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Tue, May 21

Children learn from the pros at Beaver Creek’s Career Day

Myss Miranda tells Beaver Creek students about her career as a web designer and owner of The Myss Miranda Agency, during the school’s first Career Day. VVN/Bill Helm

Myss Miranda tells Beaver Creek students about her career as a web designer and owner of The Myss Miranda Agency, during the school’s first Career Day. VVN/Bill Helm

RIMROCK – She’s “one of the biggest nerds in the Verde Valley.”

And she’s proud of it.

“I highly suggest the field of being a nerd,” she said.

Miranda Walters builds websites and “makes sure hackers don’t break into the back end of websites.”

“Oddly enough, she didn’t even go to college to learn her profession.

But Myss Miranda can thank her father for her career.

Her father, a landscape artist, wanted his own website. So he asked his daughter to put one together.

“I’d never done that,” she told students from Beaver Creek School during Tuesday’s Career Day. “But he needed a website.”

A career later, Myss Miranda not only builds websites, but she does graphic and video.

Her company, The Myss Miranda Agency, allows the one-time “professional student” use all of her creativity to help her clients reach their end game.

“My job is constantly changing,” she said Tuesday. “If you like chaos, this is the right job for you.”

Walters was one of 21 professional who spoke at the Rimrock school’s first Career Day. Beaver Creek School District Superintendent Karin Ward said that though she’d like to have the event each year, she’s not sure in what format.

“We’ll be looking at the interest inventories the students take and maybe create a longer session geared to their particular interests,” Ward said.

With help from community mentor John McTurk, Beaver Creek was able to host professional ranging from teacher and counselor, restaurateur and winemaker, police chief and city manager, as well as folks working in the non-profit sector.

Marissa Gagliardi is a winemaker at Page Springs Cellars in Cornville.

One child asked her if Page Springs uses Microsoft AI technology to make wine.

“Women are so underrepresented in winemaking,” Gagliardi said. “I thought them seeing me, a winemaker, was important.”

At 16 years of age, Rudy Rodriguez worked at Dairy Queen. Primarily a cook, it was a small staff, he recalled, so he handled the ice cream orders from time to time.

Cooking and scooping was his “first real job,” Rodriguez told a child who asked.

Today, Rodriguez is Cottonwood’s assistant city manager.

The president and CEO of Cottonwood’s Chamber of Commerce was a teacher at Yavapai College more than 12 years ago when he worked a career fair that partnered with the chamber.

“I certainly found a job I was interested in,” said Christian Oliva del Rio, who began his chamber work as an executive assistant.

“I get to tell people what a wonderful place we live in,” he said.

According to McTurk, he and Ward are working to build a mentoring program at Beaver Creek School.

McTurk said the Career Day was an opportunity for Beaver Creek’s students to learn “about exciting careers that we have right here in our own communities and how the people in those careers got there.”

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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