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.

Faculty & Staff

Bonnie Stewart
Octagon Advisor

Bonnie Stewart is an award-winning journalist, author and educator with 30 years of experience as an investigative reporter and university professor. She earned a George Polk Award for stories she and an investigative partner wrote for the Indianapolis Star, uncovering the city’s high animal shelter euthanasia rates and financial malfeasance at the Indianapolis Humane Society. While teaching at West Virginia University, she investigated a coal mining disaster and the West Virginia University Press published her nonfiction book, “No.9: the 1968 Farmington Coal Mine Disaster.” During her research, she uncovered new evidence that explained why the mine exploded and 78 men died. Families of the dead filed a new lawsuit against the coal company, which subpoenaed Stewart’s unpublished reporting records. In court, her attorney argued Reporter’s Privilege, and the court ruled against coal company. Stewart has won dozens of awards while reporting in Indianapolis and for the Press-Enterprise in Riverside and Oregon Public Broadcasting. She was the adviser for the award-winning Daily Titan at California State University, Fullerton before semi-retiring to Sacramento to be near family. She has two grandchildren at Country Day. Stewart holds a Master’s Degree in English from California State University, Sacramento. 

Faculty & Staff

Evan Ward
Middle and High School Latin

Evan Ward will teach 6th-12th grade Latin and AP Latin.  Evan comes to Sacramento Country Day School with a B.A. in Classics from Xavier University, a M.A. in Classics from Vanderbilt University, and is currently a Ph.D candidate in Applied Linguistics from Ball State University.  Evan’s research and dissertation focuses on the pragmatics of gender reference in language. Evan has seven years of experience teaching middle and high school Latin. 

Outside of academics, Evan’s passion is bluegrass and traditional Appalachian music, playing the banjo and singing professionally in the U.S. and internationally.

post

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.

Faculty & Staff

Lateeka Bradford
Third Grade

B.S. in Psychology; Master’s in Elementary Education, Liberty University

LaTeeka Bradford is on our third grade team at Sacramento Country Day School. She is responsible for teaching, developing curriculum, utilizing instructional technology, and creating a safe, inclusive classroom environment.

LaTeeka holds a multiple subjects teaching credential in the state of California. She has over five years of experience teaching grades K-5, both within the classroom and after-school setting. She obtained a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology cum laude from Liberty University located in Lynchburg, Virginia. 

LaTeeka has recently relocated to Sacramento with her husband and two children. 

Aside from teaching she enjoys: spending time with family and friends, watching romantic comedies, vacationing to the beach, gardening, and attending sporting events. 

Faculty & Staff

Rebecca Lau
Associate Director of Admission

Rebecca Lau is our new Associate Director of Admission. Prior to joining Country Day, Rebecca was the Director of Marketing and Admissions at SSIS, Suzhou’s International School in Suzhou, China. She also previously worked on the Marketing Strategy and Brand Analytic teams at both Interbrand and Clear Strategy. She holds a B.S. in Marketing and a B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Dayton as well as a Masters of International Business Administration from The Thunderbird School of Global Management, ASU. Rebecca is thrilled to join the Country Day team because working in schools allows her passion for marketing and research to be used in an educational setting.

post

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.

Faculty & Staff

Tess Kahn
Middle School History

Tess Kahn teaches Middle School History, 6th grade Ancient History and 8th grade U.S. History. She also teaches the Crafting and Culture Around the World elective. 

Before joining the Country Day community in fall of 2019, she worked at the Long Trail School in Dorset, Vermont. She worked there for six years serving the last four as the history department chair and taught everything from 8th grade World History to 12th Grade IB History of the Americas. 

She earned her Bachelor’s in History from Wells College in Aurora, New York and her masters in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester in England. She has worked in museums including the Sutton House in London, the Museums of Old York in Bath, Maine and the Dana House Museum and Woodstock History Center in Woodstock, Vermont. She shifted her focus to teaching when she went back to school and earned her Masters in Teaching from the Upper Valley Graduate Institute.

“Working in museums allowed me to engage with my love of ‘hands-on history’. However, after working as a collections manager focusing mainly with database development, I realized my love of history came from engaging people with the complicated task of understanding how history fits into our understanding of our place in the world today. This is what lead me to my career in teaching,” she says.

Tess’s current hobbies include traveling, cooking one new dish a week and spending time exploring the local area and history. 

Faculty & Staff

May Mercury
Pre-Kindergarten Assistant

May Mercury is a Pre-K Teaching Assistant at Country Day. They have worked at several preschools in the Sacramento area since graduating from Portland State University with a Bachelors in Child, Youth and Family Studies and a minor in Sociology.

In their free time, they love both performing in and watching musical theater, playing with their dog and learning new things!

post

Louay Owaidat

Mr. Owaidat is the President and CEO of Odin Construction Solutions, Inc., a national environmental and infrastructure construction company with headquarters in Rocklin, CA and offices in Atlanta, GA, Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, Charlotte, NC, and Bordentown, NJ. As President of Odin Construction Solutions, Inc., Mr. Owaidat oversees the planning, operations, development, marketing and finances of the company. Also, he provides input to design, planning, and execution of complex geotechnical and infrastructure projects at sites nationwide.

Faculty & Staff

Adie Renteria
Lower School Learning Specialist

Adie Renteria is one of Country Day School’s Learning Specialists. She works to support students and teachers throughout the lower school. 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 Argentinian 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

Sydnee Butcher
Second Grade Assistant

Sydnee Butcher has been working for our school since 2016. Throughout her time at Country Day, she has been an assistant teacher for pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade, an ASE counselor, and a summer camp counselor.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Child Development at California State University, Sacramento, and is currently earning her Masters in School Counseling at California State University, Sacramento (#STINGERSUP). One of her favorite college experiences was the field work she gained in her undergrad within the Elk Grove School District and the opportunity to create an after school program for Middle School students about early on college prep. 

When she’s not deeply engaged in the classroom, Sydnee enjoys trying new foods, baking, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.

post

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 two children.

Faculty & Staff

Amanda Leidolph
Kindergarten Assistant

Amanda Leidolph holds the position of assistant for Sue Lorens’ wonderfully rambunctious Kindergarten class.  During her days in the classroom, Amanda loves handing out warm fuzzies for acts that fill her bucket, and she appreciates being reminded that not everything adults do has come about easily.  She gets to enliven her life and be energized by the excitement of the children, clean up after said excitement, and then promptly goes home to collapse on the couch with her cat, Harper.

Amanda is a deliberator of all things, and spent her first several college years changing majors and earning Associate’s degrees at American River College.  That is, until she took an introductory psychology class and realized that she actually may be able to figure out what the heck is going on. Clinging to that hope, Amanda moved on to get her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, magna cum laude at California State University, Sacramento. Shortly after, she began volunteering at the Sacramento Crisis Nursery where she remained for eight years.

On the weekends, Amanda loves to cook and bake, mostly because she loves to eat.  Since high school, Amanda has worked in a restaurant where her love of food and a satisfaction of waiting on people (seriously!) brought this shy and awkward couch surfer some much needed social skills.

When Amanda isn’t trying to catch up on the wondrous glory that is sleep, or baking and cooking, she likes to plan adventures, host game nights, and shop for things she’ll never buy.

She is an INFJ, a Type 2, a Capricorn, her favorite doctor is Tennant, and she would probably be sorted into Hufflepuff.

Faculty & Staff

Malak Abou Faour
High School Physics and Math

Malak Abou Faour joins our outstanding STEM team to teach 9th grade Physics, Algebra II, and AP Physics C. With 13 years of experience teaching high school physics and degrees in both physics and education from Lebanese University, Malak comes with a rare and powerful combination of deep understanding of complex physics and finely tuned teaching craftsmanship.  Fluent in English, Arabic, and French, Malak adds a unique multinational perspective to our campus.

Faculty & Staff

Christina (Stainbrook) Emerson
A.M. First Grade Assistant

B.S. in Animal Science, Cal Poly San Luis Opispo

Christina (Stainbrook) Emerson is an alumna of Country Day’s Class of 2006. She serves as a first grade teaching assistant and ASE counselor. She received her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and served as an Animal Services Officer in Clovis, CA for a rewarding seven years. During that time she rescued animals, worked with behavioral modification, animal medical needs, and matching pets with adopters, but found that she connected most with educating others in the community. She is currently working toward her Masters in Education, and teaching credential, which she is scheduled to complete in 2020.

Faculty & Staff

Alicia Perla
College Counselor

Alicia Perla brings a wealth of academic excellence to this position. In volunteer positions, Alicia has worked closely with Breaththrough Sacramento and with the College Counselors at Country Day. As a parent of two Country Day students, Alicia understands and believes in our mission and our strength of community. She holds a B.A. from Columbia University, a J.D. from The University of Michigan, and a College Admission and Career Planning Certificate from the University of California, Berkeley. Alicia also serves on the Board of Directors of ScholarMatch, a community-based organization helping high-achieving, underrepresented students apply to and attend college.

Faculty & Staff

Rory Tira
Garden Supervisor

Rory Tira is our new Garden Supervisor. She has experience working on an urban farm in Land Park, working with Breakthrough Sacramento, and also has a teaching background in Spanish and Social Studies. 

Faculty & Staff

Candace Morgan
Second Grade

Candace Morgan is delighted to join the Country Day community as a Second Grade Teacher. She has taught in independent schools for seven years, but for the last three years, she has worked as a full-time mom.

Previously, Candace taught Kindergarten and then 3rd grade in Durham, North Carolina. While there, she also briefly ran the After School Program and was the Faculty Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She also has experience teaching Pre-Kindergarten, 2nd and 4th-grade students in various parts of the country, including three years at The Dalton School in New York City where she developed a passion for student-centered social and emotional learning.

Prior to becoming a teacher, Candace worked in development for nonprofits and earned a master’s degree in Modern Art Theory from Columbia University. Before she left New York, she was working toward a master’s in Elementary Education at Hunter College. Candace earned a B.A. in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also earned a third-degree black belt in traditional Okinawan karate and was a karate instructor for five years.

When she’s not working, Candace enjoys nature walks with her husband and two young daughters. She also enjoys traveling, reading, making art, and doing yoga.

Faculty & Staff

Rachelle Doyle
Director of Advancement

Rachelle Doyle has served as the Director of Advancement for Sacramento Country Day School since 2018. She provides leadership for all fundraising, alumni, and board of trustees relations. With her team, she oversees planning for the school’s fundraising efforts, including annual fund, capital campaign, endowment, alumni giving, grants, special projects, and planned giving. Rachelle works on providing strategic direction for all aspects of Country Day’s Advancement. 

Before coming to Country Day in 2018, Rachelle served as a Director of Development for Sacramento Waldorf School. Prior to that, she worked for 10 years in marketing and advertising. 

Rachelle earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Communications from California State University, Sacramento and a Fundraising and Development Certificate from U.C. Davis. She is currently is pursuit of her Masters degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

Rachelle is dedicated to making a positive impact: at Country Day, in her home, in Sacramento, and in the world. She loves philanthropy and building relationships and brings passion to her work. 

During her vacation time, she travels around the world on short term missions. During free time at home, she volunteers with several organizations focused on building and developing youth.

“To make a difference is not a matter of accident, a matter of casual occurrence of the tides. People choose to make a difference.” – Maya Angelou 

Faculty & Staff

Ryan Hobbs
Middle School History

Ryan decided to become a teacher dedicated to engaging, hands-on, and discovery-based learning because as a middle school student he often felt bored and disengaged from school. He believes that students should have a voice in their education and that they should be allowed to discover and pursue the topics and inquiries that naturally interest them. Ryan has a B.A. in History from Bethany College and M.Ed. in Administration and Policy Study from the University of Pittsburgh.

Prior to joining Country Day, Ryan spent four years at Alta Vista School in San Francisco teaching 5th-8th grade history. Ryan also previously worked at a private boarding school in West Virginia where he taught 6th grade history, coached middle school soccer and basketball, and was the Associate Head of the Boarding Department. When he is not teaching, he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, traveling, trying new food, and cheering for his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.

Faculty & Staff

Ashley McDaniel
8th Grade English

Ashley McDaniel holds a B.A. in Social Science with a minor in History from California State University, Sacramento, and a Masters in Teacher Education with a Single Subject Credential from the University of San Francisco. Prior to joining Country Day, Ashley taught Middle School English Language Arts at a local private school. She has also taught an accelerated History class at the high school level. Before committing herself to being an educator, Ashley was a Budget and Contract Analyst in the Investment Office at the California Public Employees’ Retirement system.  

When not in the classroom, Ashley can be found training for local runs, gardening, reading a book, or hanging with her nephews. Ashley is an AVID Disney fan and can spend hours chatting about the Happiest Place on Earth.

Faculty & Staff

Jane McGinnes
Middle School English
High School Drama

Jane is a recent transplant from the Bay Area, where she was a 6th grade English teacher and Middle School Drama Director at Almaden Country Day School. Prior to that, she taught Middle and High School Theatre at Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington, North Carolina. Before becoming a teacher, Jane worked as an actor in the UK, touring schools with educational plays, and taking original theatre pieces to The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. A highlight of Jane’s acting career was spending two years touring Europe, the Middle East and Japan; she played Ralph in an all-female version of Lord of the Flies, and then Lady Macduff and Witch Three in a production of Macbeth. Jane has a BA (with Honors) in Performing Arts from The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Drama in Education from Birmingham City University.

Currently, she is enrolled on a Master’s in Creative Writing through the Open University, where her focus is playwriting. Jane’s hobbies include walking with her dogs, Kelly and Lars, and keeping fit in Yoga or kick-boxing classes. She loves to attend theatre productions, locally or in San Francisco, and is a frequent moviegoer. 

Faculty & Staff

Michael Unti
Director of Technology

Michael Unti has taught Computer Science, Robotics, and Ethics for 10 years. He holds a Master’s Degree from Boston College, as well as a Bachelor’s from Saint Bonaventure University and is working towards a Master’s in STEM Education at NC State University. He enjoys traveling and has studied abroad at Oxford University, England, as well as the Colegio de Espana in Salamanca, Spain.  

Faculty & Staff

Phoebe Howe
First Grade Assistant

Phoebe Howe is a lifelong learner and longtime educator, born and raised in Massachusetts, she began teaching in high school, as a volunteer summer school reading helper. Phoebe has a BA in Latin American Studies from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where she started the English Language Learners Tutoring Program at a local middle school. After completing her TEFL/TESOL certification, Phoebe traveled to northern Honduras and taught English as a Foreign Language for three years. In addition to that, Phoebe was a Farm Educator, assisting in the development and implementation of several new outdoor education curriculums.

post

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.

Faculty & Staff

April Sanders
Kindergarten

April Sanders is one of the Kindergarten teachers at Country Day. She has been in the field of education since 1992 in many different roles but has found her true passion teaching Kindergarten. Her goal as a Kindergarten teacher is to nurture every child; mind, body and heart and instill a love for learning that will carry through their lives. As a lifelong learner herself, she shares her successes and failures with her students in an effort to encourage them to be confident and motivated to learn and grow.

April earned a B.A. in Early Childhood Development with a concentration in Education and a M.A. in Best Practices in Education at National University.  Having gone back to school later in life to complete her degree, she feels she was able to apply herself more diligently to her studies and use her previous experiences in education to build upon her knowledge. 

Family is of the utmost importance to April and she spends most of her free time with her husband, three children, and grandson. Even though her children are all adults now, they still find time to get together to share a meal, go on camping trips together or just hang out on the front porch, catching up.

On a personal note, April loves to be outdoors and will find any excuse to be outside – whether it’s going on a hike, taking the kayak out, or just relaxing out back in her hammock listening to the birds sing.  Her favorite subject is science and she loves to share the wonder of our natural world with her students. 

“Kindergartners are the picture of curiosity and wonder and I find I whole-heartedly relate to them in this way when it comes to the joy of discovery,” says April.

Faculty & Staff

Richele Cooley
Kindergarten

Richele Cooley is a Kindergarten teacher at Country Day. Richele previously worked in the Merryhill schools where she taught Kindergarten for nine years and taught 1st grade for one year. Her greatest accomplishment was being nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2014.

Richele graduated from Sacramento State with a BA in Liberal Studies and has been in the field of education since 1997. Originally from the Bay Area, she and her husband, Jason, have two rambunctious boys, ages 9 and 3.

In her free time, she loves taking her boys swimming or to the beach. Richele believes every child deserves the opportunity to achieve his or her highest potential. Kindergarten is a time to spark and direct the curiosity and natural love of learning. Kindergarten has become her passion and she cannot wait to take this journey with you. 

Faculty & Staff

Christian Scott
Third Grade

Christian Scott is excited to be joining the lower school team. He is from the Sacramento area and is honored to be able to impact his own community. He received a BA in Political Science and a Minor in Human Rights from the University of California, Davis. He looks forward to devoting his time to one classroom this year as he was a substitute last year for the lower school. When Christian is not in the classroom he is taking care of his cat, playing sports, reading, hanging with friends and family. He is also a big Star Wars, Marvel, and anime fan. 

post

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.

Faculty & Staff

Pepa Novell
Middle School Spanish

Dr. Pepa Novell teaches 7th grade Spanish in our World Languages department. Pepa earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University, her Master’s in publishing from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona) and her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Literature and Language from Universitat de Barcelona. 

Pepa has worked internationally in teaching and research roles. After her graduation at Brown, she was Assistant Professor at Queen’s University (Canada) where she got tenured and worked as Associate Professor. As a scholar, she has published in peer-reviewed journals on Spanish contemporary culture, particularly narrative, film and music.

She has extensive international teaching experience at a university level in Spanish language, literature and culture. She has worked with and for a diverse and international student body, which has allowed her to experience a variety of cultures and viewpoints that has helped her gain considerable insight not only about other countries and customs, but about her own country and herself as well.

She has taken an active role in matters related to department language, literature and culture programs and curricular design. She supervised multi-section courses at both Brown and Queen’s, and has designed syllabi at all levels of Spanish language and cultures. She has taken on leadership roles in language instruction but she also strongly values collaboration and teamwork. She has learned to adapt quickly to new environments and the specific needs of a language program. 

During her years at Queen’s University, she was involved in institutional initiatives focusing on diversity, curriculum development, and governance. In her academic career, she played a very active role in promoting a new approach to the curriculum with the addition of a cultural tradition focus to a curriculum merely period-based. 

She has always been an active member of the community. She taught courses in Spanish for adults at the Brown Learning Community, and she joined and managed the Spanish Club at Queen’s. She founded a Book Club in a rural area near Barcelona to promote reading among adults. She considers languages and cultures to be key aspects of knowledge, and she thinks that engaging the community in learning different languages and cultures is the best way to contribute to create citizens for a global world. 

In 2018, she founded MAGMA Editorial, a boutique publishing company based in Madrid (although she makes clear she is from Barcelona). MAGMA publishes novels and short stories in Spanish, and Pepa manages it from Sacramento. 

Pepa describes herself as an advocate of cooperation and collegiality. She is a determined and motivated person who likes to face new challenges and new circumstances. Being in literature and culture has taught her to observe scenarios and situations critically. She likes to rethink, to reread from a new perspective, to constantly use the creative thinking that is inherent to the study of educational, intellectual and cultural issues.

She likes to spend time with her family, to travel and to swim, especially in the Mediterranean sea, and now at Tahoe. She and her husband have three children that attend Country Day.  
 

Faculty & Staff

Jocelyn Kemp
Second Grade Assistant

Jocelyn Kemp is a Second Grade Assistant with Country Day, although she has worked with all grade levels in ASE.

Jocelyn graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2019 with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Addiction Treatment Services.

Jocelyn is so excited for this school year and islooking forward to being active in the Country Day community! 

post

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 who attend Country Day.

Faculty & Staff

Taratip (Tara) Adams
Middle & High School Learning Specialist

Taratip Adams serves as one of Country Day’s Learning Specialists for middle and 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

Erin Post
Pre-Kindergarten Assistant

Erin Post is happy to be joining the Pre-Kindergarten team. She has previous experience working in First grade and Pre-Kindergarten, and spent a summer as a camp counselor at Country Day. She has also spent valuable time at home raising her three young children and volunteering in their classrooms. One of her favorite volunteer activities was her role as an Art Docent, where she taught lower elementary students about various artists and their techniques, then guided the students through a related art lesson. 

Erin is a true believer in developing the whole child. She believes that creating a safe community within the classroom allows students to develop appropriate social/emotional skills and thus feel safe enough to take risks in their academic learning.  She loves the emphasis that Country Day places on community, experiential learning and developing all aspects of a child’s self. 

When she is not in the classroom or shuttling her kids to and from activities, Erin enjoys reading, gardening, exercising and exploring new places with her husband. She is also enjoying challenging herself as she attempts to re-learn the Spanish language through online tutoring. 

Erin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Scripps College and her Multiple Subject teaching credential with CLAD at California State University, Sacramento. 

post

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 who attends Country Day.

Faculty & Staff

Diego Panasiti
High School Spanish and English Literature

A uniquely talented educator, Diego Panasiti brings a wide-range of extraordinary talents to Country Day. An experienced Spanish teacher and a Latin-American literature and culture specialist with a B.A. from Rutgers University and a M.A. from the University of Maryland, Diego adds to our Spanish program and helps build our 10th grade humanities curriculum towards a remarkable study of global migration. As a skilled wilderness guide and trained first-responder, Diego will also add a layer of safety to our campus and will potentially help develop our outdoor education program. 

Faculty & Staff

Maria Hoyos
Lower School Music
Grades 5-12 Orchestra, Chamber Music, Choir

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

Alma Ponce
K-2nd Grade Art
Middle School Spanish

Alma Ponce joined Country Day in 2020-21 as a Lower School substitute teacher. For the 2021-22 school year, she will take on the role of Middle School Spanish teacher and will teach Kindergarten through 2nd grade art.

post

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 attend Country Day.

Barbara joined the board of trustees in 2018.

Faculty & Staff

Maisae Affour
Head of Lower School

Maisae has 25 years’ experience as an administrator and teacher in U.S. and international Independent schools including Vision International School in Qatar, Ibn Khuldoon National School in Bahrain, American International School in Pakistan, St. Catherine of Siena School in Reading, Pennsylvania, and Caribbean School in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Maisae is an educator with a passion for early childhood and elementary education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature and master’s degrees in Translation and Interpretation from the University of Aleppo and in Teaching from Marygrove College in Detroit.

Faculty & Staff

Molly Frandrup
Middle School Science

Molly Frandrup has been teaching 6th grade for the last four years and has been teaching for a total of seven years. She received a BA in Child Development from California State University Sacramento in 2010 and a Masters in Teaching from The University of San Francisco in 2014.

When she is not teaching, she enjoys reading, playing sports, coaching, and all things Disney. She was born and raised in Sacramento and she and her husband have two wonderful children.

Faculty & Staff

Ashlie Kirby
Lower School Music & Movement

Ashlie Kirby is a Bessie Award-winning Dancer and Dance Educator. Prior to joining the faculty, Ashlie spent a decade teaching dance at independent schools on the East and West coasts, including Bentley School, The Brearley School, and Pierrepont School. Ashlie also is a Teaching Artist for the Mondavi Center at UC Davis.

Ashlie holds a BFA in Dance from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master’s in Dance Education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Ashlie also holds teaching credentials in New York (Dance) and California (Physical Education). Prior to returning to her native California, Ashlie spent nine years dancing professionally in New York City in a number of modern dance companies, most notably Jessica Gaynor Dance and Pam Tanowitz Dance. In 2010, she was awarded a Bessie, or New York Dance and Performance Award, for her performance in Pam Tanowitz’s Be in the Grey with Me

Ashlie has served on the board of the California Dance Education Alliance and is passionate about dance education for every child. She first started her study of Dance Education at the 92nd Street Y’s Dance Education Laboratory, where she fell in love with teaching dance to children. She believes that everyBODY is a dancer and that movement and dance are fundamental ways that humans express themselves and connect to their communities. When she is not at Country Day, Ashlie can be found at home with her two young daughters and husband, engaged in messy art projects and living room dance parties. 

“The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie.” ― Agnes De Mille

Faculty & Staff

Lauren Davis
Middle School Math

Lauren Davis comes to us from Nashville, Tennessee, where she has been teaching middle school math for three years. She believes she has found her passion in teaching students how to problem solve and apply mathematics in the real world. Lauren earned her B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Austin Peay State University and graduated summa cum laude. While working towards her degree, Lauren also obtained her teaching licensure, WET (Water Education Teacher) certification, and Praxis certifications to further prepare for teaching middle grades. Lauren previously served as the student representative on the Teacher Education Council for Austin Peay’s education program for undergraduates.  Lauren has served as a site-based induction specialist in mentoring new hires and has co-designed a unit plan with technology integration for all 8th grade mathematics teachers across a school district.

post

Past Events

Did you miss an admission event and now you’re wondering what to expect for next time? Take a look at these past event listings.

For questions about past admission events, please contact our Admissions Team

Faculty & Staff

Valerie Adelsheim
Assistant to the Head of School

B.S., University of Minnesota

post

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

Emily also has previous communications and program management experience in local 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. 

Faculty & Staff

Amanda Ashdown
Fourth Grade

Amanda Ashdown is a 4th grade teacher at Sacramento Country Day School. She has taught 4th grade most of her teaching career, taught 1st and 2nd grades, and has worked as a reading support teacher. 

Amanda received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Baptist Bible College, and a teaching credential from the State of Missouri for grades 1-6. She has completed additional training from Schools Attuned to All Kinds of Minds, Responsive Classroom, and The Neuhaus Education Center.  

When not at school, Amanda loves to spend time running, reading, and watching tv (shhh!). Now as a working mom, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, who are currently attending Country Day.

Faculty & Staff

Jane Stroup Bauman
Director of College Counseling
High School English

Jane Bauman joined the high school English faculty in fall 2005 and added Director of College Counseling to her teaching duties in the fall of 2012. 

Before coming to Country Day, she worked in undergraduate admissions at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she specialized in international admissions. 

Bauman has also taught English as a Second Language in a variety of university programs at University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of Nevada, Reno; University of Nevada Reno, International Division in Japan; Texas Wesleyan College; and Strayer College (Washington, D.C.).

Bauman has a Master’s degree in teaching English as a Second Language from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in French literature from UC Santa Cruz. She is also a member of the Northern Nevada Writing Project. 

Having lived and studied abroad in Japan, Ecuador, and France, she considers study abroad a transformative experience that all students should consider. She is also an avid theatergoer and longtime member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. 

 

Faculty & Staff

Chelsie Beck
9th Grade World History and AP US History

Chelsie Beck will teach 9th Grade World History and AP US History. Chelsie holds a BA in US History from Shippensburg University, an MA in Library Science from Kent State University, and Masters in Teaching with a social studies concentration from St. Michael’s College. Holding a state license in social studies from Vermont, Chelsie brings a wealth of academic knowledge and pedagogical understanding to this position. An avid ballet dancer, Chelise will add a creative flair to our classrooms and our campus.

Faculty & Staff

Elena Rodriguez Bennett
4th Grade Music

Elena Rodriguez Bennett has delayed her retirement to stay and teach 4th grade music. Her curriculum is an integration of the arts—from singing to dancing to instruments to the spoken word—based on peace and social justice studies. The goal is to not only raise better musicians, but better people through music.

She has taught various levels of classroom and musical education in Philadelphia, New Haven, the Navajo Nation, Taiwan, and California. She earned a B.A. in English and American Literature from Cornell University, an M. Divinity from Yale University, and an M.Ed. from California State University, Sacramento. 

Elena previously taught music at St. Michael’s Day School and adult education for the Elk Grove school district, which included teaching at the Sacramento Main Jail. She has directed the music program at Florin United Methodist Church since 1988, has taught private violin lessons for decades, and plays in community ensembles.  

All four of her children attended Country Day. Her main lifelong passions include hiking, photography, and traveling/working in other countries. She currently coordinates Country Day’s service learning partnership with a consortium of eight Rwandan schools, which takes her to Rwanda for a joyous month each summer.

Faculty & Staff

Cameron Bohn
Fifth Grade

Cameron Bohn is Country Day’s 5th Grade Humanities Teacher. She covers our Language Arts and Social Studies curriculum in preparation for the students’ transition into middle school. She joined Country Day in 2015.

Cameron earned a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Montana State University, and an Upper Elementary Certificate from the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. In addition, she currently holds a valid teaching credential in the states of Montana and California. 

After college in Colorado, Cameron joined a group from Stanford University to explore and further excavate an Archaeological site in Peru known as Chavin de Huantar. Upon completion of her time in Peru, she returned to the United States and moved to Montana to further cultivate her love for hiking, camping, and fly fishing. While in Montana she discovered her true passion for teaching, and begin working several jobs in order to fund her second degree, this one in Elementary Education. After teaching for several years in Montana, Cameron moved to California to be closer to her family, and fell in love with Country Day.

Cameron’s passions other than teaching include photography, time hiking with her dogs and camping outdoors, viticulture, visiting local wineries and distilleries, and creating or viewing art.

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
Professional Growth Consultant

Kelley Brown is a Professional Growth Consultant at Country Day.  

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

Stephanie Castillo
Pre-Kindergarten

Stephanie Castillo is a part of our pre-kindergarten team at Sacramento Country Day School.  Before joining the pre-K team at Country Day School, she worked as an early childhood specialist and interventionist to support children of all abilities into a fully inclusive preschool program within the Sacramento City Unified School District. As a part of her work in the classroom, she gave technical assistance to other early childhood programs in the state of California in developing their own inclusive programs and practices as a consultant with the Sacramento County Office of Education in their SEEDS program (Supporting Early Childhood Delivery Systems).  During her 12 years as a teacher there, she was the recipient of the SCUSD Above and Beyond Award as well as Supported Life Inclusion Award for her dedication, vision and belief in inclusive communities.  

She earned her Master of Education and Early Childhood Specialist Teaching Credential at California State University, Sacramento and her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society with a Criminal Justice emphasis from University of California, Santa Barbara.  While in Santa Barbara she was the Co-President of the UCSB CAB (Community Affairs Board) where she helped to plan, support and promote volunteerism within the school and surrounding community. 

Stephanie grew up in Stockton, California but has lived in Sacramento for over 20 years and considers this her home.  When not creating magic with our youngest students, she can be found taking her daughter, who is a Country Day student, to her after school activity du jour, going on a ‘real quick run’ around the park, doting over her cat(s), or scrapbooking memories into the wee hours of the night. 

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

Lisa Williams
Director of Pre-Kindergarten

Lisa Williams is joining Country Day with 20 years of experience as a Pre-K teacher. She joins us from Tulsa, Oklahoma where she has been an integral part of Oklahoma’s nationally recognized universal Pre-K program. She participated with Tulsa Public Schools in Georgetown University’s high quality Pre-K research project, as well as collaborating with University of Tulsa education department’s focus on the importance of oral language in the early years.  Lisa has a master’s in Urban Education but she is just as proud of her two times as her school’s Teacher of the Year. She and her husband (a P.E. teacher) love traveling the world, but they are so excited to finally make California their home.

Faculty & Staff

Andy Cunningham
Middle and High School Art

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

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

Charles Farris
Computer Science Coordinator

Charles Farris joins Country Day to lead our Computer Science program. As a QuestBridge Scholar, Charles earned his BA with a double major in Computer Science and Spanish Language and Culture from Wesleyan University. Charles has experience teaching coding, software development, game design, as well as leading courses in bilingual education. An expert chess player, avid musician, and strong athlete, Charles will add passion and creativity to many areas of our campus.

Faculty & Staff

Sarah Gerber
First Grade

Sarah Gerber has been one of Country Day’s first grade teachers since 2017.  She is deeply committed to nurturing a learning community of kindness, inclusion, and respect, and fostering a lifelong love of learning in her students. 

Before coming to Country Day, Sarah was a full time mom to her daughter for a year. She is thrilled to have her daughter here at Country Day as a student now. Before that, Sarah taught second and fourth grades at St. Paul’s Episcoal School in Oakland, and Kindergarten, 2nd, and 3rd grades at the Brandeis School in San Francisco. Prior to teaching elementary school, Sarah met her husband when they were both teaching at Head Start preschools in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.

Sarah earned a B.A. in Sociology, and another B.A. in English and World Literature from Pitzer College, one of the Claremont Colleges in Southern California. She minored in Spanish and had an amazing experience living with a host family in Sevilla, Spain, for a semester, while attending the Universidad de Sevilla’s Language and Society program. Sarah earned her elementary teaching credential through Cal State Monterey Bay. 

Sarah’s current favorite things to do are playing board games with family and friends, listening to and singing along with musicals and Beatles songs, and going on family hikes.

Faculty & Staff

Sue Goodwin Lorens
Kindergarten

Sue Lorens currently serves as Kindergarten teacher at Country Day. She joined the the Lower School in 1998 and before moving to Kindergarten, Sue taught a year and a half of third grade, 13 years of first grade and two years of second grade.

Sue is fascinated by the education process and admires the innate curiosity and love of learning that young children bring.  It keeps her “feeling young” and excited about school each day! She also loves partnering with parents in addressing their concerns about behaviors, friendships and learning. She believes that we are raising a whole person, not just a student, so that developing good character is as important as the content we are teaching. 

Sue left a career in Vocational Rehabilitation in 1998 and began at Country Day as an Instructional Aide as she returned to school to obtain her Elementary Education teaching credential with CLAD (Cross-cultural Language & Academic Development) certification through a U.C. Davis/C.S.U.S. collaborative program.  Sue’s undergraduate degree is in Psychology with a minor in Business Administration from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. Before teaching, she worked with Workers’ Compensation clients who were seeking new employment as a result of injury. She has additional experience in publishing, advertising and college admissions work.  Sue has also served on a Presbyterian Church staff as Director of Christian Education in a part-time capacity for 10 years. 

One of Sue’s “claims to fame” at Country Day is her love of verse and rhymes.  “Carpool Karaoke” is one of her favorite times. She also has a list of “great hit songs” grown from times of tension –“Be a Problem-Solver” and “Listening” are certainly worth a mention. Perhaps someday, she’ll be on stage and screen, but for the moment, Kindergarten is where she’ll be seen!

Faculty & Staff

Cade Grunst
Middle School Science

Cade “Mr. G” Grunst teaches 8th grade Earth Science in the Country Day middle school. Earth Science is a broad umbrella covering topics like astronomy, weather, continents, erosion, dinosaurs, the deep ocean, and of course the planet’s ongoing Climate Crisis. The goal of his class is to re-awaken the sense of wonder we experience as young children. He wants students to reexamine the world around them, to see with fresh eyes and understand the joys of clouds and mountains and the moon.

Cade teaches two electives: Robotics and Maker Lab. Maker Lab is an introduction to engineering, where students compete to build the fastest car, the longest bridge, the heaviest cargo ship, etc. Students seeking a more technical experience can engage with laser-cutting, 3D modeling and printing, or work with hobby electronics using the Arduino platform. Cade’s Robotics class is based on the powerful LEGO Mindstorms system. Students build and program mobile robots of their own design, constantly evaluating and innovating to complete a series of challenges. The Robotics elective is also a feeder for the middle school’s competitive after-school Robotics team, which Cade also coaches. Go Techno Cavs!

Cade attended the University of California, Davis, graduating with honors and a degree in Animal Biotechnology in 2009. Cade enjoyed the diverse offerings of a huge university, and during his four years took classes in rock climbing, archery, SCUBA certification, raptor management, Ultimate Frisbee, mushroom cultivation, screen printing, didgeridoo, and 3D animation. Cade also found time in there somewhere to pursue an independent undergraduate research fellowship, where he moved umpteen thousand fungal spores around petri dishes until he had determined that the palmitoyltransferase protein in brewer’s yeast is not involved in telomeric anchoring during meiosis. Probably.

After graduation Cade took a research position with the UCD Center for Neuroscience. While he found the implications of his work on neural connectivity fascinating, the actual day-to-day mechanics of being a lab monkey were ultimately not the best fit. Cade left after two years to pursue education. Cade’s first experiences with classroom teaching were through the Breakthrough Collaborative, and he will forever be grateful to Adolfo Mercado for giving him his start. Cade started substitute teaching in several schools in the Sacramento area, eventually landing a 1-year contract at Country Day that has turned into quite a bit more than expected.

In July, Cade enjoys exploration and wildlife photography. A recent trip took him to Alaska, where he spent three weeks backpacking among juvenile brown bears and a breaching humpback whale. Previous trips have led him to bighorn sheep in the canyons of Utah, mountain goats high above Montana, and pika tucked away among glacial deposits in the Canadian Rockies. Cade loves studying interactions between Earth’s physical and biological systems. Teaching Earth Science has led to a deeper understanding of how geology, meteorology, and ecology intertwine, and Cade brings each adventure back to the classroom. When speaking about convection currents in weather systems, he tells stories of cool night air descending in Canyonlands National Park. Glaciology comes with photographs of Yosemite and the Rockies. Mineralogy is addressed through undersea lava tubes off Kauai.

One of Cade’s biggest regrets is that he was unable to visit the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef before it was devastated by unseasonal cyclones and coral bleaching events. He hopes that through education, he can help enact the societal change necessary to protect our beautiful space pebble. Cade draws inspiration from Carl Sagan, quoting the imperative that ends his famous Pale Blue Dot speech: “…to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish [this] pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

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

Jason Kreps
Physical Education

B.A., California State University, Sacramento

Faculty & Staff

Kathryn LaComb
Middle School English

Kathryn LaComb teaches 7th and 8th grade English at Country Day. She also has taught sophomore English, and she served for two years as the chair of the middle school English department.

Prior to teaching at Country Day, Kathryn taught high school and middle school English and was an adjunct faculty member at Sacramento City College. In between teaching jobs, Kathryn spent 15 years as an independent consultant for educational publishing houses, including Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Sylvan. During this time, she wrote hundreds of leveled reading passages, created curriculum and classroom activities, and developed standardized tests for grades K-12. 

Kathryn earned her B.A in English writing from St. Lawrence University and her M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Kathryn has two children, both of whom graduated from Country Day. She spends as much time as she can with them, her parents, and her four siblings at the family rice farm in the northern Sacramento Valley where, she says, she enjoys “taking long walks with the dogs and reading to my heart’s content.”

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

Rick Lewkowitz has been teaching a mock trial course at Country Day since the fall of 2017.  He also coaches their mock trial team. In 2018 he coached that school’s program to its first ever Sacramento County Championship.  

Before coming to Country Day, Rick had nearly 20 years experience as an attorney coach for high school mock trial.  From 2003 – 2017, he was the attorney coach for Elk Grove High School Mock Trial. In that role he helped that program win one state championship,  finish twice as runner-up for the state championship, and win nine county championships. In 2014 the Constitutional Rights Foundation (the organization that runs the state’s high school mock trial program) named him the recipient of the award that year for “Adult Advocate of the Year” (In other words: High School Mock Trial Coach of the Year for the entire state).  

For the past four years he has also served as the attorney coach for the UC Davis Undergraduate Mock Trial Team.  In his first year as their coach he helped guide them to qualify to compete in the 2016 National Collegiate Championship Tournament for the first time in the school’s history.  They repeated that lofty feat again in 2017 and 2019. Finally, he has frequently helped teach trial advocacy to law students at UC Davis, Stanford University, and the University of Pacific.

Rick’s retired from his first career as a prosecuting attorney in Sacramento in 2013.  The last 25 years as a prosecutor he served as a Supervising Deputy DA. During his career he was the recipient of multiple awards for his efforts in combating both domestic violence and child abuse.  While still a prosecutor he taught a wide range of courses to prosecutors throughout California with the California District Attorneys Association and throughout the United States with the National District Attorneys Association. 

Rick earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Santa Clara University.  While there, he served as the University’s Varsity Tennis Team Captain. After Santa Clara’s graduation he attended law school at the University of Pacific McGeorge School of Law where he earned his Juris Doctor degree.  He has been happily married to his wife for 43 years. They are the proud parents of three adult children and the proud grandparents of six grandchildren.

Faculty & Staff

Pamela Livesey
Fourth Grade

Pamela Livesey is a 4th grade teacher responsible for teaching all subjects and helping creating a cross curricular program. Upon joining Sacramento Country Day School in 2002, she was the 4th grade math and science lead teacher. She has been a part of two Country Day accreditations, the Head of School search committee, the Strategic Planning team, and is currently a member of the Teaching and Learning Committee. 

Pam earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Georgia. Her favorite times in college were attending UGA football games every Saturday, going to see live music, and making visits to nearby elementary schools to volunteer and attend classes. After graduation, she began teaching Kindergarten at Jefferson Elementary in Jefferson, Georgia.

Once she and her husband Ryan were married, they moved to Sacramento where Pam began working at Freeport Elementary teaching Kindergarten and then 4th grade at Sacramento Country Day. Ryan and Pam have three children all of whom attend Country Day.

Faculty & Staff

Rommel Loria
Head of Middle School

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

Kristi Mathisen
Third Grade

Kristi Mathisen teaches third grade in our Lower School but has been a fixture in many different classrooms across all grade levels in her tenure at Country Day. Kristi also has served as an assistant director in the MS/HS theater department and as a faculty adviser to the HS LGBTQ and ChicanX/LatinX Clubs.

In her classroom, Kristi prides herself on creating an inclusive, equitable, and nurturing environment where each student is encouraged to stretch their learning and make mistakes. Intertwining her love of literature and history in the curriculum, Kristi has worked in all of her classrooms to create experiential learning activities that provide students the chance to fully immerse themselves into the worlds they study. From the annual “Gingerbread Baby Hunt” in Kindergarten to the Aviary Vet Clinic imaginative play center in 1st, to the Colonial Trades Play that she co-writes and directs with her students each year in 3rd grade, Kristi is always looking for any chance for her students to “live and breathe” the curriculum.

Kristi received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater from the California State University of Northridge. She also holds a Masters of Education in Language and Literacy from California State University Sacramento and a certificate of Women in Business Leadership from Cornell University.

In her personal time, Kristi enjoys spending time with her large extended Mexican family, reading anything she can, and working on social justice initiatives. She is also an avid patron of the arts and currently serves on the board of Sacramento’s Capital Stage Theater Company. When not in Sacramento, you can probably find Kristi and her husband visiting their two daughters (Country Day grads) at college in Boston and Rhode Island- or watching a Broadway play!

Faculty & Staff

Joanne Melinson
Middle and High School Librarian

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

Laura Steele Monahan
Middle School Mathematics

Laura Steele Monahan teaches 7th grade mathematics at Country Day, as well as two elective courses: Introduction to Digital Photography and Creative Writing. She has worked in all three divisions of the school since she started as a long-term substitute in 8th grade Algebra in the fall of 1995. After a few months of daily subbing, she covered a second maternity leave in 5th grade English and history. Laura taught math, history, and science in the 5th grade for six years before working as the Director of Summerbridge Sacramento (now known as Breakthrough Sacramento) for three years, and has now settled into a long, happy stint in middle school mathematics.

With an undergraduate degree in American Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Laura earned a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential at California State University, Sacramento. Some of her previous jobs include working at the Girl Scout Council of Orange County’s Camp Scherman, the Orange County Outdoor Science School, and a small private science museum called The Visionarium where she also taught enrichment classes; she fell in love with math when tutoring at Math Masters Learning Center. During her time at Country Day, she’s participated in curriculum, scheduling, strategic planning, and diversity committees, and helped to establish the school’s fundraising team for the Run to Feed the Hungry.

Laura is an avid reader and an enthusiastic member of the Staffulty Book Club, enjoys musical theatre, and loves spending time outdoors and visiting museums with family and friends. She serves on the Breakthrough Sacramento Advisory Board. A member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, she also enjoys learning about best practices in math education, and talking with colleagues about teaching. One of her favorite Country Day events is playing flute with the Mega Band each May during the Rulindo Play-a-Thon. 

Faculty & Staff

Michelle Myers
Director of Physical Education, 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

Ines Ochoa
World Language, Lower School Spanish

Inés Ochoa is the Lower School Spanish teacher at Country Day.  She is responsible for teaching the Spanish language and culture for grades K-5.  

Inés spent her early childhood years living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  At the age of 10, what was initially supposed to be a sabbatical year brought the family to California, where her father was a biochemist and researcher at the University of California, Davis.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UC Davis, and her Multiple Subject Credential from Chapman University.  Some of her favorite areas of study while completing her undergraduate degree included Native American studies, Art, and Sociology classes.  

Inés’ current hobbies include horseback riding, hiking and paddle boarding in Lake Tahoe, cooking, and decorating homes for friends and family.

Faculty & Staff

Pablo Morales
Middle School French

Pablo Morales comes to us from Omaha, Nebraska where he taught French and Spanish for two years. Learning and teaching world languages is his passion. He received his B.A. in Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in French and English as a Second Language (ELL/ESL). He grew up in the town where Kool-Aid was invented, home to the world’s largest Kool-Aid stand.

Whenever he’s not teaching, Pablo likes Pokémon cards (looking to battle?), longboarding, coding/programming, and traveling. He plans to travel to South Korea with other educators in 2022 to learn how to become a better teacher by observing South Korean classrooms. 

Faculty & Staff

Kurt Pearsall
Director of Middle School Bands

Kurt Pearsall serves as Country Day’s Middle School Bands teacher and 5th Grade Band Brass Instructor.  He directs the Middle School Concert Band, Middle School Jazz Band, Middle School Garage Band and the 5th grade trumpet, trombone, and baritone students.  The bands participate in daytime, evening and weekend performances throughout the school year both on campus and in the community or festivals. He also teaches private lessons and performs with the Faculty Jazz Band. 

Before coming to Country Day in 2017, he concluded a 33-year-plus teaching career in public schools, spending the bulk of the years in the Washington Unified School District where he taught marching band, jazz band, concert band, high school chorus, madrigal choir and countless other project groups for all grade levels K-12.  His students can be found performing in a wide variety of musical settings all over the world from a symphony orchestra in Spain to the streets of New Orleans. His former students include current distinguished music professors and music educators in public schools.  

During a short break in his teaching career, he became a full time musician, and even though he returned to full time teaching, never stopped working with the highest quality musical companies including Walt Disney, Barnum and Bailey Circus, The Music Circus and Broadway theater productions, The Sacramento and Central Florida Symphonies, and countless big bands including the Glen Miller Orchestra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. He has a strong performance background and has performed with Cab Calloway, Natalie Cole, Englebert Humperdink, Frank Sinatra Jr., Wayne Newton, The Spinners, Johnny Mathis, The Temptations and many more.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and his Master of Music from California State University, Sacramento.  His college career included induction into the Phi Kappa Lambda, an American honor society for undergraduate, graduate and professors of music. He also is credentialed to teach social sciences and has an intense interest in history. 

Over the years he has participated in the California Music Educators Association’s activities and served as the conductor for the Sacramento Capitol Pops Concert Band, and in leadership roles with the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society, Washington Unified School District and the University of Nevada, Reno’s summer music camp at Lake Tahoe.  He was instrumental in the establishment of the Teagarden Jazz camp where he taught and was camp director under the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society.  He also helped to establish the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Foundation.

When he is not performing and teaching Kurt’s hobbies include rebuilding and collecting 1960-1970 era Japanese motorcycles and antique trucks. He also enjoys watching television, doing research on the internet, wilderness survival and outdoor sports and activities, coin collecting, photography, and gardening.

post

Kristi Peoro
Assistant to the Head of Lower School

Kristi Peoro is the Assistant to the Head of Lower School. Her duties include assisting parents and students, providing clerical support to faculty and the Head of Lower School, maintaining student files, providing first aid and triaging student illnesses, and maintaining records for parent drivers.

She first joined Country Day in 2008 as the Assistant to the Athletic Director and also served as Assistant to the Head of High School. After taking several years off to raise her two daughters, Kristi feels fortunate to serve the Lower School.

Kristi earned a Bachelor of Arts in Behavioral Science from San Jose State University.  Prior to San Jose State University she attended Hawaii Pacific University on a volleyball scholarship where her team won the NCAA Division II National Championships.

Faculty & Staff

Maura Ryan (‘02) Perotti
First Grade

Maura Ryan Perotti (‘02) is a First Grade teacher and the Responsive Classroom Lead for the Lower School. After earning her “Lifer” status with 14 years as a student at Country Day, Maura went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a focus on Developmental Psychology from Santa Clara University. Maura continued at Santa Clara for her Master’s degree in Education. She holds two separate teaching credentials, a Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential and a Single Subject Credential in English. Maura is also certified in the teaching of Gifted and Talented Education (GATE).

After leaving school, Maura taught in the heart of the Silicon Valley for 10 years at another independent school. There Maura led the Character Education Committee and sat on the Student Study team for eight years.

In the classroom, Maura’s greatest love is bringing high-level concepts to a primary level and the teaching of early literacy. Teaching children to read in a community of committed, thoughtful learners is her greatest joy in the classroom. Her experience in teaching reading helps her to foster in her students an excellent foundation in decoding, word knowledge, and reading comprehension. She is passionate about her work with the Student Success Team, the Lower School Literacy Committee and IDEA.

Outside of 1st grade at Country Day, Maura is the Lower School Lead for Responsive Classroom, a program that has been adopted throughout the Lower School. Responsive Classroom is a student-centered, social and emotional learning approach to teaching and designed to create safe, joyful, and engaging classrooms.

In her life outside of school, Maura is highly involved in the world of artistic gymnastics. After competing as a gymnast herself for 11 years, Maura began her career as a member of the National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges. She has served as a judge since 2002, judging at competitions around the United States at the State, regional, and national level.

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

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

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.

post

Sue Ryan
Lower School Librarian

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

post

Denise Santos
Lower School Physical Education

Denise Santos serves as one of the Country Day’s Lower School Physical Education Teachers. She is responsible for providing Kindergarten through 5th grade students developmentally appropriate physical education.

Denise earned her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Sacramento State University. She worked in the campus reaction center, The WELL, and at the Student Union all through her college career. Her position as the Group Fitness Supervisor included coordinating group fitness classes, organizing special events, and becoming a liaison to personal trainers. As a Building Supervisor, in the Union, she oversaw, managed, and enforced building policies to the student community.  

Denise did her student teaching in Natomas and Antelope. She was able to experience all grade levels, but more felt drawn to the younger students because of the “constant energy” they provided.

During her off time, Denise enjoys going to her CrossFit classes in East Sac and cooking delicious salmon meals. As a native of Monterey, CA, Denise takes multiple trips to the beach to remind her of home

Faculty & Staff

Julie Shanks
3rd-5th Grade Art

Julie Shanks teaches fine art to Country Day’s Lower School students in 3rd through 5th grade.  Her studio curriculum encompasses art from all genres, cultures, and media.  Using each grade level curriculum as a launching pad, Julie strives to make connections for students from art to academics.  Deeper yet, she yearns to reach into the heart of each student to appreciate art as a tool of expression for their emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Julie earned an A.A. in Art from Moorpark College in Southern California, a B.A. in art and a single subject teaching credential from California State University Sacramento.  Before teaching at Country Day she taught pre-school and serves as a teacher’s aide in a high school RSP class.

In her personal time, Julie is a member of the Diamond Springs Art Association and enjoys creating art that reflects and shares her faith and its impact on her personal life.  She has written several art curriculums for Vacation Bible School, and enjoys giving art avenues to others in a variety of ways.
Faculty & Staff

Melissa Strong
Assistant Middle and High School Librarian
Marketing & Communications Assistant
Glass Knife Advisor

A woman of many talents, Melissa Strong is the Assistant Librarian in the Matthews Library, part-time Marketing and Communications Assistant and Glass Knife Advisor. 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.

Faculty & Staff

Lee Thomsen
Head of School

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

Lee Thomsen began his tenure at Country Day as Head of School in July 2016. Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University and a master’s in liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University. Over his 25-year career, Lee has worked as an administrator and teacher at independent schools in Utah, Texas, Georgia and Maryland.

Lee is married to Julie Checkoway, author of The Three-Year Swim Club. They have two daughters, Abigail and Sophia, and a mini schnauzer, Tashi.

Faculty & Staff

Brittany Torretta
Second Grade

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

The 2020-21 school year will be Brittany’s first year teaching second grade, but her fourth year at Country Day. Brittany joined the Country Day community in 2017 as a Pre-K teacher. In December 2019, Brittany took over teaching Kindergarten for Sue Lorens while she was on medical leave. Before joining Country Day, Brittany earned her Master of Early Childhood Education at the University of Phoenix and her Bachelor of Arts in Child Development at California State University, Chico. While at Chico she spent time working in their Associated Students Child Development Lab where they practiced intentional teaching, supporting children’s development of critical thinking skills, and enabling them to be lifelong learners. She also volunteered her time in the Helping Hands outreach, working one-on-one with children who had learning challenges, as a positive role model helping the students with self-esteem and being comfortable in a classroom setting. When not busy in school, Brittany enjoys traveling around the world, spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and cooking/baking up her next creative concoction.

post

Dana Vargo
Director of Admission and Enrollment Management

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. 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

post

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 Teacher

With more than 25 years of experience in education, Brooke Wells traveled around the country as an English teacher, History teacher, Dean, Coach, and College Counselor before being appointed as Country Day’s Head of High School in 2014. As a former Teach for America 1995 Corps member in Greenwood, MS, Brooke believes deeply in the power of compassionate, creative education that promotes deep student engagement, social justice, and understanding. 

Brooke and his wife, Amy, have two children, Sophia and Spencer, a golden doodle named Calliope, and share a love of the wild beauty found while hiking, skiing, and camping in the many gorgeous spaces in the California wilderness.

Faculty & Staff

John Yu
Fifth Grade

John Yu is the 5th Grade Science and Math Teacher at Country Day. He takes pride in making sure that his students develop critical thinking skills and gain authentic experiences from their learning. As a result, his vision for his students is that they develop the necessary insight to be responsible citizens in both the physical and digital worlds.

Before coming to Country Day, John grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from University of Delaware and a Master of Business Administration from West Chester University.

John continues to learn things whenever he can and enjoys activities during his free time, such as playing video games and practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.