The simple fact that Bridges Preschool has branched out to seven locations in a little more than 10 years speaks to the high caliber of its staff. Every teacher holds, or is close to completing, a degree in child development, early childhood education, or another related field. Plus, they must undergo a rigorous three- or four-part interview before they get the job.
But the preschool and kindergarten's rapid expansion must also be due in part to its unique curriculum, a large chunk of which relies on the Adventure Playgrounds at each of its schools. Inspired by learning playgrounds in Europe, each holds slightly different educational fixtures, such as a bird and butterfly habitat or a garden.
With an exhilarating display of riding, racing, and roping prowess in a host of riveting spectator events, the Roots N' Boots Queen Creek Pro Rodeo celebrates the town's ranching roots in its first-ever rodeo exhibition. World-class horse handlers will lock horns in a series of professional rodeo events such as saddle bronc riding, bareback riding, and bull riding. Team roping events pit a lariat-clasping combo against the heft and guile of a full-size steer—the same foe featured in the all-ropes-barred spectacle known as steer wrestling.
Shelly Ivy's parents probably figured they were indulging a passing phase when they bought their 8-year-old daughter a blue camera with a flash bulb. As it turns out, that gift steered Shelly toward a career in photography that fully manifested when she opened Ivy Studios Photography with her husband Brandon. The duo specializes in wedding and portrait photography, and their work regularly graces Wedding Wire's Bride's Choice awards. Sharing a fondness for rock 'n' roll, they bring an enthusiastic energy to their clients' photo shoots, which commemorate occasions ranging from happy nuptials and momentous graduations to the fire walk that closes out every family reunion. When they're not focusing lenses on brides or setting up surveillance on ring bearers, the pair stages introductory and advanced photography classes that help students fluently maneuver around their digital cameras.
Dr. Connie Anderson’s love of animals shines through in every facet of her life. Not only has she studied veterinary medicine at Oregon State University and Washington State University, but she and her family live with a menagerie of dogs, cats, birds, tortoises, goats, and Holly, a pot-belly pig.
At Dr. Anderson’s practice, Animal House Veterinary Clinic, she and her team pair their love of animals with the latest technology. Their microchip implants, for example, help identify pets if they are lost or don Groucho glasses, and digital x-rays screen for unseen injuries. The in-house lab and pharmacy ensure quick turnaround on prescriptions, and an array of lower-tech services—such as grooming, physicals, and vaccines—round out the health care treatments.
At 18 locations throughout the greater Phoenix area, Delia's team inspects, maintains, and cleans all manner of clothing and fabric, enhancing this service with free pickup and delivery. Founded in 1969, they're careful to ensure that each item gets the right kind of treatment. Sturdy material such as wool and cotton undergoes the standard cleaning. More delicate fabrics and garments with beads or sequins—cowboy outfits, for example—go through a gentler method that prevents any damage. To keep customers in the know, they've documented their means of fabric care in explicit detail online. Delia's crew also works to sew buttons back on, replace zippers, and make alterations.