of the whole child. Thanks to Mike’s dedication to SEL principles and culturally relevant intervention practices, the school maintains steady growth in student achievement despite the adverse impacts of the pandemic. Mike has contributed leadership and expertise to many efforts beyond TBAMS, including as a former member and chair of the NMPED Indian Education Advisory Council. Originally from Tse Alnaozti’i’ (Sanostee), New Mexico, Mike’s 33-year career includes 11 years as an award-winning teacher, 16 years as a principal, and experience as a district director, an assistant superintendent, a deputy superintendent, and an instructor at four colleges. Mike holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, an M.A. in Educational Leadership, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership for Change and is an alumnus of the New Mexico Public Education Principals Pursuing Excellence program. She attributes her successes to her late father’s teachings and dedicates this award to her family.