Jilyn Jauregui was named Verde Pride Citizen of the Year, nominated by Dr. Daniel Bright Elementary School principal Nancy Erickson.
"It is with pride and excitement that the entire staff of DDB nominates Jilyn Jauregui for the Verde Pride Citizen of the Year," Erickson said in her nomination.
Jauregui started volunteering at the school almost eight years ago when she moved to Cottonwood with her husband and young son in 2005.
Originally from Mesa, Jauregui graduated from Mountain View High School in 1994. She got married in 2000 before moving to the Verde Valley and enrolling her son at DDB.
He went on to Cottonwood Elementary School, but Jauregui "had become such a part of the DDB family that she continued to dedicate her time as a volunteer."
"She contributes more time to her volunteer work than most people do to a full-time job," Erickson said. "It is not unusual for her to be one of the first arrivals of the day and she is often there until after 5 in the evening."
She greets teachers with a smile each morning, always ready to help with whatever might be needed for the day's learning.
"If you ask Jilyn how her weekend was, she inevitably answers, 'Too long!'" Erickson said. "Her passion and dedication draw her back to DDB early each Monday morning."
Whether it's making copies, helping in preschool classes, making hands-on materials, covering the office, or monitoring the cafeteria and student drop off, "there is nothing she will not do to help the staff of DDB," Erickson said.
"With the budget cuts that have occurred in Arizona in education, Jilyn provides a much needed service to help teachers focus on the academic growth of students rather that the daily need of making copies and materials," she said.