Chico Country Day School

Staff Directory

CCDS Teaching Staff

Wendy Fairon

Director of Education
Wendy Fairon

Director of Education

I joined CCDS in 2009 as the 7th and 8th grade English teacher. I had been teaching for four years prior to joining CCDS. In 2010 while I was teaching English, I had an opportunity to write a grant for some professional learning. Our team received the grant and we began learning about and implementing PBL at CCDS. In 2015, I was awarded a fellowship from the Walton Foundation to complete my Masters in School Leadership at the High Tech High Graduate School of Education. After my year in San Diego at HTH, I was excited to return to CCDS in my new role as Director of Education.

My favorite teacher was definitely my 8th grade humanities teacher. He name is Ms. Bungard and the thing that still strikes me about her is her love for teaching and being a learner. She was the first teacher I had who made her own learning visible to us. She pushed us to think about history in different ways and allowed us to express ourselves in English class. She also gave us space to have fun and joke around. Her class was challenging, but it was a challenge I wanted to engage with. She was also really human with us - told us stories about her toilet exploding, her tofurkey Thanksgiving meal, and about her family in Walla Walla, Washington. I would have never guessed when I was a student in her 8th grade class that I would one day go on to teach 8th graders, but I can see her lasting influence in my own work with students.

When I graduated from Chico State, I moved to Rhode Island to attend Johnson and Wales University to study culinary arts. From there, I went on to manage several restaurants and work in the banquet department of Westin Hotels. It was a fun career, but I'm glad I made a shift to education. When I have time, I still love spending the entire day cooking, trying new recipes, and sharing good food with friends.

Colly Fischer

Dean of Students
Colly Fischer

Dean of Students

I joined CCDS in 2005 when my family moved to Chico. I came from a 15-year teaching career in Lake and Mendocino Counties. I have taught in every grade level kindergarten through 8th grade! After a 28-year career in education, I still love working with students to ensure they find the joy of learning.

Mrs. Robinson was my favorite teacher, she taught me in 4th grade. She was a cross between a mom and grandma and sang and played piano! Everyday towards the end of the day we sang “High Hopes”. Humming that song still gets me through rough patches!
One thing to know about me is that my happy place is in the mountains, above the treeline with trails ready to be wandered!

Suzanne Michelony

Administrative Consultant
Suzanne Michelony

Administrative Consultant

I have been at CCDS since 2012. I was raised as a Marine Corp kid and moved all over the United States. I have an administrative credential, a single subject credential in art and Science, a multiple subject credential and a masters in education.

My favorite teacher was Mr. Robert Waite. He liked and believed I had art talent and assisted in getting me three scholarships in art! One thing you should know about me is that I failed at retirement!

Christal Proctor

Kindergarten
Christal Proctor

Kindergarten

I joined the CCDS family as a student teacher in 2004 and have been a full time teacher ever since, so CCDS is my home! I have a multiple subject credential with an emphasis in child development. I love our community and all of the amazing project work we do at CCDS. There’s no place I’d rather teach, and there’s no place I’d rather have my own kids attend school.

When I was in 4th grade, I had a teaching team and it was one of the best years ever! We did so many hands-on projects; from science experiments to projects on the Gold Rush. Some of my favorite childhood memories came from that class of friends and my two inspiring teachers.

It’s very important to me that my students and families have a positive experience to kick off their educational journey. Kindergarten is magical!

Anne Marie Chik

Kindergarten
Anne Marie Chik

Kindergarten

I was born and raised on Long Island, New York.  I attended Suffolk County Community College and transferred to California State University Chico.  I got my first teaching job at Los Molinos Elementary School teaching a bilingual Kindergarten/First grade class then a bilingual First grade class for a total of eight years.  I began working at Chico Country Day School when we opened in 1996 in a Kindergarten/First grade classroom my first year.  During this time, I was trained to be a Reading Recovery Teacher and tutored many students in reading and writing intervention over the years.  This is my 23rd year teaching Kindergarten at CCDS and my 31st year of teaching.

When I think of my favorite teacher, Dr. Ernst Schoen-Rene comes to mind right away.  He was my professor at CSUC for Arts and Humanities.  His energy, enthusiasm and love for life inspired me.  He was brilliant, kind, assertive and passionate about teaching.  He challenged me to be the best I could be and he did it in such a loving way.   My favorite field trip was to his home.  We all sat on his living room floor and he read poetry and stories to us.  We listened to music, talked and wrote together.  I’ll never forget that day and how he connected to us all.   You knew he genuinely cared about us.

I truly believe that LOVE is the most important concept to teach in school.  What I mean is genuinely caring for and about each other with respect and compassion.  On a sillier note, I really like dogs much more than I like chickens!  Don’t tell the kids!  The most important thing to remember is never to ask me when I’m going to retire.  My job reminds me how young I am inside and I absolutely love it!

Nicole Nye

Kindergarten
Nicole Nye

Kindergarten

I’ve been at CCDS since the first year.  I ran the After School Program while attending college and obtaining my teaching credential.  I knew right away that this school was where I wanted to teach.  I taught a year of 3rd grade and a year of 4th grade.  Since then, I’ve taught Kindergarten and I absolutely love it!

My favorite teacher was my Kindergarten teacher.  I remember her kind smile, playing in the wooden play kitchen and eating graham crackers and milk for snack.  As an adult, I ran into her at the grocery store.  I was so excited to tell her that she inspired me to become a teacher and that I was teaching Kindergarten as well!  My favorite field trip was going to environmental camp in 6th grade.  I loved being outside enjoying nature, building forts and participating in the fun team building activities.

I was born and raised in Chico!  I love crafting, scrapbooking, and especially, spending time with my family, friends and my dog!

Renee Dooly

First
Renee Dooly

First

I started CCDS in 2001. I was born and raised in Chico, but moved to the Bay Area to attend St. Mary’s College for my teaching credential. I couldn’t stay away from Chico and now I am back!

One of my favorite field trips growing up was a trip to Mt. Lassen to ski for the day. This was back when there was a downhill ski resort on the mountain.

I love to travel! I have traveled to every continent except Antarctica! Hopefully I can make it there one day.

Susan Efseaff

First
Susan Efseaff

First

My husband and I moved to Chico in 1994 and have 4 daughters, all of whom attended CCDS!

My favorite teacher was Mrs. Kiss, my 4th grade teacher!  Who wouldn’t love that name?  I loved that she read to our class every single day! My favorite field trip, as a student, was going to the Wonder Bread factory!  It was delicious!

I love animals, big and small!  One of my favorite experiences was swimming with Beluga Whales!

Karin Daverson

First
Karin Daverson

First

I joined the CCDS family in 2001.  I got my BA and my teaching credential at Chico State, but I taught for 10 years on Bainbridge Island, Washington before finally coming back to Chico with my family. I love Chico and CCDS!

Mrs. Filiponi, my first grade teacher, and Ms. Rassmussen, my fourth grade teacher, were my favorite teachers growing up.  They both encouraged me to read and introduced me to great books.  I still LOVE to read!!  It’s probably not a coincidence that my favorite grades to teach have been first and fourth grade, and my favorite thing to do is read with children!  I got to grow up and be just like them!  How cool is that?

Most people I meet are surprised to find out that I have nine kids of my own, and think that is the coolest thing about me.  Believe me, I love my kids and am never bored. I can’t wait to see where life takes them all!  But… I think the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me was meeting my celebrity crush!  I met Morgan Freeman at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.  He approached me! We chatted about soft pretzels, traveling alone, and summers in France. He was charming, lovely and kind. He kissed me on the cheek when he left.  I’m pretty sure we’re best friends now.

Christine Stedman

Second
Christine Stedman

Second

I am proud to say that this is my 24th year of teaching.  This is my 5th year teaching 2nd grade at CCDS and I have found that it is my favorite grade level.  I previously taught both kindergarten and first grades for 13 years at Chico Christian School.  Before that, I taught at elementary schools in the Bay Area.

My favorite teacher was my very first teacher, Mrs. Weiderhold.  She was my kindergarten teacher and her kind, fun-loving spirit is what inspired me to want to become a teacher.  I will always remember the time she came over to my house for dinner!

I love being a teacher and I feel blessed that I get to come to work and spend each day with such a dedicated staff and terrific group of students here at CCDS.  After school, I enjoy spending my free time riding my cruiser bike, doing Pilates, cooking yummy food, and going to 49er games with my family every season.

Cindy Towner

Second
Cindy Towner

Second

Ellen Biddle

Second
Ellen Biddle

Second

I joined CCDS in 2014.  I moved to Chico from the SF Bay Area.  I taught in the Belmont Redwood Shores School District for 8 years.  Before that I attended Simpson University in Redding, CA for my undergraduate and credential.  After meeting Mr. Biddle and once we were engaged,  I decided to move to Chico.  I started the 2014 school year in August and we were married September 14th.  It was a fun year full of change.

My favorite teacher was my 3rd grade teacher at George Hall Elementary School, Mrs. Nagata.  Mrs. Nagata was always kind, spunky, and always willing to help turn a jump rope for the kids.  She brought her husky to school sometimes, and I love dogs!  Her husband was a violinist for the San Francisco Symphony, and I played the violin too!  My favorite field trip when I was young was to Davies Symphony Hall to see Mr. Nagata play in the orchestra.  I love to see live music performed and enjoy all sorts of genres of music.

I’m a lifelong learner, I love to travel and experience new cultures, and I’m going to be a mom for the first time! Mr. Biddle and I are starting a new adventure this year.  We are going to be first time parents.  We are excited to begin a new chapter and can’t wait to meet our little guy at the end of September.

Shannon Lawson

Third
Shannon Lawson

Third

I joined the CCDS community in 2004 as a parent. I taught fifth grade during the 2017-2018 school year and am thrilled to be teaching third grade this year.

My favorite teacher was my fourth-grade teacher, Mr. MacPherson. He had a great sense of humor and he always played dodge ball with us.

One thing you should know about me is that I love camping and hiking with my family.

Signe Miller

Third
Signe Miller

Third

I joined the innovative staff at CCDS in 2007.  With each year at CCDS I learn new things and my teaching is transformed. A few years ago, I returned to CSU, Chico to complete a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  I continue to love working at Chico Country Day School, and I look forward to my future as a CCDS teacher and lifelong learner.

My favorite teacher was Mrs. Pintar. She was my second grade teacher, and I still remember what a caring and fun environment she created.

I love the outdoors, healthy food, and coffee.

Debbie Hardesty

Third
Debbie Hardesty

Third

I was lucky enough to join CCDS in 2000. Prior to that I taught for 12 years in Pleasant Hill and 4 years in Antioch. My all-time favorite teacher was Ray Schultz who was my American Studies teacher my junior year of high school. We had an exchange program where a group of small town students from Susanville stayed with us. Because of that we took them to San Francisco and Santa Cruz to experience “Big City Life” together.

One thing you should know about me is that my family just opened a business together which is a new adventure filled with fun, struggles, and community. It also completely pushes me out of my comfort zone which is good for me 🙂

Katherine Chapin

Fourth
Katherine Chapin

Fourth

I joined CCDS as a substitute teacher in 2008. I was hired as the Education Specialist in 2011 and changed positions to 4th grade teacher in 2016. I started my teaching career in Tahoe City, CA and eventually transitioned to Tiburon, CA where I taught 4th grade. When our family moved to Chico I taught at Little Chico Creek and eventually transitioned to CCDS.

My favorite teacher in school was my 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Baker at Wildwood Elementary in Piedmont, CA. She was eternally positive, encouraging, and made everything fun. I love pretty much any activity that is outside from mountain biking to snowboarding and volleyball. One of my hidden talents is getting skunk smell out of our dog at 3:00 in the morning.

Sarah Peterson Young

Fourth
Sarah Peterson Young

Fourth

I started teaching my teaching career in  fourth grade at Saint Matthew’s Catholic school in San Mateo.  I also taught in the middle school and the resource program there.  I started at CCDS in 2006 teaching sixth and seventh grade history and language arts.  I moved back to fourth grade in 2015.

My favorite teacher in elementary school was Ms. Russell.  She was my fifth grade teacher, and she helped me understand math, read aloud some great books and took us on super fun field trips!

My best times are found travelling; whether by airplane, boat, car, on foot, or through the pages of a good book!

Staci Yamanishi

Fifth
Staci Yamanishi

Fifth

I joined the CCDS family in 2016 after moving from the Los Angeles area. I had earned my bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Master’s degree in Education from UCLA. #GoBruins My studies led me to work as a middle school Humanities teacher in charter schools in South Los Angeles and currently am pursuing my passion as an elementary school teacher!

Mrs. Sakahara, my high school Japanese teacher, was my absolute favorite! She genuinely cared about me as an individual by taking time to talk with me about things going on outside of school. She also shared her life beyond teaching with all of her students. She supported me by giving me the push I needed to take new risks and opportunities. Most importantly, she reminded me to take time to laugh every day!

Being creative, taking a run, and traveling are my favorite things to do!

Nicole Quintero

Fifth
Nicole Quintero

Fifth

This is my very first year at CCDS as well as my very first year teaching! I am originally from Atascadero, California but have been in Chico since August of 2012 attending school at Chico State for my Bachelor’s Degree and Teaching Credential.

My favorite teacher in school was my 6th grade teacher! She helped make learning an adventure and was able to show all of the connections that school work & experiences had with our lives. It helped make what we were doing in class more important and more exciting! One thing you should know about me is that I love karaoke! Friends from back home often refer to me as their “Human Jukebox” 😉

Susie Bower

Sixth
Susie Bower

Sixth

1999 was the year that I started at CCDS as the first preschool teacher.  I then taught afternoon Kindergarten (the first afternoon class) and eventually moved up the ranks to 6th grade.  Before I taught at CCDS, I had an at home preschool while raising my 3 kids.

Mr. Evan’s at Gibson School in Woodland was my favorite teacher. He created “Evansville” in 6th grade and we had giant carpeted peach crates that we could climb into and silently read.  He was missing part of one of his fingers, and so he would place his hand over his face, as if in thought, and it looked like his finger was right up his nose! I’m convinced he did it on purpose for his own comic relief.

Sitting by a creek, camping in the woods, or hiking in nature is the way I fill my soul, particularly if I am with my family.  Nature sustains me.

Dave Davis

Sixth
Dave Davis

Sixth

I am starting my 13th year at CCDS.  My first 10 years at CCDS was as a 5th grade teacher.  Fun Fact: My first year at CCDS was the first year we moved to the site we are currently located.  I got to interview at the old campus behind Spiteris Deli.  My first eight years of teaching was at Lake Elementary School in Glenn County.

Mr. Wolfenbarger was my third grade teacher at Norseman Elementary School in Fresno, CA.  He was a super engaging teacher that made learning fun… and  it helped that he liked sports.  My favorite time was when he would wear his umpire gear at the end of the day before a game he had to officiate.

You need to know that I love to coach...Love my family (Cateena, Mallory, and Blaine)...I am 6’00” tall, hair brown (natural color)...I am right handed and I love to face chat.

Nicholas Hunsicker

7th/8th Grade Math
Nicholas Hunsicker

7th/8th Grade Math

I joined CCDS in 2017. I have worked and taught in schools for several years and at many different levels. Most recently before CCDS I was teaching mathematics in a high school.

My favorite teacher was my 11th grade math teacher. He was very flexible in what he considered an answer to a math problem. I try and bring this flexibility to my own classroom.

I tell terrible jokes. I might be the nerdiest teacher at the school. I love being in the classroom.

Marijeanne Birchard

7th/8th Grade English
Marijeanne Birchard

7th/8th Grade English

Having graduated from Chico State with a single subject credential in English and a multiple subject credential, I began teaching at CCDS in 2006.  When I first began working here I was struck by the strong sense of community and the emphasis on educating the child as a whole person, not just academically.   These two qualities are what has kept me here for so many years. I grew up in a small community and went to school with the same students from kindergarten until I graduated from high school.  Those classmates were like family to me and I know many people feel the same way about their classmates here at Chico Country Day. I have taught 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8th grade during my years at CCDS and though each group is unique and different one thing remains the same: all students can be bribed with candy and they are all willing to work hard if you give them a task they care about.  

My favorite teacher in school was my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Mac.  She cared so much about her student’s lives and never made our problems feel like “just kid stuff”.  If we cared about something, she cared about it. If we were upset, she never brushed us off, but showed true concern.  She also would not put up with ANYONE being mean to someone in our class. Even outside of our room, if she heard about us teasing someone after school, on the playground, anywhere, you better believe she would call you out on it.   She was tough and had high expectations, but she was also loving and nurturing. These are the ideals I strive for now as a teacher, all these years later.

I am the mother of four amazing, active, young children and that absolutely shapes who I am as a teacher. Being a mother is a huge part of my identity and it comes out in many things I do in the classroom.  I try to treat my students how I treat my own kids, with love, tenderness and respect. I like to work hard at home and at school and don’t like dull or lazy days. I am an extreme extrovert so I have found the perfect life for me: surrounded by energetic kids at home and teaching 124 teenagers everyday at work.  

David Eubanks

7th/8th Grade Science
David Eubanks

7th/8th Grade Science

I joined CCDS for the 2016-2017 School year.  I had been teaching K-8 science at Children's Community Charter School in Paradise.

Mr. Potoroff was my favorite teacher.  He was an upper literature teacher at my high school.  The teaching style was very rigorous yet laid back at the same time.  He was musician, as well.  We’d often talk about semantics and syntax as if they were musical notes.

I love to live life, learn from life, and experience all the ups, downs, and in betweens life puts in front of us.

Cedric Lee

7th/8th Grade Social Science
Cedric Lee

7th/8th Grade Social Science

This is my first year at CCDS and I love it! My insatiable curiosity along with my persistent desire to learn led me to work in unlikely settings. As a clinical research associate, I worked alongside the best and brightest minds in pulmonary research at the UCLA School of Medicine. However, I found the most satisfaction in teaching interpersonal communication workshops.

My favorite teacher was Dr. Hanna! He had a post doctorate in chemistry from Cal Tech but he was the most warm, respectful, and empathetic teacher.

The German word Fernweh means an ache to get away and travel to a distant place, a feeling even stronger than wanderlust. Many stake claims in wanderlust...but a select few live out Fernweh!

Britta Goldmann

Art & Spanish
Britta Goldmann

Art & Spanish

My mom is a teacher and my dad, an artist, so it is no surprise then that my love for teaching art comes “naturally.”  I thoroughly enjoyed working towards my BFA in Fine Arts Painting and dual major in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California Santa Cruz. Diverse teaching experiences in Chile, Spain to Italy and Portland, Oregon, confirmed my passion for interacting with students in the classroom and I returned “home” to obtain my teaching credential from Chico State University. I also love teaching languages and created a Handbook of Language Learning Strategies as my Masters in Bilingual Education Culminating Project.

My favorite teacher was of course my elementary Art Teacher, Wendy! She was like a saint or magical fairy that enchanted all of the class with her kindness and enthusiasm for Art.

I have lived in five different countries, have traveled to countless places and speak both Spanish and Portuguese fluently. I love to play a type of Brazilian Martial Arts called “capoeira,” dance and do yoga!

Michael Armenta

Physical Education
Michael Armenta

Physical Education

I grew up in a in a small town in Northern California, where sports played an important part of my life. I have had many coaches and teachers in my life that have influenced me in my decision to become a teacher. Early in college, I was undecided on what I would like to major in until I had a moment of reflection which led me  to pursue a career that aims to help others. Like the coaches and teachers that have positively influenced my life, I hope to do the same for my students, paying it forward.

I graduated with a BA in Elementary Education from Humboldt State, and earned my Multiple Subjects credential from Sonoma State. My first teaching job was a second grade teacher in San Francisco. After a year of teaching second grade I found a job teaching Physical Education in a large public charter school, also in San Francisco. After my first year, I knew this was going to be “my thing”. Like most inner-city schools Thomas Edison Charter was a rewarding and challenging place to work. I worked there for 13 years, and built an athletic program that offered volleyball, basketball and soccer. Soccer was my favorite to coach.

I am so happy to move to Chico and be part of the CCDS community. I feel blessed every day that I get to work with such great teachers and students that will help me grow as an educator as well as a person.

Stacey Owen

Independent Study
Stacey Owen

Independent Study

I graduated from Chico State with my teaching credential in 1998. I moved to Napa a year later where I taught for three years before my husband and I moved back to Chico to start a family. I substituted on and off in Chico Unified while raising our two boys until my older son started Kindergarten at CCDS in 2008. That year I began volunteering in the classroom and chairing different Parent/Teacher Partnership events. In 2011, I also returned to substituting since my younger son started school. In 2014, I began coordinating the Independent Study program and teaching the Home School students, Advisory and an elective class. Currently, I continue as the Independent Study Coordinator as well as substitute teaching on a regular basis.

I remember Mrs. Weston, my sophomore English teacher distinctly! I can still picture her in my head and hear her South African accent like it was yesterday. English was never my best or favorite subject, but while Mrs. Weston had high expectations of her students, her great sense of humor made the class enjoyable for me and lessened my fear of participating. With her guidance and love of teaching, I lived up to her expectations (at least most of them)!

Since elementary school, I have been lucky enough to have traveled to over ten different countries around the world and experience amazing adventures in each one! When students meet with me for Independent Study, I am always excited to hear about where their travels will take them. It brings back fond memories for me, and I enjoy pinning their travel destinations on my world map for all to see!

Jim McKenzie

Band
Jim McKenzie

Band

Mr. McKenzie taught at CCDS from 2004 to 2007 and again from 2014 to now. Prior to 2000 Mr. McKenzie taught elementary strings in the Palo Alto Unified School District. He earned a BA in music education in 2002 and completed the teacher credential program at CSU, Chico in 2003. He also completed Kodály certification at Wichita State University in 2013. He has taught band, choir, strings, classroom music and other classes and private students in and around Chico for many years.

Mr. McKenzie has many favorite teachers, but perhaps his most favorite is Dr. Tevis, director of bands and CSU, Chico. All at once, Dr. Tevis is highly proficient, always teaching, funny, and a little scary. Being in his band is very intense, rewarding and fun.

Mr. McKenzie is notorious for his puns. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes they are not, but you often wonder if he is being serious, telling a pun, or just didn't get enough sleep the night before.

Ruth Greenfield

Music, Choir & Theater
Ruth Greenfield

Music, Choir & Theater

I joined the CCDS community as a parent in 2001, (teaching music and voice lessons in a studio when the kids were at school), started up the choir and theater programs in 2007, and then joined the staff as the full-time music teacher in 2013. I also direct community choirs, record and perform locally, but I am most thankful that I can remain a part of the CCDS family even after my kids are grown.

Corbin Scott, my 4th grade teacher at Citrus Elementary, was doing project based learning with us when the other teachers were still running dittos. We turned our cloak room into Stellar Cartography (yes, like in Star Trek), we climbed through all the Native American caves he could find in the park and Butte Meadows, we caught our own insect collections at the river with nets we built ourselves, and we sang Beatles and Elvis songs every Friday. Somehow, he also had us convinced that he was not really human, but a being from a planet circling Alpha Centauri….

Did you know…? Uncle Rocco (our All School Sing eagle mascot) is named after the post-punk-indie-rock band I sang in (well, screamed) for four years with my husband: Uncle Rosco.

Sal Hernandez-Campos

STEM & Robotics
Sal Hernandez-Campos

STEM & Robotics

I joined the CCDS family in 2015. I come from teaching Computer and Electrical Engineering at CSU, Chico. I also teach computer programming at CARD (Chico Area Recreation and park District).

My favorite field trip was in first grade. We went to the public library and this is where I saw my first personal computer. They only had four of them, so I did not get a chance to use one. However, I was so impressed that I started to save up all my money. Every day for the next four years, I was counting my change …. Yes, now I have multiple systems.

My wife loves to dance and I am not good at it. Therefore, I decided to build a robot and teach it to dance. In the process of programming the moves, I became a better dancer. However, my robot Bentley says he can dance better than I can!

Student Support Services Team

Amie Parent

Director of Special Education
Amie Parent

Director of Special Education

I joined the CCDS team in 2010 as school psychologist and transitioned into my current role in 2016. Prior to working at CCDS, I worked as a school psychologist for 9 years and have been lucky enough to work with students from preschool through high school!

One of my favorite teachers wasn’t actually a teacher... but my high school guidance counselor, Mrs. Crichton. She was our class advisor and was a great support through the ups and downs of high school. When I started graduate school my initial plan was to become a high school counselor, like Mrs. Crichton...although my job is slightly different, I try to be supportive and encouraging like she was everyday!

I love spending time with my family in the outdoors; hiking, camping and exploring new places. I love to watch my kids participate sports and dance. I also love to bake and read!

Haley Oliveri

Education Specialist
Haley Oliveri

Education Specialist

I joined CCDS part-time as the Middle School Education Specialist in August of 2015. Prior to my hire at CCDS, I worked for two years for Corning Union Elementary School District teaching special education and running the RtI program for Olive View School. I then spent three years working for the Tehama County Department of Education writing a general education reading intervention curriculum called CLIP.

I had several favorite teachers in school. The thing they all had in common was that I believed that they believed in my abilities and they challenged me to do my best. They also all had a good sense of humor that I connected with.

I love to cook and bake and I love to sing!

Andi Jackson

Speech & Lang. Therapist
Andi Jackson

Speech & Lang. Therapist

I joined CCDS in 2011 (the same year my daughter entered kindergarten here). I graduated from University of the Pacific in 1997 and have been a school-based speech therapist ever since!

My favorite teacher in school was Ms. Slater, in 4th grade. She clearly loved every one of her students and connected with us on a level that went well beyond academic needs.

Speech Therapists do so much more than work on pronunciation. While articulation is about half of my job, I also work on Language, including semantics (vocabulary) syntax and morphology (grammar) and Pragmatics (social skills) as well as listening comprehension and expressive communication.

Cathy McDonnell

Academic Coach
Cathy McDonnell

Academic Coach

I was born and raised in Chico, I attended Parkview Elementary then moved onto Chico Junior and finally graduated from Chico High.  My father was a local Junior High teacher, and my mother owned The Creative Apple, so I grew up with education all around me.

I've always looked up to my dad as a teacher because of his dedication to students, knowledge in life and the amazing stories he came home with. I always found opportunities to volunteer in his classroom. After marriage and a couple kids I finished my education at Chico State with a degree in education. I stayed home for a few years when finally my oldest was going into preschool, a friends had suggested a wonderful small charter school that is hands on and caring about every student. She got in and the following year I began as Yard Duty in the afternoons. Following in 2015 I started working as an instructional aide. Pushing into classroom for assistants, pulling students for groups and still yard duty at lunch time. I've been here 4 years and I love the environment, the staff and especially the students.  It makes coming to work everyday a treat.

Chelsea Grissom

Education Specialist
Chelsea Grissom

Education Specialist

This is my second year here at CCDS working with our middle schoolers! I joined in 2016 and have previous experience working as a resource specialist in Willows at a small charter school for 2 years, and then also working as a Special Day Class teacher in Santa Rosa for 3/4 grades. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and hold both a general education and special education credential. I’ve been working on completing my Masters degree, and hopefully will be able to finish that within the next couple of years!

I had several favorite teachers, so it’s hard to pick just one! I remember the teachers that fostered a love of reading in me, that pointed out when I was creative or helpful, or who encouraged me to express myself through writing or art. Mrs. Payne was an art teacher who actually took it upon herself to illustrate and frame a piece of poetry that I did in second grade, and that really made an impression on me.

I have a lot of different hobbies and interests! I love art, reading, music, and being outside. On the weekends you might find me singing backup vocals for a local band, the Retrotones, playing games at a local coffee shop, or attending a Crossfit class. 🙂

Emily MacGibbon

Academic Coach
Emily MacGibbon

Academic Coach

I grew up in a small mountain town south of Yosemite National Park. I came to Chico to finish my undergraduate degree at CSU, Chico and fell in love with the town. I married a Chico native and have been here now for 17 years.  I stayed home to raise my two children Libby and Kate, who are now in 2nd and 4th grade at Chico Country Day School. I am so happy to be a part of this community first as a parent and now as a staff member.

Karen Ruiz

Academic Coach
Karen Ruiz

Academic Coach

I started working at CCDS in October 2000. This was the year that my daughter Alex started kindergarten at CCDS. Previous to that I was a stay at home mom.

My favorite teacher was Mr. Christiansen in middle school. He was my math teacher and he made me love and appreciate math.

I love flowers and gardening. My backyard is full of flowers everywhere you look. I often pick them to make arrangements to fill my house with flowers too.

Kendall Zepeda

Academic Coach
Kendall Zepeda

Academic Coach

My 4 girls have been students at CCDS since 2001 and I began working at the school in 2011.

My children have since graduated but I chose to stay because of my love of the students and staff.

My favorite field trip was to Point Reyes in the sixth grade and my favorite teacher was Mrs. Mordock because of her passion, dedication and love for every student! She was an amazing English teacher. One thing you should know about me is that I love to sing!

Shelly Buchanan

Academic Coach
Shelly Buchanan

Academic Coach

After high school, I attended Trinity Western University in British Columbia.  I taught preschool for a couple years before receiving my RDA licence to work in the dental field. My husband and I have 3 wonderful children, two daughters and a son.  In 2008, when our youngest was in the first grade,  I joined the CCDS team.  Currently, I am the coordinator for our RtI program and teaching intervention groups for K-3 students. The students and staff that I interact with on a daily basis bring me so much joy.

During my elementary school years, I grew up in Naperville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Looking back, I see the many opportunities I had living close to a big city. My favorite field trip memories were taking chartered bus rides to Chicago to see the Museum of Science and Industry and the Field Museum of Natural History.

My cousin, Payne Stewart, was a 2-time US Open Golf Champion. Naturally, my son’s middle name is Payne.

Sheri Nash

Academic Coach
Sheri Nash

Academic Coach

Tiffany Sabral

Academic Coach
Tiffany Sabral

Academic Coach

Celena Gray

Yard Duty
Celena Gray

Yard Duty

I came to CCDS in 2017-2018 school year. I am Chico homegrown but have lived all over California. My favorite teacher of all time was Mr. Vigillon. He was the push I needed to graduate and go to college.  I LOVE my job at CCDS. Spending time and being silly with the kids is the best part of my day. I try to not be serious and a love a good joke! Especially from the Kinders!

Amy Lipman

Yard Duty
Amy Lipman

Yard Duty

I moved here from Napa in 2011. My kids started here and I was always volunteering in their classrooms and rest is history. My favorite teacher was my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Duran. She was always so nice and attentive and spent lots of extra time with each kid. I am an open book and love interacting with adults and kids. I love laughing and joking and like to bring that out in others.

Jeff Hall

PE Aide/Yard Duty
Jeff Hall

PE Aide/Yard Duty

CCDS Main Office & Business Office Staff

Margaret Reece

Chief Business Officer
Margaret Reece

Chief Business Officer

I joined CCDS officially in 2002 but my son was in the CCDS preschool in 1999 and I was Chair of the Board beginning in 2000. I am originally from Woodland, CA, went to college in Wisconsin, and lived in Phoenix before coming to Chico. I earned a Masters in Public Administration from Chico State, and a Certificate in School Business Management from USC. I am also a Certified School Business Official with CASBO.

My favorite teacher was my 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Carter at Dingle Elementary School. He believed in all students and helped me discover my athletic abilities and develop a love of learning. He was an amazing person and is also the favorite teacher of my four brothers and sisters, which says a lot about his teaching! One thing to know about me is that I love to swim and have been swimming competitively for almost 40 years! I also love dogs and Chico Country Day Charter School!

Pamela Wilson

Business Office Manager/HR
Pamela Wilson

Business Office Manager/HR

I grew up in Santa Cruz and was lucky enough to spend every day at the beach. I graduated from Chico State with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. I started at CCDS in August 2013, following my kids who attended CCDS at the time. Prior to working for CCDS I was a licensed insurance agent working in the claims department.

My favorite teacher was my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Cox. She was lively, showed compassion for her students and took the time for each individual student. This left a lasting impression on me and my view of school. My pride and joy are my two kids, Cheyenne and Chase. I love all of our adventures and watching their sporting events!

Stacy Ferguson

Office Mgr & Attendance
Stacy Ferguson

Office Mgr & Attendance

I am lucky enough to have worked in the preschool for 11 years at CCDS before becoming the Office Manager 5 years ago! I love getting to know the students and enjoy watching our amazing teachers make learning fun and exciting.

In my middle school, we had two history teachers - “Shults and Watson”. They were best buddies & polar opposites. With their rooms being next door, they could open the screen divider and we would have one giant History Class that left me with so many fun memories! Humor is a huge part of learning for me! I married my husband when I was 23 after we started dating in 8th grade. We are officially empty nesters but keep busy with Ace, the German Short Hair Pointer!

Lisa Hoppe

Community Liaison
Lisa Hoppe

Community Liaison

I joined the CCDS staff in 2012, but CCDS became an integral part of my life in 1999 when my daughters started Kindergarten and 2nd grade. They are grown now and both work in education. Back then I loved supporting the school as a volunteer and served on the Board of Directors for two years. I have loved watched CCDS grow and continue to flourish and am thrilled to be a part of the process. I have a degree in Communications and for ten years had a small internet store supporting loss and grief.

My favorite memory in school was my entire senior year in high school. I especially loved my yearbook teacher John Matthias who I had for four years. He inspired me to write, create and be a leader. One thing you might not know about me is that by the end of the school year, I usually have a bad case of wanderlust which leads to travel somewhere cool; my favorite destination so far -- South Africa!

Liz Seaman

School Nurse
Liz Seaman

School Nurse

I joined CCDS in 2014 when my twins were starting kindergarten here! I have been a nurse for 14 years, previously working in the Emergency Department and ICU. I have a Masters in Nursing Education and am a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse. I’m currently attending UCSF and will complete the Nurse Practitioner program in March of 2019. Working as the school nurse at CCDS has been the best job I’ve ever had!

My favorite field trip was in 3rd grade. Growing up as a child in San Francisco we went on a field trip to celebrate Chinese New Year. I have always loved learning about and celebrating other cultures. In addition to my twins in 4th grade here at CCDS I also have a daughter that is 27 and a son that is 25. I firmly believe in eating dessert anytime of the day or night!

Angel Ortega

Information Systems Tech
Angel Ortega

Information Systems Tech

Jamie Saderup

Office Mgr & Data Coord.
Jamie Saderup

Office Mgr & Data Coord.

I joined the CCDS team back in 2013 as a special education aide and transitioned into the office the following year. I recently got married and hope to start a family in the next couple years. I can’t wait to have my own children attend CCDS because I know firsthand what an amazing staff we have here!

My favorite memory in school was when I attended NYC and DC with my freshman class. One of the most memorable and moving trips I have ever been on. Can’t wait to go back one day! One thing you probably didn’t know about me is that I have always wanted to be a nurse! In the last two years I have decided to pursue my dream and start applying to nursing
schools!

Stuart Langford

School Facilities Manager
Stuart Langford

School Facilities Manager

I joined CCDS in July 2012 as the School Facilities Manager. Prior to that I was self-employed as a mason.

My favorite memory of school growing up in England was when we went on a weeklong adventure with the school in Wales, where we canoed, windsurfed, we repelled over a cliff, and went horseback riding, among many other things. The purpose of the trip was to almost end our time in school and it was so much fun full of adventures.

What you should know about me is that I was born and raised in England and my parents and sister still live there. I love to go back and visit. My hometown is where Winnie the Pooh was written and there is such as thing as the 100 Acre Wood and Pooh Bridge.

Eric Thao

Custodian
Eric Thao

Custodian

Paul Crosbie

Custodian
Paul Crosbie

Custodian

CCDS Middle School Athletics Staff

Mike O’Connor

Athletic Director
Mike O’Connor

Athletic Director

Chris Nixon

Basketball Coach
Chris Nixon

Basketball Coach

Jordan Williams

Basketball Coach
Jordan Williams

Basketball Coach

Jason Pezzetti

Basketball Coach
Jason Pezzetti

Basketball Coach

Dan Edwards

Cross Country Coach
Dan Edwards

Cross Country Coach

After School Program Staff

Angela Cherry

ASP Director
Angela Cherry

ASP Director

I first joined CCDS in 2009 as a preschool parent. Both of my kids went to the CCDS preschool for two years and we were so lucky to make it in during the lottery. When my youngest started kindergarten, I started substitute teaching at CCDS. Eventually I fell into my position as the After School Program Director and love it! I love working with students and being surrounded by such an amazing staff. I really enjoy being a life-long learner and this is the perfect environment for that!

My favorite teacher was my high school algebra teacher Ms. Fae. Math was not my favorite subject and I would rather have spent my time reading. Ms. Fae was a great role model to break the “girls aren’t as good at math as boys” mentality that was considered fact when I was in high school. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to laugh, cook, read, travel and hang with my family! What people might be surprised to know is that I would love to write a children’s book someday.

CCDS Preschool Staff

Kerri Cooley

Preschool Director
Kerri Cooley

Preschool Director

I joined CCDS in August 2003 and this is my 15th year teaching. Both of my boys went through the preschool program and both graduated from 8th grade at CCDS!! I feel blessed that I worked at the same school my boys were at and what a great experience it was for all of us.

I grew up in Mount Shasta and married my high school sweetheart. My favorite field trip was to Patrick’s Point for field biology in high school. I absolutely love my job and feel lucky everyday to get to work with such amazing kids families and co-workers!  

The one thing you should know about me is that I’m a huge sports mom and wife! Go Vikings! Go Dodgers! Go Raiders!

Katlin Redding

Preschool Teacher
Katlin Redding

Preschool Teacher

I joined CCDS 10 years ago. I was previously working in Durham at their elementary school doing the kindercare program.

My favorite field trip was our 7th grade DC trip. I enjoyed spending time with my friends and exploring! The one thing I’m sure no one would know about me is that I love to go hunting and be in the outdoors!

Patty Currie

Preschool Teacher
Patty Currie

Preschool Teacher

I joined the preschool team 8 years ago! Both of my boys (LIam and ROnan) came through the program and I was lucky enough to not only be a parent of preschoolers but now a teacher!

I was born and raised right in San Francisco! I grew up in the Sunset District near Ocean Beach. My favorite field trip was in 4th grade when we were learning about the Civil War and we were able to spend the night at Fort Point! The one thing you should know about me is that I love my job and would not trade it for anything in the world. Not many people can say they love coming to work each day but I can! My sweet preschoolers and their families make each day exciting and rewarding!