With an 8:1 Student/Faculty ratio, RCDS teachers really know and connect with their students.

Our teachers are innovative in their approaches to teaching and highly knowledgeable in their subject areas. Approximately 87 percent have advanced degrees, including many doctorates.

Meet the Faculty Videos

In these brief videos, current RCDS faculty introduce themselves and discuss the joy and value they find in teaching.

Endowed Faculty Chairs

The Rye Country Day Endowed Faculty Chair program was established to honor and reward outstanding teachers in all three divisions of the School, while also providing additional funds for overall faculty compensation. Since its inception, eight Endowed Faculty Chairs have been created, seven of which rotate every three years.

Current Faculty Chairholders

Joel Brockman Memorial Chair – Lower School

Caryn Olson



Bio

Caryn Olson, a mainstay of the Lower School faculty since 2005, recently brought her nurturing approach to Grade 4 after ten years of teaching Grade 2. Over the years, Caryn's involvement in and contributions to the Lower School program have been varied and extensive. A strong collaborator with colleagues, she has coordinated the Responsive Classroom program, mentored new faculty, co-led the fully integrated public purpose initiative, interdisciplinary unit focused on Long Island Sound. In addition, over the years Caryn has served on the school-wide diversity, public purpose, and scope and sequence committees.

Lower School Chair


Aundrea Tabbs-Smith


Bio

Aundrea Tabbs-Smith joined the Lower School faculty as an assistant teacher in 2006. After completing this two-year program, she was appointed as a lead teacher in Grade 1. As a lead teacher, Aundrea was one of the early adopters of the interactive SMARTBoard technology that is now pervasive throughout the school. A versatile and flexible educator, she taught Grade 3 for five years before moving to Grade 4 in 2015. In addition to her excellent teaching, Aundrea has attended numerous professional development programs in support of the RCDS diversity initiative. Her work as Lower School diversity coordinator was instrumental in the creation of community groups to facilitate conversations among Lower School students.

Middle School Chair


Kyle Mitschele



Bio

Kyle Mitschele - Passionate about teaching history, Kyle began his RCDS career in 2001 as a fifth-grade Social Studies teacher and then moved to seventh and eighth grade in 2007. In the classroom, he strives to get his students to question things they take for granted and to view history and life through multiple perspectives. His contributions to the Middle School include a focus on curricular issues and pedagogy, as well as professional development related to these topics. Kyle also has served on numerous school-wide committees, including Diversity and Inclusion, Curriculum Scope and Sequence, Character/Leadership/Ethics Strategic Planning Committee, Global Studies Strategic Planning Committee, and the Public Purpose Task Force. He recently was awarded a grant (along with Sarah Danziger) from the RCDS Institute for Innovative Teaching and Learning to create programming for a Community of Innovative Teachers. In addition to his teaching and curricular work, Kyle finds time to coach fencing at both the varsity and middle school levels. Since the summer of 2012, he has served as the Director of the RCDS Summer School.

RCDS Parents Association Chair

Carrie Donahue



Bio

Carrie Donahue holds an M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work and started at RCDS in 2006 as the Middle School Counselor and Dean of Girls for Grades 7 and 8. Prior to joining the faculty at Rye Country Day, she worked at the Rye Youth Council. In 2014-2015, she gave up the dean role in order to focus full-time on the counseling of our young adolescents. Carrie single-handedly enhanced the SEEK curriculum, both its scope and its sequence, which is constantly evolving to keep up with the social and emotional worlds of our students. She spearheaded a revamping of the Middle School Buddy Program (with Betsy Stedman) in 2016-2017, as she takes personal pride in ensuring our newest middle schoolers have a smooth social transition. Carrie finds joy in working with middle schoolers and the middle-school developmental process. She continues to provide excellent education for middle-school parents during her grade level coffees, and her level-headed approach to the ups and downs of young adolescent life is integral to the effective functioning of the Middle School.

Middle School Chair


Matt Rosolen



Bio

Matt Rosolen, a valued member of the Middle School administration and beloved teacher and coach, has been at Rye Country Day School for 16 years. He currently serves as the Dean of Boys for Grades 7 and 8, the Middle School scheduler, and a mathematics teacher for Grades 7 and 8. During his time at RCDS, Matt has also taught Grade 6 mathematics and has coached various athletic teams: varsity boys' lacrosse, varsity girls' soccer, JV basketball, and middle school squash and soccer. Matt's students and colleagues alike enjoy his fun sense of humor, his easygoing manner, and his passion for education. At the 2016 Faculty/Staff Tea, Matt was presented with the Frank Effinger Coaching Award for his many contributions to Wildcat athletics, including six Fairchester and two NYSAIS lacrosse championships.

English Department Chair

Sarah Land



Bio

Caryn Olson, a mainstay of the Lower School faculty since 2005, recently brought her nurturing approach to Grade 4 after ten years of teaching Grade 2. Over the years, Caryn's involvement in and contributions to the Lower School program have been varied and extensive. A strong collaborator with colleagues, she has coordinated the Responsive Classroom program, mentored new faculty, co-led the fully integrated public purpose initiative, interdisciplinary unit focused on Long Island Sound. In addition, over the years Caryn has served on the school-wide diversity, public purpose, and scope and sequence committees.

Class of 2006 Chair


Johnny Flynn



Bio

Johnny Flynn, head of the Humanities Department, is a leader in mixing the innovative and the traditional in the classroom. He has imparted the lessons of European history to our students since 1993, maintaining a stellar AP record over these years. Ever evolving, he makes use of the school’s professional development budget, and he brings his lessons learned back to the division and the department. For more than a decade, he has served as the Upper School scheduler, and his work as the Upper School Diversity Coordinator was an important component of his contributions. Currently, he works with the Peer Leaders, showing again his propensity for being a lifelong learner.

Sue & Edgar Wachenheim III Humanities Department Chair

Joe Rue



Bio

For 31 years, Joe Rue has anchored the ninth-grade biology program, a constant and positive source of energy for our young scientists. A popular and dynamic teacher, he mixes traditional learning with innovative labs and constant fun references to popular culture that is appreciated by all. The ever-popular science elective, Forensics, is also a product of his great work. Outside of the classroom, Joe started our very popular and highly successful fencing program; anyone who has ever fenced at RCDS, at any level, has Joe to thank. With his welcoming attitude and love of the sport, fencing ranks as the Upper School’s top participatory sport each winter season. Joe also embodies the school’s motto, Not for Self, but for Service. Both in school and out, Joe offers his talents, his energies, and his skills to those less fortunate than he, and as such, provides his students with a superb role model in public purpose and community service.

Former Faculty Chairs

  • Ginny Black
    Middle School Language Arts
    Middle School Chair
  • Ellen Cartwright
    Middle School Science
    Middle School Chair
  • Sandra Castagna
    Kindergarten
    Lower School Chair
  • Matt Cavanaugh
    Upper School Spanish
    Class of 2006 Chair - Upper School
  • Cary Fuller
    Former Upper School English Teacher
    English Chair
  • Amanda Hanzlik
    Former Lower School Music Teacher
    Lower School Chair
  • Virginia Hearon
    Lower School Librarian
    Joel Brockman Memorial Chair, Lower School
  • Jenny Heath
    Upper School English, Grade 9 Dean, and Peer Leadership Director
    English Department Chair - Upper School
  • Jennifer Iannariello
    Former Grade 2 Teacher
    Lower School Chair
  • Jessica Kaplan
    Former Middle School Language Arts
    English Department Chair
  • Stacy Kaufman
    Grade 2
    Joel Brockman Memorial Chair - Lower School
  • Nicole Leath
    Former Kindergarten Teacher
    Joel Brockman Memorial Chair, Lower School
  • Mary Marcell
    Head of Music Department and Upper School Music
    Class of 2006 Chair, Upper School
  • Norma Mabry
    Head of Modern Languages Department and Upper School French
    RCDS Auxiliary Chair
  • Steve Norman
    Athletic Trainer and Assistant Athletic Director
    RCDS Auxiliary Chair
  • Brian O'Callaghan
    Middle School Social Studies
    Middle School Chair
  • Susan Peck
    Middle School Mathematics
    Middle School Chair
  • Elvira Rebate
    Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School Spanish
    Lower School Chair
  • Debra Simpson
    Lower School Science
    RCDS Auxiliary Chair
  • Betsy Stedman
    Assistant Middle School Principal, Dean of Grades 5 and 6, Middle School Mathematics
    Middle School Chair
  • Richard Strean
    Former Head of Humanities Department, Grades 5-12
    The Sue & Edgar Wachenheim III Humanities Department Chair
  • David Tafe
    Former Classics Teacher
    Class of 2006 Chair, Upper School

#FacultyFriday

Meet Aundrea Smith #facultyfriday


“Don’t feel like you need to be like everyone else. Every unique skill and talent has the potential to change the world. Embrace who you are and release your inner strength. Don’t forget – the one thing that all successful people have in common is that they were different than everyone around them.”
-
Aundrea Tabbs-Smith's message to students 

Fourth-grade teacher Aundrea Tabbs-Smith is in her eleventh year at RCDS. Mrs. Smith was an assistant teacher from 2006-2008, and has since served as a lead teacher for Grades 1, 3, and 4. She is committed to knowing and connecting closely with each of her students, and anyone who has been in her classroom can attest to her fun, energetic, and enthusiastic approach. Among her many contributions, Mrs. Smith is deeply involved in the RCDS diversity initiative and helped spearhead the fourth-grade leadership program. She is an excellent and versatile educator, and her students and colleagues alike love learning from and with her.


Meet the Faculty