Faculty & Staff

Roz Abero Asst. Head of School for External Affairs

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Roz Abero (1989)

Asst. Head of School for External Affairs
B.A., Emory University, English
M.B.A., Goizveta Business School (Emory), Marketing

As Assistant Head of School, Roz Bolger Abero (’89) has come back to campus (what she calls a “long, slow boomerang”) to focus her energy on external programs including Advancement, Admissions, and Alumni Relations and help lead a comprehensive fundraising campaign. In her free time, Ms. Abero spends time with her husband, son, and two dogs, all of whom keep her hopping.

Loreta Aguirre Accounts Payable Coordinator

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Loreta Aguirre

Accounts Payable Coordinator

Ms. Aguirre joined PCDS full-time in 2015, after having worked part-time with the Business Office the year prior. She is the jack-of-all-trades in that office— processing payments, reimbursements, vendor checks, tacking project tasks, and ordering campus supplies. Prior to working at PCDS, Ms. Aguirre worked as an office manager in Southern California. Outside of PCDS, Ms. Aguirre is a thrill-seeker, having gone sky diving, zip lining, and hot air ballooning. Up next: white water rafting! She has attended Stephens College in Missouri and UC Riverside in California.

Sarah Aguirre Facilities

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Sarah Aguirre

Facilities

Ms. Aguirre is a welcome and familiar face on campus. She can mainly be found in the Facilities Department, where she helps coordinate work orders, bus transportation, and various budget reports. Ms. Aguirre can often be seen greeting students and visitors with a warm smile at the Administration Office, first thing in the morning. When not at PCDS, she enjoys cooking, watching movies and cuddling with her family.

Becky Allison College Counseling and Student Support

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Becky Allison

College Counseling and Student Support
B.A., Wellesley College, History of Art
B.A., M. A., University of California, Berkeley, History
Ph.D., Arizona State University, History

After serving PCDS students for over two decades as a ninth grade English teacher, Dr. Allison transitioned in 2016-17 to supporting Upper School students with their study habits, writing, and academic prep. Additionally, she works in conjunction with the College Counseling Department to help seniors brainstorm, write, and edit their college application essays. When she is not cultivating students’ writing skills or her flowers, she loves spending time with her husband, children, grandchildren, and beagle.

Robin Anderson World & Classical Languages Department Chair, US Latin Teacher

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Robin Anderson

World & Classical Languages Department Chair, US Latin Teacher
B.A., University of North Carolina, Asheville, Classics
Fulbright Scholar, American Academy in Rome, Classics
Postgraduate Studies, Duke University, Classics

Ms. Anderson has been teaching at PCDS over fifteen years, but her favorite PCDS memory occurred on her first Blue and Gold Day when she saw Mr. Brewster rollerblading in the gym wearing shorts and a Farrah Fawcett blonde wig; it was then that she realized that she had landed in “a cool school.” When she is not teaching Latin I, II, III, IV and AP classes, she can be found traveling with her husband and two dogs, attending rock concerts-and roller-skating.

Andrea Avery US English Teacher

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Andrea Avery

US English Teacher
B.A., Arizona State University, Music
M.F.A., Arizona State University, Creative Writing

Lover of words extraordinaire and also known for her fabulous style, Ms. Avery inspires her English II students to take their writing to new heights and also helps to create PCDS drama by masterfully directing the MS plays. A games and riddles enthusiast, she teaches her students how to play with words while learning the rules so they know when and how to toy with English grammar for effect. In her free time, she knits, sews, reads, writes, performs improv comedy, and people-watches in coffee shops.

Anabel Ayala Staff Accountant

Anabel Ayala

Staff Accountant

Ms. Ayala joined the Business Office earlier this year, and coordinates our accounts payable. She most recently served in a similar role at a local sales and rentals retailer, and holds a BS in Accounting from GCU.

Nicki Barber MS Math Teacher

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Nicki Barber

MS Math Teacher
B.S., Brown University, Psychology

Native Canadian, Ms. Barber, has been working in education for over twenty years and teaching seventh and eighth grade Algebra at PCDS since her arrival. She thrives on helping her students tackle the toughest math problems. She also coaches soccer, and Ms. Barber’s enthusiasm for all that she does extends beyond her life at school. You will find her running half-marathons, golfing, traveling, watching World Cup soccer, and rooting for the Red Sox and Patriots.

Kristie Berg Assistant Director of Admissions, Director of Financial Aid

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Kristie Berg

Assistant Director of Admissions, Director of Financial Aid
B.S., University of Phoenix, Elementary Education

During the past two decades, just about every PCDS family has received a warm welcome from Ms. Berg to our school, as Ms. Berg works closely with families during the admissions process and also handles all financial aid. She especially loves the Lower School Garden, and she is not afraid of getting a little dirty during the annual Kindergarten Mud Mania, which happens to be one of her most anticipated events. When she is not at school, Ms. Berg enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and going on travel adventures, especially ones that include beachcombing.

Rebecca Bernhardt MS Math and Latin Teacher

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Rebecca Bernhardt

MS Math and Latin Teacher
B.A., Hope College, Classics
M.A., McMaster University, Classics and Classical Philology

Mrs. Bernhardt has been teaching for nearly twenty years. One of her favorite PCDS memories so far is when she and her advisory made their own “Top 40” mix CD, designed its cover and played it during breaks. Mrs. Bernhardt loves to watch the playground, softball, soccer and lacrosse from her unique classroom’s back porch. A dedicated lifelong learner, she can often be found reading and studying; she also has a deep passion for video games.

Betty Bienert US Mandarin Teacher

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Betty Bienert

US Mandarin Teacher
B.A., Changchun University, English

Ms. Bienert was born and raised in China, but has called the United States home for the past twenty years. For Ms. Bienert, teaching Mandarin connects two worlds that she knows and loves, and gives her the opportunity to watch her students learn and grow as they learn a new language. Ms. Bienert enjoys traveling the world with her husband, and also regularly visits family and friends in China.

Lynetta Binger US Science Teacher

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Lynetta Binger

US Science Teacher
B.S., The University of the South, Biology
M.S., University of Illinois
Ph.D., University of Illinois

Dr. Binger comes to PCDS with recent experience at Episcopal High School and The Madiera School, two highly regarded independent schools just outside of Washington, DC. She holds a B.S. in Biology from The University of the South, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kelly Blackson LS Teacher

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Kelly Blackson

LS Teacher
B.A., Arizona State University, Philosophy
M.Ed., Arizona State University, Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction

The children lovingly call her Ms. K., and she’s already warmed the hearts of many. A valuable member of our pre-kindergarten team, Ms. Blackson joined PCDS in 2015 and has extensive experience in early childhood and elementary education.

Joe Boehle Director of Technology

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Joe Boehle

Director of Technology
M.Ed., American College of Education, Educational Technology
B.A., Bradley University, Secondary Education

Mr. Boehle brings over fifteen years of experience to his work of leading the PCDS technology team. Joe loves the local climate (he must not have arrived to Phoenix during summer from his prior job in Chicago) and says he felt right at home from the very first time he came on campus. When he is not ensuring that PCDS’s technology is both state of the art and working well, he enjoys taking full advantage of the great outdoors, including hiking, biking, and discovering new adventures in the Southwest. He also likes sailing, and taking his dog, Sadie, to play at the park.

Alli Booth History, Director of Diversity

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Alli Booth

History, Director of Diversity
B.A., College of the Holy Cross, Classics, Women’s and Gender Studies, 2008
M.Ed., Harvard University, Mind, Brain, and Education, 2012

Ms. Booth has spent years in education, teaching at the Culver Academies in Indiana, as well as other high schools in Arizona. She enjoys seeing the sun rise over Camelback Mountain each morning as she enters her classroom, ready for the day. Away from campus, she enjoys cooking for friends and family, hiking, and practicing yoga.

Ken Brodel Director of Finance and Operations

Ken Brodel

Director of Finance and Operations

Mr. Brodel brings a breadth of experience to lead the PCDS Business Office, as he has worked in schools as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and DFO since 1988. Mr. Brodel is a graduate from Mesa State College in Colorado, and holds an M.A. from Adams State College. Most recently, he served in the same role at the French American School of Puget Sound in Washington.

Karen Bruntz LS Teacher

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Karen Bruntz

LS Teacher
B.A., University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Elementary Education
E.C.E.C., University of Wisconsin, Fox Valley, Early Childhood Education Certificate

Ms. Bruntz brings nearly thirty years of experience to her position of first grade teacher. Her all-time favorite memory is of when a graduating PCDS “Lifer” wrote her a letter to tell her that she had been her inspiration. Ms. Bruntz loves spending time with her four grandchildren, hiking, biking, golfing and dancing.

Kathryn Bucolo LS Administrative Assistant

Kathryn Bucolo

LS Administrative Assistant

Ms. Bucolo began cross-training in the Lower School office earlier this year, where she’ll continue to bring her warm personality and attention to detail to all that occurs in the Lower School. Ms. Bucolo has taught at ASU in the Writing Programs Department, and holds a B.A from Gettysburg College and an MFA in Creative Writing from ASU.

Keith Burns US Drama and English Teacher

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Keith Burns

US Drama and English Teacher
B.A., Pepperdine University, Theatre Arts

With over twenty years of teaching experience, Mr. Burns exudes a love for the dramatic arts, which he passionately shares with his students. You will often find him in his favorite campus spot, which is, of course, on the Dorrance Auditorium stage. Mr. Burns is a Star Wars trilogy enthusiast who likes to spend time with his family, travel, engage in world service projects, act, and go to the theatre.

Kat Burrell LS Teaching Assistant

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Kat Burrell

LS Teaching Assistant
B.A. Fordham University, Political Science

Coach Kat joined PCDS in 2012 as a Varsity Volleyball Coach, and became a Lower School teaching assistant in 2014. She brings her early childhood teaching experience to support our students in their daily academic and social growth. Away from campus, she enjoys playing and coaching volleyball, riding her bike, and spending time with her family and dog.

Kelly Butler MS Social Studies Teacher

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Kelly Butler

MS Social Studies Teacher
B.A., Illinois State University, History Education
M.A., University of Phoenix, Education

With seventeen years of teaching experience behind her, Ms. Butler, Sixth Grade Coordinator and Teacher, artfully makes history real and meaningful by helping her sixth graders recognize through the study of history and cultures that there is a human connection that exists in all of us. By understanding from where they have come and opening their eyes to how similar we all are no matter what our cultural background, her students develop confidence, an understanding of the cultures of the world and empathy for others. When she is not teaching, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, practicing yoga and Reiki, and painting.

Barb Bzdak Registrar / College Counselor

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Barb Bzdak

Registrar / College Counselor
B.S. Northern Arizona University, Interdisciplinary Studies

An invaluable member of the College Counseling department, Ms. Bzdak is responsible for counseling and supporting students and their families, and providing guidance in all aspects of the college admissions process. Community is most important to Ms. Bzdak, and she especially loves the tradition by which each senior has a kindergarten buddy because of the way it unites the students.

Kaitlan Cady Admissions Officer

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Kaitlan Cady

Admissions Officer
Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies - Arizona State University
Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management – Arizona State University

Kaitlan came to PCDS from higher education after working at Arizona State and San Diego State Universities. One of her favorite things about PCDS is the Lower School morning meeting – when classes have the opportunity to showcase discoveries or sing songs and dance, and finally send students on their way with three calming breaths.

When not working with potential Lower School students and their families, this southern California native loves going to Disneyland with her family, hiking, cooking, and volunteering at the Humane Society.

Cliff Carlson, Jr. Groundskeeper

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Cliff Carlson, Jr.

Groundskeeper

Mr. Carlson assists in keeping everything running well and the grounds looking great on campus. Friendly, yet quiet, he has a great sense of humor and can also make some very impressive sound effects. When he is off campus, he likes listening to music, BMX bike riding, and working on cars/trucks.

Cliff Carlson, Sr. Night Maintenance Supervisor

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Cliff Carlson, Sr.

Night Maintenance Supervisor

With almost 30 years of experience at PCDS, and the knowledge of practically every square inch of the grounds, Mr. Carlson helps ensure that our campus is always looking pristine. Mr. Carlson previously was the Head of Grounds at PCDS prior to becoming the Night Supervisor. Mr. Carlson loves to laugh and have fun, and in his spare time, can be found BMX biking with his son and grandchildren, and enjoying the outdoors.

Katie Charles Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship

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Katie Charles

Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship
B.I.S., Arizona State University, Religious Studies and Sociology

Ms. Charles brings many years of experience in fundraising and is currently the Director of Annual Giving and Stewardship. In her free time, Ms. Charles enjoys spending time with her husband, baby daughter, hiking, running, fostering boxer dogs, and barbecuing with family and friends!

Jenny Cherilla Dean of Academics

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Jenny Cherilla

Dean of Academics
B.S., John Carroll University, Mathematics
M.S., Arizona State University, Industrial Engineering

Master mathematics teacher, Ms. Cherilla brings a long-time, enthusiastic love for teaching and passion for learning at PCDS to her leadership role. Everyone who knows Ms. Cherilla and her warm smile also knows her gift for connecting with students, their families and her colleagues alike. In her free time, she likes to hike, read, and attend her children’s sporting events.

Donna Corbett Student Billing Coordinator

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Donna Corbett

Student Billing Coordinator

Ms. Corbett is a most important member of the Business Office, as she is responsible for all student billing. Ms. Corbett especially looks forward to the annual LS and MS Halloween parades on campus. When she is not working, she can often be found doing outdoor activities, such as running and hiking.

Carla Cose-Giallella Music Department Chair, LS Music Teacher

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Carla Cose-Giallella

Music Department Chair, LS Music Teacher
M.A., University of Arizona, Music Education
B.M., Iowa State University, Music
D.M.A., Arizona State University, Music Education

With over twenty-five years of experience, Dr. Cose-Giallella masterfully brings out the singers, dancers and musicians in all of our PCDS students. She loves the first day of school most because that is when the music begins. When she is not helping young musicians make beautiful music on campus, she can be found reading, running, hiking, golfing, and playing tennis.

Lisa Culbertson Head of Upper School

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Lisa Culbertson

Head of Upper School
A.B., Cornell University, Government
M.Ed., Teachers College at Columbia University, Education Leadership

Ms. Culbertson joined PCDS as the Head of Upper School in 2014. She most recently served as a math teacher and Dean of Students at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, before completing her Master’s Degree in Private School Leadership from the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. While at Columbia, Ms. Culbertson focused her field work on educational innovation and was a consultant at The Dalton School, where she investigated the implementation of design thinking into its curriculum.

Jennifer Cunningham MS Latin and Spanish Teacher

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Jennifer Cunningham

MS Latin and Spanish Teacher
B.A., University of Oklahoma, Classics
M.A., University of Georgia, Classics

Ms. Cunningham can be found creatively inspiring students’ love for languages, and working to instill within her students an appreciation and love for different languages and cultures, both ancient and modern. In her spare time, she practices and teaches yoga, watches NASCAR, reads poetry, and attends concerts and sporting events.

Cindy Davis LS Teacher

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Cindy Davis

LS Teacher
B.S., University of Illinois, Education

Long-time PCDS second grade teacher, Ms. Davis, most treasures feeling loved by her genuine and affectionate students and supported by their families. With her project-oriented instructional style, Ms. Davis works to create independent learners who have a true love for learning and themselves. Her students especially love the Geo-friend project, during which a stuffed animal friend is sent on adventures around the world, meanwhile sending photos and emails of its travels back to the students, and thus bringing the world into the classroom. When she is not teaching in her beloved Room #15, she enjoys cheering for the Cardinals, home decorating, walking with friends, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Nichole Dawson LS Teacher

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Nichole Dawson

LS Teacher
B.A.E., Arizona State University, Early Childhood Education

Ms. Dawson seeks to teach her third graders to develop a joy and love for learning of all kinds. She thrives on watching her students absorbing everything that is going on around them. She appreciates their eagerness to learn and willingness to share their knowledge, especially when their smiling faces reveal their unbridled excitement for what they have just discovered. When she is not at school, she enjoys soaking up the sun, walking, hiking, swimming and gardening. She also likes traveling, reading, baking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Linda Drate LS Teacher

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Linda Drate

LS Teacher
B.A., San Francisco State College, Elementary Education

With over twenty-five years of teaching experience, first grade teacher, Ms. Drate, knows young learners, just as all of her young learners affectionately know Brian the Lion. Supporter of hands-on learning, harvesting the very first First Grade organic garden has been a highlight of Ms. Drate’s years at PCDS. When she is not teaching, she enjoys walking, gardening, bird watching, reading and traveling.

Shawn Ducusin 4th Grade Teacher

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Shawn Ducusin

4th Grade Teacher
B.A., University of San Diego, Liberal Arts
M.A., San Diego State University, Curriculum and Instruction

Ms. Ducusin has been teaching 4th grade since 2001, and joined PCDS in 2014. She just loves the kids at this age, as they grow leaps and bounds both academically and socially! Away from PCDS, she is an avid ASU football fan, attending every home game! She also enjoys spending time with her husband and three boys, traveling each summer to San Diego and Payson.

Anne Duffy US Science Teacher

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Anne Duffy

US Science Teacher
B.S., UC San Diego, Chemistry
M.S., UC San Diego, Chemistry
Ph.D., UC San Diego with San Diego State University, Mathematics and Science Education

Dr. Duffy joined the Upper School science department in 2015, after most recently teaching at BASIS Scottsdale. She has previously worked at the renowned High Tech High School in San Diego, where she developed innovative new curricula in math and sciences.

Sasha Eden LS Teacher

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Sasha Eden

LS Teacher
B.A., University of Arizona, Elementary Education
M.Ed. Northern Arizona University, Early Childhood Education

Ms. Sasha helps our very youngest students acclimate to the school community. Her favorite part of the week is on Fridays when both pre-k classes get together to spend time reading, singing songs, and celebrating the fun and work they have accomplished throughout the week. In her free time, she practices yoga, spends time with family and friends, watches movies, and reads.

Brian Ellingson Groundskeeper

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Brian Ellingson

Groundskeeper

Mr. Ellingson, with his kind and friendly manner, works with the beautiful grounds of PCDS. Prior to joining the Facilities Department, he worked as a physical education instructor and coach at PCDS. He worked as the Athletic Facilities Manager until he moved to Facilities Services. Mr. Ellingson is a devoted family man, and enjoys camping, all sports, going to the beach in Mexico, and golfing.

Karin Epstein Nurse

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Karin Epstein

Nurse
B.A., Southern Illinois University, Biology
B.S., Saint Louis University, Nursing

In collaboration with the other members of the Health Center staff, Ms. Epstein can be found caring for all things health-related on campus. From fixing scrapes to dispensing inhalers, Ms. Epstein helps to keep out community healthy and safe. The connections she makes with students, faculty and staff inspire and motivate her as a nurse and a person. In her leisure time, she enjoys playing golf.

Chris Eriksen MS English Teacher

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Chris Eriksen

MS English Teacher
B.S., Marquette University, Electrical Engineering
B.A., Arizona State University, Elementary Education

As Mr. E. closes in on two decades of teaching at PCDS, he continues to inspire and ignite his fifth grade students’ passion for grammar and writing. One of the highlights of every year for Mr. E. and his students is the annual Magazine Project, which he has been orchestrating for the past 17 years; many of his now-graduated students still hold on to their prized magazine. Outside of school, Mr. E. is a Broadway musical fan, enjoys acting on stage, gardening, working out, and playing with his dogs when he is not at school.

Kai Etheridge Athletic Trainer

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Kai Etheridge

Athletic Trainer
M.S., A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Health Sciences, Sports Health Care
B.S., State University of New York at Cortland, Physical Education

You can usually find Mr. Etheridge in the Kosower Fitness Center helping students gaining the strength they need to achieve their physical edge. The highlight of his PCDS career so far has been the 2012-2013 Boys’ Basketball State Championship Season. When he is not training athletes at school, he likes to spend time with his family.

Sadie Etheridge LS Physical Education Teacher

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Sadie Etheridge

LS Physical Education Teacher
B.S., Canisius College, Athletic Training and Physical Education
M.S.Ed., Canisius College, Physical Education

Keeping our Lower School students physically fit is the name of Ms. Etheridge’s game. She especially enjoys teaching her students to swim at the PCDS pool, and credits the small class sizes with the amount of individualized and personal attention she is able to give to each of her students. Ms. Etheridge loves spending her off-campus time with her husband and children.

Leslie Feldman Director of Alumni Relations

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Leslie Feldman (1999)

Director of Alumni Relations
B.A., Washington University in St. Louis, History
M.S.W., Arizona State University

As Director of Alumni Relations, Leslie Kornreich Feldman (’99) is excited to be back at PCDS in a professional position that allows her to connect with fellow alumni. In addition to working with the PCDS Alumni Board and planning alumni-related events such as class reunions and the annual holiday party, Ms. Feldman also enjoys working with the Upper School senior class as they transition from PCDS students to PCDS alumni. Ms. Feldman wants to make sure that PCDS graduates remain connected to their alma mater, so she hopes that alumni remember to send her updated contact information as they move around the world! In her free time, Ms. Feldman enjoys spending time with her husband, young daughter, and beloved Goldendoodle.

Julie Fine LS Teacher

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Julie Fine

LS Teacher
B.A., University of Arizona, Elementary Education
M.Ed., Arizona State University, Curriculum and Instruction, Applied Behavior Analysis

One of kindergarten teacher, Ms. Fine’s, favorite parts of teaching kindergarten is getting to be there in those moments when learning to add or read just “clicks” for her students. She works to instill within her students the understanding that in learning, taking chances is valuable and mistakes are okay, because that is how the best learning happens. In her spare time, she can be found traveling, and spending time with her husband and two French bulldogs.

Maurine Fleming MS and US Strings and Orchestra Teacher

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Maurine Fleming

MS and US Strings and Orchestra Teacher
B.M., Arizona State University, Music Performance, Cello

Ms. Fleming’s passion for encouraging her students’ love for music is nothing short of inspiring, as is the way in which she takes the time to get to truly know each of her students. When she is not in her classroom or the “cave” (where the music teachers meet), Ms. Fleming, who is an accomplished musician herself, delights in gardening, walking, and relishing every moment she spends with her son.

Melinda Flores US Science Teacher

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Melinda Flores

US Science Teacher
B.A., Yale University, History of Science and Medicine
M.A., St. Peter's College, Education

Ms. Flores joins the Upper School Science Department after most recently serving as Science Department Chair and physics teacher at St. Peter’s Preparatory School in New Jersey. Ms. Flores holds a B.A. in the History of Science and Medicine from Yale University and an M.A. in Education from St. Peter’s College.

John Freeland Maintenance Staff

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John Freeland

Maintenance Staff

Others find it hard to keep up with Mr. Freeland, because he hits the ground running to perform his maintenance work around campus from the time he starts until the time he leaves. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his grandson, hiking, and watching and playing sports.

Duane Freeman MS Counselor

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Duane Freeman

MS Counselor
B.A., Columbia College in Chicago, Theater: Concentration in Acting
M.Ed., DePaul University, Human Services and Counseling

Mr. Freeman joined PCDS in 2015 as a Middle School counselor after serving in the same position at Francis W. Parker School in Chicago, Illinois. There, he developed a health curriculum for the middle school grades, and led classes quite similar to our very own YO courses.

Maki Fullerton MS Science Teacher

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Maki Fullerton

MS Science Teacher
B.A., University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Psychology and Licensure in Elementary Education

Native of Japan, Ms. Fullerton moved to Phoenix via Hawaii to join our PCDS community in 2012. When she is not teaching her fifth grade students how to develop an appreciation for all things science, she travels, swims and snowboards.

Pam Gagner Kindergarten Teacher

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Pam Gagner

Kindergarten Teacher
B.Ed., Simon Fraser University, Elementary and Early Childhood

Ms. Gagner had been teaching early childhood education for over two decades before joining PCDS in 2014. She values her opportunities to guide children as they create, discover, learn and grow daily in our classrooms. When away from campus, she enjoys traveling, sports, and spending time with friends, her husband, and three children.

Sarah Gaumer Art Department Chair, MS Art Teacher

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Sarah Gaumer

Art Department Chair, MS Art Teacher
B.A., University of Montana, Art
M.F.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, Studio Art

Ms. Gaumer passionately instills her love and appreciation for art within her Middle School students. From encouraging her students to watch the birds and desert wildlife from her classroom windows, to easel painting with seventh graders on the rim of the Grand Canyon, Ms. Gaumer helps her students find artistic inspiration in their every day lives. An avid artist herself, Ms. Gaumer, when she is not teaching or creating, likes to explore Phoenix neighborhoods, travel, attend the opera, and make tamales.

Brett Girod MS Innovation & Technology

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Brett Girod

MS Innovation & Technology
B.A., Arizona State University, Political Science

Mr. Girod joins PCDS to spearhead a new Middle School technology program housed in the Nest. His past experience includes technology services at Denali Advanced Integration and with IBM. Mr. Girod has a B.A. in political science from ASU.

Jacqui Goertz US Math Teacher

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Jacqui Goertz

US Math Teacher
B.S., Wheaton College, Mathematics
M.A., Wheaton College, Education

Jacqui taught high school math at a private school in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before joining PCDS. Her favorite aspects of PCDS include answering student questions, such as “Why do I need to know this?” Ms. Goertz loves to give practical uses for her complex math instruction. In her free time, she enjoys running, baking decadently delightful desserts, and following Iowa Hawkeye sports.

Michael Gordon-Smith US English Teacher

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Michael Gordon-Smith

US English Teacher
B.A., Brigham Young University, English
M.A., Brigham Young University, English
Ph.D., Emory University, English

Dr. Gordon-Smith joins PCDS from the English Department of Emory University, where he has been a Visiting Professor of English. Dr. Gordon-Smith holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in English from BYU and his Ph.D. in English from Emory University.

Alex Gow MS Science Teacher

Alex Gow

MS Science Teacher

Mr. Gow joins PCDS after doing field research the behavior of Chacma Baboons in South Africa. He is a graduate of Princeton University where he majored in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, and also played goalie on the Varsity Water Polo Team.

Michelle Gurnee LS Art Teacher

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Michelle Gurnee

LS Art Teacher
B.A., Mount Mary College, Visual Arts, Architecture and Design

Ms. Gurnee can be found joyfully teaching the youngest artists on campus how to find their inner artist. An artist herself, her favorite event of the year is the Arts Walk, which brings the whole community together to celebrate student creativity. You might have spotted Ms. Gurnee riding her unicycle into school; she enjoys lots of other activities as well, such as running, hiking, swimming, traveling and writing.

Matt Guthrie History Department Chair, US History and English Teacher

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Matt Guthrie

History Department Chair, US History and English Teacher
B.A., Ottawa University, History

Anyone who has had a conversation with Mr. Guthrie will know how expansive his knowledge is, and he imparts his massive wealth of knowledge to his students in classes from International Relations to Debate to Sports and Society to American Government to English: Science Fiction and Fantasy. In his spare time, Mr. Guthrie likes to bike, travel, bird watch, and watch baseball and cricket. He also likes to play chess, and is a former AZ State Champion who holds the National Master title.

Toni Hall LS Science Teacher

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Toni Hall

LS Science Teacher
B.A., Arizona State University, Elementary Education, Science

Ms. Hall enthusiastically helps our youngest learners develop a foundation and understanding of science by engaging them in interesting and meaningful, hands-on learning experiences, meanwhile teaching them how to always wear appropriate and fashionable safety equipment! When she is not in her classroom, you might find Ms. Hall in her very favorite campus spot, the Lower School Courtyard.

Katharine Halsey US Counselor

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Katharine Halsey

US Counselor
B.S., Carleton College, Art History
M.S.W., Southern Connecticut State University

Ms. Halsey joined PCDS in 2015 as the Upper School Counselor. She previously worked with community-based, non-profit programs in the Bay Area, a community behavioral health program in Philadelphia, and with the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut.

Meg Hathaway Assistant Director of College Counseling

Meg Hathaway

Assistant Director of College Counseling
B.A., UNC-Chapel Hill, Journalism and Mass Communication
M.Ed., Vanderbilt University/Peabody College, Human Development Counseling

Ms. Hathaway moved west to PCDS in 2015 from Nashville, Tennessee, where she worked in a variety of capacities in independent schools, including teaching and college counseling.

Jeanel Hoagland US Math Teacher

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Jeanel Hoagland

US Math Teacher
B.S., Pennsylvania State University, Mathematics Education
M.B.A., Temple University, Finance

Ms. Hoagland has a gift for teaching students not only how to deepen their understanding of math, but also how to want to do their personal best. Passionate about learning and teaching, Ms. Hoagland knows how to connect with her students. She makes learning fun, while encouraging her students to recognize and value the beauty of the mathematics they learn. In her spare time, she gardens, reads, works on puzzles, and loves being with her family. She also happens to be an expert seamstress and baker.

Blake Howard Assistant Director of Admissions

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Blake Howard

Assistant Director of Admissions
B.A., The College of William and Mary, English Literature
M.A., Georgetown University, English Literature

Mr. Howard joined the PCDS Admissions Office in 2015 from the Potomac School in McLean, VA, where he has spent the last seven years as an Upper School English faculty member, and prior spent five years working for the Potomac School’s Office of Admissions.

Andrew Huff HVAC Service Tech. & Electrician

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Andrew Huff

HVAC Service Tech. & Electrician

Mr. Huff can be depended on to handle the HVAC, AV, electrical and plumbing issues around campus. A quietly focused and hard worker, Mr. Huff is also an electronic music aficionado and musician who, in his time off campus, can be found writing music, playing guitar, bass, and drums.

Michele Huskey MS Counselor

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Michele Huskey

MS Counselor
B.S., Arizona State University, Psychology
M.C., Arizona State University, Counseling

Mrs. Huskey can always be counted on to lend her empathetic ear, constructive problem-solving guidance and signature smile to her sixth and seventh grade students. She establishes personal connections with every one of her students as she works with students one-on-one and also teaches her You and Others classes. She especially enjoys going on class trips with her students, and has fond memories from destinations such as Catalina Island, Joshua Tree, Pali Mountain and Boston. With a seemingly endless amount of energy, in her free time Ms. Huskey enjoys practicing yoga, doing triathlons, and spending time with her family.

Diane Ingold LS Teacher

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Diane Ingold

LS Teacher
B.A., Arizona State University, Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education
M.Ed., Arizona State University, Education

Celebrating over two decades of teaching at PCDS, Ms. Ingold seeks to instill within her second graders a love of learning, school and reading, meanwhile fostering her students’ independence. She especially loves reading E.B. White’s timeless stories with her students. When she is not teaching, she likes taking road trips, hiking, reading, and going to the movies.

Jaki Ivins LS Head

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Jaki Ivins

LS Head
B.A., University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education
M.Ed., Northern Arizona University, Elementary Education

Ms. Ivins works to ensure that all Lower School students experience wonder and delight and develop compassion during their time at school. Lower School Community Meetings take her breath away, as students speak of heroes, share class projects, shake hands with one another and join together to sing. Her goal is for all Lower School students to know that they are valued for whom they are. Ms. Ivins enjoys traveling internationally, reading, and walking when she is not at school.

Ryan Joyce Director of Advancement

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Ryan Joyce

Director of Advancement
B.A., University of Scranton, Theatre and Philosophy

Mr. Joyce, with his boundless school spirit, is in charge of all school fundraising, as well as alumni relations, communications, marketing, website construction and all major PCDS events. Besides working tirelessly to support and encourage the advancement of PCDS, he also finds time to connect with the community by teaching classes in the Middle and Upper Schools, participating in after-school faculty improv classes, and enjoying lively conversations with Lower School students while standing in the lunch line. East Coast transplant Mr. Joyce is an enthusiastic Mets fan, and he also enjoys hiking, climbing, and exploring all that Arizona has to offer.

David Kaye US English Teacher

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David Kaye

US English Teacher
B.A., University of Chicago
M.A., Northwestern University, English Literature

Mr. Kaye joins PCDS after having most recently taught and coached at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy. He has also taught summer programs at Stanford University’s Great Books Summer Program, the University of Chicago Lab Schools, and through Northwestern University’s School of Education. He holds two B.A.’s from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. in English Literature from Northwestern University.

Nick Klemp Upper School Faculty & Speech and Debate Coach

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Nick Klemp

Upper School Faculty & Speech and Debate Coach
B.A., Arizona State University, Philosophy

Mr. Klemp has been working with students since 2007, and joined PCDS in 2014. Whether coaching with our Speech and Debate team, teaching with the Math Department, or teaching Economics, Mr. Klemp is a PCDS “jack of all trades.” Outside of school, he’s a huge Phoenix Suns and Chicago Bears fan, and runs a monthly variety show in Tempe.

Kelsey Knutson MS Social Studies Teacher

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Kelsey Knutson

MS Social Studies Teacher
B.A., University of Minnesota in Global Studies, Human Rights & Justice, and Spanish
M.Ed., Arizona State University, Elementary Education

Ms. Knutson joined PCDS in 2016 and teaches 5th Grade Social Studies with an emphasis on World Geography. She holds a B.A. from University of Minnesota in Global Studies - Human Rights & Justice, and Spanish, and a M.Ed. from Arizona State University in Elementary Education. This born Minnesotan fell hard for the sunshine and hiking in Arizona. Outside of school she enjoys international backpacking, outdoor activities, live blues, and devouring copious amounts of tacos.

Bob Kosower Associate Director of Athletics

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Bob Kosower

Associate Director of Athletics
B.S., Bowling Green State University/St. Cloud State University, Physical Education and Health
M.A., Arizona State University, Secondary Education

Mr. Kosower will proudly tell you, “PCDS is the BEST school anywhere!” He should know, since he has worked at PCDS for four decades! Friendly and warm, Mr. Kosower coordinates the game management for all sports activities. Being an integral part of the growth and success of the Eagle Athletic Program has been the major highlight of Mr. Kosower’s career. When he is not rooting for the Blue and Gold, he enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, visiting Major League Baseball parks around the country, golfing, and appreciating cars and sunsets.

Kavita Kukunoor MS English Teacher

Kavita Kukunoor's picture

Kavita Kukunoor

MS English Teacher
B.A., Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, English Literature and Psychology
M.A., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Communication
M.A., University of Connecticut, Marketing Communication

Ms. Kukunoor brought over two decades of teaching experience when she joined PCDS in 2014 as a Middle School English teacher. She loves teaching her students active critical thinking skills, reading and writing for reflection and understanding, student-led discussion techniques, and (above all) the art of annotation. At PCDS, she values the caring community of teachers, administrators, students, and staff, as well as the tasty food in the Dining Hall.

Robyn Kunze Food Services Director

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Robyn Kunze

Food Services Director
B.A., University of the Witwatersrant, Johannesburg, South Africa, Hotel Management and Culinary Arts

Born and raised South African, Ms. Kunze enthusiastically keeps the PCDS community well fed with delicious meals. In addition to managing all of Food Services on campus, Ms. Kunze works to educate students, faculty and staff about food, and encourages people to try new things and expand their culinary palates. With a background working in the Hospitality industry in high-end resorts around town, Ms. Kunze is extremely knowledgeable about good food. In her free time, she fly-fishes, golfs, travels, and spends time with her family.

Julie Larrea MS English Teacher

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Julie Larrea

MS English Teacher
B.A., Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, English

Sixth grade is Ms. Larrea’s favorite grade to teach because her English students are able to engage in interesting discussions and ready to advance their writing skills to higher levels. Ms. Larrea enjoys teaching the gardening elective, as she likes to garden at home, too. Ms. Larrea also enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and volunteering at a weekly community dinner for the homeless in Phoenix.

Nathan Lewis US Art Teacher

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Nathan Lewis

US Art Teacher
B.F.A, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Sculpture
M.F.A., Arizona State University, Sculpture

When an unfamiliar student approached Mr. Lewis and said, ÒMy brother says you’re awesome!Ó during his first few weeks at PCDS, Mr. Lewis considered that to be a pretty nice endorsement. Mr. Lewis teaches his art students problem-solving by challenging them develop their technical and creative skills, and also seeks to develop his students’ discerning eyes towards their world. An accomplished artist himself, Mr. Lewis enjoys creating sculptures, paintings, and masks, drawing comics, and woodworking.

Shane Lewis Director of Athletics

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Shane Lewis

Director of Athletics
B.A., University of Southern Maine, Business
M.Ed., Plymouth State University, Secondary Education and Athletic Administration

Mr. Lewis runs the Athletic Department with spirit and dedication. He can often be found in his favorite campus spot, the gym-of course. Coaching the Boys’ Basketball Team to the 2012 State Championship has been Mr. Lewis’s most memorable event thus far. In his time away from PCDS sports, Mr. Lewis likes to golf and play with his dogs.

Richard Lopez Groundskeeper

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Richard Lopez

Groundskeeper

Though Mr. Lopez joined PCDS Maintenance team not too long ago, he has already made his mark with his keen attention to detail and hard working nature. He also brings quite a bit of landscaping experience with him. Mr. Lopez, with his super sense of humor and kind manner, enjoys going to the car races, working on cars, and fishing in his spare time.

Mikenna Mack Administrative Assistant in the Health Center

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Mikenna Mack

Administrative Assistant in the Health Center
B.S., Brigham Young University, Recreational Management

Ms. Mack has been a fixture at PCDS since she began diving here at age 13 with her club dive team. After going to BYU on a full dive scholarship, she returned to Phoenix to coach our divers and now serves as a substitute Lower School teacher and support in our Health Center. She has a passion for kids, often volunteering outside of PCDS to support kids with special needs in treatment centers.

Evelyne Macrodimitris LS Librarian

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Evelyne Macrodimitris

LS Librarian
B.A., University of Manitoba, History, English and Sociology, with an Associateship in Education
B.L.S., University of Alberta, Library Science

Always ready to recommend and read fabulous books to students, Ms. Macrodimitris ensures that the Lower School library is a welcoming place where students develop their love of reading and quest for knowledge. In 2013, all of the ÒLifersÓ together returned to the Lower School library just so that Ms. Macrodimitris could read them one last story. In her free time, Ms. Macrodimitris can frequently be found reading mysteries and children’s books.

Danny Majeski LS Physical Education Teacher

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Danny Majeski

LS Physical Education Teacher
B.S., University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Physical Education, Health Education and Coaching

With a PCDS career that spans over 30 years, Mr. Majeski says his students make him feel like a “rock star.” He delights in seeing his young students achieve physical success. Mr. Majeski especially enjoys watching his students perform and celebrate what they have learned in his class during such events as LS Track and Field Day and Swim Exhibition. Off campus, Mr. Majeski likes to work out, coach, spend time with his family, visit the beach, and cheer for the Green Bay Packers.

Sheila Marks MS History Teacher

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Sheila Marks

MS History Teacher
B.A., Eastern Illinois University, History
M.A.T., Boston College, History

Ms. Marks’ passion for U.S. History shines through every aspect of her class, as she manages to thoroughly prepare her eighth graders for high school. With nearly thirty years of teaching experience behind her, Eighth Grade Coordinator Ms. Marks most loves the storytelling aspect of teaching history, and she uses stories to inspire her students’ desires to visit the historical sites about which they study. When she is not at school, Ms. Marks can be found traveling, reading, and going to the movies.

Eric Martell US Science Teacher

Eric Martell

US Science Teacher

Dr. Martell joins PCDS to teach Physics and other science electives in the Upper School. He has taught at both the high school and collegiate levels in Illinois and the Valley, and most recently taught at PVCC and Paradise Valley High School. Dr. Martell holds a BS from North Central College, and an MS and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dave Martin US History Teacher

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Dave Martin

US History Teacher
B.A., University of Northern Colorado, History
M.A., William & Mary, Early American History
M.Ed., Arizona State University, Secondary Education

With a lifelong love of history, Mr. Martin has been a long time fixture in the PCDS History Department. Making history relevant to his students’ contemporary lives and helping them understand how they are each a part of an ongoing narrative, is what Mr. Martin seeks to instill within his students. When he is not teaching about democratic government and the workings of a capitalist, free market economy, Mr. Martin enjoys cheering for the soccer teams, reading, and traveling.

Sue Mazzolini US Mathematics Teacher

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Sue Mazzolini

US Mathematics Teacher
B.S., Arizona State University, Biology
M.C., Arizona State University, Counseling and Gifted Education

Ms. Mazzolini’s favorite campus spot is her classroom, especially when it is filled with students eagerly learning everything from algebra to calculus. Ms. Mazzolini’s favorite tradition of the year is Blue and Gold Day, when Dr. Allison dons a blue wig! When not inspiring her students’ passion for math, Ms. Mazzolini likes to exercise, read, and volunteer her time to help others.

Daniel McGill US Science Teacher

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Daniel McGill

US Science Teacher
B.S., Brown University, Geology-Biology

Mr. McGill joined PCDS after most recently doing fieldwork at the Pacific Biodiversity Institute in Winthrop, Washington. He has extensive biology and ecology research experience, from the Pacific Northwest to Costa Rica. He holds a B.S. in Geology-Biology from Brown University.

Patrick McHonett Associate Head of School

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Patrick McHonett

Associate Head of School
B.A., Claremont McKenna College, Literature
M.Ed., Arizona State University, Education, Supervision and Leadership

Mr. McHonett’s great enthusiasm for PCDS is evident in the way that he supports multiple programs on campus. From leading the College Counseling Department, to spearheading marketing and communications efforts for the school, to supporting students in a variety of settings, he loves to be deeply engaged in every area of the School. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, photography, cooking, writing, and spending time with his family.

Andy McKean Technology Integration, LS Computer Teacher

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Andy McKean

Technology Integration, LS Computer Teacher
B.S., Rockford College, Child Development
M.Ed., Rockford College, Curriculum Strategies

Figuring out how to best implement innovative and inspiring projects using technology is Mr. McKean’s forte. Whether he is supporting teachers or teaching young students, Mr. McKean knows how to find the perfect technological resources to make learning exciting. Mr. McKean is also a passionate soccer coach, and he leads his teams to victory with dedication and enthusiasm. When he is not at school, Mr. McKean enjoys finding new places to explore on his mountain bike.

Katie McKean MS History Teacher

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Katie McKean

MS History Teacher
B.S., Bradley University, Advertising and Public Relations
M.A.T., Rockford College, Education

Bringing history to life for her seventh grade students is what Ms. McKean, Seventh Grade Coordinator and Teacher, does best. With boundless energy and enthusiasm, Ms. McKean seeks to enable her students to understand what it means to be American, to be responsible citizens, to say the Pledge of Allegiance with pride and appreciate the history that stands behind it, to have a curiosity about the world, to question the news they hear and read, and acknowledge that there are always more sides to every story. In her spare time, Ms. McKean enjoys hiking, traveling, cycling, practicing hot yoga, and fostering Labrador Retrievers.

Stephanie McLachlan Controller

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Stephanie McLachlan

Controller
B.A., Ryerson University, Finance & Accounting
C.A., Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants, Chartered Accountant

Ms. McLachlan started her career with KPMG financial firm, but entered working in schools in 2008 at the Chadwick School in Palos Verdes, California, as their controller and enrollment manager. At PCDS, she helps manage the financial stability of the School with her keen attention to detail. Away from campus, she enjoys skiing and playing tennis.

Brian Mensinger MS English Teacher

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Brian Mensinger

MS English Teacher
B.A., University of Illinois, English
M.A., Northwestern University, Literature

Mr. Mensinger seeks to inspire his eighth grade students’ love for literature with thoughtful dedication. He also helps his students find and develop their unique and personal written voices, including their ability to present their writing publicly, as is evidenced by their powerful Commencement speeches each spring. In his time off campus, Mr. Mensinger uses his time to read, spend time with his family, and just to think.

MaryKay Meyers LS Teacher

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MaryKay Meyers

LS Teacher
B.S., University of Arizona, Education

Ms. Meyers demonstrates her love for both teaching and learning in the way that she cherishes the countless thoughts and words of wisdom imparted to her by her first grade students. Ms. Meyers makes every effort to truly know her students as well as their families, and makes every student feel special. She likes to spend her free time with her family and friends, hiking, golfing, swimming, biking, and playing games.

Laurence Mills US French Teacher

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Laurence Mills

US French Teacher
Deug, Faculté de Droit of La Rochelle, Charente Maritime, France, Law
Licence, Université de Poitiers, Vienne, France, Private Law

What Ms. Mills likes best about teaching Upper School students is that they take ownership of their studies and often go beyond her expectations. To her, teaching French is a treat, not only because she shares her passion for her culture, but also because she has the privilege of accompanying them along the entire journey of their French studies at PCDS. Ms. Mills aspires for her students to become passionate and inspired learners of French culture and language. Her family is at the center of her life, and, like any good French person, she loves to cook!

Hallie Mueller MS Art Teacher

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Hallie Mueller

MS Art Teacher
B.A., Bowdoin College, Visual Art

Ms. Mueller helps her students tap into their inner artist. A painter herself, she helps them find inspiration from all around them, including PCDS’s beautiful campus; sitting on the grass in the MS quad is Ms. Mueller’s favorite campus spot. Ms. Mueller is a nature-lover, and she can be found rock climbing, running, and playing soccer in her time away from school.

Jesse Munch Technology Support Specialist, Robotics Coach

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Jesse Munch

Technology Support Specialist, Robotics Coach
B.F.A., Arizona State University, Interdisciplinary Arts

Mr. Munch supports faculty and staff by helping them gain a better understanding of how to maximize the use of technology, thus enhancing the educational learning and teaching experience of students and teachers-and he gets to test and play with all the new technology toys! He loves coaching Robotics because he feels he is able to let the child within himself play, and in doing so, gets to share his knowledge with the future stewards of our beautiful planet.

Dale Nakagawa Technical Theatre

Dale Nakagawa

Technical Theatre

Mr. Nakagawa joins the PCDS theatre program on a part time basis, aimed to help across all theatrical productions and lead the Middle School play. Mr. Nakagawa has most recently worked with Greasepaint Youtheatre in Scottsdale and has past school production experience at Brophy Prep, Madison Traditional Academy, and Sequioa Elementary. Mr. Nakagawa holds a B.S. in Theatre Arts from Southern Oregon University.

Taylor Nelson Assistant to Administration, Special Projects

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Taylor Nelson

Assistant to Administration, Special Projects
B.A., Boston University, English
M.A., Columbia University Teachers College, Curriculum and Instruction
Ed.M., Harvard University Graduate School of Education, Administration and Social Policy

Ms. Nelson taught Middle School English at PCDS for the past two years, and is currently working in a part-time capacity on a variety of projects around the school, including spearheading the Corporate Tax Credit program, as well as assisting with the development of the new PCDS website and the administration of the PCDS Summer Program. She enjoys traveling, reading, art history, architecture, cooking, gardening, and being with her family.

Eric Neufer Information Resources Coordinator

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Eric Neufer

Information Resources Coordinator
B.A., Dartmouth College, Computer Science

Mr. Neufer knows, or can figure out, how to retrieve just about any type of information anyone on campus might need. He loves being able to try out new ideas for information gathering and systematizing. One of his fondest memories is of when his son, who was at the time a fourth grader on campus, spotted him, ran over and jumped up for him to catch him. Mr. Neufer likes to read, hike and philosophize in his free moments.

Sean Newland MS Physical Education Teacher, Intramural Program Coordinator

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Sean Newland

MS Physical Education Teacher, Intramural Program Coordinator
B.A., University of Phoenix, Psychology

Mr. Newland can typically be spotted on the basketball court in the gym, the playing fields or in the weight room, helping his students attain their physical goals and coaching his teams to greatness. Mr. Newland’s favorite campus events are Blue and Gold Day and Track and Field Day, of course. Mr. Newland works out, plays basketball, and runs in his spare time.

Kelli Newsome LS Teacher

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Kelli Newsome

LS Teacher
B.A., California State University of Northridge, Child Development

Ms. Kelli teaches pre-k students, lovingly guiding and supporting our youngest learners’ growth and development. Her fondest memory has been of the pre-k Fairy House Exhibition, and she also looks forward to seeing the students’ artistic creations in the studio each week. Lover of nature, Ms. Kelli enjoys working in her garden; she most loves time spent riding bikes, traveling, and seeking out new adventures with her husband and children.

Jesse North Assistant Director of Facilities Services & Transportation

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Jesse North

Assistant Director of Facilities Services & Transportation

Mr. North works to manage the Facilities employees and coordinate the daily goings-on in the Facilities Department, including work order distribution, facilities events and personnel issues. Mr. North was previously the Head of Grounds, during which time he became Sonoran Desert Landscape Certified through the Desert Botanical Garden. Mr. North is known for being personable, yet very professional, cool, calm and collected. For fun, Mr. North enjoys four-wheeling, camping, hunting, working on cars, archery, sports and fishing; he has also earned a masterful reputation for imitating voices.

Tammy O'Dea US Math Teacher

Tammy O'Dea

US Math Teacher

Ms. O’Dea brings her past experiences as a math and physics teacher, department chair, administrator and coach from schools in Massachusetts and Phoenix to the math department this fall where she’ll teach in the Upper School. Most recently, Ms. O’Dea has taught at BASIS Phoenix and Rancho Solano. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Mathematics Teaching from Boston University.

Liz Olson MS Mathematics Teacher

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Liz Olson

MS Mathematics Teacher
B.A., Northwestern University, Economics
M.C., Arizona State University, Counseling

Ms. Olson has been passionately helping her seventh grade students develop a deep appreciation for math, its beauty and elegance, and its connections with almost every other subject for many years at PCDS. She teaches her students how to make real-world connections in math and to think critically and creatively about the concepts they learn, but most of all Ms. Olson strives to help her students to know themselves better as learners. In her free time, Ms. Olson enjoys golfing, playing guitar, making movies, woodworking, and playing with her dogs.

Alvaro Otalora LS Spanish Teacher

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Alvaro Otalora

LS Spanish Teacher
B.S., Saint Thomas University (Colombia), Philosophy and Theology
M.A.T., Valley University (Colombia), Education

Mr. Otalora’s linguistically oriented instructional style is all about collaboration and community building. Fluent in three languages, being able to teach and learn with students, colleagues and parents from a variety of backgrounds inspires the fun Spanish games and activities that he uses to teach reading, writing and speaking skills to our youngest students every day. When he is not on campus, he can be found hiking and drawing cartoons.

Patty Pang US Mandarin Teacher

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Patty Pang

US Mandarin Teacher
US Mandarin Teacher
M.A., Arizona State University
B.A., Tamkang University, Taiwan

Ms. Pang was born and raised in Taiwan, and has been teaching for the last 35 years, including stints on faculty at Arizona State University and Phillips Exeter Academy. She has received numerous teaching awards for her work with students at the secondary and post-secondary levels. Outside of work, she loves to travel, do arts and crafts, and cook. At PCDS, she most values the deep traditions of this Pk-12 school and the devotion of its faculty.

Brandon Perry Director of Facilities Services & Transportation

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Brandon Perry

Director of Facilities Services & Transportation

Mr. Perry manages the Facilities Department with a hard-working, well-organized, confident eye for detail. Mr. Perry also happens to have a great sense of humor. In his free time, he likes to hike, attend NASCAR races, and watch sports.

Tina Pitts Advancement Coordinator

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Tina Pitts

Advancement Coordinator
B.S., Arizona State University
M.S., University of Oregon

Ms. Pitts joins the PCDS Advancement Office after holding similar positions at the Arizona School for the Arts and Gonzaga Preparatory (Spokane, WA). Ms. Pitts has a B.S. from ASU and an M.S. from the University of Oregon.

Suzi Pressley Director of Employee Resources

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Suzi Pressley

Director of Employee Resources

Ms. Pressley joined the PCDS Business Office in 2015 with over twenty years of experience in workforce planning and employment resources. Prior to joining PCDS, she worked in HR roles at Creative Communications Sales & Rentals, Inc., a Phoenix-based company in which she supported over 130 employees in five offices statewide. Ms. Pressley has multiple certifications in HR management, and continuing education from Scottsdale Community College.

Yolanda Prisco de Calderon Prep Cook

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Yolanda Prisco de Calderon

Prep Cook

Ms. Prisco de Calderon takes great responsibility for and gleans great enjoyment from keeping the salad and deli bars, with their wide variety of options, looking and tasting delicious. Friendly and caring, Ms. Prisco de Calderon enjoys taking care of her grandchildren and cooking in her free time.

Kristin Pruett MS Physical Education Teacher

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Kristin Pruett

MS Physical Education Teacher
B.S., Central Washington University, Accounting

You might already know Ms. Pruett from the pool, since she has coached diving there for twenty years. Ms Pruett joined PCDS as a faculty member in 2013, and she is now teaching Middle School girls in the capacity of physical education teacher. Her goals are for her students to learn that fitness is fun and should be a part of their everyday life, as well as that teamwork, winning and losing with dignity and sportsmanship are all invaluable. She hopes to convince even the students who do not consider themselves athletic to enjoy coming to P.E. In her free time, Ms. Pruett likes to travel with her three children.

Lynn Quartermaine LS Teacher

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Lynn Quartermaine

LS Teacher
B.Ed., Honors, Lancaster University, UK, Education, World Religions and Social Ethics

Ms. Quartermaine loves helping kindergarten learners develop their sense of wonder, eagerness to learn and sense of fairness. She finds teaching young children rewarding, humorous and entertaining, and seeks to instill within each of her students the belief that they can accomplish anything they put their mind to. Outside of school Ms. Quartermaine enjoys world traveling, hiking and swimming. She is also a passionate international Rugby League/Union fan.

Gabi Ragsdale US Administrative Assistant

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Gabi Ragsdale

US Administrative Assistant

Always ready with a big, warm smile, Ms. Ragsdale keeps the Upper School organized and running smoothly by tracking daily attendance, making weekly announcements to students and faculty, answering incoming phone calls, coordinating the Upper School Head’s calendar, managing substitute teachers, organizing US graduation, keeping the website current, and making student schedule changes. Joyfully hardworking and energetic, she loves talking to the students every day and watching them grow and expand their minds. In her free time, she enjoys photography, spending time with her husband and two children, and playing with her many animals.

Pedro Ramos Groundskeeper

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Pedro Ramos

Groundskeeper

Donning his signature straw hat and a warm grin, you can find hard-working Mr. Ramos all over campus. Whether he is helping someone across the parking lot, climbing up high in a tree trimming, or repairing a leak down in a hole, Mr. Ramos knows his stuff and gives his all. Mr. Ramos is also Sonoran Desert Landscape Certified through the Desert Botanical Garden. Mr. Ramos keeps his team cracking up with his hilarious sense of humor, loves to help and make people smile, and enjoys playing and watching sports.

Courtney Rath US English Teacher

Courtney Rath

US English Teacher

Dr. Rath will teach English in the Upper School this fall, after teaching at both the high school and collegiate level in Texas and Oregon. Dr. Rath was recently the Director of Curriculum and Instruction and English Department Chair at The Emery/Weiner School in Houston before joining the University of Oregon College of Education, where she was a graduate teaching fellow and postdoctoral scholar. She holds a BA from the University of St. Thomas, an MA from the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. in Critical & Socio-Cultural Studies in Education from the University of Oregon.

Richard Rende Director of Curriculum and Instruction

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Richard Rende

Director of Curriculum and Instruction
B.A., Yale University, Psychology
M.A., Wesleyan University, Psychology
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, Human Development and Family Studies

Since 2013, Mr. Rende has been responsible for directing the curriculum and instructional program of our school. Calling upon his developmental psychologist perspective, Mr. Rende helps articulate and shape the way in which core teaching themes, goals and methods are applied in a cohesive way across all grade levels, supports the infusion of research methodologies as tools for teachers and administrators to use as they implement and sharpen curricular initiatives, and integrates findings from developmental science into collegial dialogues about instructional practices. In his spare time, Mr. Rende writes and pitches country songs as a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, and likes to spend time with his wife and daughter.

Colin Reynolds US History Teacher

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Colin Reynolds

US History Teacher
B.A., Grinnell College
M.A., University of Chicago
Ph.D., Emory University

Dr. Reynolds joins the PCDS History Department after recently completing a Ph.D. program in History at Emory University. He has previously taught history at Emory University and Spelman College, as well as with the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Summer Programs. Dr. Reynolds holds a B.A. from Grinnell College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. from Emory University.

Meily Riehle US Spanish Teacher

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Meily Riehle

US Spanish Teacher
B.A., Inter American University (Puerto Rico)
M.A., University of Phoenix

Ms. Riehle joined PCDS in 2015 as an Upper School Spanish teacher, after having most recently taught at Desert Vista High School. She has over twenty years experience teaching at the secondary and post-secondary levels in Puerto Rico and the US. Ms. Riehle holds a BA from Inter American University (Puerto Rico) and an MA from the University of Phoenix.

Andrew Rodin Head of School

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Andrew Rodin

Head of School
B.A., Columbia University, Political Science
M.A., Stanford University, Education Administration and Policy Analysis

With his signature colorful pants, dynamic Mr. Rodin plays a key role in helping PCDS charge forward. Mr. Rodin impacts the entire community, from hiring the best teachers, to evolving the curriculum and instruction, to raising funds for critical projects. Mr. Rodin’s leadership provides the foundation for the meaningful relationships students have with their teachers, coaches and role models and the top-notch education that can only be found at PCDS. In his free time, Mr. Rodin enjoys spending time with his family and English bulldog, Piglet, cheering for the Washington Redskins, writing creatively, swimming, biking, running, and hiking.

Lydia Rodin Advancement Events Coordinator & The Bridge Editor

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Lydia Rodin

Advancement Events Coordinator & The Bridge Editor
M.S.W., Smith College School for Social Work
B.A., William Smith College, Psychology

Helping to make events such as the New Parent Welcome Reception, our annual Blue & Gold Celebration and Bridge-the-Gap PCDS experiences to remember, Mrs. Rodin brings her party planning sense and organization to our school’s Advancement Office. Although she has proven to throw quite the elegant event, her ability to do so on a modest budget has become her calling card. When she’s not dressing the campus up for a big event, Mrs. Rodin can be found enjoying her family and friends, jogging through the streets and parks of the city, catching movies wherever she can, and curling up with a good book.

Brent Root MS Science Teacher

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Brent Root

MS Science Teacher
B.S., University of California at Davis, Biochemistry

Mr. Root joins PCDS after spending nearly two decades teaching middle school students at Rancho Solano. During his time at Rancho, Mr. Root taught a multitude of science disciplines, including electives in robotics and rocketry. He holds a B.S. In Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis.

David Rowe MS and US Band and Music Teacher

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David Rowe

MS and US Band and Music Teacher
B.M., Julia Crane School of Music/State University of New York

Mr. Rowe can typically be found in the band room with music pouring out the door, enthusiastically leading his students to realize just how much fun listening to and making music is. When he is not developing his students’ lifelong love and appreciation for music at school, he enjoys traveling to the beach and managing his menagerie of pets, including Schnauzers, Siamese cats, five birds, including an African Gray talking parrot, and countless fish.

Gina Saltonstall LS Teacher

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Gina Saltonstall

LS Teacher
B.A., University of Vermont
M.Ed., Seton Hall University, Elementary Education

Ms. Saltonstall comes to PCDS from Dover, Massachusetts, where she has most recently worked in the Wellesley Public Schools. With prior experience at the Potomac School in McLean, VA, Dedham Country School in Dedham, MA, and The Grammar School in Putney, VT, she’s well versed with independent school elementary education. Ms. Saltonstall holds a B.A. from the University of Vermont, and an M. Ed. in Elementary Education from Seton Hall University.

Rachel Scarpone MS Spanish Teacher

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Rachel Scarpone

MS Spanish Teacher
B.S., Northern Arizona University, Elementary Education

Ms. Scarpone joins PCDS after spending the last fifteen years at Rancho Solano in Scottsdale, where she has been an acclaimed Spanish teacher for students in grades 6-9. Ms. Scarpone holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University.

Karl Schossow Chef

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Karl Schossow

Chef
Culinary Certification, Arizona Culinary Institute

Mr. Schossow meticulously prepares all of the delicious hot food served in the dining hall. Genuine and hard working, Mr. Schossow enjoys every aspect of his job. When his is not at school, he can be found gardening, hiking, traveling, attending church, and spending time with wife and family.

Ian Sharp Security Coordinator

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Ian Sharp

Security Coordinator
B.S., Central Washington University, Marketing and Finance

Mr. Sharp is responsible for keeping our PCDS campus safe at all times. From helping to ensure that our emergency response plan procedures are in place, to maintaining the day-to-day safety of our campus, the community is in secure hands with Mr. Sharp. Mr. Sharp knows just how much PCDS cares for him because when he was deployed to Afghanistan, he received several boxes filled with hundreds of letters from students, staff and faculty sending their support to him and the troops overseas. In his time off, he likes to spend time with his wife and children.

Jaime Sheridan Kindergarten Teacher

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Jaime Sheridan

Kindergarten Teacher
B.A., Arizona State University, Elementary Education

Jaime has been teaching kindergarten at PCDS since 2003 (including a one-year stint in the great white north of Canada with her family). Her warmth is evident when working with our young learners, and she enjoys working each day as a part of a positive, enthusiastic kindergarten team. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and being active, particularly with her husband and two children.

Marti Skloven Nurse

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Marti Skloven

Nurse
B.S., Chamberlain College, Nursing

Nurse Marti looks after the health and safety of our entire campus community, ensuring that everyone is always taken care of. From adhering a bandage onto a scraped knee, to offering health advice, to giving a caring hug, to sometimes to just providing a laugh, Nurse Marti considers her job to be at once challenging, rewarding and fun. When she is not working in the Health Center, Nurse Marti likes to travel, hike, bike, cook, garden, and swim with her dogs.

Denise Sours MS Art Teacher

Denise Sours

MS Art Teacher

Mrs. Sours joins PCDS after serving as a master teacher and lead art teacher at Isaac Middle School in Phoenix. There, she also coordinated the 21st Century Program that provided before and after-school tutoring and enrichment for all students at Isaac MS. Mrs. Sours holds a BA in Art Education from Northern Arizona University, a M.Ed. in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from NAU, and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from ASU.

Tracy Sucato LS Teacher

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Tracy Sucato

LS Teacher
B.A., Ottawa University, Elementary Education
M.A., Northern Arizona University, Educational Leadership

Ms. Sucato’s friendly, happy warmth brightens her third grade Sucato’s Superstars every day. From the annual Lego City creation, to inspiring her students’ curiosity on a daily basis, to the genuine way in which she works with families, Ms. Sucato works to ensure that her students are always challenged, supported and encouraged to be the best learners they can be. In her free time, Ms. Sucato reads and goes to the movies and theatre.

Ben Sullivan Head of Middle School

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Ben Sullivan

Head of Middle School
B.A., Arizona State University, Psychology
M.A. and Ed.S., Lehigh University, School Psychology
Principal’s Certificate, University of Pennsylvania, School Leadership

Ben began his career in education in 1999. He has had a myriad of experiences over the past 16 years, working as a teacher, psychologist, and principal. Although he has worked at all levels, Ben finds the greatest reward in leading middle school students, which led him to his transition to Middle School Head at PCDS in 2015. Ben believes that middle school is a place where students should be challenged academically, while also being encouraged to explore their interests and passions outside the classroom. Having worked at five other middle schools, Ben realizes the special state of the PCDS Middle School. No where else has he experienced a community that exudes the care and student support of the PCDS Middle School. It is something that he continually works to sustain by ensuring that the most engaging staff and instruction are in place.

Ken Thommen US Librarian

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Ken Thommen

US Librarian
B.A., Duke University, English
M.A., Arizona State University, English

Helping students with research assignments and assisting faculty in the acquisition of books keeps Mr. Thommen very busy. He works diligently to support learners in achieving greater competence in using online databases and improving their information literacy. In his free time, Mr. Thommen enjoys gardening and playing the piano.

Lisa Tolentino US Art Teacher

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Lisa Tolentino

US Art Teacher
B.S., University of California, San Diego, Computer Science
M.A., University of California, San Diego, Contemporary Music, Percussion Performance
Ph.D., Arizona State University, Media Arts and Sciences

Ms. Tolentino creates rich opportunities for her students to discover new approaches to art and design, masterfully weaving together aspects of math, computer science, psychology and engineering. From experimental aesthetics, to technology, to sound, to computer programming, Ms. Tolentino encourages her students to explore all types of artistic mediums in order to bring their creations to life. When she is not teaching art, Ms. Tolentino enjoys swimming, traveling, cooking, eskrima (Filipino martial arts), and playing the ukulele.

Teeraya Tomlin LS Teaching Assistant

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Teeraya Tomlin

LS Teaching Assistant
B.A., Silapakorn University, Archaeology
M.A., Bangkok University, Communications
M.A.I.A., Ohio University, International Studies

Ms. Tomlin lovingly supports her second grade students and derives great joy from being able to help them leap from one step to another. From working with students one-on-one, to teaching lessons that promote critical thinking, to supporting all aspects of learning and teaching in the classroom, Ms. Tomlin helps her students become independent learners through hands-on games, crafts, technology and role playing, always emphasizing the importance of being kind, polite and taking responsibility for our actions. In her free time, she enjoys taking photographs, cooking, reading, taking care of living things, and exploring the world with her family.

Jenny Treadway Dean of Upper School Student Life, Director of International Travel

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Jenny Treadway

Dean of Upper School Student Life, Director of International Travel
B.S., Eastern Kentucky University, Biology and Chemistry
M.S., University of Kentucky, Education and Instructional Technology

Ms. Treadway takes care of Upper School students by providing them with day-to-day logistics and endless support and establishing personal connections with each and every one of them. She helps with projects like making community visions come to fruition, advocates for students, guides students to learn and move on from mistakes, and enables students to more deeply recognize their unique skills and gifts. Additionally, she creates meaningful student trips that involve community service, local immersion and learning. When she is not at school, Ms. Treadway can be found traveling, playing with her dogs, organizing everything and trying new things, like skydiving, trapeze swinging, cake decorating, and glass blowing.

Claire Tyra LS Teacher

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Claire Tyra

LS Teacher
B.A., Northern Arizona University, Sociology
M.A., Northern Arizona University, Elementary Education

Constructing a Fairy House exhibition and teaching the entire Lower School to sing “Knees Up Mother Brown” during Community Meeting are just two examples of the exciting learning experiences that Ms. Claire’s pre-k students have during the year. Ms. Claire relies on the support of her hard working team of colleagues to ensure that the littlest learners at PCDS are challenged to develop and grow in every way. In her free time, Ms. Claire can be found reading, watching movies (especially the classics), watching football, and practicing yoga.

Jim Waller MS Mathematics Teacher

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Jim Waller

MS Mathematics Teacher
B.Ed., Arizona State University, Secondary Education, History
M.Ed., Arizona State University, Higher and Postsecondary Education

Mr. Waller has a way of magically making math fascinating to his sixth grade students. By focusing more on the process than the product of learning, his students learn to connect past experiences with new processes to formulate problem-solving plans. In addition to teaching math, Mr. Waller also coaches volleyball. When he is at home, avid comic book collector Mr. Waller enjoys dressing his toddler daughter up in superhero outfits and chasing her around the house. Mr. Waller also enjoys watching soccer and football games.

Kim Wass LS Learning Specialist

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Kim Wass

LS Learning Specialist
B.S., Iowa State University, Elementary Education

Ms. Wass joins PCDS from the Litchfield Community School District where she served as an Instructional Coach and previously was a 4th Grade teacher. She holds her B.S. in Elementary Education from Iowa State University, and has continued education from both Iowa State University and Drake University. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher and an Arizona Master teacher.

Hannah Willis MS Spanish Teacher

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Hannah Willis

MS Spanish Teacher
B.A., Hillsdale College, Spanish and English

Ms. Willis joins PCDS from BASIS Scottsdale, where she has taught both English and Spanish to middle school students. She holds her B.A. in Spanish and English from Hillsdale College.

Joanna Wisniewska LS Teacher

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Joanna Wisniewska

LS Teacher
B.A., Arizona State University, Education - Early Childhood Teaching and Leadership

Ms. Wisniewska comes to the PCDS 4th Grade after most recently working at the Candeo Schools in Phoenix. She holds a B.A in Education from ASU with a focus in Early Childhood Teaching and Leadership.

Debra Wood Science Department Chair, MS Science Teacher

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Debra Wood

Science Department Chair, MS Science Teacher
B.A., Washington and Jefferson College, Biology
M.A., Slippery Rock University, Counseling Psychology

Ms. Wood has been teaching since 1984, and joined PCDS in 2014, after many years at elite independent schools, most recently the Blake School in Minnesota. Outside of teaching science, she loves hiking and traveling. In her travels, she has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu, visited gorillas in Rwanda, and scaled the Dolomites in Italy. At home, she has two adorable havanese dogs, Greta and Louie.

Stefan Youngs Technology Support Specialist

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Stefan Youngs

Technology Support Specialist
B.S., University of Arizona, Psychology (Neural Sciences)

Certified Genius, at least in the world of Apple computers, Mr. Youngs provides the IT support needed on campus to keep everyone’s technology in tip-top shape. Mr. Youngs brings ten years of previous experience working at the Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, CA. He happened to be working there when Steve Jobs returned, and he also got to work on the very first iMac! He loves working with what he refers to as, the great minds of PCDS, and claims that he learns something new at lunch from his colleagues every day. In his spare time, Mr. Youngs likes to hike, run, travel the world, collect vintage movie posters and screen print art, and root for the San Francisco Giants.

Richard Zielenkiewicz Maintenance Staff

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Richard Zielenkiewicz

Maintenance Staff

Mr. Zielenkiewicz is known as the Maintenance Department’s in-house MacGyver. His areas of expertise are keys, plumbing, pool maintenance, all deliveries, and pretty much everything maintenance-related. Always ready with an interesting story, Mr. Zielenkiewicz is efficient, hardworking, organized and meticulous. When he is not at school, he enjoys photography, bowling (three 300s), and playing the lottery.

Lisa Zima MS Music Teacher

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Lisa Zima

MS Music Teacher
B.A., University of Connecticut, Music
B.S., University of Connecticut, Music Education

Ms. Zima teaches her Middle School students to develop a love for music, and her goal is for her students to develop their desire to continue to explore music, in any capacity, in the future. She feels especially rewarded when she is able to see the light bulb go on over her students’ heads during those “Aha!” moments of figuring out challenging concepts. In her free time, Ms. Zima likes to be with friends and family, hike, and take spontaneous road trips. She also travels to New York and Connecticut whenever she can.