Student Support

At Rye Country Day, supporting students along their multifaceted journey from dependent to independent learners is a team effort.

At different times on their journey, students may need different kinds of support in order to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Every student has a team who work together to regularly monitor student progress and offer specialized support when needed.

The Student Support Services team, a team of specialists attuned to the developmental needs of students, also offers additional layers of academic, social, and emotional support. The support provided by these specialists helps students work independently, collaboratively, and confidently, empowering them to succeed.

Director of Student Support Services
Debra Pager, Ph.D.

In all divisions

Students are supported both emotionally and academically by:

  • Faculty
  • Homeroom Teachers
  • Principal/Assistant Principal
  • Advisors
  • Learning Specialists
  • Grade-level Deans
  • Health Educators
  • Counselors
  • Full-time College Counselors

Learning Specialists

At every grade level, faculty are sensitive to the variety of learning styles and the potential for learning differences that may require support beyond the classroom. To determine the need for additional support, the principal, assistant principal, grade-level dean, advisor, counselor, learning specialist, alongside the child's parents/guardians, collaborate to identify specific skills and strategies that will help the child meet learning standards and expectations.


The goal of learning support services is to quickly help a student with relatively minor learning issues to master the skills needed to function independently. Students with more involved difficulties may be referred for an outside evaluation and/or more intensive remediation.


Non-Academic Support

Counseling for non-academic issues is also available in the three divisions of the School. A part-time psychologist and two social workers provide counseling support to students and families. A consulting psychiatrist is also available.

The School’s counseling staff consults with administrators, faculty, students, and parents about developmental, behavioral, and emotional issues that affect the progress of the students and the well being of the community.

Counselors :

  • Provide individual short-term counseling
  • Provide referrals to professional resources outside of school
  • Collaborate with and support teachers and advisors
  • Support families in crisis
  • Plan student/parent programming related to the appropriate developmental stage of the student


Student Support Services Team

Jaclyn Butera

Titles: Dean of Student Life / Counselor, Upper School; Upper School Advisor Program Coordinator

Carrie Donahue

Titles: Counselor, Middle School

Leif Halverson

Titles: Learning Specialist, Upper School

Libby Jelliffe

Titles: Learning Specialist, Middle School

Eileen Juico

Titles: Learning Specialist, Upper School

Alexandra Kerker

Titles: Learning Specialist, Lower School

Tamara McKenna

Titles: Language Arts Teacher; Learning Specialist, Middle School

Debra Pager

Titles: Director of Student Support Services; Psychologist, Lower School

Andrea Rackow

Titles: Math Specialist, Lower School

Jamie Radwan

Titles: Learning Specialist, Lower School

Timothy Silverman

Titles: Spanish Teacher, Middle School; Counselor, Upper School; Peer Leadership Director