Administration & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Lee Thomsen
Head of School

B.A., Harvard University; M.A., Johns Hopkins University

Faculty & Staff

Tucker Foehl
Assistant Head of School
U.S. History

B.A., Wesleyan University; M.A., M.Phil. Yale University

Tucker received his bachelor of arts in American Studies and African American Studies from Wesleyan University and his master’s degree and M.Phil in American Studies from Yale University. 

In addition to his extensive administrative experience, Tucker previously taught U.S. History and American Studies at Yale University, the Calhoun School, and the Baltimore School for the Arts.

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Christy Vail
Head of Lower School

Christy Vail has served as the Head of Lower School since 2005. She works with teachers, families, and children in Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade to meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of each student. As part of the school’s administrative team, she helps to determine the direction of the school and carry out its strategic plan. 

Christy earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a California Multiple Subjects Credential from San Francisco State University. In an independent school career spanning more than three decades, Christy has taught every grade from Pre-K through 8th with a focus on language arts. Moving into administration in 2001, she has enjoyed giving teachers the tools and support they need to be excellent, helping students practice being their best selves, and partnering with parents to support their children’s growth. 

As a founder of the Rulindo project at Country Day, Christy dedicates innumerable hours to making crafts to sell to support our sister schools in Rwanda. She enjoys singing with the children at Friday assemblies and whenever she is needed in a concert. 

A self-professed “grammar queen,” Christy has never met an Oxford comma she didn’t love.

Faculty & Staff

Rommel Loria
Head of Middle School

Rommel Loria

B.A., Georgetown University, M.A., Johns Hopkins University, J.D., University of Maryland School of Law 

Rommel comes to Country Day from the Park School in Baltimore, where he was the Director of Civic Engagement and Service Learning. Rommel received a bachelor of science in Finance from Georgetown University, a master’s degree in liberal arts from John Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor degree from University of Maryland. His success as both a Middle School Language Arts teacher and as an administrator of a PK-12 program makes him an ideal person for the Middle School position.

Rommel and his wife Jessica live in Sacramento with their three children, Leah, Charlie, and Max. 

Faculty & Staff

Brooke Wells
Head of High School
English

B.A., Haverford College; M.Ed Michigan State University

Faculty & Staff

Taratip (Tara) Adams
Learning Specialist

Taratip Adams serves as one of Country Day’s Learning Specialists for lower through high school. She works closely with students to help them reach their fullest potential, as well as partners with teachers and families to provide instructional strategies that work best for their learners. 

Prior to her big move to California in 2016, she worked in Illinois as a 5th grade teacher. She was a member of the IEP team and also partnered with local schools to bring in 1-to-1 technology for all middle school students. She was the head of the 5th grade science department, bringing more hands-on learning into the classroom. Before coming to Country Day in the spring of 2019, she served as a classroom teacher at Charles Armstrong School, a Bay Area school for students with learning differences. 

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Western Illinois University and will soon earn her Master’s in Educational and Interdisciplinary Studies. She also has endorsements in Middle School Education, Social Science, and Language Arts. 

Her mother is her biggest role model and is grateful to have experienced living in Thailand for seven years, where she learned to cook and live like the locals.

“Food is what brings people together and my mother always tells people that if you want to make someone happy, bring them some of my Pad Thai!” she says.

Tara’s current hobbies include cooking, rock climbing, or binge watching one of her favorite reality TV shows. 

Faculty & Staff

Valerie Adelsheim
Assistant to the Head of School

B.S., University of Minnesota

Faculty & Staff

Emily Allshouse
Director of Marketing and Communications

Emily Allshouse

Emily Allshouse serves as Country Day’s Director of Marketing and Communications. She is responsible for the school’s internal and external communications and marketing efforts and manages the school’s print and digital advertising, its website and social media accounts, and school-wide communications.  

Before coming to Country Day in 2018, she served as a communications specialist for the Association of California Water Agencies, where she monitored water-related regulation and legislation and developed key messages, fact sheets, presentations and other communications related to California water policy. Emily also has previous experience in city and state government, property management, media, and nonprofit program management.

She earned a bachelor of science in Humanities and Religious Studies from California State University, Sacramento, and an Associate of Arts in Art from Sacramento City College. Her favorites college experiences were learning to make puppets in theater class, studying Buddhism and meditation, and reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in Dr. Victoria Shinbrot’s Romanticism in literature course.

After college, Emily spent two years studying Inca Shamanism and Native American medicine traditions and traveled to Machu Picchu to perform prayer ceremonies with Q’ero elders. 

“Traveling to Peru was a life-changing experience,’” she says of her trip.

Emily’s current hobbies include rock painting, Bible mediation, and watching movies.

Faculty & Staff

Jane Stroup Bauman
Director of College Counseling
High School English

B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz; M.A., Georgetown University

Faculty & Staff

Lonna Bloedau
International Student Coordinator

B.A., California State University Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Edward Bolman
Sixth Grade
Middle School Mathematics Department Chair
Middle School Dean of Student Life & Student Council Advisor

Edward Bolman is a 6th grade teacher. He teaches 6th grade Math and History, and is a 6th grade advisor. Additionally, he also serves as the Middle School Dean of students, Middle School Student Council Advisor, and the Department Chair of the Middle School Math Department.

Edward has been teaching for more than twenty three years. Two of those years were spent in the People’s Republic of China teaching in the Chinese Public School system where he was also responsible for managing 20 expatriate teachers. He has been a teacher in the Country Day Middle School for more than 15 years.

He earned his A.A. at Sierra College, and his B.A. from San Francisco State University. Edward also has earned SSAT, CSET, CBEST and Praxis certifications from SFSU as part of their teacher training program.

Faculty & Staff

Kelley Brown
Learning Specialist

Kelley Brown is a Learning Specialist at Country Day. She leads the Academic Support Team of Learning Specialists who focus on the academic support and enrichment of students PK-12th grade. She works closely with teachers to benchmark the personal growth of all students and meets with students in small group or individual settings in order to provide early intervention and extension opportunities.

Kelley earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies as well as a California Multiple Subjects credential and Education Specialist (Mild to Moderate) credential from Loyola Marymount University. Through St. Mary’s College of California, she earned Montessori Elementary I and II credentials as well as a Masters of Arts in Education degree, with the focus of her thesis being the improvement of the executive functioning skills of 4th-6th grade students with ADHD.

She has taught elementary school grades across public and private settings in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area before returning to her hometown of Sacramento and joining the Country Day community.

Spending time with family and friends continues to be Kelley’s favorite pastime. She especially loves cuddles from her mini golden doodle, Jefferson, and watching the development of her baby girl. Crafting, reading, yoga, and meditating are her ultimate self-care indulgences.

Faculty & Staff

Rachelle Doyle
Director of Advancement

B.A. California State University, Sacramento; Certificate, UC Davis

Rachelle Doyle comes to Country Day from the Sacramento Waldorf School, where she served as director of development. Prior to that, she worked in marketing and advertising for 10 years.

She has a bachelor of science in Mass Communications from California State University, Sacramento and a certification in Fundraising and Development from UC Davis.

Faculty & Staff

Shelley Hinson
Director of Technology

B.S., M.S., Ph.D from University of Houston

Shelley Hinson comes to Country Day from The Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in New Jersey, where she served as the assistant technology director. She also has held roles with VIVA Bahrain and University of Houston Optometry. 

She has a bachelor of science in Human Resources, a master of science in Occupational Technology, and a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from University of Houston.

Faculty & Staff

Fred Jaravata
Innovation and Technology (PK-12th grades)

B.A., M.A., University of San Francisco

Fred earned his bachelors and master’s degrees from the University of San Francisco. He has 18 years’ experience working as an educational innovation coordinator at Convent & Stuart Hall Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco.

Faculty & Staff

Hadley Keefe
Director of Admission and Enrollment Management

B.A., Providence College

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Hadley earned her B.A. in English from Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. An experienced admissions professional, Hadley has worked in admissions at day and boarding schools, secondary and primary schools, single-sex and coeducational programs and has coached, taught, advised and spent a year working for an independent school web design and software company.  Before joining Country Day, she also enjoyed a year in the Admissions Office at an international school in the Bay Area.

Hadley is thrilled to lead Country Day’s efforts to bring our unparalleled program to more bright, deserving students and help Country Day reach it’s full potential as she welcomes a diverse array of families to our community.

Faculty & Staff

Joanne Melinson
Middle and High School Librarian
Literary Magazine Advisor

Jo Melinson has been working in libraries for over 28 years. She started working at Country Day in 1994, and since 2007 has been the 6th – 12th grade librarian. She has been the High School Literary Magazine Adviser since 2000, and the High School Scholar Inclusion Co-Coordinator since 2019.

The mission of the library is to foster lifelong learning, which the library team does through encouraging a love of reading as well as building a strong foundation for research. Jo collaborates often with teachers and students on research projects, trains students and faculty on the use of library resources, and has conducted Q & A sessions with guest speakers. She is very interested in inclusion, diversity, and equity and has served on the school’s IDEA committee since 2000 (as the founding chair from 2000-2007).

She is a member of the Association of Independent School Librarians (AISL) as well as Bay Area Independent School Librarians (BAISL), where she is on the High School eBook Committee. In October 2019, she was a panelist on the Education Week webinar, Activate Student Success with Database Access. She presented on Library Remodels at the 2015 BAISL annual meeting. She was also one of the subjects of the Lisa Peet article for Library Journal“Conspiring to Educate: Working Together for Transitioning Students”

Jo earned her B.A. in English with a writing concentration at La Salle University in Philadelphia. Before working at Country Day, Jo worked at Rutgers Law Library in Camden, NJ and Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (now University of the Sciences) in Philadelphia. She also was a freelance editor and writer in Philadelphia and had a resume writing business. 

Jo loves crafting, playing ukulele, and spending time with family, especially on road trips. Her daughter attended Country Day for second through 12th grades. 

Faculty & Staff

Michelle Myers
Physical Education Department Coordinator, PK-12th grade

Michelle Myers serves as Country Day’s Director of Physical Education for PK-12th grades. She is also a physical education teacher to Lower School and High School students, as well as oversees the Independent P.E. programs for 5th through 12th grades. 

Michelle started her schooling at the University of Hawaii, then transferred to California State University, Sacramento where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education/Athletic Training (subsumption in biology), and became a P.E. Movement Education Specialist.

Michelle was then accepted into the credentialing program at CSUS, to finish her teaching degree. After that, Michelle completed course work  for a Master’s in Education from Saint Marys’ college in Moraga.

While Michelle’s path had two directions- teaching and coaching, she also became a consultant for many CAIS schools on how to develop a “Developmentally Appropriate Physical Education Program”.

While in college, Michelle also found a fondness for volleyball under the tutelage of the infamous Debby Colberg and Weidi Zhang. She then went on to coach girl’s volleyball at Country Day, American River College, and Consumes College. 

Trying to encourage the boys, Michelle started the first boys’ volleyball team at Country Day, formed a Junior Olympic Boy’s club, worked as a summer coach at Stanford Boy’s Camps, coached at Rio Americano, and finally became the Men’s Volleyball coach for both JV, and eventually Varsity, at California State University, Sacramento. 

Michelle received the Francie Tidey award in 2015 from former Country Day alumni in honor of her dedication to excellence in teaching. “It was the most humbling experience and honor, I’ve ever had!” she says.

Michelle’s hobbies include playing polo and enjoying her horses, her running club SACFIT , owned by Alum Ken Press, cooking for friends, and most importantly staying connected to former students via Facebook- that’s about 1,000 students!

Faculty & Staff

William Petchauer
Chief Financial Officer/Business Manager

B.A., Albion College; MBA, San Jose State University

Faculty & Staff

Adie Renteria
Learning Specialist

Adie Renteria is one of Country Day School’s three Learning Specialists. She works with Kelley Brown and Tara Adams to support students and teachers throughout the school but works especially closely with the 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades. She is responsible for overseeing AimsWeb testing, writing learning profiles for students who need extra accommodations, meeting with teachers and parents to develop learning plans for students, and working with students one-on-one and in small groups. 

Before coming to Country Day School in 2019, she worked at Trevor Day School in New York City as the K-2 Learning Specialist where she helped the lower school faculty review and modify the literacy curriculum, monitored assessments, and worked with students in small groups and one-on-one as a Reading Recovery Teacher. She had a private tutoring practice for students of all ages and has previous experience as a First Grade Teacher. 

Adie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Language and Literature from Princeton University with a certificate in Latin American Studies. The best part of her college experience was working with the award-winning poets, C.K. Williams and Paul Muldoon, in the Creative Writing Department and the Argentinean author, Ricardo Piglia, in the Spanish Department to translate the work of the Argentinenan poet, Alejandra Pizarnik, for her senior thesis. 

Adie had always dreamed of becoming a teacher so she joined the New York City Teaching Fellows as soon as she graduated from Princeton and spent two years teaching at an inner-city school in the South Bronx. She earned a Master of Science in Childhood Education from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York and a Master of Education with a specialization in Literacy from Bank Street College of Education in New York City. 

Adie’s current hobbies include indoor cycling, yoga, baking, reading, and biking along the American River with her family. 
 

Faculty & Staff

Pat Reynolds
Social-Emotional Counselor and Educator

Pat Reynolds serves as Country Day’s Social-Emotional Counselor and is the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) teacher for 6th – 9th grades. Before coming to Country Day in 2015, Pat served as Upper School Counselor at a large independent school in Houston. Pat has been School Counselor and Head of Residential Life at an Independent School in Cleveland as well as a Middle School Science teacher at an Independent school in Virginia. Some of her past experiences include coaching a variety of sports, teaching Driver Education, and working at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Pat earned a Bachelor of Science degree at James Madison University and a Master’s degree in Counseling Education from Cleveland State University.  Her favorite college experience was playing varsity basketball at JMU. After college, Pat immediately began teaching and coaching.  One experience that stands out for Pat is that while she was in Cleveland she chaperoned an Eco-trip to the Dominican Republic. 

Pat has backpacked across the Grand Canyon, in the Grand Tetons as well as through Alaska, and kayaked around the San Juan Islands.  Most recently she has been car camping and exploring the State Parks in California. A new project is working with her dog Mocha who will become a certified therapy dog.  Her hobbies include bicycling (in 2009 she completed a Century ride in Southern Colorado), camping, reading, and dabbling in cooking.

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Sue Ryan
Lower School Librarian

B.A., Cardinal Stritch College; M.S., California State University, Fullerton

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Melissa Strong
Assistant Middle and High School Librarian

Melissa Strong is the Assistant Librarian in the Matthews Library. She creates the library’s displays, performs circulation services, creates content for the library’s social media sites, processes books, and assists however she can to help make the library a magical place.

Before coming to Country Day is 2016, she worked for the California State Library Foundation archiving special projects. Prior to that, she worked at the Sacramento Public Law Library and the library at Humboldt State University. 

Melissa graduated with high honors from Sacramento City College with an Associate in Science degree in Library and Information Technology. She is also a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Her favorite college memory is having her daughter attend her graduation.

Melissa’s hobbies include tsundoku (book hoarding), reading, crafting, and streaming the same show for the hundredth time.

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Dana Vargo
Associate Director of Admission

B.A., University of the Pacific; M.A., University of the Pacific

A native Californian, Dana earned her bachelor of arts and master’s degrees in English Literature from the University of the Pacific. Dana’s career at Country Day began in 1997 when she joined the High School English faculty. Within a few years,  she began assisting Country Day’s admissions efforts, eventually making the leap to her current role as Associate Director of Admission.

Dana lives in the Arden-Arcade area of Sacramento with her husband Matt and two sons RJ (‘23) and Blaine. Dana feels it’s a privilege to share the Country Day program and community with prospective families.

Faculty & Staff

Matt Vargo
Athletic Director

B.A., University of the Pacific

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Amy Nelson Wells ’98
Director of the Annual Fund
Alumni Coordinator

B.S., University of California, Berkeley; M.S., University of California, Davis