Two Pine-Strawberry School Staff Members Retiring

Two school staff members say goodbye. Doris Randall (left) and Jan Clark (right), great friends and staff members at Pine-Strawberry School, will both retire at the completion of this school year after a combined 62 years of working in education.

Photo by Joy Hafford. |

Two school staff members say goodbye. Doris Randall (left) and Jan Clark (right), great friends and staff members at Pine-Strawberry School, will both retire at the completion of this school year after a combined 62 years of working in education.


Staff and students at Pine-Strawberry School are losing two of their staff members who are retiring from the district at the end of this school year.

Combined, Doris Randall and Jan Clark have given 62 years to education, with a combined total of 42 years at Pine-Strawberry School. What an amazing track record they should both be proud of!

For 35 years, Doris’ friendly smile has greeted students, staff and families at Pine-Strawberry School. She began as a teacher’s aide when the school was in the thrift store building and remembers making copies on a mimeograph machine and using the now obsolete typewriter.

She worked in almost all areas of school till being assigned the important role of school secretary, governing board secretary and executive secretary to the superintendent.

Co-worker Mary Jo Licavoli said, “Doris is always there with an attentive ear, warm smile, comforting word, willing heart and helping hand. She has been our Arizona sister, mother, friend, our support and our backup; a walking telephone book with memory and organizational skills that will be sorely missed; tough shoes to fill.” Doris’ last day is June 30.

Jan Clark’s 27 years as an educator have included teaching many grade levels and subjects, and taken her from the Valley to a reservation, overseas and the last 7 years right here in Pine.

She began her career as a Preschool teacher. Over the years she taught third-grade, sixth-grade, middle school, Social Studies, high school English and Family and Consumer Science.

Jan taught in Department of Defense schools in England and also spent seven years on the Navajo Reservation. At the Pine-Strawberry School she taught third-grade and middle school social studies, as well as outstanding work with the student council, leading them to state honors last year.

Mary Jo Licavoli said, “Jan brought her spiritual strength and teaching expertise to the halls of Pine-Strawberry School. With the addition of her warm laughter, compassionate nature and dedication as a teacher and leader, our junior high students have been able to grow in spirit and knowledge well beyond that afforded by written text.

Her desire to share her extraordinary world of knowledge helped open the eyes and minds of many of our students who might otherwise never leave the borders of Arizona. They’ve had a glimpse at what being responsible adults actually entails. She will be sorely missed.” Jan’s last day is May 25.

Both women are respected and loved by those they encountered during their careers. They have brought sunshine to many students’ days and their daily presence will be missed at the school. They both plan to remain in the area, so will continue to inspire us all.

Congratulations to you both in your well-earned retirement.

Hashknife Pony Express

The cry of “Hashknife” will sound out as the 200-mile trip over the Mogollon Rim is started. For more than 50 years, the Navajo County Sheriff’s Posse, under the oldest continuous official contract with the U.S. Postal Service, has carried the U.S. Mail via pony express.

The route takes them on Dry Lake Road to Heber, over the Rim to Payson, and then on to a campsite by the Verde River. Along the route they pick up letters from post offices in Heber, Pine and Strawberry and then hand the mail off to the next rider along the trail.

This year, the Hashknife’s 54th ride is an official event of the Arizona Centennial celebration. Please join the Pine Post Office in celebrating Arizona’s 100th birthday and welcoming the Hashknife Pony Express to Pine on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at about 2:30 p.m.

Raymond Argel, Postmaster, along with the staff of the Pine Post Office, invite you to come out and support the riders.

You can also support the Pine-Strawberry School children by seeing their wonderful entries in the post office lobby from the Hashknife Pony Express coloring contest.

Let’s all show up and help relive the old west right here in our community.


I would like to remind all members of the community of some important things that are worth reiterating.

Rim Country Literacy Program

The Rim Country Literacy Program wants to help those who need their GED with free classes. Classes are at the Pine Strawberry School on Monday and Wednesday evenings. If you could benefit from this program, please contact them at (928) 468-7257.

Pine-Strawberry Food Bank

Many of our residents are out of work and struggling to make ends meet. Some elderly are struggling with limited income and higher winter utility bills. Some have health issues that keep them from being able to adequately support their families.

The Food Bank depends on our donations to help those among us. The caring and generosity of our community is unsurpassed.

When you visit the Ponderosa Market for a loaf of bread or jar of peanut butter, why not buy an extra one to put in the Food Bank Donation Box? If you would like to volunteer to help the local food bank or make a donation, contact them at P.O. Box 1534, Pine, AZ 85544, or call Marti at (928) 476-6469.


Volunteers are needed for the Quilt Angels Quilt-a-Thon on March 14, 15 and 16 at First Baptist Church in Pine. For information, contact Joanne at 472-1183 or Donna at 476-3968.

‘Meet Me In The Mountains’

Pine resident Candy Bridges has written a book about the challenges that confront us and offering hope through her experience. She established the Breath of Life Retreat Center here in Pine, showing how hope often grows from despair. Her book, “Meet Me In The Mountains” is a story of life, challenges, faith and hope.

To obtain a copy or learn more about our neighbor, go to or www.Candy Many amazing people live in our community. All have a story to tell. Please contact me with your stories and Pine Strawberry happenings at haffordjoy1@ or call (602) 790-0248.


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