A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

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RCDS Welcomes New Employees to the 2022-23 School Year

RCDS is thrilled to welcome an outstanding cohort of new faculty and staff. The new employee bios below are organized into the following categories: All School, Athletics & Physical Education, Upper School, Middle School, and Lower School. Additionally, title changes for current employees are included below. 

All School

Emily Abatecola
Administrative Assistant to the Office of College Counseling
Emily Abatecola joined the RCDS Community in August of 2021 as the Marketing and Website Coordinator, and she spent last year as an integral member of the marketing and communications team. During that period, Ms. Abatecola interacted with many of the offices on campus as she worked to develop content for the website, social media platforms, and print publications. In addition, Emily created and coordinated sending external communications as well as managed and maintained the RCDS website. Ms. Abatecola holds a B.A. in English Language & Literature with a concentration in Rhetoric from Binghamton University where she earned Dean’s List honors in each of her four years. She is currently pursuing her M.S. Ed. in Counselor Education/School Counseling at Lehman College, City University of New York.   
 

Kaitlin Boyer
Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications
Kaitlin Boyer joined RCDS in January 2022 in her role as Assistant Director of Marketing and Communications. She is a seasoned marketing professional whose previous experience includes social media, video, graphics, and production at ESPN and regional small businesses. Ms. Boyer holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with an English Minor and a Sports Concentration, and a Digital Marketing Certificate from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Patrice Brophy
School Nurse
Patrice Brophy joins RCDS as a full-time School Nurse. Ms. Brophy has served as Head Nurse at The Harvey School and an LPN at Boston Children’s Health Physicians, Northwell Health, Forme Urgent Care, and Westchester Medical Group’s Pediatric Department. She brings extensive experience in pediatric nursing, including providing care to students with chronic health problems, ensuring the prevention of communicable disease, developing and implementing emergency care plans, attending to sports injuries, medication administration, diabetes and blood glucose monitoring, and more. Nurse Brophy enjoys working with students, their parents and guardians, and their teachers to provide them with excellent care.

Kevin Farrant
Coordinator of the Makerspace
Kevin Farrant joins RCDS as our new Makerspace Coordinator. Prior to RCDS, he worked at Village Community School in New York City for five years serving as Technology Integrator and STEAM Teacher. His work has included developing the K-8 technology and STEAM curriculum rooted in the Stanford Design Thinking model, developing curricula for the Upper School STEAM program, and creating and facilitating professional development workshops for faculty. Mr. Farrant has also served as an advisor and has developed and taught curricula in subjects as varied as Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Music Production and Songwriting, and 2D and 3D Studio Art. In addition to having participated in numerous professional development opportunities and being skilled in coding, robotics, and video production, Mr. Farrant holds a B.F.A. and an M.A. in Art and Design Education from the Pratt Institute.

Jakeline Fischer
Accounts Receivable Clerk
Jakeline Fischer joins the Business Office to manage accounts receivable. She has worked as a Bookkeeper for several companies, including Maier Markey & Justice, LLP; Progressive Computing, Inc.; and Cornerstone of Larchmont. She also served for eight years as the Assistant Manager of Copacabana Steakhouse in Port Chester, NY. Ms. Fischer holds a B.S. in Accounting from Lehman College, CUNY.

Stephanie Huie
Director of Marketing and Communications
Stephanie Huie joins Rye Country Day School as the Director of Marketing and Communications. She is an experienced storytelling strategist who takes great pride in advocating for the work of educational institutions and, above all else, supporting the people who are the heartbeat of the school community. Prior to RCDS, Ms. Huie worked at The Windward School in White Plains, NY; Moorestown Friends School in Moorestown, NJ; and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. She has played a leading role in building award-winning websites, producing digital and print publications, and driving targeted marketing campaigns with a consistent focus on excellence, inclusivity, and joy. Ms. Huie has also been active in guiding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging plans at her previous institutions and looks forward to continuing her commitment to community in her work at RCDS. Ms. Huie earned her B.A. in history from Johns Hopkins University and a certificate in writing from New York University. Outside of work, she volunteers with New York Blood Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters and is an avid reader and traveler.

Lexi Massey
Assistant Director of Admissions
Lexi Massey joins the RCDS community as the Assistant Director of Admissions, Lower School. She holds a B.A. in Communication Arts from St. Lawrence University. Prior to joining the RCDS community, Ms. Massey was the Associate Director of Admissions at Convent of the Sacred Heart, New York, covering admissions for Preschool and Grades 1-8. During her six-year tenure at Sacred Heart, she made strides to increase admissions outreach and accessibility, including coordinating a private bus service for families who live in the outer boroughs of Manhattan. In addition to serving as a member of Sacred Heart's Admissions Team, Ms. Massey also coached Varsity Soccer. Ms. Massey is looking forward to meeting and working with the greater RCDS community and continuing the Admissions team's philosophy and initiatives.  

Maximo Pérez, Jr.
Teaching Fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Maximo Pérez joins Rye Country Day School as a Teaching Fellow in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Mr. Pérez will be working closely with Ali Morgan and Rebecca Drago, who lead the School's DEI and Public Purpose programs respectively. Mr. Pérez is a passionate and empathetic educator who recently worked as a Community Coordinator at the NYC Department of Education. He has also worked at LEAP NYC as a Teaching Artist. He holds a B.S. in Digital Communications and Media from NYU. Mr. Pérez looks forward to supporting students and connecting with the entire RCDS community.

Kristin Provencher
Assistant to the Head of School
Kristin Provencher joins RCDS as the Administrative Assistant to the Head of School. Ms. Provencher serves as the primary administrative support for Head of School Randall Dunn and the RCDS Board of Trustees. She and her family recently moved to Rye from Chicago, where she was Mr. Dunn’s Executive Assistant at the Latin School of Chicago for five years. As Mr. Dunn’s assistant, she provided executive-level administrative support for the Head of School’s Office and comprehensive support for the Board of Trustees. She streamlined school-wide data collection, coordinated the division administrative assistants, and also coordinated large school events such as the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, recognition events, Upper School Commencement, all-school events, opening and closing days, and more. Prior to working at the Latin School of Chicago, Ms. Provencher served as the Executive Assistant to the Chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial for six years. Ms. Provencher holds a B.A. in Applied Behavioral Sciences from National-Louis University.

Thomas Robustelli
Accounts Payable Clerk
Thomas Robustelli joins RCDS in the Business Office to manage accounts payable. He holds a B.S. in Economics and Accounting from Southern Connecticut State University. Mr. Robustelli brings a wealth of experience to the role, having held various positions since 2006, including Staff Accountant, Accounts Payable Supervisor, Bookkeeper, Accounting Manager, and Director of Finance.

Brittany Rosenbaum
Lower School Admissions Assessment Manager
Brittany joins Rye Country Day School as the Lower School Admissions Assessment Manager (seasonal). Ms. Rosenbaum will be working closely with Lexi Massey, our Assistant Director of Admissions, Lower School, in assessing all prospective Lower School students. Ms. Rosenbaum most recently served as a First Grade Associate Teacher at The Dalton School and prior to that a Kindergarten Associate Teacher at The Hewitt School. She is passionate about early childhood education and is eager to work in the admissions office. Ms. Rosenbaum holds a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies with a Certificate in Education Policy from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a M.A. in Elementary Inclusive Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Athletics & Physical Education

Nicola Clarkson
Physical Education Teacher and Coach
Nicola Clarkson joins Rye Country Day School as a Physical Education teacher and coach. In addition to teaching Physical Education, Ms. Clarkson will coach field hockey, basketball, and sailing. Ms. Clarkson has been a dedicated teacher and coach for 20 years in several different countries. Her roles at UNIS were Physical Education Team Leader and Grade-Level Coordinator for Grade 10, in addition to her Physical Education classes. She completed a Master's in School Building Leadership and looks forward to sharing and learning in her new role as a Wildcat. A fun fact: Ms. Clarkson grew up mostly outside of the US, but she was born in Rye, NY.
 
Elani Landman
Director of Squash and Coach
Elani Landman will direct the Pre-K-12 Squash program, teach PE Squash, coach varsity squash, and help to coach Middle School field hockey. She was the South African U19 National Champion, led the University of Johannesburg to four consecutive collegiate championship titles, and holds five consecutive South African National team titles for her provincial team, Central Gauteng. She represented South Africa at the World Junior Championships in 2009 in Chennai, India, and again in 2011 in Boston, MA. She also represented South Africa at the 2018 Women’s World Team Championships in Dalian, China. Ms. Landman and her twin sister, Lume, a squash professional at The Apawamis Club, also form one of the top three women’s doubles pairs in the world. They won the 2020 U.S. National Doubles Championship in Minneapolis, MN. Ms. Landman graduated from the University of Johannesburg and taught middle school and high school biology before becoming a full-time squash professional. Most recently, she was the Head of Junior Development at the Westchester Country Club (2019-2022). Prior to that, she served as a squash professional at the Country Club of New Canaan (2016-2019).
 
Russell Tombline
Physical Education Teacher and Coach
Russell Tombline joins Rye Country Day School as a Physical Education teacher and coach. In addition to teaching Physical Education, he will be the Head Girls’ Varsity Basketball Coach, Assistant Softball Coach, and coach Middle School Volleyball. Mr. Tombline has been a Physical Education Teacher and Coach at the Packer Collegiate Institute for the last 25 years, the last 4 serving as the Physical Education Department Head as well as the interim Athletic Director this past year. As a teacher, he creates a supportive, caring environment for all students. He has coached numerous sports at the Varsity, JV, and MS levels. His teams have qualified for NYSAIS twelve times, and he is looking forward to coaching the Wildcats in the FAA and NYSAIS. Mr. Tombline has also worked with the Packer Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force and the Family Composition Club.

Upper School

Peter Quagliaroli
Upper School Principal
As Head of the Upper School at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Virginia, Mr. Quagliaroli was responsible for all aspects of daily operations for Grades 9 through 12, including curriculum, teaching and learning, departmental and division strategy, and communications. In addition to handling all administrative responsibilities, he oversaw the Residential Life Program involving 86 boarding students and 12 residential faculty. The many accomplishments during Mr. Quagliaroli’s tenure included redesigning the daily schedule, a partnership with the University of Chicago Marine Biology Lab, contributing to a DEI strategic plan, and remodeling the student government and disciplinary committee. Mr. Quagliaroli was also actively involved in St. Anne’s-Belfield School COVID-19 task force. Prior to assuming his administrative duties as Head of the Upper School, Mr. Quagliaroli served as St. Anne’s-Belfield School’s Director of College Counseling for two years. He was recruited for the college counseling position from Groton School in Massachusetts, where he was the Associate Director of College Counseling from 2007 to 2014, and an English teacher from 2001 to 2014. Mr. Quagliaroli taught and coached at two additional independent schools before joining Groton School. He was at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as a high school English teacher, Assistant Coach for Varsity Boys’ Soccer, and Head Coach for JV Boys’ Soccer. He moved to The Westminster Schools after three years at Worcester Academy in Massachusetts as an English teacher, Head Soccer Coach, Class Advisor, Dormitory Head, and Club Director. Mr. Quagliaroli is currently completing his M.Ed. in Administration & Supervision at the University of Virginia’s School of Education and Human Development. He is also a candidate for a Certificate in School Management and Leadership from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and Business School. He already holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in American Literature & Jazz Music from Dartmouth College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cornell University, where he also played soccer. Mr. Quagliaroli is a graduate of The Roxbury Latin School in West Roxbury, Massachusetts.
 
Jeffrey Hogan
US Drama Teacher
Jeffrey Hogan arrives at RCDS after over 10 years of teaching drama, theater, and English, spending nearly all of those years at West Morris Central High School, NJ, where he was the Artistic Director of Central Theater. At West Morris Central, Mr. Hogan produced, directed, and designed anywhere from two to five shows a year, while also serving as Project Manager of a districtwide theater symposium workshop that offered classes to students hosted by professionals in the theater industry. He received several awards and nominations from both Paper Mill Playhouse and Montclair State University’s Theatre Night Awards in the following categories: Overall Production, Production (Genre), Directing, Lighting Design, Choreography, Set Design, and others. Mr. Hogan holds a B.A. in Communications (Interactive Media) and a minor in Theatre from Marist College, NY, and a M.A.T. in Theatre Arts in English from Drew University, NJ.
 
Michael Hirsch
US Biology Teacher
Michael Hirsch comes to RCDS with over 10 years of science teaching experience, most recently at Acera School, MA, where he served as a full-time laboratory sciences teacher who also taught various courses in the mathematics department. He has developed and led professional development workshops for biology teachers and is sometimes a resource writer, content contributor, and educator collaborator for Science Friday. Mr. Hirsch has also been interviewed for his work with students and the gene-editing tool CRISPR for articles and features on NPR, Vice, MIT Technology Review, and US News and World Report. Mr. Hirsch holds a B.S. in Molecular Biology from Clark University, MA, after which he attended UMass Medical School before earning his M.A.T. in Biology from Salem State University, MA.

Andrea McLean
US Learning Specialist
Andrea McLean brings a wealth of special education experience to RCDS, specializing in enhancing learning experiences and providing social-emotional support and practical support for students, parents, and faculty. Ms. McLean spent four years as a high school special education teacher with the NYC Department of Education before becoming the Director of Oversight and Governance, where she oversaw a cohort of 63 charter schools. From there, Ms. McLean took her talents overseas, holding various learning support specialist roles at International School of Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean; American School of Warsaw, Poland; and The Columbus School in Medellín, Colombia. She joins RCDS from The United Nations International School, NY, where she was the High School Learning Support Specialist. Ms. McLean holds a B.B.A. from Temple University, an M.S. in Education from Mercy College, and an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Manhattanville College. She is currently pursuing an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling from Pace University.
 
Anna Meechan
US Math Teacher
Anna Meechan joins RCDS from The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, where she taught a host of mathematics courses at various levels and served as a student advisor, member of the Curriculum Review and Professional Development Committees, representative to the Faculty Council, and moderator of both Student Council and the Ski Club. Concurrent to her time at Ursuline, Ms. Meechan taught at the Higher Achievement Summer Program at Fordham Preparatory School. Previous to Ursuline, Ms. Meechan spent six years at Framingham High School, MA, before two years at Trevor Day School, NY. Ms. Meechan holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education from Boston University and an M.Ed. with a specialization in secondary mathematics from Northeastern University.

Mary Steele
US Humanities Teacher
Mary Steele joins the Upper School Humanities Department from Charter High School of Law and Social Justice, Bronx, NY, where she taught Global History and Geography II in preparation for the New York State Regents Exam. Before her time there, Ms. Steele taught AP US History for three years at Uncommon Collegiate in Brooklyn, NY, and a year of comparative history to 2E students at The Lang School, NY. Ms. Steele holds an M.Ed. from Relay Graduate School of Education, NY, and a B.A. in History from Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City, NJ.
 
Sakita Tinsley
US English Teacher
Sakita Tinsley spent the first 10 years of her teaching career at Freire Charter School in Philadelphia, PA, where she taught and created the curricular scope and sequence for English I-IV, Creative Writing, and African-American Literature. While at Freire Charter, she also served as Tenth Grade Team Leader, guiding and overseeing a team of six teachers. In 2009, Ms. Tinsley joined North Penn High School, PA, where she taught English and served as the Cultural Proficiency Cadre Liaison and co-advisor of the African-American Awareness Club. Ms. Tinsley holds a B.S. in Secondary Education and English from Slippery Rock University, PA, and an M.S.Ed. in Curriculum, Instruction and Technology from Temple University, PA.
 
Lisa Kahan
US Counselor - Leave Replacement
Lisa Kahan will join the Upper School Counseling team as a leave replacement. Ms Kahan brings a wealth of experience, having started her educational career at Tuckahoe High School in Eastchester, NY, where she served as the high school counselor and testing coordinator for 10 years, as well as on a number of teams and committees, namely the Instructional Support team and Special Education committees. Ms. Kahan has been a counseling leave replacement for a number of schools, including Bronxville High School, The Windward School, and most recently Eastchester High School. While at Haldane Central School District in Cold Spring, NY, Ms. Kahan was the 6th-9th Grade School Counselor and one of just two school counselors in the district. Ms. Kahan holds a B.S. from Ithaca College, an M.A. in Organizational Psychology, and an Ed.M. in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University, Teachers College.


Hugh Thornton
US Latin Teacher - Leave Replacement
Having taught all levels of Latin over the course of his career, Hugh Thornton brings a wealth of experience to RCDS. Mr. Thornton started teaching at Montclair Kimberley Academy in New Jersey and The Canterbury School in Indiana before moving to Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights for a 16-year spell teaching Latin and Greek to grades 6-12. He then taught for 17 years at The Dalton School in New York City. Mr. Thornton is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover, and he holds a B.A. in Latin and Greek from Columbia University and an M.A. in Latin from the Graduate Center of City University of New York.


Middle School

Ian Coupe
MS Humanities Teacher
A graduate of and Dean Scholar at Bucknell University, Ian Coupe comes to RCDS having spent two years as a grade 6 Humanities teacher and advisor at the Pardes Jewish Day School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is well versed in the Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing framework and enjoys teaching world geography and the exploration of civilizations through project-based learning. Before moving out West, Mr. Coupe completed two years in the Apprentice Teacher program at New Canaan Country School and was a graduate of Brunswick School. He is currently working towards a Masters of Art in English Education at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Mr. Coupe will bring his experience to Grade 6 Social Studies classes and will join the Grade 6 advising team.
 
Adele Dominicus
MS Math Teacher
Adele Dominicus brings 32 years of teaching experience to the Middle School’s math department. Since 2008, she designed and taught pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, and Geometry courses and advised seventh and eighth graders at The Ridgefield Academy in Ridgefield, Connecticut. In addition to her Bachelor of Science from Iona College, Ms. Dominicus also completed semester-long graduate studies on Multicultural Education at Iona College and Teaching for Understanding at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Her previous teaching experience also includes teaching math in grades 6 and 7. Ms. Dominicus will join our Middle School faculty teaching Algebra 1 and advising in Grades 7 and 8. 
 
Charlie Friedman
MS Humanities Teacher
After a very successful spring term teaching World History courses in Rye Country Day’s Upper School last year as a long-term substitute teacher, Charlie Friedman will join the Middle School Humanities Department teaching Grade 5 Social Studies and serving as a grade 5 advisor. Mr. Friedman earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from George Washington University, a Masters in Archaeology of Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, and an Advanced Certificate in Secondary Education from Hofstra University. He brings love and enthusiasm of ancient civilizations, and extensive experience in excavation to his role, having assisted in archaeological digs for the Albright Institute, Tel Aviv University, and George Washington University.
 
Kate Marlow
MS Language Arts/English Department Chair & Teacher
Coming on board to chair our Middle School Language Arts/English Department and teach Grade 7 and 8 Language Arts, Kate Marlow returns to in-school teaching. Her previous experience creating and teaching a fourth grade Humanities curriculum for a homeschool program during the pandemic, as well as her three years teaching ninth and eleventh grade English at the School of the Holy Child in Rye, gives her a solid understanding of where our middle schoolers begin with their skills and what they need to develop during their middle school years. Ms. Marlow holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in both English and Philosophy from Colby College and a Master's degree in English Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. She will also join our Grade 7 and 8 advising team. 
 

Lower School

Michelle Graziosa
Pre-K Teacher
Michelle Graziosa joins us from Horace Mann School, where she has been the lead teacher since 2012. As an undergraduate of Tufts University, Ms. Graziosa studied child development and Italian. She later received her Master of Arts in Early Childhood Teaching from Manhattanville College. With over 20 years of experience, Ms. Graziosa has been instrumental in developing and implementing emergent curriculum, integrating social-emotional approaches supported by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, and committed to achieving developmentally appropriate inclusion goals. Ms. Graziosa has been described as a gentle soul, caring and kind, hardworking and responsible, and a collaborative team player. 
 
Elizabeth Huggard
LS Associate Teacher
A 2022 graduate of The Catholic University of America, Ms. Huggard majored in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Huggard has been a student teacher at the Yu Ying Public Charter School, a volunteer literacy tutor at DC Reads in Washington, D.C., and a summer school intern at the Villa Maria School in Stamford, CT. As an elected Member of the President’s Society, Ms. Huggard also worked in the Catholic University President’s Office. She will be in the Grade 3 classroom with Ms. Aventuro.
 
Emma Ilioiu-Brad
LS Associate Teacher
In 2018, Emma Ilioiu-Brad received her Bachelor of Science in Television/Film and Video Production from Hofstra University. Ms. Ilioiu-Brad is currently pursuing her Master’s in Childhood/Early Education from Iona College. Ms. Ilioui-Brad brings work experience as a one-to-one teacher aide for special needs students, camp counselor, and substitute teacher. She is passionate about applying her creative arts background to classroom activities and ensuring students feel welcomed and valued. Ms. Ilioiu-Brad will be the Associate Teacher in Kindergarten with Ms. Davia.
 
Sydney Penn
LS Associate Teacher
Ms. Penn graduated in 2022 from Skidmore College with a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies. In addition to her teaching practicum, Ms. Penn has worked as Assistant Teacher at Skidmore College Early Childhood Center, Teacher’s Aide and Camp Counselor at Eagle Hill School in Greenwich, CT, and Guitar/Song leader at Temple Sinai of Saratoga and Camp Joseph E. Eisner in Great Barrington, MA. Ms. Penn will be working with Ms. Haff in Grade 1.
 
Sheila Viger

LS Associate Teacher
Ms. Viger graduated from St. Michael’s College with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Ms. Viger has extensive experience working with children and youth as an instructor, as well as the Assistant Director of the Rye YMCA Aquatics Program, Waterfront Director of Camp Kippewa, and Program Specialist at Westchester Community College. Most recently, Ms. Viger has been an enrichment teacher at the Early Childhood Center Community Synagogue of Rye, and our Extended Day Program Assistant at RCDS. She will continue at RCDS full-time as the Associate Teacher in Pre-Kindergarten with Ms. Graziosa.
 

Title Changes

Dania Abu-Shaheen
Director of Institutional Communications & Publications
 
Tatum Bell
Grade 9 Dean
US English Teacher
 

Craig Burt
Grade 10 Dean
US Science Teacher
 
Darien Cruté
US AP Coordinator
Computer Science Department Chair
 
Sarah Danziger
US Scheduler, Classics Department Chair

Jennifer DeVito
Library Director

Courtney Doucette
Director of Admissions & Enrollment Management

Clemmie Everett
US Humanities Department Chair
 
Jessica Flaxman
Dean of Faculty & Employees
Interim US English Department Chair
US English Teacher

 
Morgan Fuerst
Manager of Admissions & Enrollment Services
 
Wendy Jo Haft
Director of Athletics
 
Kate Henerey
Drama & Dance Department Chair
 
Kyle Mitschele
MS Humanities Chair
 
Daniel Murray
Director of Global Studies
 
Brian O’Callaghan
Interim MS Assistant Principal
Grades 5 & 6 Dean

 
Dion Reid
Dean of Financial Aid

Gail Sestito
Grades 7 & 8 Dean
MS Science Teacher
 
Jenny Smith
Director of Physical Education
 
Ryan Song
Assistant Director of Admissions
 
Betsy Stedman
Interim MS Principal

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