Meet Our Wonderful Faculty & Staff

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Head of School:
Dr. Scott Kemple

Dr. Kemple educational experience includes a BS in Biology with a minor in Physical Education, a MS in Exercise Science, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. After a career in Public Schools ranging from Elementary to High School, Residential School, and Online Education, Dr. Kemple brings an unparalleled depth and breath of Educational Expertise to Kalamazoo Country Day School.

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Director of Operations:
Lisa Bucher

Lisa, a WMU Alumni, brings 20 years of management experience to Kalamazoo Country Day School. From the oilfield to the publishing industry, Lisa brings a plethora of skills and expertise to the administrative team at Kalamazoo Country Day. Lisa's innate curiosity makes her an avid learner with the ability to tackle anything that might come her way. She enjoys meeting new people and hearing new perspectives. She invites everyone to reach out to her directly if you're interested in a conversation about education, nonprofit organizations, networking, parenting or Big 10 football! With a blended family of six children, Lisa runs 'Camp Chaos' at home too without missing a beat. When she's not working or traveling, you'll find her outside at the lake every chance she gets.

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Office Manager:
Kathleen Sterling

Kathleen has been with Kalamazoo Country Day School for the past 2 years. She comes to us with over 30 years of experience in the public school systems and we are so thankful to have her! She has a great grand daughter in Kindergarten at Country Day. When she isn't at school, she loves spending time with her family, reading and gardening. She is a also a huge animal lover and has 3 dogs and 3 cats!

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Middle School:
Justina Goodyke

Justina Goodyke has 15 years of teaching experience, ranging in grades from Kindergarten - 8th. She graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Elementary Education, with specializations in Middle School Mathematics and Science. Her passion is in math education, discovery-based learning strategies, and providing access to advanced math curricula to all students. In her free time, Justina loves spending time with her family, reading a good book, or lounging about in the great outdoors.

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3rd & 4th Grade:
Beth Kemple

Beth Kemple has been teaching for 28 years and has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University and a Master's Degree in curriculum design and instruction in reading. Her teaching experience has been in grades 1st - 8th and she has most recently been trained in the Orton - Gillingham reading approach. She is a lover of animals, books, and travel!

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1st & 2nd Grade:
Jenny Fusciardi

This is Jenny's 16th year of teaching and she just can't believe it! Throughout the years she has gained experience teaching grades Pre-K through 2nd. Being in 1st/2nd grade at Kalamazoo Country Day School is her FAVORITE! She has been at the school for 4 years.

Her goal every year is to not only teach the school's strong academic curriculum, but to focus on building relationships with her students and their families. If teachers don't take the time to really get to know their students and form a bond, academic success can be a challenge. She wants EVERY child to look forward to coming to school to learn with their class family, inspiring amazing groups of kids who become lifelong learners!

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Kindergarten & 1st Grade:
Tracie Sexton

This is Tracie's first year at Kalamazoo Country Day School. She comes with extensive experience teaching children that are 4-7 years old. Her greatest joy is making connections with the kids and helping them make their own. She finds it so fulfilling to watch them grasp a concept for the first time and then shape it into what they find exciting. She prides herself in being able to motivate even the most reluctant of learners and cannot wait to engage with her students for this year and years to come!

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Kindergarten:
Kristel Davis

Kristel grew up in Bay City Michigan and moved to the Kalamazoo area to attend Western Michigan University. She graduated from Western Michigan University with her Bachelor of Science: Major in Elementary Education, Minors in Math, Science, Integrated Creative Arts and Early Childhood. She's worked in Preschool, Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten at Kalamazoo Country Day School, and has been here 19 years! She is excited to share that her 7 year old is in 2nd here at Kalamazoo Country Day. It is so fun to be in the same school.

She believes while children explore the world around them they need a safe, nurturing and motivating environment to learn and grow. She hopes to build positive relationships where all children feel loved, valued, and respected. She feels it is very important to take all aspects of a child’s growth and development into consideration. Looking at how they grow intellectually, socially, emotionally, physically and creatively she can build a strong foundation for a lifetime of learning. She hopes to stimulate and challenge the diverse needs, talents, cultures and interests of all her students.

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Preschool Director & Junior Kindergarten:
Nick Tomson

Nick is the the Preschool Director and a Junior Kindergarten teacher at Kalamazoo Country Day School. He's taught Preschool at Kalamazoo Country Day for the last 3.5 years and his favorite part is our amazing children and families!

He grew up in Middleville and graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Professional Education. He currently lives in Portage with his wife and 2 daughters (4 1/2 years and 17 months). He's very passionate about working with young children and making a difference in their everyday lives.

He believes children are our future. He believes that all children can learn. As an educator, he will make it my goal to find the right way to motivate each student to learn. He believes each child is a unique individual who can learn in a safe, caring environment that supports risk-taking and allows children to share their ideas. His platform as an educator is to create an atmosphere where children are able to grow and mature to meet their intellectual, emotional, physical and social needs. He believes in the importance of early childhood education and will provide an environment that fosters the growth and development of each child.

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Junior Kindergarten:
Kavita Rastogi

Kavita has been involved with education for over 21 years spanning two continents - Asia and the US. She taught at a Montessori school in India and then in Rochester, New York for over ten years and joined Kalamazoo Country Day upon moving to Kalamazoo in 2011. Her exposure to various schools of pedagogy has molded her belief of educating the ‘whole child’. Along with academically nurturing the child’s natural inclination to learn, so they reach their highest abilities; she also believes in holistically nurturing the child’s emotional and psychological well-being to inspire a sense of kindness, respect and personal empowerment. Her most joyful moments at school are with the children, reveling in their sense of discovery and wonderment!

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Bright Stars Preschool:
MilaChristine Jao

Mila has been teaching at Kalamazoo Country Day School for 2 years. She graduated from Western Michigan University in 2020. She's been an educator for 4 years in the realm of Dance, preschool, SU/DU/IPR resources and more! She loves working with kids because our future holds in the hands of our youth. With that, she hopes to encourage optimal growth by providing a safe space and education.

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Art & Social Emotional:
Emma Bennett

Emma gained her Masters in Visual Communication 22 years ago. Her teaching career began in England working with excluded children to help them overcome behavioral difficulties. From there she moved to private education and taught art in a Boarding School.

Her interest and use of psychology grew and she started a company with a Psychologist. She's written and delivered a program of different courses for adults and families across a number of European countries. She moved to America and started a family and her 3 children attend Kalamazoo Country Day School. She's using her past skills to teach Art and Social Emotional learning.

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Physical Education/Aftercare Director/Middle School Social Studies:
Adam Wright

Adam is from Southend, England and moved to the United States in 2001. He is a graduate from Olivet College where he played 4 years of varsity soccer as well as majoring in Sports and Recreational Management. Adam also played 2 years of soccer professionally for Detroit City FC after college graduation. As well as teaching at Kalamazoo Country Day School, he is the head coach of the Jackson College men's soccer program. Adam has 2 dogs and 2 cats and enjoys time with his fiancé Kayla as well as golfing and being outdoors!

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Spanish:
Yolanda Godoy Trevino

Yolanda is a native Spanish speaker from Mexico. She is an Industrial Engineer with 12 years of experience and has also worked as a Teacher Paraprofessional for 5 years in the Vicksburg Community Schools. This is her second year as the Spanish Teacher at Kalamazoo Country Day and she loves working with our students!

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Teacher/Intervention Coordinator:
Hannah Tennimon

Hannah is from Birmingham, Alabama and attended private schools for her entire childhood. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she majored in Theatre. She won the title of “Alabama’s Best New Playwright” for her play “Her Choice” which was made into a short film. After several moves as a military wife, she landed in Michigan and is pursuing her certification in Special Education. She is a mom to three Kalamazoo Country Day students and enjoys farming with them in her spare time.

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1st & 2nd Grade TA:
Julie Jones

Julie has two grown sons and graduated from Western Michigan University. She is a certified Elementary School Teacher and taught in the public school system here in Kalamazoo for 35 years. She is happily teaching with Jenny Fusciardi in 1st and 2nd Grade. She also assists the Kindergarten - 4th Grade students in Reading by pulling them out in small groups. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and cooking.

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Junior Kindergarten TA: Lindsey Gastelum

This is Miss Lindsey's second year working with the Junior Kindergarten class. She has a passion for young children and has the patience of a saint! She has a daughter who attends Kalamazoo Country Day School and is married to an active duty Marine. She is originally from California and enjoys spending her summers there.

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Preschool TA:
Etta McIntosh

Miss Etta has been with the Kalamazoo Country Day Family for many years. She has a passion for young children. After retirement, she decided to find a part-time job working with preschool children. She finds working with the littles to be extremely rewarding!

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Preschool TA:
Alysa Buytendorp

This is Alysa's first year working at Kalamazoo Country Day School. Working with kids has always been a passion of hers. The thing that brings her so much joy during the day is watching kids play and enjoy themselves. She loves showing kids the basics of sports because it allows kids to just be kids and have fun.

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Occupational Therapy:
Susan Willis

Sue is a recently retired Occupational Therapist in the school setting for the past 17 years. Her passion is working with students and she is honored to be a part of the Kalamazoo Country Day teaching and supporting staff with handwriting and other areas. Her past experiences include being a Child Life Specialist, Preschool teacher and Director and Occupational Therapist.

It brings her such joy to see the children's focus as they are able to do something for the first time. She's excited to be a part of your child's school experience and getting to know the Kalamazoo Country Day Family.

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Pat Maye:
Cooking Club

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Parent's Association President:
Stacey Ritsema