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Verde Valley became home for Rayburn family

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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Jill Rayburn said it took a bit to get used to life in Camp Verde after spending her life in the decidedly more urban environments of the Valley of the Sun.

Now, however, she doesn't want to live anywhere else. "This is home," Rayburn said. For visitors to Camp Verde High School, it's likely that Rayburn's face might be the first they see.

Sitting behind a desk in the school's main office, Rayburn works as secretary, taking phone calls and greeting visitors, among many other tasks.

Last Thursday afternoon, she had to retrieve a cell phone that had been confiscated from a student when a parent came to collect it.

Phones are allowed, Rayburn said, but students just aren't supposed to use them in class.

Rayburn came up to Camp Verde with her husband, Brian, a few years ago during the construction boom that was going on before the recession.

The couple has been married for 17 years.

"My husband was a builder," Rayburn said.

That didn't go as planned when things crashed.

These days he's an alphabi-otist, Rayburn said, someone who practices techniques designed to relieve stress on the body.

Rayburn said she at one time had asked her husband to leave the area but it has grown on her quite warmly in the years since.

Rayburn has been working in the high school office since August but she's been working with the Camp Verde Unified School District for five years.

"I worked as a math tutor," Rayburn said.

Back when she lived in Gilbert, Rayburn said she and her husband had an electrical business.

For much of the time, Rayburn had another full-time position.

"I was a stay-at-home mom," Rayburn said.

Rayburn has three children, two boys and a girl, ages 21, 12 and 10, respectively.

Rayburn was familiar with the area here in the Verde Valley before she moved.

"My in-laws lived here," Rayburn said.

These days Rayburn said she'd much rather raise children here than in the city.

Even her oldest son, who couldn't wait to get out of Camp Verde and moved to the Phoenix-area, spends much of his breaks from work around the country in the drilling business here in Camp Verde.

There are other adjustments that have to be made when living in a small town.

"Everyone knows everybody," Rayburn said.

As for Rayburn herself, she said her family keeps a close circle of friends who get together every so often for barbecues.

"And of course, football," Rayburn said.

Despite being from Arizona, Rayburn said she has to admit she's a 49ers fan.

As for her job at the school, Rayburn hopes for it to be a long-term thing.

"I want to be that secretary who retires after 20 years," Rayburn said. "I love this job."

Mark Lineberger can be reached at 567-3341 or email CVEditor®

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2014

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