President: Miriam Limón
Senior Director of Marketing AEA Federal Credit Union
Miriam Limon has been a Yuma County Education Foundation board member since 2018. Born and raised in Yuma, she graduated from Cibola High School and attended Arizona Western College. She is currently the Senior Director of Marketing at AEA Federal Credit Union, Yuma’s only locally owned community credit union, and has over 15 years of experience in private and public sector marketing. Outside of work, Miriam enjoys going on adventures with her fiancé, Benjamin, and their daughter, Audrey.
Vice President: Shanna Johnson
Superintendent/Principal Mohawk Valley School District
Shanna Johnson has been an educator for 28 years. She attended Antelope Union High School, earned her bachelor's degree at NAU in Flagstaff, then returned to teach at Wellton Elementary School where she spent the first 21 years of her career. At Wellton Elementary School she had many roles: second grade teacher, first grade teacher, special education teacher, junior high language arts, and teacher trainer. Shanna is currently the Superintendent at Mohawk Valley School.
Board Secretary: Nancy T Blitz
Retired Professor, Arizona Western College College BEST Grant Advisor, Northern Arizona University, Yuma
Nancy T. Blitz taught English as a Second Language at Arizona Western College both part-time and full-time from the late 1980s to August 1, 2020. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a B.A. in German, and her M.A. in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) is from Northern Arizona University. She spent two years as a full-time instructor of Bilingual/Multicultural Education/ESL on the NAU-Yuma Branch Campus where she continued to teach in a part time capacity for many years. Over the years, many of the students from her NAU undergraduate and graduate classes were nominees for and recipients of the Yuma County Teacher of the Year.
Board Member: Tom Tyree
Superintendent of Southwest Technical Education District of Yuma (STEDY)
Tom Tyree has served in public education for 45 years. In August of 2003 Tyree was appointed Yuma County Superintendent of Schools and was elected to the position in 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and most recently again in 2020 until moving to serve as Superintendent of STEDY in early 2022. Prior to assuming his elected position as county superintendent, Tyree served as a teacher, head basketball coach, building and central office administrator in school districts in Yuma and Mesa, Arizona. Tyree is married to Mara Vitolins Tyree (former Miss Yuma County) and has two children, Tiffany and Ryan, both educators in Yuma
Immediate Past President: James Sheldahl
Superintendent, Yuma Elementary School District One
Jamie Sheldahl is the proud Superintendent of Yuma Elementary School District #1. Jamie has enjoyed a 34-year career in Yuma. During that time, he taught middle school language arts at Fourth Avenue Junior High and English at Cibola High School. He served as a school administrator at Cibola, Kofa, and Gila Ridge high schools and associate superintendent in the Yuma Union High School District. He has been the District ONE Superintendent since 2016.
District #1 is committed to supporting the whole child by building strong collaborative relationships, fostering safe and innovative schools, and personalizing learning through effective instruction. In addition to the core curriculum, every District ONE student receives instruction in art, music, PE and STEM in an inclusive and welcoming environment.
Jamie has been married to Renee, also an educator, for 31 years. They have three adult children, all of whom benefited greatly from Yuma public schools.
Board Member: Laurie Doering
Superintendent, Crane School District
Laurie Doering has been in education since 1983 and is
passionate about this calling. She moved to Yuma in 1976 and has raised three children in this fine community. She graduated from Yuma High School and went on to graduate from Arizona State University and then received a Masters in Educational Leadership from NAU-Yuma. She has been a school and district level administrator for over 20 years.
Board Member: Helen Coffeen
Principal, Centennial Middle School, Retired
Helen Morrow Coffeen arrived in Yuma from California in 1977 to work for the Crane School District. She taught third, fifth and sixth grades, and was an assistant principal and a principal. She worked at Viejo, Rancho Viejo, Crane Junior High, Pueblo, and retired from Centennial Middle School in May 2022. She continues to be passionate about providing an outstanding education to our students in a safe fun learning environment that prepares our students for college and careers. She believes an education opens doors of opportunity, gives a panoramic view of the world, and allows students choices to follow their dreams.
Board Member: Michael Sabath, PhD
Associate Vice President and Campus Executive Officer, NAU Yuma Branch Campus
Michael J. Sabath has been in higher education for over 35 years. A first-generation student who grew up in a military family, he earned a B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley, an MPA from California State University-Chico and a PhD from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sabath was with San Diego State University for 23 years serving as a professor, division chair, and Associate Dean. Prior to this, he taught in the School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Columbia and in the Department of Criminal Justice at Indiana University-Bloomington. He is married to Maria Lourdes Sabath and has three children.
Board Member: Mandy Heil
Associate Dean of Communications and Marketing, Arizona Western College
Mandy Heil has worked in higher education for over 20 years serving students through a variety of roles. She holds a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Educational Leadership, both from the University of Northern Colorado. She has had the joy of being a Yuma resident for nearly 13 years where she has served Arizona Western College in various capacities. She currently serves AWC as the Associate Dean of Communications and Marketing. Mandy and her husband Jeremy are busy raising their three young children and, when not working, spend their time chasing a their sassy two-year-old daughter and watching their boys on the baseball field.
Board Member: Kim Seh
Assistant Superintendent, Administration, Somerton School District #11
Kimberly Seh has been an Education Foundation Board member since 2009. She is currently the Assistant Superintendent in Somerton School District #11. Her educational degrees and certifications include the following: B.A. in Elementary Education, M.A. in Multicultural/Bilingual Education, Early Childhood and Structured English Immersion Endorsement, Principal and Superintendent Certification from Northern Arizona University. After thoroughly enjoying teaching third, fourth and fifth grade in Somerton School District #11, she took the opportunity to serve staff and students as a Staff Developer/Reading Coach in the Crane School District. Administrative experiences include Principal and Professional Development / Curriculum/ Assessment Director for Somerton School District #11.
Board Member: Tom Rush
President, Yuma Investment Group
Tom Rush was raised on a farm in Dateland, Arizona with six siblings. Tom studied at Amherst College in Massachusetts and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics. Tom Rush is the founder and president of Yuma Investment Group Wealth Management. He has been dedicated to assisting his clients in achieving their financial goals for over 25 years. Today the firm employees three Wealth advisors, a Financial Planner and a support staff of nine. The firm provides wealth planning services for individuals, corporations, trusts and retirement accounts totaling in excess of 250 million dollars. Yuma Investment Group Wealth Management’s mission statement is to assist its clients in creating and protecting wealth, ultimately striving for financial independence. Tom Rush works diligently with his clients to crystallize their financial goals. He then develops a comprehensive plan to achieve these goals. Because of this "planning" driven approach, he emphasizes long-term relationships which are the cornerstone of his business practice. Tom Rush resides in Yuma with his wife Sandy and their four children: Jackson, Stockton, Savannah, and Houston. When not working, Tom enjoys his family.
Board Member: Meredith Nelson
Principal, Desert View Elementary, Gadsden Elementary District #32
Meredith Nelson has worked in the Gadsden School District for 27 years. During this time she was a 3rd grade teacher, Teacher on Assignment, Professional Development Coordinator, Principal at Rio Colorado, and currently the Principal at Desert View Elementary. She received both her Bachelor’s’ Degree and Master’s Degree from NAU-Yuma. She also has endorsements in ESL and Early Childhood as well as Principals’ Certification. She is proud that her school has earned five 'A' ratings in a row as well as #1 in Yuma County in 2019. Grand Canyon University supervisor is an additional position that she really enjoys part time. Meredith is happily married to Kenneth Nelson. Their blended family includes 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandson.
Board Member: Gina Thompson
Superintendent, Yuma Union High School District
Gina M. Thompson is currently the Superintendent for Yuma Union High School District. Gina earned her B.A. in English Education / Physical Education from Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. She has been in Yuma, AZ since 1989 when she began her teaching career at Cibola High School. After earning her Master’s
Degree at NAU-Yuma in 1995, she became an assistant principal at Yuma High School. In 2006, she had the privilege of becoming the Principal at Kofa High School. In 2012, the Rodel Foundation honored Gina as an Exemplary Principal. Gina is most proud of her two daughters; both Yuma born, Yuma public schools educated, both are Kofa Kings as well as a U of A Wildcat and NAU Lumberjack.
Board Member: Shelley Jones Mellon
Owner/Broker, R.L. Jones Insurance Services
Upon graduating, from the University of Arizona with a degree in Business Administration, Shelley became the 4th generation to follow in her family’s business, R.L. Jones Group. Her husband, Colin Mellon, is a 3rd generation Yuma produce farmer. Currently they own their own farm and are active in the management and operations of Mellon Farms, Inc., and a ground application company. Shelley owns and operates the three locations of R.L. Jones Insurance & MVD Services. Shelley serves as Chair of the Southwest Arizona Town Hall, Board of Trustees for the Yuma Regional Medical Center Foundation, Chair of the Yuma Education Advocacy Council, Board Member of Expect More Arizona, CEO Council of Expect More Arizona, Advisory Council Bayer America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, Board Member of the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Corporation, Director of the Yuma Youth Leadership Council, Director of Yuma Youth Town Hall, Chair of the Yuma Union High School District Bond Campaign and Yuma Union High School District Governing Board Member, Board Member of Yuma County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, S June Pallack Award Council, Officer of Yuma Up Mentoring Program, Board Member of the Benesch Collection (YRMC Art Heals), volunteer and advocate for Healing Journey, Board Member of Journey Church, Board member of Arizona Town Hall, past Board Member of the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, past Board Member of Rio Colorado Commissions, past member of the Arizona Mexico Commission. Colin and Shelley have three children: Tanner-Graduate of Purdue University, Masters Krannert School of Management, Mckenna-Cornell University, and Walker-Gila Ridge High School.
Board Member: Tanya Hodges, Ed.D.
Regional Academic Programs Manager / Director of Workforce Development and Grants, Business Initiatives --University of Arizona -- Yuma
Tanya is the Regional Academic Programs Manager and Director of Workforce Development and Grants for the University of Arizona Yuma. She manages and provides student and faculty support for the 20 majors that offer degrees to Yuma and Imperial Valley students. She also develops and implements STEM outreach programs designed to recruit students into STEM careers, initiating the Yuma /Imperial “Growing Our Own” initiative ” aimed at developing local talent workforce who have the skills and knowledge in STEM areas the regional workforce requires and future economic development demands. In addition, Tanya teaches upper-level courses in agriculture systems management and plant sciences.
Tanya is a Yuma County native graduating from Antelope High School. She began her teaching career at Cibola High School. Tanya is a University of Arizona, Alumni receiving both a Bachelor and Master of Education in Agriculture Education. Dr. Hodges earned her EdD in Innovation and Leadership from Arizona State University. She is married to Patrick Hodges of 34yrs. They have four married children and seven grandchildren
Board Member: Audrey Garcia Clinical Assistant Professor/Site Lead, Arizona State University - Yuma Campus
Board Member: Frank Núñez,
Principal, Gila Vista Junior High School
Frank Núñez was born and raised in Yuma Arizona. He graduated from Cibola High School and Arizona Western College and went on to graduate from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and a Masters in Educational Leadership. He has been a school and district level administrator for 10 years. Prior to being an administrator, his varied classroom experience was as a teacher of Spanish, Government, Economics, AVID, Academic Decathlon, Advanced Placement classes, and coaching baseball. Currently, he is the Principal of Gila Vista Jr. High School.
Board Member: Regina Twomey Public Affairs Manager : SW Division, Arizona Public Service
Regina Twomey was born and raised in Yuma, Arizona. After graduating from Kofa High School, she attended the University of Arizona and University of Phoenix, earning a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an HR Certification from SHRM. Regina has a background in HR, marketing, and training/development. Regina currently serves as the Public Affairs Manager for APS. She has a strong passion for the Yuma community. She is proud to serve on the United Way of Yuma County Board, U of A Alumni Association Board, the Ed Foundation of Yuma County Board, the Visit Yuma Board, and the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce Board. She is a current participant of Project CENTRL. Regina spends her free time with her husband, Joe, raising their four active children and three lazy dogs.
Board Member: Clint Harrington President -- Pilkington Construction Company
Board Member: John Kovesdy Project Manager, Yuma Area -- McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
Board Member: Joann Chang Associate Dean – Math, Science, Engineering & Wellness, Physical Education, Arizona Western College
Joann Chang has taught at Arizona Western College (AWC) since 2010 for the department of Biology and is the current Associate Dean of Math, Science, Engineering, & Wellness, Physical Education. She obtained her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Arizona and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego. She has the pleasure of being a current part time instructor for AWC and Northern Arizona University – Yuma Branch Campus for their Biological Sciences program.