Meet Mrs. Kelly Grusendorf
Kelly Grusendorf has been the Resource Director at Tucson Country Day School since 2005. She is a University of Arizona graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Rehabilitation followed by a Master of Arts in Elementary Education. Go Wildcats!
Kelly is married and has five amazing children ranging in age from two to 12 years old. Kelly enjoys spending time traveling with her family in their motor home.
Meet Mrs. Beth Culbertson
K-3 Resource Teacher
- I have two daughters. M.E. is 23, and Kate E. is 22. M.E. is a five-year senior in collage in Utah. Kate E. is a senior in college in Washington.
- Most rewarding about working with students: We have so much fun learning. I get so excited about what we are doing!
- Best part about teaching: Having students excited to learn
- I have now lived in Tucson for 23 years.
- I liked to collect books when I was younger. Today I like to collect teaching materials and supplies for my classroom. I always want to make sure we have what will help all of the class.
- I have taught in Guam. I wanted to live out of the country.
- Favorite colors: Blue and green
- Favorite free-time activities as a child: Reading and collecting books; this kept me busy. It was magical going to the lake and watching the waves.
- If I could meet one person from any point in time, I would meet a movie star.
- If I could appear on a television show, I would be on “Family Feud”. It would be fun be a participant who plays on TV.
- Unique facts about me: * I travel extensively. * I have more than one job – I work many hours. *I come from a big family.
Meet Mr. Verne Blatchford
4-5 Resource Teacher
Verne Blatchford is a Dineh (Navajo) from Northeastern Arizona and was born for the Edge Water People Clan and born into the Towering House People Clan. He considers himself a lifelong learner.
Verne has been working at Tucson Country Day School since February 2015, has taught fourth and fifth grade and just this year has moved to the Resource Department as the fourth and fifth grade Resource teacher. He has a BE in English and an MA in Special Education. He has 20 years of experience in prekindergarten through twelfth grade at the classroom and administrative levels.
Verne is married and does not have any children other than his scores of former students, but he has raised several of his nieces and nephews. In his spare time, Verne likes traveling, sightseeing, reading and writing.
Meet Mrs. Heidi Tronstad
Heidi Tronstad, M.S., CCC-SLP, has been working as a Speech-Language Pathologist at Tucson Country Day School since January 2013. She has also worked at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind, as well as provided speech-language services to children ranging in age from toddlers through high school with TEAM-Ed and the Department of Developmental Disabilities. Heidi has a Master of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She has an Arizona state license as a Speech-Language Pathologist as well as a certificate from the Arizona Department of Education for PreK – 12th grade.
Heidi and her husband Russ has three sons who are in high school and college. Heidi enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family and playing with her dog.
Meet Mrs. Vickie Jones
Speech-Language Pathology Assistant
Vickie Jones has been working as the school’s Speech-Language Pathology Assistant since October 2013. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences from the University of Arizona and is also retired from the USAF.
Vickie is married to a fellow Air Force Veteran who teaches Technology and Science at a local middle school. She has a daughter who is starting high school and a son who teaches Film and Broadcasting at a local high school. In her spare time, Vickie likes to read, craft and play clarinet.
Meet Ms. Debbie Ross
RTI (Response to Intervention)
- I have two children. My daughter Rachel works in aftercare at school. My son is Brandon.
- Favorite part about teaching students: Their energy and excitement about being at school
- Favorite subjects in school: English or History
- I have lived in Tucson for most of my life.
- Favorite book: The Bible. It serves as an excellent reference, and it never goes out of style.
- Favorite free-time activity as a child: Reading! I read tons of books and loved series, like the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, as well as the 12 books in the Oz series. Reading took me to another world without chores and real life.
- If I could eat only one food, I would choose beans. There are so many kinds of beans, and you can fix them all different ways.
- If I could meet one person from any point in time, I would meet my granddaughter’s daughter, just to see how things turned out and if we, as a family, pay it forward and love and support each other. My family matters most to me, so their choices and history would most interest me.
- Unique facts about me: * If I could be famous, I would be a famous doctor or scientist that discovered a cure for something. * There are seven kids in my family, and we grew up in three different families but we are still close. * I went to school in six different states.
- Most rewarding moments in my life thus far: Raising my kids! They are the best thing I have ever been a part of.
Meet Mrs. Kim Crone
ELL Specialist and Intervention
Kim Crone has been working at Tucson Country Day School for eight years. She is the ELL Specialist and also works with students who may need extra help with their school work. She has a Master’s degree in Language, Reading and Culture, and she has been teaching for 30 years. Kim is also a yoga instructor and has been teaching yoga for 14 years.
Meet Mr. Almano
- Favorite part about working with students: Watching them socialize
- I have a turtle as a pet.
- Favorite book: The Jungle Book because it is also a movie.
- If I could eat only one food, I would eat sandwiches because there are many different kinds.
- Most rewarding moment in my life thus far: Completing high school
- I have lived in or visited at least five states. They are Florida, California, Texas, Kentucky and Virginia.
- My favorite childhood game: Chutes and Ladders. It was fun and easy.
- My true color for my personality is blue.
Meet Mr. Nathan
Mr. Nathan grew up in Bellingham, Washington, where he studied Applied Mathematics at Western Washington University. He recently moved to Tucson, Arizona, and he loves it here.
Nathan enjoys hiking in Sabino Canyon, practicing Martial Arts, and doing math things like playing chess and Magic the Gathering.
Meet Ms. Gaby
Gabriele “Gaby” Araiza is currently working very hard to complete her Early Education and Special Education degree from University of Phoenix. Gaby loves to learn, especially if it is something new.
Gaby is very outgoing and enjoys exploring. Whether it be for a hike or a drive, movement is the best way to enjoy life. Gaby also enjoys exercising such as powerlifting, which has made her mind and body strong.
Meet Mr. Michael
Meet Mr. Jim Swafford
Jim Swafford has been working at Tucson Country Day School in the Resource Department as a paraprofessional for seven years. Jim has a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Psychology from the University of Arizona. He was also in the United States Air Force for four years. Jim worked for the City of Tucson as an Emergency Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor for 27 years. When Jim retired from that job in 2007, he went on a cruise with his family to Bermuda.
Jim is married, and his son attended TCDS for eight years and is now in college. Jim plays mandolin and harmonica in the Speedway Brothers Band. Jim also enjoys hiking and working out at the gym.
Meet Mrs. Kendra Galanek
- Best part about teaching: I enjoy working individually with the students. Since I do not lead a class, I am able to float and get to know all of the students.
- Favorite subjects in school: Reading and Writing
- If I could visit another country, I would visit Norway. My mom was born there!
- Most odd job I have had: I sold newspaper subscriptions.
- I have three dogs.
- Favorite free-time activity as a child: My favorite free-time activity as a child was riding my bicycle around the neighborhood.
- Unique facts about me: * I love to cook. * I scrapbook. * I love to work in my garden.
- Favorite vacation destination: Anywhere near a beach