Chief Executive Officer
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 as Director of Education and currently, as Chief Executive Officer of this amazing school!
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.
Director of Student Affairs
Dir Student Support Services
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!
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!
Middle School Dean of Students
After teaching middle school math for 16 years (half of those here at CCDS), I am so thrilled to return to Chico Country Day School as Middle School Dean. I love working with middle school students. Their curiosity, energy, and sense of humor is contagious. I am also excited to be a part of Project Based Learning again which serves as such a great platform for that curiosity and energy.
I grew up here in Chico and attended Butte College for 2 years before moving on to Carroll College in Montana to finish my college basketball career and my Bachelor’s degree. After spending a few years in Oregon and a few years on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona, we moved back to Chico to raise our family.
I have 3 children (all CCDS alumni) and I love traveling to visit them in my spare time. If I’m not spending time with family I can be found on the Sacramento River, hiking, reading, or trying to figure out how to golf.
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. Since then, I've taught a year of 3rd grade, a year of 4th grade and 17 years of Kindergarten. This is my 3rd year of teaching TK and I absolutely love it! It's been so fun creating this program for the youngest students at CCDS!
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 two dogs!
Hello CCDS Families! My name is Annie Finney and I love the awesome community at Chico Country Day! I am thrilled to teach kindergarten with the best team in town. It is truly an honor to foster a love of learning in young scholars. Kindergarten is a time of great exploration and fantastic growth, there is nowhere I would rather be!
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 22 years. We have three lovely children and a sweet mutt. We all love adventure and the great outdoors. I'm looking forward to the next adventure with my kinder kits in Mrs. Finney's Fox Den!
"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!"
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!
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!
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!
I am a born and raised Chicoan. I spent a few years playing volleyball at Cabrillo College in Aptos, Ca and eventually made my way back home to complete my undergraduate degree and get my Multiple Subject Credential at Chico State. Although this is my first year teaching at CCDS, I am a proud alumni and had the pleasure of completing my first semester of student teaching in 1st grade here. I am incredibly excited to become a part of the CCDS staff as I strongly believe in everything this school represents.
Outside of teaching I love spending time with my family. I am a proud ‘auntie’ and find myself spending most of my free time chasing my nieces and nephews around. I also coach volleyball at Pleasant Valley High, my alma mater. In my free time I enjoy long walks or runs in my neighborhood, and making dinner with my husband.
In 2014, I joined the CCDS staff and began teaching second grade. Previously, I taught both kindergarten and first grades for 20 years. Second grade is my favorite grade and math is my favorite subject.
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 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.
I am so excited to continue my teaching career at Chico Country Day. I’ve been involved at the school as a parent since 2008 and many students may remember me from teaching Hacky Sack for PE, doing the Kindergarten murals around campus, and singing at All School Sing. I love the teaching philosophy at CCDS and I’m so excited to be a part of it!
My favorite teacher was Mr. Emery from 10th grade because he brought books to life and his enthusiasm encouraged the class to get excited and to ask lots of questions. I love teaching because I enjoy inspiring others to learn something new and he was someone who really instilled that in me!
My family and I really enjoy all the wonderful outdoor activities in our area and we love to camp, mountain bike, hike and travel as much as possible. Upper Bidwell Park is one of my favorite places to explore and play!
My husband and I have 3 children who all went to CCDS from preschool to 8th grade and I am so excited to continue my involvement with such an incredible group!
I am excited to begin another year at CCDS! I earned by BA in psychology in 2003 and then taught preschool. I went back to college in 2020 to earn my Education Specialist and Multiple Subject credentials. This is my second year in 2nd grade.
My favorite teacher was my high school biology teacher, Mrs Hassey. She was tough and pushed us to our limits but I learned so much and found new passions for both science and biology. She taught me to work and study hard and with intention and that I could do difficult things.
I'm looking forward to another school year with my amazing 2nd grade team!
Hello CCDS families! I am Shannon Lawson, and I’m excited to begin another year at Chico Country Day School.
I am originally from the Bay Area, but I have called Chico my home for over twenty years. My husband and I have three amazing children - all of whom attended CCDS!
After receiving my undergraduate degree in Liberal Studies at Chico State, I took a few years to stay at home with my children. My son began Kindergarten at CCDS in 2004, and I’ve been happy to be a part of this wonderful community ever since. I then returned to Chico State, earned my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and began my teaching career here at Chico Country Day. Prior to teaching Third grade, I worked in Special Education and taught Fifth grade. Third grade is my happy place!
I was lucky to have had some wonderful teachers throughout my childhood. One was my seventh grade teacher, Mrs. Ragano. She recognized my love of reading, and took the time to recommend some of her favorite books. To this day, I love sitting down and enjoying a good book with a cup (or two!) of coffee.
Besides reading, I love spending time with family and friends, traveling to new places, hiking, camping, and playing with my two dogs.
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 children attended CCDS which reinforced what we wanted our kids to learn: respect and responsibility. My husband and I are so proud of them because they still live by those values today as young adults.
My all-time favorite teacher 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. We also had a blast performing a musical that spanned the years 1492-1960. My friends and I still break out in song when we're together!
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.
Everyday I wake up feeling like I hit the lotto of life! I absolutely adore teaching at CCDS. This place is magical-the kiddos, the families, the staff, the philosophy and vision of education that is shared all adds to the sparkle and shine that is CCDS. This will be my 13th year of teaching and more than half of that time I have been hanging out in 4th grade with some pretty awesome 9 and 10 year olds.
In addition to being a teacher, I am a mama to a curious and kind-hearted first grader who is attending CCDS alongside me, which brings me so much joy. His older brother is attending college and excelling at being a wonderful human being. Beyond teaching and mom’n, I love to travel near and far, be awestruck by the beauty of the natural world, and channel my inner fish in crystal clear ocean waters.
I am thrilled to make so many new memories and share new experiences with my new crew of 4th graders and their families. Cheers to our adventurous journey through learning in 4th grade!
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 16 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.
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!
I am so excited to be joining the CCDS community for the upcoming school year! This will be my third year teaching fifth grade. I previously taught 5th grade in Palermo, CA. I am from Merced, and received both my undergraduate degree and teaching credential from California State University, Chico. My personal teaching philosophy aligns with the CCDS values. I truly love being a teacher, it is one of my biggest passions in life. I enjoy watching students learn and learning from them - student voices matter greatly! I value the connections I make with my students and love creating engaging and exciting experiences within the classroom.
I come from a family of teachers, and have always had a passion for working with children. I love animals! I have three cats, and a Golden Retriever puppy named Poppy. I am a huge fan of traveling, and visited 9 countries while participating in Camp Adventure, Germany. Camp Adventure allowed me to travel, as well as help assist in a military youth services summer program which was the best of both worlds! During the summer, you can find me at a baseball game in San Diego or hanging out on the beach.
Outside of school I enjoy reading, pilates, or spending time with my fiance! I love the color pink, iced matcha lattes, the Padres, and Golden Retrievers! I am so excited to meet you and your children. This year is going to be awesome!
Sarah Peterson Young
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!
I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a teacher. I spent 22 years teaching grades 4-8 in Cupertino, CA. My husband and I moved to Chico in 2021 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. I love teaching middle school and am very excited to teach 6th grade again.
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!
7th/8th Grade Math
I've loved being a teacher at CCDS since I started teaching here in 2017. I'm passionate about mathematics education and computer science and love my job.
My favorite teacher was my 11th grade math teacher. He was very flexible in what he considered an answer to a math problem and allowed me to develop an appreciation for math that led to me earning my degree in mathematics. I try to bring this same flexibility to my classroom.
In the classroom you'll find me making terrible dad jokes and puns. You might also find me talking up our CCDS esports program.
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.
7th/8th Grade Science
My path to becoming an educator has been a unique one! I began my education in the Master's Program at CSU, Chico in Biological Psychology. From there, I started a small tech company, then ended up as a commercial finance officer. After a long career, I decided I hadn't enjoyed anything I was doing, so I adjusted my priorities and began working on my teaching credential. I love being a middle school science teacher, and especially love geology and astronomy. My students often make fun of me because one of my sayings in class is, "I mean, how cool are rocks?!? Totally cool, right!?"
One of the most influential teachers in my life was Mr. Leija. His door was always open and students would meet in his class to eat lunch together. He had a special way of letting students know he cared, and I use his example in my own teaching.
My wife and I believe that travel is the best education, and we have taken our children with us all over the world. Some of our favorite countries have been Italy, Norway, Spain, and Mexico, and we're hoping to visit Iceland next year. When I'm not geeking out over science, I often spend my time mountain biking, hiking, or teaching technology and AI to small businesses.
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 three awesome kids I like to unwind by watching movies, playing baseball, throwing hatchets, and enjoying the outdoors as often as possible. I look forward to another great year at CCDS!
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.
I love the arts and have been working with different mediums my whole life, from pen, pencils and crayons, to watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings, to spray paint and mural work. Pretty much whatever was in front of me. I remember learning new ways to draw from Mark Kistler’s ‘Draw Squad’ and to this day I have a copy of his book in all my classrooms. Helping students create is something I enjoy and something I strive to empower. Making art has been my passion for many years. I love being of service to all creators. I am a Chico State alum with a Master’s from the University of San Francisco. I am also a teaching consultant for the Northern California Writing Project out of Chico State as well as a Graphic Recorder and Facilitator from the Grove Academy. Creating and helping others to create brings me joy.
In middle school, my favorite teacher was my science teacher, Mr. L. He pushed me to ask more questions about why things are the way they are. He was also the student council liaison who empowered me to run for student council, which helped me build self-confidence and get comfortable speaking in front of large groups…in junior high of all places. He is without a doubt, the ‘why I became a teacher’ answer.
When I have time to myself, I read, draw, write, go to the movies, and play games with my friends and family.
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.
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!
Bio to come.
Student Support Services
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!
Speech & Lang. Therapist
Hello! My name is Deonna Collier. This is my first year at CCDS and I am super excited to get to know you! I recently got married and moved (back) to Chico. I am originally from Oakdale, California and grew up on a dairy. I attended Chico State for college and fell in love with this town! I’ve been very connected to my church in Chico since college, but am excited to meet new friends, too.
I love decorating and making things beautiful. It’s been so fun to get to pick out things for my first home with my husband. I also enjoy exercising and going to coffee shops with friends. Speech Pathology is something I’m very passionate about, and it will be such a joy getting to work with students and families at CCDS. If you see me on campus, please say hi!
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!
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.
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.
Hello CCDS family,
My name is Miss Mary! You might recognize me as a yearbook or photography teacher, a yard duty, or most frequently as a Special Education Paraprofessional ( a fancy word for aid.)
I’m originally from Sacramento California, but moved to Chico to play softball at Butte College. Go, Roadrunners! After I received my AA from Butte, I transferred to Chico State and obtained a Bachelors in Liberal studies. I love working in education.
My family consists of my mom, dad, older sister, and two younger brothers. I also have a pug Harvey, and a pitbull labrador named Lucy. I thrive in chaos!
In my free time, I love to go on hikes and play pickleball or slowpitch. When the weather is too cold or hot to do outside activities, I love to crochet, sew, and most of all thrift shop!
An interesting fact about me is that I can do a fairly convincing British accent!
Yard Duty Supervisor
Office Staff & Business Services
Office Mgr & Attendance
I am lucky enough to have worked in the preschool at CCDS for 11 years before becoming the Office Manager 10 years ago. I'm now on my 22nd year at this wonderful school! I love getting to know the students and families, I enjoy watching our amazing teachers connect with students, and my co-workers are truly the BEST!
I met my husband here in Chico - we started dating in 8th grade at Bidwell Jr. High School. We're now officially empty nesters but keep busy with our grown children with boating, pool time, concerts, road trips, and dog playdates. Both my children attended CCDS. My son is a doctor of physical therapy at Avail Physical Therapy, and recently got married last fall. My daughter graduated Chico State and will soon become a high school English teacher. #CCDSFAMILY
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!
I was born and raised here in Chico. I love being close to family, love our community, and appreciate all the natural beauty this area provides. Prior to joining the CCDS staff I enjoyed a career in the medical field, in retail and management, and even got to be a stay at home mom for a while. I first joined the CCDS community as a parent in 2018 and have two children who currently attend. My family enjoys staying active, getting outdoors and playing with our pets. I consider it a great privilege to serve our wonderful students and families along with our amazing staff!
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."
Bio to come.
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!
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!
School Facilities Manager
PE Aide/Yard Duty
After School Program
Twenty years ago, I arrived in Chico to study art at Chico State. I received my BA in art studio and art history with an emphasis on ceramics and sculpture. After working in design and marketing for five years, I realized that I wanted my work to be more meaningful and make positive contributions to this community, so I made a career switch to education. Prior to receiving my credential in art, I worked as an Outreach Coordinator at Blue Oak Charter School and a Library Tech at Bidwell Junior High School. I taught visual art, ceramics, graphic design, yearbook, and theatre at Durham High School; and visual art, computer science, and independent study at William Finch Charter School in Orland. I joined the CCDS community as a parent in 2021 and worked as a substitute teacher during the 22-23 school year. During that time, I completed my master's in curriculum and instruction and multiple subject credential requirements. I am so excited to develop a dynamic (and fun!) after school program that meets student needs and provides engaging extended learning opportunities.
Off-campus, I'm actively involved in the arts and music community and collaborative community projects. Community building and continual learning bring me so much joy! At home, I'm an avid gardener, ceramicist, mom of two amazing kiddos, and bandmate/wife.
ASP Assistant Coordinator
Hello CCDS Families! I was born and raised in Fair Oaks, California, and moved to Chico in 2017 and later received my bachelor's degree in Child Development from Chico State in 2021.
My journey at Chico Country Day began as an ASP aide in 2019, and then a few years later, in 2021, I was promoted to ASP Assistant Coordinator.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, doing puzzles, and singing at the top of my lungs. A few of my favorite things are my fifteen-year-old cat, the color pink, and frogs. A fun fact about me is that I was born on Christmas Eve.
Chico Country Day Preschool
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!
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!