Welcome, New Faculty and Staff!

We are delighted to introduce this year’s new faculty and staff to Rye Country Day. They bring extensive experience and skills, and we know our school and community will welcome them warmly and will benefit from their many contributions.



Lucia Carafas

Lower School Teaching Fellow

Lucia Carafas, who will be joining Rye Country Day School in our two-year Fellows Program in the Lower School, is a recent graduate of Purchase College with a major in Sociology, a minor in Spanish, and fieldwork at Alexander Hamilton High School in Elmsford, NY.  An aspiring special education teacher, Lucia hopes to gain experience in reading and literacy in Grades 1 through 6; her mother is RCDS Upper School Spanish teacher Ileana Carafas.

Elizabeth F. Donnell

Upper School English

A graduate of Williams with a degree in Art History and American Studies, where she interned at the Williams College Museum of Art, Ellie Donnell received a master’s degree from Teachers College in English Education and has been working with students, beginning as a dorm parent at the School of American Ballet while still in college. After college, she taught at the Swiss Semester and Walnut Hill School (Mass.) before her year at Columbia. Since then she has taught and been a dorm parent and coach at Cranbrook Schools (Mich.) and the Chadwick School (Calif.), where she led upper and middle school students on global service programs, as well as outdoor education trips to the Sierras. For the last four years, Ellie has been on the faculty of Marlborough School in Los Angeles, where she taught English and Art History and advised the newspaper. She grew up in Japan, England, and Italy and is fluent in both Spanish and Italian; she has also taught a weekly writing class to a unit of incarcerated boys at Central Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles.

Eric Drotch

Chair of the Art Department

The new Chair of the K-12 Art Department, Eric Drotch received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania; a graduate certificate in studio art from Brandeis; and a BA from Skidmore College. Most recently, Mr. Drotch was at Gann Academy, outside Boston, where he was a teacher, advisor, and helped organize global experiences. Prior to that, he taught at Peddie School in NJ, where he was awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching grant to Israel and was director and curator of the on-campus gallery. Mr. Drotch has also worked at the Fay School in MA and Episcopal Academy in PA. Prior to his career in education he worked in advancement research at such organizations as Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brandeis, as well as at Episcopal and Peddie. He is a former rower and rowing coach, and also played basketball, soccer, and lacrosse. 


Samanta English

Lower School Assistant Teacher

Following her graduation from Amherst College where she was a Questbridge Scholar and earned a BA in English, Samanta English has been a Fulbright Teaching Fellow for the past two years in Jinju, South Korea. A native of Brooklyn, Samanta worked as an intern in the Summer Institute for the Gifted in Chicago and in Stamford, Conn., as well as a community engagement leader for Girls Inc. of Holyoke, Mass., and as a teaching assistant at the Siena School for Liberal Arts in Italy. Samanta will be an Assistant Teacher in the Lower School.


Dawn Jennings

Purchasing Agent

Dawn Jennings is joining the Rye Country Day School Business Office with over ten years in financial support at EA-Clinical Buyer, OSI Pharmaceuticals, UPG, Purdue Pharma, and Pico Electronics. Dawn received her AAS in Business Administration from Westchester Community College and is a Certified Purchasing Professional from the American Management Association.


Breann Joyce

Physical Education

Breann Joyce received a Bachelor of Science from Springfield College, where she played varsity softball  (All Star and All New England for three seasons) and completed her student teaching at Agawam School. She has been an intern in the Springfield Athletic Department and was assistant coach for the Yale University softball program and at Brandeis. A camp counselor and lifeguard, she has been working at the CREC: River Street Autism Program for the past year.

Eileen Q. Juico

Upper School Learning Specialist and Humanities Teacher (Psychology)

Eileen Juico is returning to Rye Country Day School following four years in Barcelona with her husband, who served as head of the American School, and two years in Brooklyn Heights. Eileen worked as the Upper School Learning Specialist at RCDS for five years and will contribute this coming year in that office, working with ninth graders and teaching Upper School Psychology. An educational consultant, Eileen has an undergraduate degree from Goucher College, a masters from Loyola University in Chicago, and a M.A. in Special Education from New York University.



Juliana Kennedy Killup

Extended Day Assistant

A graduate of Fairfield University with a major in Mathematics, Juliana Killup has been working as an assistant teacher at the St. Ignatius School in the Hunts Point Section of the Bronx this past year, having worked previously as a head counselor at Rye Recreational Camp, as well as a volunteer at FANA (the Foundation for the Assistance of Abandoned Children) in Bogota, Colombia. She is a graduate of Holy Child in Rye, where she was awarded the Triple “C” Award in 2012.

Jake Landry

Lower School Assistant Teacher

Jake Landry most recently served as a combination third-fifth-grade teacher at the Birch School, a Waldorf Program in New Windsor, NY. A graduate of Connecticut College, Jake has worked in the Souhegan High School in New Hampshire as a special education paraprofessional and as a youth leadership coordinator for AmeriCorps in Woburn, Mass. His undergraduate degree from Connecticut is in Anthropology, and he spent a semester in Amman, Jordan.


Annie Michel

Upper School French 

Annie Michel started last year at RCDS during the second semester teaching French in the Upper School and returns to this position for 2017-18.  She was a French teacher at the French American Schools in New York City and Mamaroneck, where she served as the longstanding department chair.  Mme. Michel also has extensive experience as an Advanced Placement French reader and has earned degrees from the University of Dijon and the University of Saint Etienne.

Dasha J. Polzik

Upper School Humanities 

Dasha J. Polzik - Upper School Humanities Dasha Polzik comes to Rye Country Day School from teaching at Hotchkiss, the Maine Coast Waldorf School, and the University of Chicago. A graduate of the Vivian Webb School, she received her B.A. in Philosophy summa cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) from Boston University; earned a Master’s from the University of Chicago; and is a candidate at Chicago for a Ph.D. where she has also participated in the Center for Teaching and was an advisor. Dasha has moderated a Habitat for Humanity club, coached debate, advised the Model UN, and been an assistant coach for track.

Torie Regan

Lower School Assistant Teacher

Torie Regan has worked as the assistant in the Rye Country Day School Extended Day Program, as well as substituting throughout the Lower School this past year. A magna cum laude graduate in Art, with minors in Art History and Education from Hobart-William Smith College, Torie studied language and culture in Rome as a junior and student taught on both elementary and secondary levels in Geneva, NY. She is also a graduate of Holy Child in Rye and has been a camp counselor at St. Augustine School in Ossining.

Kiki Yuditski

Lower School Assistant Teacher

Kiki Yuditski comes to Rye Country Day School following three years as an assistant teacher in first, second, and third grades at Rippowam Cisqua School. She is mid way through her masters at Manhattanville and is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, where she majored in English and was scholarship chair of the Ivy Society.

Jessica Zalph

Middle and Upper School Humanities 

Jessica Zalph received her masters in History from Brown University (2017) and her BA magna cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) in Government from Wesleyan University. A cross-country runner who is interested in moderating student government and publications, Jess is a graduate of Hunter College High School in New York and taught in the Psychology Department at Wesleyan, as well as in the Exploration Summer Programs (EXPLO) for two summers and coached for the SAT with “Let’s Get Ready.”