High School

Faculty & Staff

Brooke Wells
Head of High School
English

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

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

Brian Billings
Middle and High School Latin

Brian Billings is enjoying his tenth year as a Latin instructor at Country Day. This year Brian is teaching Latin in both the middle and high schools. In addition to teaching Latin, Brian has also taught an Introduction to Film Studies course as well as electives on the History of Rock & Roll and the Magical World of Harry Potter. 

Before joining Country Day’s faculty, Brian worked as a Supervising Park Ranger with the Santa Barbara County Parks Department. In that capacity, Brian led and participated in a variety of education programs for visiting schools, churches, and other groups; created and implemented a Naturalist training programs (with emphasis on plant and bird identification) and created and coordinated Ranger training programs with local law enforcement agencies and; designed and implemented campground administration and supervision policy, among other duties.

Brian earned a B.A. in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Classics post baccalaureate certificate from the University of California, Davis.

When Brian isn’t teaching he enjoys creating new curriculum for the students, home improvement projects, gardening and landscape design, reading and running.

Faculty & Staff

Victoria Conner
High School Chemistry

B.A., Mt. Holyoke College; M.S., Pace University; J.D., Widener University School of Law

Faculty & Staff

Richard Day
High School French

Richard Day is the Country Day High School French teacher and teaches French 1, French 2, French 3, French 4, and AP French. Monsieur Day has been teaching at Country Day for 23 years.

He earned an Associate Degree from Red Rock Community College in Golden, CO; a Certificate of French Studies from the University of Dijon, France; a B.A. in French & Education from the University of Maryland; a Diploma of French Literature from La Sorbonne, Paris; an M.A. in French from UC Berkeley; an “ABD” in French from UC Davis; and an ESL Certificate from UC Davis. 

He has also taught English at the Lycée Jules Ferry in Paris, as well as at the Université de Bordeaux and at the Université de Nantes where he held lecturer positions. He takes pride on having published a paper in French on the French playwright Racine. 

He also takes great delight in playing guitar and harmonica in various bands in Davis and Sacramento. He mostly enjoys jazz and blues, but also plays rock, folk, alternative music, and world music, among others.

“I could not conceive of a life without music,” he says.

He has traveled extensively to France to visit friends and family, as well as to Belgium and Switzerland

Richard believes strongly in the need to cure monolingualism! 

“Avoir une autre langue, c’est posséder une deuxième âme.” - Charlemagne

Faculty & Staff

Julie Didion
Middle and High School Ceramics & Sculpture

B.A., California State University, Sacramento

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.

Faculty & Staff

Brian Frishman
Theater Director
Middle and High School Drama

B.A., California State University,Sonoma; M.F.A., University of California, Los Angeles; Teaching Certificate, University of California, San Diego

Faculty & Staff

Jason Hinojosa
High School English Department Chair
High School English

B.A., St. John’s College; MFA, University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop

Faculty & Staff

Maria Hoyos
5th Grade Music
High School Chamber Music

Maria Berenice Hoyos is the 5th grade orchestra and  High School chamber music teacher at Country Day. She also works with the Napa Valley Language Academy teaching cello, with Oasis Music Inc providing cello, violin lessons  and live performances, and collaborates with local churches and organizations preparing different performances and musical events.

She plays the cello at Camellia Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony Napa Valley. Her professional experience spans more than 30 years of both teaching and performing during which she established a reputation as an outstanding performer and successful teacher.

She is a member of several associations, including, but not limited to, the Federation of Professional Musicians, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, the California Music Teachers Associations and the American String Teachers Association. 

Maria earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in cello performance and she completed several courses of Suzuki teacher training at Stanford University in California, in Texas and Utah. She participated in Summer chamber and orchestra studies at San Francisco Conservatory and Nevada University in Las Vegas.

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

Felecia Keys
Lower School Music
Grades 5-12 Orchestra, Chamber Music, Choir

B.A., Patten University; M.S., California State University, Chico

Faculty & Staff

Liz Leavy
High School Art History
Medallion Advisor

B.A., Wesleyan University; M.A. University of California, Berkeley

Faculty & Staff

Rick Lewkowitz
High School Mock Trial

B.A., Santa Clara University; J.D., McGeorge School of Law

Faculty & Staff

Glenn Mangold
High School Calculus
High School Physics

B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; California Teaching Credential

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

Patricia Portillo
High School Spanish

Patricia Portillo serves as Country Day’s High School Spanish Teacher. She is responsible for creating and implementing curriculum for Spanish I, II, III, IV and AP Spanish Language and Culture. Patricia is a Co-Coordinator of the Scholar Inclusion Program along with Joanne Melinson.

Before coming to Country Day in 2008, Patricia worked at Rosemont High School. She was a faculty member at Trinity University in Washington D.C. after finishing her Ph.D. at Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While finishing her Ph.D., Patricia taught undergraduate level classes at Temple University, and at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a Master’s degree in Spanish from the University of California, Riverside while teaching at Rancho Cucamonga High School. Patricia obtained a California Single Subject Teaching Credential from California State University, Fullerton and earned her B.A. in Spanish from the University of California, Irvine.

Her favorite college experiences were reading Latin American and Spanish literature with her classmates, and exploring aspects of language and power in her graduate courses at Temple University.

“What I love about teaching is being able to see students grow emotionally and intellectually, and to be able to help them see the world from the angle of a Spanish speaker. As becoming bilingual is often the end result in their years studying Spanish at Country Day,” she says.

Patricia was born and raised in El Salvador. She has traveled to Guatemala, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, England and most recently, China. To her, “traveling is one of the best ways to understand others, our own culture, and why we live the way we live.” Patricia also enjoys her free time hiking and gardening.

Faculty & Staff

Bob Ratcliff
Director of High School Bands
AP Music Theory

B.M., University of North Texas; M.A., Washington State University