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.

Claudia Trout

Director of Student Affairs
Claudia Trout

Director of Student Affairs

Nicole Nye

Transitional Kindergarten
Nicole Nye

Transitional 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!

Annie Finney

Kindergarten
Annie Finney

Kindergarten

Hello CCDS Families! My name is Annie Finney and I am thrilled to join the awesome community at Chico Country Day. This year marks my 12th year teaching. I have taught 2nd grade for the past ten years on the ridge in Paradise. I have always wanted to teach kindergarten and can't wait to meet the first group of Mrs. Finney's foxes!

I grew up on the beach in Southern CA and came to Chico to get my teaching credential. I have a minor in special education with a focus on child development. My favorite teachers were Mrs. Resor and Mrs. Munce. They were kind, patient, and caring. To this day I am still inspired by these excellent educators and remember how they made me feel cared for.

I met my husband while in college and have been married for 21 years. We have three lovely children and a sweet mutt. We all love adventure and the great outdoors. I'm looking forward to my next adventure and joining an amazing team of educators at CCDS!

Serena Hawkley

Kindergarten
Serena Hawkley

Kindergarten

"Aloha!  I've been teaching since 2011 when I first began teaching kindergarten in Kapaa, Kauai.  I moved back to Chico to teach kindergarten at Notre Dame and met my husband while playing for the same softball team. Fun fact: we were both in the same fifth grade class! I had a lot of favorite teachers growing up and they all had one thing in common: reminded me of Mary Poppins.  “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.”

I've always wanted to have a career in education and was lucky enough to work at a wonderful school called Chico Country Day School in 2003! Yep, that’s right, I worked in the After School Program at CCDS while going to Chico State to obtain my teaching credential.  I am excited to be back with Team CCDS as a Kindergarten teacher along with my two kids. Talk about full circle!

After college I had the incredible opportunity to teach English in China.  I also published a children’s book, which helped fund more travels to Australia.  My family and I continue to have adventures in traveling.  My husband and I were able to fulfill my childhood dream of swimming with one of my favorite animals, dolphins!  (My other favorite is a platypus…haven’t had the chance to swim with one….yet.) Aside from teaching, my joys include my family, friends, running, and reading a good book with a strong, delicious cup of coffee!  I also enjoy anything that consists of lots of love, laughter and fun!"

Katie Hunter

Kindergarten
Katie Hunter

Kindergarten

I am so excited to be teaching kindergarten at CCDS! For so many children, kindergarten is the first school experience they will have, and I feel so privileged to be a part of it. I can't wait to meet my students and get to know them and their families!

I grew up in Redding and knew I wanted to be a mom and teacher from an early age. I attended San Diego State for my undergrad, then moved to Chico after getting married, and attended Chico State for my teaching credential. My husband and I have two incredible daughters. We recently went on an adventure and lived in both Vegas and Southern California, but we missed Chico and made our way back. We are very happy to be here!

My favorite thing to do is spend time with family and friends. Some of my other favorite things are: summertime, being near the water, lemon-flavored anything, shopping, and traveling. My favorite color is yellow! We also own an Airbnb and I spend a lot of time hosting and preparing for our guests!

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!

Grace Taylor

First
Grace Taylor

First

I am from Santa Cruz CA, and received my undergraduate degree as well as my Multiple Subject Credential from CSU, Chico. I’m proud to join the Chico Country Day staff, as this school represents and brings to life my personal teaching philosophy. My heart lies in first grade - it was my absolute favorite year in my own elementary school experience, and also the grade I was lucky enough to do my student teaching in. Teaching builds upon my passions of creating community, learning and helping others. I also love learning from and with young children, as they bring such a unique view to life. 

In my free time I enjoy walking, reading and spending time with the people I love. Some of my favorite things are giraffes, lattes, dancing and the color yellow. I look forward to meeting you and your children- it is going to be a very fun year!

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.

Lisa Janke

Second
Lisa Janke

Second

I'm so happy to be part of the CCDS community!  I remember wanting to be a teacher since I was young, and have many teachers in my family. I began my teaching career in Santa Cruz, where I received my credential and Master’s in Education at UC Santa Cruz. My first eight years of teaching were at an elementary school in Watsonville. Over the last six years I’ve taught in Yuba City, Oroville, and Chico. In over 14 years of teaching I have taught students from TK to 5th, with most of that time spent in 2nd-5th grade. 

I've had many teachers inspire me while growing up in Sacramento and Truckee. One that stands out to me was my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Deason. He was kind, funny, and really shared his excitement about learning.

I love to spend time with my husband and two boys, having home dance parties, listening to music, hiking, reading, and cooking. I also love to travel around the world and learn about other cultures. So far I've traveled to 6 different countries and 11 states. At the top of my travel list is to go to Greece, as that is part of my heritage and culture.

Heather Bettencourt

Second
Heather Bettencourt

Second

I am so excited to be starting my first year teaching at CCDS! I taught preschool for 4 years and then went back to CSUC in 2020 to get my multiple subject and special education credentials. I am looking forward to being in the classroom again.

My favorite teacher was my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Buer. She loved science and shared that love with her class. We had an outdoor classroom, built space stations, and watched as her search and rescue dog, Barley, sniffed out classmates that were hiding!

In our free time my family and I love to go camping, ride bikes, watch movies, and swim. I like coffee, burritos, tacos, ice cream, and Italian food. I love to read, draw, and travel.

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.

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 🙂

Nicole Hardoy

Third
Nicole Hardoy

Third

Hello CCDS! After going to Chico State to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Business, I spent a year substitute teaching around my hometown area of Lockwood, CA. I then made the decision to come back to Chico state in order to get my teaching credential. I was lucky enough to do a semester of student teaching at Durham elementary and then joined CCDS in 2019 as a 3rd grade student teacher.

My favorite teacher growing up was first grade with Miss Pence. She was an innovative, kind, and caring teacher who spent her days singing through the curriculum to keep us engaged and while pushing us to be our best. She not only taught me how to read, but fostered a love a reading that I carry with me today!

I enjoy spending my time hiking, gardening, or relaxing in Bidwell Park. My family is very important to me so I spend as much time as possible with them.

Alex Rainey

Fourth
Alex Rainey

Fourth

I am over the moon to be a part of the CCDS team!  Although this is my first year teaching at CCDS, it is my 12th year of teaching full time and 7th year of teaching 4th grade.  I truly love teaching, it’s my jam!  I am grateful for the opportunity to be teaching and learning from the dynamic students here at CCDS.

In addition to being a teacher, I am a mama to a curious and kind-hearted Kindergartner who is attending CCDS alongside me, which brings me so much happiness.  His older brother is attending college and excelling at being a wonderful human being.  Beyond teaching, I love to travel to distant places, be awestruck by the beauty of the natural world, and channel my inner fish in crystal clear ocean waters.

I’m really looking forward to getting to know the CCDS students and their families and beginning this adventurous journey through learning in 4th grade.  This year is going to be awesome!

Denai Rubio

Fourth
Denai Rubio

Fourth

I joined the CCDS community as a parent in 2012.  My experience being in the classroom reminded me of my love for working with children and teaching.  Being a classroom parent helped motivate me to go back to school and get my teaching credential at Chico State.  In the past I taught a fifth and sixth grade combination class, but I love being part of the 4th grade team at CCDS.

In my free time I love to be outdoors, travel, and backpack with my family.  My favorite travel experience so far has been hiking the Inca Trail in Machu Picchu with my husband. I also love spending time at the beach with my family. One thing I hope to pass on to my students is my love of reading.  There is no adventure too large to experience through the pages of a good book!

Sarah Jacobs-Luttrell

Fifth
Sarah Jacobs-Luttrell

Fifth

Hello everyone! I am originally from Sacramento, CA and moved to Chico for my undergrad and teaching credential. While in the credential program I was lucky enough to do my student teaching here at CCDS in 5th grade with Mrs. Miller. I had a wonderful experience working here and was very excited to get the call to join the team!

When I am not teaching I am either hanging out with my friends or going on adventures with my dog, Henry.

Bonus Fact: I LOVE science! I double majored in Science Education and Liberal Studies in college. My favorite topics to learn about are physics and astronomy.

Sam Roy

Fifth
Sam Roy

Fifth

Helping students attain success is something I enjoy and something I strive to improve. It's been my passion for many years. I love being of service to all students. Fifth grade was my first homeroom experience, which I did for many years, however I taught other grades later to get an idea of what instruction looks like with different age groups. I am a Chico State alum with a Master’s from the University of San Francisco. I also went to Santa Clara University and I am also a teaching consultant for the Northern California Writing Project out of Chico State, because I also like to write, and I enjoy learning.

My favorite teacher was my science teacher, Mr. L. He pushed me to think critically and to ask more questions about why things are the way they are. He was also the student council liaison who pushed me to run for student council, which helped me build self-confidence and get comfortable speaking in front of large groups…in junior high. He is without a doubt, the ‘why I became a teacher’ answer. He was a big deal.

When I have time to myself, I read, draw, write, go to the movies, and play games with my friends and family.

Sarah Peterson Young

Sixth
Sarah Peterson Young

Sixth

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!

Hillary Pierce

Sixth
Hillary Pierce

Sixth

I began teaching at CCDS in 2021. I have been an educator for over a decade, beginning my career as a science teacher at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley. A recent transplant to Chico, I’ve taught 1st-3rd grade in a Montessori setting, followed by sixth grade in a public school, both in rural New Mexico. I’ve also lived in North Carolina and Rome, Italy. We recently moved to the area due to my husband’s work in agricultural water management.

My favorite teacher was Ms. Telmon, who taught European history, psychology, and theory of knowledge in high school. A curious and thoughtful person, Ms.Telmon spoke several languages and exemplified the ultimate goal of any educational system- a lifelong learner. Our first class assignment was to write an essay to address the prompt, “what is the meaning of life?”. Still pondering that one.

I love to walk long distances, read novels with my daughter, and learn new and useful skills. As an avid gardener, I’m looking forward to the possibility of four-season gardening in Chico’s mild climate!

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.  

Michael Proshek

7th/8th Grade Science
Michael Proshek

7th/8th Grade Science

I am extremely excited to be part of the CCDS community! I've been obsessed with Project Based Learning (PBL) since I was first introduced to it a little over ten years ago. I love everything that goes along with teaching in an authentic way and learning right along with the students. Over the years I have seen the power of students pursuing authentic challenges and seeing how using science and engineering affects our daily lives can empower us all to optimize many aspects of our life and our world. I'm excited to see all the ways we can connect the classroom with the community!

I am not sure I have a favorite teacher. I think if we are paying attention with an open mind then we can learn from anyone. Challenges in my life and people who challenge my thinking have often provided the greatest lessons.

When I am not in school obsessing about the current project I am usually with my three kiddos going on some adventure or recuperating from busy lives.

Kyle Norton

7th/8th Grade Social Science
Kyle Norton

7th/8th Grade Social Science

I began teaching at Chico Country Day School in 2020. I graduated from Chico State with a degree in International Relations in 2012 and moved with my wife down to Los Angeles. I worked as an EMT and Field Training Officer for four years and eventually earned my single subject credential and masters degree at National University.

My favorite teacher was my own 8th grade history teacher, Mr. Kohlmeier. He was the first history teacher I had who focused on learning the lessons of history without wasting time on the name and date memorization that frustrates so many students. In his class, American history was made relevant for us through real world applications as we learned about our local government and ways we could actually get involved.

I have been fortunate enough to be able to travel all over the globe as a young adult and can’t wait to continue to travel to new places, learn new things, and most importantly, eat new food! When I am not running after my two awesome kids I like to unwind by watching movies, playing baseball, and enjoying the outdoors as often as possible. I look forward to meeting all of you, and am happy to be a part of the CCDS family!

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'm happy to be living in Chico and a 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.

Judie Hall

Art
Judie Hall

Art

I began teaching at Chico Country Day School in 2021. I graduated from Chico State with a BA in Art, received single subject, multiple subject and administrative services credentials. I also earned an MA in Art Education. I began my career in Paradise Unified as a Kindergarten teacher and have taught grades one, five, and seven through twelve. I have also been an elementary principal, county office administrator and administrator at the California Department of Education in Sacramento.

I have two favorite teachers. Mrs. Penny Parkinson who was my art teacher in junior high school and Mr. Lodyga who was my biology teacher in high school. Both teachers were really engaging and authentic.

I grew up in Anaheim and moved to Paradise with my husband in 1976. We raised our daughter in Paradise and now we live in Chico. My daughter teaches in Corning Union High School District.
I have traveled to Europe a couple of times and my favorite country is Italy. I enjoy experimenting with new art techniques, gardening, walking, swimming, and preparing new recipes.

Cindy Towner

STEM

Teddy Greenfield

Band
Teddy Greenfield

Band

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.

Sarah Burgoon

Elective & Advisory Teacher
Sarah Burgoon

Elective & Advisory Teacher

I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a teacher, and have spent the past 22 years teaching grades 4-8 in Cupertino, CA. My husband and I moved to Chico this summer to be closer to my sister and her family and enjoy everything Chico and the surrounding area has to offer. When given the opportunity to teach at Chico Country Day School, I couldn't pass it up.

My favorite teacher was Mr. Geer. He was my 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher. I was new to the area and didn't know anyone in my classes, but he made learning fun with interesting projects and class activities which allowed me to make friends easily. I still remember the Lewis and Clark journal I made for his class. Fun fact: I met my best friend in Mr. Geer's class, and we have remained best friends for over 30 years!

During my free time, I enjoy working in my garden, baking and cooking for my friends and family, exploring new places, watching movies, traveling, and scuba diving. One scuba diving highlight was on the Big Island of Hawaii- a night dive with manta rays, which was amazing!

Lora Adams

Cooking Elective
Lora Adams

Cooking Elective

I come to Chico Country Day School with more than 20 years of experience, including teaching, cooking, catering, and as a certified health coach. In my cooking class, students learn skills to last a lifetime. Students in this class will learn skills to last a lifetime. In addition to cooking, nutrition, etiquette and meal planning will also be discussed. I'm excited to share my love for cooking with the students at CCDS!

Student Support Services Team

Amie Parent

Dir. of Student Support Svcs.
Amie Parent

Dir. of Student Support Svcs.

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!

Tyson Anderson

Education Specialist
Tyson Anderson

Education Specialist

I have had the opportunity to work at several schools around the Chico area over the past 13 years, first as a paraprofessional, then as an Intern Teacher, and most recently as an Education Specialist.

In 8th grade I was fortunate enough to be in a unique program called “Northwest 8”, which ignited my passion for teaching and helped shape my teaching philosophy. In the Northwest 8 program, progressive teachers educated students through simulations and first hand experiences.  During the program, simulations included dragging homemade wagons across miles of rugged trails in order to better understand westward expansion.  We also lined up in formation and hurled water balloons and fired squirt guns at each other to get a feel for the strategies of the Union and the Confederate army’s during the Civil War.  During these experiences I learned that education could look different.

When I’m not at CCDS I am probably spending time with my son who will be turning one in November.  Amongst other things, I love baseball, stand-up comedy, and the podcast series, This American Life.

Bryn Alexander

Speech & Lang. Therapist
Bryn Alexander

Speech & Lang. Therapist

I was born and raised here in Chico, and I love what a special place this is to live and raise a family. I’ve been a Speech-Language Pathologist since graduating from CSU, Chico in 2013. I’ve worked with children ranging from 1 year to 15 years old, as well as teaching students at the graduate level at Chico State’s Center for Communication Disorders. I fell in love with our school culture, and the families in it, when I came to CCDS as a parent in 2014. I now have a 6th and an 8th grader attending our school.

One of the things that makes my work more meaningful is that I’m a special needs mom. I feel blessed to understand the deep importance of doing my job well in such a personal way, which is why working with your children is such a privilege.

My happy place outside of work is backpacking, hiking, kayaking and anything outdoors with family and friends. I also love SCUBA diving and anything that involves the ocean.

Christina Hudson

Social Worker
Christina Hudson

Social Worker

I was born and raised in the Bay Area and moved to Chico in the fall of 2006. I graduated Chico State with my BSW in 2010 and MSW in 2016. I started my social work career working with the Butte County Independent Living Program (ILP) as a caseworker and worked my way to the program coordinator position. I was with ILP for 12 years and worked with countless youth and their families. A large part of my work included helping youth make the transition out of foster care, and education was always a huge component of that.  I look forward to starting my new role as School Social Worker and supporting my fellow colleagues, students, and their families.  I am excited to start this journey with Chico Country Day School!

Shelly Buchanan

RTI Coordinator
Shelly Buchanan

RTI Coordinator

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.

Julee Williams

RTI Coach
Julee Williams

RTI Coach

Martha Olson-Madrigal

RTI Coach
Martha Olson-Madrigal

RTI Coach

I graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education, followed by my Multiple Subject Credential. I have worked in education for many years: as a preschool teacher; a classroom teacher; a substitute teacher; and a swim instructor.  I have also worked in customer service and the airline industry.  My husband, Bob, and I have lived in four different states throughout our marriage and moved down to Chico from Oregon four years ago. We have two grown children who are still living in Oregon and we love to go up and visit them. I'm thrilled to be working at Chico Country Day School!

Jeff Hall

PE Aide/Yard Duty
Jeff Hall

PE Aide/Yard Duty

CCDS Main Office & Business Office Staff

Gretchen Bender

Chief Business Officer
Gretchen Bender

Chief Business Officer

I joined CCDS in 2022. I’ve worn many hats throughout my 20-year career in education – middle school teacher, grant director, elected board member, community college Dean, parent, and now CBO!

I am a native of Encinitas, California where I grew up surfing, skateboarding, and eating fresh fruits and veggies out of my dad’s huge garden. I married into a family that has deep Chico roots and, seven years ago, we made the move from San Diego. My wife and I have a son in middle school, two adult daughters that live close by and our 1st grandbaby is on the way! I love gardening, listening to music on vinyl, collecting vintage garden décor, and cooking for friends.

I have to give a shout-out to two favorite teachers. Mrs. Williams, My high school Algebra teacher, showed me that math could be fun and interesting and told me I was good at it. She gave me the confidence that lead me to study math and statistics in college and ultimately pursue finance as a career. Mr. Scott was my middle school English teacher. He was funny and kind and taught me how to enjoy reading, how to think about books, and search for deeper meaning in stories.

I’m excited and honored to be part of the CCDS family!

Irene Henkens

School Communications
Irene Henkens

School Communications

I joined the CCDS team in 2018 as the middle school office manager, but this school has held a special place in my heart ever since my eldest daughter started kindergarten in 2011. I feel very lucky to work with such a strong team of educators, and to be part of a community that values each and every student who walks through our doors.

I love spending time with my husband and two daughters (and my two chocolate labs!) in the outdoors. We love hiking, boating, camping, and are currently trying to visit as many of our beautiful national parks as possible. One of my favorite quotes is from Mother Teresa: "Do ordinary things with extraordinary love."

Natalie Wren

School Nurse
Natalie Wren

School Nurse

Katie Stalter

Human Resources
Katie Stalter

Human Resources

I am so excited to be joining the CCDS Family! I graduated from Chico State with my bachelor's degree in Human Resource Management in 2007. I met my now husband while working at Tri Counties Bank.  After graduating, I moved to Sacramento, then to Santa Cruz for my husband’s job. I was super lucky to be able to be a stay-at-home mom when my two boys were born, and we had so much fun living in a State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains! We soon realized that we missed Chico and wanted to raise our family here, and returned in 2015. 

Growing up, my favorite teacher was Mr. Lee, in 5th grade. I remember really loving learning about weather science, clouds and how and why the weather behaved as it did, and having dance parties when we couldn’t sit still. I loved that he was engaging, and not afraid to have fun and be silly with the kids. 

I enjoy spending time with my husband and boys, as well as our 2 dogs, and 3 cats. I also love reading, especially sharing my love of books with my boys, traveling to new places, and anything Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and Harry Potter!

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!

Stacey Owen

Accounting/Indep. Study
Stacey Owen

Accounting/Indep. 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. I've recently added purchasing and accounting to my independent study role at CCDS.

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!

Jamie Beauchane

MS Office Mgr & Attendance
Jamie Beauchane

MS Office Mgr & Attendance

I have grown-up and lived most of my life in Chico, and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else!  After high school (go Vikings!) I moved to Seattle to experience life in the “big city”; however, I wasn’t there for too long before Chico - and family - called me back home.  Upon my return, I took a position working as a law clerk in a local attorney's office.  I later became an office manager for a large medical software development company.

Then, my dream job came along: being “mom” to my two amazing kids. As a mom, you wear many hats and fill many roles. Of these various positions, one of my favorites was time spent at my children’s school: working in the classroom, running the school lunch program, and organizing fundraising events.  I think fondly upon my time with all the kids and getting to watch that entire student body grow up before my eyes.

I want to bring to CCDS that same energy and joy I found working at Notre Dame.  Watching kids of all ages develop into young citizens always makes me smile.  I am so excited to be joining the CCDS family, where every day seems like an episode of “America’s Got Talent!” – what amazing gift will your child be sharing today?  I can’t wait to find out!

Valerie Long

Health Aide/Enrollment
Valerie Long

Health Aide/Enrollment

I was born and raised here in Chico. I love being close to family and appreciate all the natural beauty and fun this area provides. I enjoyed a career in the medical field and also in retail and management. I feel fortunate to have been a stay at home parent as well. I joined the CCDS community as a parent in 2018 and have two children who currently attend. We have two pets, our dog “Iggy” and a hamster named “Cheddar Cheese Wedge” aka “Wedgie”. I like to exercise, golf, bake and spend time with loved ones. I am excited to serve and work with our amazing staff and students!

Jakob Ruffner

IT Technician
Jakob Ruffner

IT Technician

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.

Paul Crosbie

Custodian
Paul Crosbie

Custodian

CCDS Middle School Athletics Staff

Jordan Williams

Athletic Director
Jordan Williams

Athletic Director

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!