Lynette Lookingback was a student, an athlete and a visionary during her high school years at Ganado in the late 1990s.
But she never imagined she would some day break down a barrier on the Navajo Indian reservation.
Lookingback last week moved into a new role as athletic director of the Ganado Unified School District. She is first female at Ganado in that role. She is believed to be the first full-time female athletic director among the six high schools in the 3A North Region.
Lucinda Nash served as AD during the winter sports at Kayenta Monument Valley in the mid-2000s. But she was not a full-time AD during the entire school year.
Lookingback is now a full-time AD overseeing both the high school and the middle school.
From 2009-12, she was the Ganado middle school’s AD. The district decided to have just one AD to oversee both the high school and middle school.
Lookingback said she didn’t realize she was the first full-time female AD for a high school in the 3A North.
“I am honored at the opportunity to serve in this position,” said Lookingback, who ran cross country and track and played basketball and graduated from Ganado in 1999. “I am grateful for the GUSD administration and board for entrusting me in this position.”
The 3A North comprises of Navajo reservation schools Ganado, Page, Monument Valley, Chinle, Fort Defiance, Window Rock and Tuba City.
Oree Foster, a longtime sports writer on the Navajo reservation, believes Lookingback will do a great job.
“Lynette is bright and intelligent,” Foster said. “She has a passion for the sports. She looks out for the kids.”
Lookingback, who became Ganado’s cross country coach in 2012, has a chance to become the first female president of the 3A North. That appointment will be made in the fall and voted on by the schools.
“As coach and sponsor of the running program, I was able to provide opportunities for participants to be successful,” she said. “Through the success of the Ganado cross country program and the impact of the Ganado Running Club made on the community, I feel I was able to gain the trust of the stakeholders.
“My experience as a cross country coach, sponsor of the running club, and formerly holding the middle school athletic director position, gave me the confidence to apply when the opportunity arose. I look forward to working with the 3A North Conference athletic directors and members of the (Arizona Interscholastic Association).”