Skyla Teel

Skyla Teel

Skyla Teel wants to be the Carrie Bradshaw of Pinal County.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the HBO series “Sex and the City,” Carrie Bradshaw was the fictional New York columnist played by Sarah Jessica Parker from 1998 to 2004, which led to a movie spinoff as well as popular books.

In the show, Carrie wrote about the relationships between men and women, dating and New York, often concluding with a positive outlook.

Skyla plans to write a column for the Casa Grande Dispatch and PinalCentral. But as a happily married mother of two daughters, her musings will focus more on family, friends and Pinal County.

On Wednesday Skyla introduced herself to the community in her first column and talks about future topics she hopes to write about in an interview with reporter Kevin Reagan on our PinalCentral podcast “Off the Record.”

“My column will be a happy, positive place,” she said.

While Skyla will be a new columnist for us, she isn’t new to writing about the topics she cares about. The former rodeo queen, who has lived in Pinal County almost 20 years, has been writing a regular blog for years at skylateel.com/blog.

“Winter break trips.”

“Eight things to do on a Sunday to be more productive.”

“Getting children to make their beds.”

These are some of the topics the personable Skyla has touched upon in her blog. With a combination of personal experience and researched advice, she often uses self-deprecating humor to make a point.

We hope she can continue to present this positive trend through her print and online column.

Skyla was born in California but grew up in Tucson. She got her first horse when she was 5 and has always had a horse since then. Of course, rodeo is her passion. She is a rodeo coach at Central Arizona College, where she also is a professor of reading and education.

She is active in rodeo and especially enjoys helping coordinate the Exceptional Rodeo in conjunction with Cowboy Days & O’Odham Tash. This is where special needs children are introduced to horses and arena activities. She said for some kids it is their first opportunity to touch a horse, let alone ride one.

She said that personally being involved in this event has been “moving in ways I couldn’t have fully imagined... It gives me goosebumps.”

Skyla was Tucson Rodeo Queen in 2001 and taught elementary education, so kids and horses have always had a place in her heart. When she moved to Pinal County, she admits she experienced culture shock. She was used to many more amenities being close by as in Tucson, rather than having to drive to Chandler.

But now she says Pinal County has grown in a way so that opportunities, Western culture and amenities are nearby.

“I really love where we live,” she said.

And she hopes to celebrate that in her column. She says too many people “have a problem for every solution,” which is evident on social media these days.

In one of her blogs, Skyla wrote about how she and her husband purchased a new $57,000 pickup truck. Not because he wanted it, but because she did. She drove it, while her husband was left with the 15-year-old truck.

Like Carrie Bradshaw she opened up to the reader about the financial strains such an impulse buy caused and the lessons learned.

“My thought was always, ‘We make enough to pay it off so it’s not a problem,’” she wrote. “But the truth is that it WAS a problem! A BIG PROBLEM!”

For Carrie, the spontaneous purchase would have been a diamond necklace or a Gucci handbag and matching shoes. For Skyla it was a brand new pickup, with all the options.

That’s an example of what can make Skyla the Carrie Bradshaw of Pinal County.

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You can reach Skyla Teel at skyla@skylateel.com.

You can reach Andy Howell at ahowell@pinalcentral.com.

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