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Beth Bartolini’s day is filled with children, although she has none of her own at home.

As Bartolini waited for the lighting of the Sedona Christmas tree in Uptown she talked about her path to work with children in the Camp Verde Unified School District, and adjusted her red wool scarf a little closer around her neck.

atrandom-12-11“We moved to Sedona 7½ years ago because we just wanted to live here,” Bartolini said about she and her husband, Jack. “I ended up getting a Ph.D. in school psychology at [Northern Arizona University].”

After graduation, Bartolini began some educational consulting work and soon received a call from the school district.

“It’s a perfect field for me. I get to work with little kids and get a lot of hugs. I get to consult with teachers, parents and the kids to make a difference, one child at a time,” she said.

When working with the children, Bartolini focuses on what keeps a child from being academically successful and comes up with a plan for everyone involved to help remove the blocks.

The Bartolinis do have a small one around the house in the form of Ripley, named after a character in the movie, “Alien,” who, like most cats, owns the house.

“Believe it or not, all 20 pounds of him,” she said.

Other than working with the children and singing soprano with the Canyon Singers — the reason she was at the tree lighting — Bartolini does a lot of gardening around her house. Lately, though it has become a battleground.

“Moles and gophers and rabbits and other creatures like to eat my plants. Right now, Jack and I just planted a tree and they’re digging around it, and I don’t want to lose that tree,” she said.

She has tried a lot of methods to get the animals to leave her plants alone, but with little success.

“I’m about ready to bring in some help,” she said.

Jack Bartolini told about another activity his wife became an expert in. She is a certified scuba instructor. On Sept. 11, 2001, Bartolini was instructing a class in the Bahamas when they received the word about the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

“Some of the people panicked and wanted to call home. We were all shocked,” she said.

Bartolini still dives, but not as much because of the time involved working toward her degree.

Singing with the Canyon Singers is one of her favorite activities especially around the holidays when there are so many wonderful Christmas carols to enjoy. Bartolini’s favorite is “What Child Is This?”

“That’s my favorite, but I love any number of them,” she said.

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