Head of School Randall Dunn said he eagerly looks forward to the start of the new school year at Rye Country Day. “As I begin my second year as this outstanding institution, I feel energized and excited about the achievements that await our community. The inspiring work of our students and teachers and the dedicated partnership of our families make RCDS a remarkable learning environment with limitless potential. United by our shared commitment to academic excellence, service, and community, we are going to have a terrific year together!”
This year, the school will be guided by a theme of Kindness. Teachers will work the theme into their curricular work with students, and every member of the RCDS family will think about how kindness is fundamental to successful, thriving communities and individuals.
In the words of Mr. Dunn, “Committing as a school to learning and teaching how to practice kindness will make us stronger, happier, and more connected. We are all here to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others — students, families, each other. We will only succeed if we remember that our charge as members of a learning community is to be conscientious guides who model kindness, and remind our students that there is an ongoing, critical need for each of us to protect and maintain it in our world.”
Over the summer, Rye Country Day students continued their learning and dedication to public purpose and service. The Community Engagement Fellowship Program offers Upper School students service opportunities to partner with and address the needs of a community organization. The partnerships are at the heart of the program, and a commitment to service is the fellows’ guiding principle as they bring together innovation, hard work, interdisciplinary thought, awareness, empathy, and decision-making skills to propose, design, and implement purpose-driven projects.
This summer, 17 Upper School students participated in the signature Public Purpose program, with students putting into action the RCDS motto, “Not for Self, but for Service.” In September, these 2023 Fellows will present their projects at the annual Community Engagement Fellowship Symposium at the school.
Anika Bhat ’25
In her second year as a Fellow, Anika taught chess to kids at Eastchester Community Action Partnership, offering multiple levels of challenge as well as a culminating tournament.
Penelope Brody ’24/ Jordan Zhao ’24
Penelope and Jordan facilitated an art mindfulness initiative (Clarity in Color) at the Boys and Girls Club of Stamford.
Eli Chopra ’26/ Drew Mulderry ’26
Eli and Drew worked with the Friendly Fridge Network, a Rye-based organization, helping to expand the ways people in the community can utilize the food provided in public-access refrigerators.
Brynn Coady ’24
Brynn developed culturally-relevant curriculum in the STEM fields through the Co-Op Camp in Mamaroneck, building partnerships with other organizations to encourage representation and relationship building.
Elizabeth Hackett ’24
Elizabeth worked with Fairgate Farm in Stamford to support and expand their composting program by developing pathways to make it easier to do so and educating the community on the importance of compost.
Kathryn Hooper ’24
Kathryn taught a musical enrichment class at the Don Bosco Center in Port Chester.
Colin Kinsey ’24
Colin built an aeroponic garden at Meals on Main Street, establishing a year-round growing opportunity to help supplement the fresh produce they donate as part of their food pantry.
Colin Lauri ’25
Colin taught a music enrichment class to children ages 5 to 10, in conjunction with the Port Chester Rec Department. Her goal was to help the children explore all kinds of music and find a passion in music.
Fran Luz ’25
Fran is helping build ESL and technology classes for adults and seniors at the Carver Center in Port Chester, supporting their abilities to navigate the community and have better access to jobs in the area.
Tara McIntosh ’25
Tara organized a classical music concert for the residents of the Wartburg Nursing Home in Mt. Vernon. She is documenting how music has affected the lives of the people she connects with in a short film.
James Murphy ’25
In his second year of the Fellowship, James led three different book clubs at the Graham Windham Center in Harlem, as well as built a library on-site to foster a passion for reading beyond his book clubs.
Isabela Pierry ’25
Isa developed and facilitated an art and an art history class at the Don Bosco Community Center.
Daisy Stuart ’24
Daisy partnered with the Pleasantville Residential Cottage School to build a sensory room for children in the foster care system, supporting their mental health and providing an outlet for emotions.
Derek Zaeske ’24
Derek added a science component to the summer programming at Building One Community, supporting the academic enrichment of grades K-5 in the Stamford area.
Keira Zheng ’25
Alongside the ASPIRE Program of the Family and Children’s Agency in Stamford, Keira helped teach an interactive US History and multicultural curriculum with the goal of preventing summer learning loss and reducing unconscious bias.
A Warm Welcome to New Students, Faculty & Staff
Next month, Rye Country Day looks forward to the arrival of 152 new students — 62 in the Lower School, 41 in the Middle School, and 49 in the Upper School — and an impressive roster of teachers, counselors, department heads, and associates.
MS and US Dance Teacher
She comes from Culver Academies, where she was a dance instructor and Co-Director of Dancevision, Culver’s audition-based company. She earned her M.F.A. in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and her B.A. in both Dance and German Cultural Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
She has taught nearly every level of Global History at area schools, including Sacred Heart Greenwich, The Ursuline School, Eastchester High School, and Our Lady of Victory. A graduate of Boston College, where she earned an undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and History, Ms. Coffey also has two M.A.s, one in 5-12 Literacy from Fordham University, and the other in American History from Gettysburg College.
She brings over 15 years of high school teaching experience in Chemistry and Conceptual Physics, most recently serving as Chair of the Science Department at SAR High School in the Bronx. Ms. Germano holds a B.S. in Chemistry and an M.A. in Teaching, both from the University of Pittsburgh.
Humanities and AP Psychology Teacher
She previously taught psychology at The Thacher School in Ojai, Calif., where she also served as the debate team coach. Ms. Harris earned her B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and her Master’s in Psychology from the University of Bologna.
MS/US Spanish/French Teacher
Ms. Schwarz comes from the Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Formerly, she served as an educational consultant and trainer, and was once Head of Education for Sylvan Learning Centre in London. She holds a B.A. in French from Oxford Brookes University in the U.K., and an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from Chapman University in California.
Before becoming a math teacher, Ms. Soto had an illustrious collegiate career at Birmingham-Southern College, a career in professional soccer in the Women’s Premier Soccer League and was a professional coach. Ms. Soto holds a B.S. in Chemistry from Birmingham-Southern, two M.S. degrees, one from The University of Tennessee, the other from Georgia State University, and a Sixth Year Masters in Secondary Education from University of Bridgeport.
Visual Arts Department Chair
At Rye Country Day, she will not only lead the Visual Arts department, but also teach Photography, Drawing, and Painting. Ms. Tiulescu holds a Master’s in Advanced Architecture Design from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, and a Bachelor of Architecture from Cooper Union. She has taught at several independent schools, including the Milken Community School in Los Angeles, where she chaired the Art Department.
She joins from Middlesex School in Concord, Mass. Dr. Wayne earned her B.A. in English and Art from Furman University, her M.A. in English from University of Central Florida, and her Ph.D. in English from University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Ms. Knecht’s joins from Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy where she taught science to middle schoolers. At RCDS, she will teach sixth graders as well as serve on the Grade 6 Advising team. She earned an M.S. in Instructional Technology from the New York Institute of Technology and a B.S. with a focus on Natural Sciences and Biology from St. Thomas Aquinas College.
Visual Arts Teacher
In addition to her art classes, Ms. Machado will join the Grade 6 Advising team. For much of her career, she taught art to middle and lower school students at New Canaan Country School. Ms. Machado holds a B.A. in Business and Art from the University at Albany.
Sarah Peck ’13
Study Skills Coordinator
Ms. Peck returns to her alma mater to help middle school students develop executive functioning skills. Ms. Peck worked previously as a Special Education teacher and Academic Dean at Leaders in Our Neighborhood Charter School in the Bronx. After earning her B.A. from Colby College, she received Dual Certification in Teaching Students with Disabilities Childhood Education and Childhood Education from the Relay Graduate School of Education in New York City.
Ms. Scala will join the Grades 7 & 8 Advising team and teach seventh-grade science. She previously taught at Sacred Heart Greenwich, Intermediate School 339 in the Bronx, and Intermediate School 218 in New York City. Ms. Scala holds a M.S. in Science Education with a focus on Biology from Southern Connecticut State University.
Mr. Bicknese’s passion for playing football, coaching youth football, and serving as an athletics camp counselor led him to a career in teaching. He received his B.A. degree from University of New Haven, where he majored in Communications and minored in Sport Management and Nutrition. He is pursuing his M.A. in Early Childhood/Special Education at Manhattanville College.
After a 15-year career as a law enforcement officer and administrator, Ms. Corry-Miranda followed her dream of becoming a teacher. She graduated from City College of New York with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies and Childhood Education and is now completing a Master’s in Education at Manhattanville College.
In 2021, Ms. Finnegan graduated with a degree in Childhood Education from Iona College, where she is now pursuing her master’s degree with a specialization in Literacy and Special Education. She has been an assistant teacher at Discover Village Childcare and Preschool in Tarrytown, as well as a team member of Kids Academy at Life Time in Harrison.
During two decades as a teacher and integral member of the music department at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School in Manhattan, Ms. Franklin taught elementary and middle school music, choral music, and managed all theater and venue coordination. Ms. Franklin holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Catholic University and an M.S. Ed. with a Kodály Emphasis from Loyola College of Maryland.
Kindergarten Lead Teacher
She comes to Rye Country Day from Riverdale Country School and The Brearley School in New York City where she was an associate teacher of pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and second-grade students. Ms. Jacob graduated from University of Albany, SUNY with a B.S. in Biological Sciences and has an M.S. in Early Childhood and Childhood General Education from Bank Street College of Education.
Mr. King was an assessment associate at Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City, where he was responsible for collecting and analyzing student data. He received his B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in Education Policy from Washington and Lee University and is pursuing his graduate degree at Columbia University Teachers College.
Pre-Kindergarten Lead Teacher
After a 12-year career as a CPA in accounting, auditing, and financial management, Ms. Quintyne pursued her passion to become an interdisciplinary play-based and language literacy teacher. She joins RCDS from Columbia Grammar Preparatory School and Montclare Children’s School in Manhattan where she has taught ages 2 through 5 since 2014. She received a B.S. from Bucknell University and an M.S. in Early Childhood and Special Education from Touro College.
Director of Athletics
In addition to having an outstanding track record as a teacher and administrator, Mr. Stolzberg brings extensive independent school experience and a deep dedication to student-centered educational athletics. He previously served as Director of Athletics and Physical Education at Trevor Day School in Manhattan and as Director of the Lower School P.E. Program at Dalton School, also in Manhattan.
Mr. Stolzberg received a B.S. from SUNY Geneseo and an M.S. in Physical Education from Hofstra University.
Assistant Director of Athletics for Community Advancement
He joins RCDS after serving for eight years as Assistant Athletic Director at Trevor Day School where, for the last five years he was also the Boys’ Varsity Basketball coach. Before that, Mr. Fink worked at Hackley School, Mercy College, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Poly Prep.
Director of Academic Technology
He brings 20 years of experience in educational technology implementations and equity-based organizational development. He holds a B.A. in International Business and Economics from New York University, an M.B.A. in management and leadership from CUNY, and is in the process of completing his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration at Fordham University.
For 20 years, Mr. LeDonne served in the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department, and before that was a patrol officer with the NYPD. He holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Western New England University.
Joshua Noel Rivera ’15
Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Mr. Rivera is excited to return to RCDS, bringing his deep passion for diversity, equity, inclusion, and humanities and his proven ability to engage and inspire students. In addition to his DEI programming work, he will serve as the financial aid point person for families. He earned his B.A. in Sociology from Howard University and his M.A. in Sociology of Education from New York University.
Administrative Assistant to the Business Office
Ms. Carter is no stranger to the campus, having attended the summer ACTION Program for public school students in grades 7-9. After a decade of working in human resource administration, she joined RCDS in May. She holds a B.A. in Managerial Economics and Business Practices from Lehman College, CUNY.
Rye Country Day School
3 Cedar Street
Head of School:
Enrollment: 956 (Upper School, 443, Middle, 294, Lower, 219)
Student/Faculty Ratio: 7/1
Average Class Size (Upper School): 15