Desert Vista Girls Staff

Coaching Staff

Head Coach: Jessica Millanes Shearer

Coach Millanes Shearer

Coach Jessica Millanes Shearer is back at Desert Vista High School, leading the way as the Head Coach for the 2023 Cross Country season. A true Thunder alum, Coach Shearer graduated from Desert Vista in 2000, where she left an indelible mark on the Cross Country and Track teams. Throughout her high school career, she showcased her leadership prowess by captaining the Cross Country squad for 3 years, and clinching state championships in both Cross Country and Track. Notably, Coach Shearer was a part of Desert Vista's first state championship title, a moment that still resonates with her as a testament to the program's enduring excellence. She feels blessed to give back to a program that has provided her so much.

Following her high school journey, Coach Shearer pursued her passion for running and coaching at Saint Mary's College (IN). There, she continued to compete in Cross Country while simultaneously lending her expertise to a local high school's track and field program.
After completing her college degree, Coach Shearer joined the United States Marine Corps, completing two tours in Iraq. Her dedication to service and discipline from her military experience continue to shape her coaching philosophy, instilling in her athletes the values of perseverance, teamwork, and commitment.

Beyond the track, Coach Shearer finds strength and inspiration in her family. She and her husband, Rob (USMC Retired), share the joys of parenthood with their two daughters, Evelyn and Cecilia (affectionately known as CC). The family's athletic legacy continues as Evelyn and Cecilia actively participate in Cross Country and Track in middle school, further illustrating the Shearer family's enduring connection to the sport.

Coach Shearer's return to Desert Vista High School signifies the reunion of an exceptional athlete and leader with her alma mater. Her impressive journey from standout athlete to dedicated coach and military service member exemplifies her commitment to excellence and her unwavering dedication to the development of young athletes, both on and off the track. Coach Shearer's passion for helping others and her deep roots in Ahwatukee, make her an invaluable asset to the Desert Vista Cross Country program and the community it serves.


Assistant Coach: Dan Beeks

Coach Beeks

Coach Dan Beeks has been an integral part of the Desert Vista Cross Country (DVCC) program since 2014, serving as an Assistant Coach for the DVCC Girls team. His journey with the team reflects a deep commitment to the sport and a genuine passion for mentoring young athletes, as he always reminds them, “Let’s go have some fun!”, before every run. 

Prior to his coaching role, Coach Beeks demonstrated his dedication to the DVCC program by taking on leadership positions within the Desert Vista Boys Cross Country Boosters Association. He initially served as Vice President and later ascended to the role of President, where he played a pivotal role in the growth and success of the program.

The Beeks family has a strong legacy within the Desert Vista Cross Country program. Coach Beeks is the proud father of two former DVCC runners—Matt Beeks, a graduate from the Class of 2015, and Izzie Beeks, who graduated from the Class of 2017. Their involvement in the sport showcases the family's deep-rooted connection to DVCC and their shared love for running.

Coach Beeks is driven by his genuine love for working with student-athletes and collaborating with the coaching staff to create an enriching and enjoyable experience for all. His dedication to ensuring that everyone involved has fun underscores his commitment to the holistic development of young athletes.

In Coach Dan Beeks, the Desert Vista Cross Country team has a dedicated mentor who brings both leadership experience and a deep understanding of the program's history. His continued support and enthusiasm for the sport play an essential role in shaping the team's success and fostering a positive environment for all involved.


Assistant Coach: Megan Leeman

Coach Leeman

Megan Leeman embodies a lifelong dedication to running, having been an avid runner for over three decades. Her enduring passion for the sport is only matched by her commitment to nurturing the potential of young athletes. As an Assistant Coach for the Desert Vista High School Girls Cross Country team, Megan finds profound joy in guiding and witnessing her athletes exceed their own expectations.

Megan's love affair with running began in middle school and has been an enduring part of her life ever since. Her competitive spirit led her to pursue running through her college years, where she proudly represented Indiana University in both cross country and track. Today, she continues to thrive as an avid marathoner, relentlessly pursuing her own goals on the roads.

Megan's dedication to the Desert Vista Cross Country program goes beyond the track. Last year, she served as the Girls CC Booster Secretary, actively contributing to the team's success off the field. Now, she's excited to take on the role of Assistant Coach, sharing her wealth of experience with the girls' team.

Megan is a proud mother of three children, each with their own unique interests and pursuits. Her oldest, a sophomore, is a dedicated member of the DVCC girls' cross country team, following in her mother's footsteps. Her eighth-grade son is making strides at Altadena Middle School, and her youngest, a fifth-grader, has a passion for skateboarding. Her husband, Rollie, is not only a mountain biker but also a former runner. As their biggest supporter, Rollie plays a crucial role in Megan's journey as a coach and athlete.

Coach Megan Leeman is a dedicated coach and mentor who brings a lifetime of running experience and a contagious passion for the sport. Her commitment to helping young athletes discover their full potential is matched only by her own ongoing pursuit of excellence in the world of running.


Assistant Coach: Sonja Tinsley

Coach Tinsley

With a rich background in education and a deep passion for athletics, Coach Sonja Tinsley has been a dedicated K-6th grade teacher for the past two decades. Her unwavering commitment to fostering young minds in the classroom seamlessly extends to the world of sports, where she shines as an indispensable figure in the Desert Vista Cross Country team.

Since 2016, Sonja has been an invaluable presence as a Cross Country coach for middle school athletes, nurturing their talents and instilling in them the values of discipline and perseverance. Her extensive experience as an educator beautifully complements her coaching role, allowing her to connect with young athletes on a profound level.

Beyond her work with the Cross Country team, Sonja Tinsley has demonstrated her dedication to Desert Vista Track and Field by serving as the Vice President of the Track and Field Booster organization for five years. Her tireless efforts behind the scenes have greatly contributed to the success and growth of the program.

Sonja's dedication to sports is a family affair. As a mother of two boys who have journeyed through Desert Vista Cross Country and Track programs, she has witnessed the transformative power of these sports firsthand. Connor, a Class of 2021 graduate, embraced Pole Vaulting with enthusiasm, while Logan, from the Class of 2023, discovered his passion for racing the 800 meters during track season. Both of her sons are pursuing their education at Arizona State University. 

In addition to her coaching and family commitments, Sonja Tinsley is an avid marathon runner, constantly challenging herself to reach new milestones. Her personal journey as a marathoner underscores her commitment to setting and achieving ambitious goals, a quality she wholeheartedly imparts to her athletes.

Coach Sonja Tinsley's coaching philosophy revolves around sharing her wealth of knowledge and experiences with her athletes. With her nurturing guidance, she instills not only athletic excellence but also the life skills and values that will serve her students long after they leave the track.


Assistant Coach: Maria Arana

Coach Arana

Before joining the DVCC coaching staff, Maria was an Assistant Coach with the Phoenix Flyers, a youth USATF club track team, where her three children discovered their passion for track and field. Her journey into coaching began as a young teacher when she served as an Assistant Middle School Track Coach at the Rafael Hernandez Dual Language School in Boston. In 2018, she expanded her coaching repertoire by guiding middle school cross country athletes at a local school.

Maria Arana's commitment to Desert Vista extends beyond her role with the DVCC team. She has been a dedicated volunteer to the Track and Field’s javelin program as an official since 2020, ensuring the smooth and fair execution of track and field events. Her multifaceted involvement demonstrates her devotion to the broader athletic community.

Currently serving as a gifted resource teacher at Kyrene del Norte Dual Language Academy, Maria brings her educational expertise to her coaching role, fostering not only physical growth but also the intellectual development of her athletes.

Outside of coaching, Coach Arana continues to embody her love for running by exploring local trails. Additionally, she enjoys nurturing her garden, finding solace in the tranquility of nature.

As a dedicated parent, Maria Arana's family shares her enthusiasm for sports. Her oldest son, a Desert Vista graduate, pursued his athletic journey as a member of the DV Swim and Dive team and a javelin thrower with the DV Track & Field team. He now attends the University of Arizona. Her daughter, currently a junior, is an active member of the DVCC team, following in her mother's footsteps. Even her youngest son, a middle school student, has embraced athletics, showing a particular interest in tennis and javelin. Her husband, Leonel, is a passionate tennis player and during track season, you'll often find him contributing to the DV Track & Field team by marking or shagging javelins during meets.

In Coach Maria Arana, the DVCC team has a coach who not only brings a wealth of experience and knowledge but also a deep commitment to fostering the holistic development of her athletes. Her passion for running, education, and family serve as a driving force behind her coaching philosophy, making her an invaluable asset to the Desert Vista athletic community.


Assistant Coach: Tory Tyler

Coach Tyler

Coach Tory Tyler, a native of Chandler, Arizona, embodies the spirit of dedication and passion in the world of sports. Tory's journey in the realm of athletics has taken her from the basketball court and softball field to the thrilling world of track and field. Today, she stands as a cornerstone of the Desert Vista High School athletic community, serving as the Head Girls Track Coach and Assistant Pole Vault Coach while currently lending her expertise as an Assistant Cross Country Coach.

Tory's athletic journey commenced with a strong foundation in basketball and softball, where she honed her teamwork and leadership skills. However, it was the track and field arena that truly captured her heart. Within this dynamic realm, she excelled primarily in the art of Pole Vault, showcasing her exceptional skills and fearless determination. Her versatility extended to the Long and Triple Jump events, further solidifying her as a formidable presence on the track.

Coach Tory Tyler's commitment to her own education and athletic development is mirrored in her academic journey. She completed her early studies at Mesa Community College before furthering her education and sports career at Northern Arizona University. 

With a remarkable 13 years of coaching experience under her belt, Tory brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Desert Vista High School community. Her role extends beyond the track as she also serves as the head of the strength and conditioning program for both track and cross country athletes, ensuring their peak performance.

Coach Tory Tyler's journey, from athlete to coach, showcases her unwavering commitment to the world of sports and her dedication to nurturing the next generation of athletes. As an Assistant Coach for the Desert Vista High School Cross Country Team, she continues to inspire and guide her athletes towards excellence, both on and off the track.


Athletic Department

Assistant Principal: Kim Higginbotham


Administrative Assistant: Taylor Wells