Shelly Bodenmiller (Bus Driver)
I’m originally from Michigan. I moved to AZ in 1984, right after the Detroit Tigers won the World Series. I moved to Sunizona in March, 2018, although I have been visiting the area since 2004. On December 1, 2017, I retired from the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department after having been employed there for nearly 32 years. Horses are my passion but I love all animals. I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and I love going to the beach.
Marian Gierlach (Librarian)
I began working for Ash Creek Elementary School in 1998 as the Kindergarten aide and was then hired to run the Alice Woods/Sunizona Library—a joint-use school/county branch library on the Ash Creek campus–in 2001. I enjoy my job so much that I intend to keep doing it until I retire.
I was born and raised in the northeast, moved to Arizona in 1968 and to Sunizona with my family in 1995. I studied early childhood education and visual arts at Wheelock College in Brookline Massachusetts and later received an Associate of Fine Arts degree from Pima Community College. After being hired for the library position, I attended four consecutive years of the Arizona State Library’s Summer Library Institute at the University of Arizona.
I have had various careers, first and foremost being mother of three wonderful children. I also spent 20 years as an artist/designer and craftsperson, and 10 years as a founding member of a Tucson based wildlife conservation organization. I couldn’t be happier with my present career as school and county branch librarian since two of my passions are books and children. I also enjoy gardening, the pets and small livestock at our family’s homestead and nursery and hiking and camping while exploring our beautiful corner of southeast Arizona.
As part of the school library program, Ash Creek students come to the library with their class once a week to check out books to read for enjoyment and to fulfill classroom assignments. I coordinate with the teachers to make the library program supplement the classroom curriculum. I love reading aloud to students to help them develop an enjoyment and appreciation for stories and the printed word. It is so rewarding to witness that special moment when a student becomes a fluent reader and it is my pleasure to help kids find materials on their own reading level and about a subject they are interested in. My objective is to encourage our students to become lifelong learners and readers.
Richard Rubio (Maintenance)
I was born in Willcox, Arizona and raised here in the Sulphur Springs Valley. Attended Ash Creek Elementary and graduated eighth grade here, went on to Valley Union for 2 years, and graduated from Morenci Junior Senior High School. All my children attended Ash Creek, and I still have two children attending. Before working here, I volunteered at many events at the school and even received an award for volunteer of the year. I have done many different jobs from diesel mechanic to well driller and now maintenance here. Every day is different and there is always something that needs to be taken care of.
Rosario Ruiz (Custodian)
I have lived in Arizona since 1989 and have worked as a Custodian at Ash Creek Elementary since 2006. My husband and I have three children, all of which attended Ash Creek Elementary. This is a great school and I would recommend it any parent.
Lisa Shiver (Cafeteria Manager)
I come from a large family of seven children raised in the beautiful countryside of upstate New York. The kitchen was the center of our family for storytelling, learning to cook, learning to cooperate and do our share of the chores, and sharing laughter and tears.
After graduation I moved around the country until I ended up in Hawaii. I worked in retail, restaurants, at a fuel dock where the fishermen come in, and got to be a live-aboard crew member on a 150’ schooner, until the owner decided to take her back to the mainland. I wasn’t ready to leave Hawaii yet, so I joined the Laborer’s Union and went to work for a golf course construction company where I met my husband. We moved from job to job across several states building golf courses until he retired in 2004 and we moved to McNeal.
I went back into retail until Ash Creek needed a cook in 2015 and I found the job I was meant to have. I have always cooked from scratch and I enjoy introducing new generations of children to real wholesome food, especially in this fast food-microwave society we have become.
Reading is one of my passions and I live on a farm with fruit and nut trees, a yearly garden, chickens, quail, ducks, and various pheasants; (thank goodness my husband is home while I am at work). Not to forget the dogs, cat, and African Gray parrot.
Boris Espinosa (Systems Administrator)
Born and raised in the Caribbean, I love going to the beach and swimming in the ocean. I began my career as an air traffic controller before I discovered the world of technology. I have been working in the IT industry for over 15 years and I enjoy learning and staying up to date on emerging technologies. In my spare time I enjoy working in my vegetable garden and spending time in nature with my family.
Little Joe (Certified Therapy Dog)
I’ve lived in Arizona my whole life. I had a rough start when I was a puppy, people who were not kind mistreated me and left me out on a country road by myself. I was scared, but knew I had to look for help. I wasn’t sure if I could trust people any more, but I found myself on the porch of a lady who was surprised to see me but had a kind voice. I felt afraid at first, but my instincts told me she was different than the people I knew before.
She was leaving for a bike ride, but gave me some water to drink and told me if I was still there when she got back that I could stay. So I drank some water and rested in the shade, and sure enough she came back and gave me the first of many wonderful meals. She also gave me a bath and brushed me. She was gentle and kind. I could hear her telling her friends and family on the phone about me, and how much she liked my calm attitude and kind brown eyes.
Ms. Lind and I have been friends ever since then. I have traveled with her to beautiful places, and visited with many more nice people. I especially love and appreciate children. Ms. Lind is a teacher and a grandma, so I get to be around children of all ages. I know they need a calm, kind, friend sometimes, just like I do.
I learned that not all people are mean. I learned to trust people who show they can be trusted, and how to be trustworthy myself. My education has been mostly life experience, but I am also certified as a Trusted Therapy Dog.
I am happy anywhere Ms. Lind is, but Ash Creek School is one of my very favorite places to spend time. The children and staff here at Ash Creek are wonderful!