Overview

Find Faculty & Staff at Country Day

To search for a specific Country Day employee, please type at least two letters of their first or last name. If you would like to browse employees by division, please select the division from our navigation menu.

Contact information provided shall not be used by any person or organization to circularize, or otherwise solicit, the persons included in this list for any purpose, except by the specific permission of Sacramento Country Day School.

To search for a specific Country Day employee, please type at least two letters of their first or last name. If you would like to browse employees by division, please select the division from our navigation menu.

Contact information provided shall not be used by any person or organization to circularize, or otherwise solicit, the persons included in this list for any purpose, except by the specific permission of Sacramento Country Day School.

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Francis Zhang

Francis was born in Shanghai, China, lived in Philadelphia, and calls Sacramento home. His undergraduate work was in mechanical engineering and his MBA is from Rowan University in New Jersey. He is the president and CEO of Promptar, Ltd., a business based in Elk Grove which involves space technology, particularly for the thermal protection coating of flying objects, and optical components for sensors and electronic systems.

Faculty & Staff

Ashlie Kirby
Middle School Dance Electives
After-School Enrichment

B.F.A., University of California, Santa Barbara; M.A., University of North Carolina

Ashlie Kirby has more than 8 years of experience teaching dance and creating dance programs in Independent Schools in California and New York City, most recently at the Bentley School in Oakland. 

Ashlie has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master of arts in Dance Education from the University of North Carolina.

Faculty & Staff

Emily Ellis
Second Grade Assistant

B.A., Principia College; California Multiple Subject Clear Teaching Credential, SFSU, Bay Area Teacher Training College; Early Childhood Education Credential, Montessori Training College

Emily Ellis comes to Country Day having spent the past eight years teaching at the California Montessori Project. She began her teaching career at Idyllwild Arts Academy in Southern California. She also has served as an Americorps volunteer in a public middle school, coordinating the community service program for 7th and 8th grade students, and has taught at San Francisco Day School and San Francisco Friends School.

In 2006, she and her husband relocated to Sacramento to put down roots, as they adopted their daughter from India.

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Kelley Taber ‘84
Past President

After graduating from Sacramento Country Day, Kelley attended Harvard University, where she was captain of the varsity swim team and graduated magna cum laude with a major in East Asian Studies. She returned to California for law school at the University of California, Davis. Kelley is an attorney in private practice specializing in land use and natural resource law.  She is the mother of two baseball players, both SCDS students, and a devoted St. Louis Cardinals fan, as well as a former Little League president.

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Lindsey Sackheim

Born in Portland, Oregon, Lindsey grew up in Northern California and attended the University of Southern California, where she received a bachelor’s in communications. Her successful fundraising skills are evident in her work in the community: she co-created Luxe for Life benefitting the Sacramento Children’s Home and directed the Chip in Fore Charity golf events, which raised funds for local children’s non-profits. Lindsey is a principal in the Catta Verdera Country Club, and her volunteer work for Country Day includes auction chair, parents’ association president, and chairperson of the head search committee. Lindsey and Andrew are the parents of a college student and a high school student.

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Billy Downing ‘98

Billy Downing is a proud Sacramento native who attended Sacramento Country Day School and Jesuit. After high school, Billy obtained his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and his graduate degree from the University of San Francisco before returning back home. His extensive non-profit board experience includes working with Wind Youth Services, Positive Coaching Alliance, San Juan Education Foundation, and the YMCA of Superior California. Billy and his wife Jessaca have two children, Costa and Korina, and live in Sierra Oaks.

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Lee Mahla

Lee has spent time in many parts of the United States: she was born in New York, grew up in Greendale, WI, and Easton, PA, attended Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, and has lived in Chapel Hill, NC, and Los Angeles. Lee is a realtor with Coldwell Banker, as well as the owner of RightSize Your Move, a senior move management company. Lee and her husband Chip’s two children both attended SCDS.

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New Employees and Staffing Changes
2018-19 School Year

The following information on new employees and staffing changes has been updated as of August 29.

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Patrice Ratinoff

Patrice was raised in Los Angeles and graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in business administration and accounting. She moved north after her apartment was declared off limits following the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Patrice’s career path has taken her from an accountant with Ernst & Young to marketing and sales at Tiffany & Co., and Baume and Mercier.

She retired from her most recent position as a fundraising consultant with Lester Consulting Group and is currently involved as a community volunteer. Patrice and her husband, Eric, have two children in middle school at Country Day.

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Kate Kaufman

Kate Kaufman graduated from University of San Francisco with a B.S. in Nursing. Kate spent the majority of her career in the ICU at Stanford until relocating to the Sacramento area in 2006.  Since moving, Kate and her husband, Dave, have built and run a successful plastic surgery practice in Folsom, where she continues to work in the operating room and manage the practice.  

Kate and her husband Dave have three children that attend Country Day.

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Emily Stephenson

Emily was born in San Francisco and graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a bachelor’s in sociology and a double minor in European history and physics/biology. She is retired from her position as a senior executive producer at the Intel Corporation and currently is the managing director of Stephenson Medical Consulting, Inc. She and her husband, Topher, have a son in middle school at Country Day.

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.

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Steve Edwards

Steve is the owner/CEO of The Edwards Company, specializing in commercial real estate. Originally from southern California, Steve spent many years in Boston and is a devoted Red Sox fan. He returned to the Sacramento area for college at Sacramento State and has worked in the real estate field for several decades. Steve is a former co-president and vice president of the board of trustees, and he and his wife Cynthia are the parents of two Country Day graduates.

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Angela Donlan
Secretary

After growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduating from St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana, Angela moved west to attend UC Davis Law. She is an attorney with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, with an expertise in natural resource law. Angela joined the board three years ago, and she and her husband, Rob, have two children – a middle school student at Country Day and a high school student.

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Loren Kaye
Treasurer

Loren grew up in Del Mar, in north San Diego County, and attended UC San Diego, graduating with a bachelor’s in political science. He is president of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, a think tank affiliated with the California Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Cassie Gilson, have a daughter in the middle school at Country Day.

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Louay Owaidat

Louay Owaidat was the founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Magnus Pacific Corporation, a national environmental and infrastructure construction company with headquarters in Sacramento and offices in Denver, CO; Dallas, TX; Atlanta, GA; Salt Lake City, UT; and Brielle, NJ. As President of Magnus Pacific, he oversaw the planning, operations, development, marketing and finances of the company and provided input to design, planning, and execution of complex geotechnical, specialty civil and remediation projects at sites nationwide. Mr. Owaidat founded and managed Magnus Pacific Corporation (President and CEO) which grew to be a national leader in the infrastructure and environmental fields before being acquired by Great Lakes in November 2014.

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Barbara MacAulay Ore

In her 34 years as an employee at Country Day, Barbara MacAulay Ore worked as a pre-kindergarten assistant, sixth grade teacher, counselor, director of admissions and development, interim head of school, head of the lower and middle schools, and associate head of school.  She received Country Day’s Francie Tidey Award for Excellence in Education in 2005.

In 2006, she officially retired but has remained active in the Country Day community, serving as the coordinator for Country Day’s Grands and Friends association. Her two grandchildren, Hannah and Charlotte, attend Country Day.

Barbara joined the board of trustees in 2018.

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Julie Sloat
President

Julie grew up in Sacramento, attended La Sierra High School and CSU Sacramento, and earned a law degree from McGeorge School of Law. She is a veteran of Desert Storm and operated a KC-135 boom for the 940th air refueling reserve unit. Julie’s work experience includes public relations for PG&E, law and public policy for the California Cable TV association, and general counsel for Nationwide Health Plans of California.

Julie joined the Country Day board in 2015-16 and started her term as president in 2017-18. She is a successful fundraiser for local non-profits and has served on many non-profit boards. She and husband, Kevin, have a son in the Country Day Middle School and a daughter who attends St. Francis High School. 

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

Valerie Adelsheim
Assistant to the Head of School

B.S., University of Minnesota

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Manish Aggarwal

Manish Aggarwal

Dr. Manish Aggarwal is a  Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, currently working in a private practice setting in Folsom. 

He completed his Child & Adolescent Psychiatry training at Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 2013, where he also was the Chief Fellow in his second year of training. After graduation, he joined the Cleveland Clinic, Department of Child & Adolescent psychiatry as an attending where he worked in pediatric inpatient unit from 2013 to 2015 before moving to Sacramento.

Faculty & Staff

Emily Allshouse
Director of Marketing and Communications

Emily Allshouse

B.A., Humanities, California State University, Sacramento

Emily Allshouse has worked in the field of communications and marketing for nearly a decade. She most recently served as communications specialist for the Association of California Water Agencies, and prior to that as communications and social media specialist for the League of California Cities. She also has previous experience in city and state government, property management, media and nonprofit entities such as the Sacramento Region Community Foundation.

She has a bachelor of science in Humanities from California State University, Sacramento. She was born and raised in Sacramento and now lives in Elk Grove with her husband and son.

Faculty & Staff

Jane Batarseh
World Language Department Chair
High School Latin

B.A., Principia College; M.A., California State University, Sacramento

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

Elena Rodriguez Bennett
Lower School Music

B.A., Cornell University; M.Div., Yale University (Divinity School); M.A. California State University, Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Brian Billings
Middle School Latin

B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara

Faculty & Staff

Lonna Bloedau
International Student Coordinator

B.A., California State University Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Cameron Bohn
Third Grade

B.A., University of Colorado; B.S., Montana State University

Faculty & Staff

Kelly Bornmann
Middle School Science

Kelly Bornmann

B.A., Rutgers University

Kelly Bornmann will teach sixth grade physical science and team with Dr. Kellie Whited in the Lower School science program. Kelly hails from the Collegiate School in New York City, where she was the Science Curriculum Coordinator.  At the Collegiate School, Kelly taught Lower School Science, and previously taught 6th-8th grade physics and chemistry at Somerville. Kelly has a bachelor of arts degree in biological sciences from Rutgers University.

Faculty & Staff

Kelley Brown
Learning Specialist

B.A., Loyola Marymount University; M.A., St. Mary’s College

Faculty & Staff

Stephanie Castillo
Pre-Kindergarten

M.A.

Although this is her first year teaching at Country Day, Stephanie has been teaching preschool for 12 years. She has a master’s degree in Education and an Educational Specialist Credential.

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

Mitzi Mapa-Contes
Director of Pre-Kindergarten

B.A., Assumption College, Phillipines

Mitzi has a degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education from Assumption College and comes to Country Day after 20 years experience at international and American schools. She most recently served at the Alt School in San Francisco where she was Head of School.

She is trained in Reggio Emilia practices and has been a trainer for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. A professional percussionist and photographer, Mitzi has taught other educators how to promote diversity in the classroom through art, music, and photography.

Faculty & Staff

Bill Crabb
Middle School History
10th Grade World Cultures

B.A., M.A., California State University, Chico

Before joining our Country Day faculty, Bill was at Stratford School in Santa Clara teaching history and serving as the head of the history department. Bill earned a bachelor of arts in Historical Archaeology and a master’s degree in Experiential and Outdoor Education from Chico State.

A renaissance man, Bill is also an Emergency First Responder, a dive-master, an archaeological field technician, English teacher, cook, and social media marketer. 

Faculty & Staff

Andy Cunningham
Middle and High School Art

B.A., Menlo College; M.A. Hunter College

Faculty & Staff

Richard Day
High School French

B.A., University of Maryland, College Park; M.A., University of California, Berkeley

Faculty & Staff

Julie Didion
Middle and High School Ceramics & Sculpture

B.A., California State University, Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Emily Eustace
Middle School English

B.A., New York University; M.A., Notre Dame of Maryland

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

Gretchen Fogelstrom
Fifth Grade

B.A., Oregon State University; M.A., University of Oregon; M.S. School for International Training

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

Cade Grunst
Middle School Science

B.S., University of California, Davis

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

Fred Jaravata
Senior Educational Technology Specialist
High School Computer Science

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.

Hadley lives in the Land Park neighborhood of Sacramento with her husband James and two daughters Millie (‘30) and Claire (2 y/o.)

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

Jason Kreps
Physical Education

B.A., California State University, Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Kathryn LaComb
Middle School English

B.A., St. Lawrence University; M.Ed., Harvard University

Faculty & Staff

Neil Landers
Middle School French

Neil Landers

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Neil Landers comes to Country Day from the Ethel Walker School in Connecticut, having previously served at the Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School in Chicago. He has a Ph.D. in French and Francophone Literature from UC Berkeley. 

Faculty & Staff

Rashida Lang
Second Grade

Rashida Lang

B.A., Humboldt State University

Rashida Lang earned a bachelor of arts in Elementary Education at Humboldt State and her master’s in Elementary Education at the renowned Teachers College of Columbia University in New York. With several years teaching at private and independent schools, Rashida has trained other teachers to implement Readers Workshop, which we will be expanding into second grade next year.

She has a noted ability to connect with students and create a classroom culture of respect and kindness. We look forward to the contributions she will make with her interest in the garden, her experience developing curriculum in math and science, and her expertise in multicultural education. 

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

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

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

Kristi Mathisen
Third Grade

B.A., California State University, Northridge; M.Ed, California State University, Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Lindsay Mitchell Vayner
Middle School Spanish

B.A., University of Missouri; M.A., University of California, Davis

Faculty & Staff

Laura Steele Monahan
Middle School Mathematics

B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz

Faculty & Staff

Susan Gorton Nellis
High School History

B.A., Whittier College; Teaching Credential, University of California, Davis

Faculty & Staff

Ines Ochoa
World Language, Lower School Spanish

B.A., University of California, Davis; Teaching Credential, Chapman University

Faculty & Staff

Kurt Pearsall
Director of Middle School Bands

B.A., M.M., California State University, Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Maura Ryan (‘02) Perotti
First Grade

B.S. Santa Clara University; M.A., Santa Clara University | Gifted and Talented Education Certified

Faculty & Staff

William Petchauer
Chief Financial Officer/Business Manager

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

Faculty & Staff

Patricia Portillo
High School Spanish

B.A., University of California, Irvine; M.A., University of California, Riverside; PhD, Temple University

Faculty & Staff

Bob Ratcliff
Director of High School Bands
AP Music Theory

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

Faculty & Staff

Pat Reynolds
Life Skills Counselor

B.S., Cleveland State University; M.Ed., Cleveland State University

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Sue Ryan
Lower School Librarian

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

Faculty & Staff

Denise Scruggs
Middle School Mathematics

B.A., Saint Leo College (FL); M.S., Old Dominion University (VA)

Faculty & Staff

Julie Shanks
Lower School Arts

B.S., California State University, Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Sarah Song
Kindergarten

B.A., California State University, Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Lee Thomsen
Head of School

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

Faculty & Staff

Brittany Torretta
Pre-Kindergarten

B.A., California State University, Chico; M.A., University of Phoenix

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Christy Vail
Head of Lower School

B.A., California State University San Francisco

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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

Faculty & Staff

Brooke Wells
Head of High School
English

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

Faculty & Staff

Doug Whited
Middle School Science

B.A., University of California, Davis

Faculty & Staff

John Yu
Fifth Grade

B.S., University of Delaware