Campus News & Media

Phoenix Country Day School is proud to welcome the following new faculty and staff members joining our community this fall:

Justin Brooks: Upper School History
Dr. Brooks joins the PCDS history department after most recently serving as a teaching fellow at Yale University, where he was completing his Ph.D. in History. He holds a B.A from College of the Holy Cross; was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Melbourne; and received his M.A. from Columbia University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and three additional degrees from Yale: an M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D., all in History.

Julie Buckle: First Grade
Ms. Buckle joins PCDS from PVUSD, where she taught first grade, special education preschool, and even student-taught in the sixth grade. She holds a B.A. from Lake Forest College and a M.Ed. from NAU. She is also certified as an Arizona Highly Qualified K-8 Teacher.

Michael Caplan: Upper School Science
Dr. Caplan was familiar with PCDS prior to coming aboard to teach here: his daughters have been students here for a number of years. Dr. Caplan has been a professor and program chair of Biomedical Engineering at ASU for the last 15 years. Dr. Caplan received a B.S. from UT, Austin and his Ph.D. from MIT.

Karen Cuculic: Fourth Grade
Ms. Cuculic comes to PCDS from Chicago, Illinois, where she has most recently been a lower school teacher at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. Ms. Cuculic holds a B.A. from Boston University, a M.Ed. from DePaul, and additional professional development from Harvard's Project Zero and Columbia University's Reading/Writing Project.

Pauline Fleming: Kindergarten
Ms. Fleming has taught in a number of schools in the Valley, most recently at Bayer Private School in Peoria and Rancho Solano's Peoria campus. Prior to coming to Phoenix, she was a nursery school teacher in her native Scotland, where she received her diploma from Langside College in Glasgow.

Elyse Gentile: Middle School Science
Ms. Gentile comes to PCDS from Massachusetts, where she has most recently worked in the Newton Public Schools. She holds a B.A. from St. Michael's College and a M.A.T. from Simmons College.

Kara Harris: Middle School Music
Ms. Harris has most recently been the Director of Student Life, as well as a music and drama teacher, at North Phoenix Prep Academy. She holds a Bachelors of Music from the University of Arizona and a B.S. from Utah State University, as well as certification in opera performance from Boston University.

Eric Heideman: Upper School Math
Mr. Heideman comes to PCDS from the Scottsdale School District, where he taught multiple levels of math at Saguaro High School. Mr. Heideman earned his B.S. and M.Ed. from ASU.

Lisa Lieppert: Second Grade
Ms. Lieppert most recently taught at the Echo Canyon School (formerly the Arcadia Neighborhood Learning Center), where she also served as a founding team member, designing and implementing ANLC's experience in SUSD. She is a two-time winner of the Scottsdale Charros Outstanding Educator Award. She holds a B.S. and an M.Ed. from ASU.

Nishta Mehra: Upper School English
Ms. Mehra comes to PCDS from the Emery/Weiner School in Houston, Texas, where she was the chair of the English Department. She has taught English, history, and dramaturg both at the middle and upper school levels at Emery/Weiner. She holds a B.A. from Rice University and M.F.A. from the University of Arizona.

Diana Parra: Accounts Payable Specialist
Ms. Parra joins the PCDS Business Office after most recently working as an accountant with a local commercial and industrial leasing company. Ms. Parra is an ASU graduate, with a B.S. in Accounting.

Luke Phillips: Upper School Counselor
Mr. Phillips is a familiar face at PCDS, after serving as a substitute teacher as well as a coach with Phoenix Swim Club, and joins us full time as a second Upper School Counselor. He holds a B.S. from GCU and a Master's in Behavioral Science, focusing on sports psychology, from Argosy University.

Florence Solves: Upper School French
Ms. Solves joins PCDS after most recently teaching at BASIS Scottsdale and with previous experience from the International School of Arizona and the Lovett School in Atlanta. Ms. Solves holds a B.A. and Master's from Lycée Arthur Rimbaud at Istres, France.

Camilo Tafur: Upper School Science
Mr. Tafur comes to PCDS from Saguaro High School, where he taught a number of upper-level biology courses and was also a pole vault coach at PVCC. Mr. Tafur holds a B.S. from NAU.

Allison Tucker: Upper School Science
Dr. Tucker comes to PCDS after teaching Chemistry most recently at BASIS Scottsdale. She holds a B.S. from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.

Sarah Vap: Upper School Humanities
Dr. Vap joins PCDS after most recently serving as a Provost Fellow at the University of Southern California, where she received her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing. In addition to her doctorate from USC, Dr. Vap holds an M.F.A. from ASU and a B.A. from Brown University.

Upper School Speech & Debate Wins "Speech School of Honor" at Nationals

Congratulations to the Upper School Speech & Debate team for its outstanding showing at Nationals in Florida. The team won a "Speech School of Honor" award, recognizing PCDS as a top school out of the 1300 schools competing at the event. The group of 11 Upper School competitors also featured Sophia Corridan finishing National Runner-Up in Expository, Sophia Casten finishing 9th in Expository, Anika Sanghvi finishing 13th in Informative, and Reed Steiner finishing 19th in Congressional Debate! Fantastic work from our Upper School students and coaches on the national level!

Middle School Speech & Debate:  THREE-PEAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

PCDS Middle School Speech & Debate was crowned NATIONAL CHAMPION this weekend for the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW!!!! PCDS had 36 Middle School students competing against thousands of students from hundreds of schools from throughout the country at Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale. The Middle School team featured 6 individual national champions and 22 national finalists to boot!

Congratulations Class of 2018

On their last day of classes, here's to the PCDS Class of 2018: Best of luck, seniors, at the following colleges next year! 70 students, 51 different destinations, one home: PCDS.