Meet Your Specialty Teachers

  Meet Mrs. Jean Paradis

Art Teacher

Jean Paradis has taught at TCDS since 2000. She has a BA from the University of Arizona and has worked as a professional artist for many years. Mrs. Paradis first came to Tucson Country Day School as the music teacher. She then began the visual art program and settled there when TCDS grew too big for her to teach both subjects.

Mrs. Paradis has authored and published articles about teaching art and has presented at education conferences. She is married with two grandchildren and feels her life is very rich. She enjoys reading, gardening and travel adventures. Mrs. Paradis has a home studio and especially loves “losing” hours at a time making paintings, sculptures and other art.



 Meet Mrs. Kala Phelps

Specialty Teacher Coordinator

Art Teacher

Kala Phelps, M.Ed., has been working at TCDS since 2006.  She started as a fifth grade teacher and then moved to middle school to teach social studies.  She has found her favorite place to teach, and that is in art!

Mrs. Phelps has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in printmaking and painting from the University of Arizona.  She also has a master’s degree in education. Mrs. Phelps has authored and published articles about teaching art and has presented at education conferences. She is married with two children who also attend TCDS.  Mrs. Phelps owns a desert tortoise named Flash and two poodles, Tesla and Ripley.  When not teaching, she can be found creating her own art and exploring Arizona with her family. Mrs. Phelps loves adventure and having fun!


Meet Mrs. Ariella Bell

Elementary Music and 7/8 Choir Teacher

Ariella Bell has been a music teacher at Tucson Country Day School since 2014. She teaches K-5 music and the middle school 7th and 8th grade choir. Ariella also loves helping with the Singers choir and Drama Club after school, and she teaches piano in her spare time. Ariella has been leading youth and adult choirs on and off since 2002. It is her passion.

Ariella is married to a military man and has four amazing and talented kids. Ariella loves fitness and teaches a yoga and Pilates class at comes local gyms and coaches when she can.


Meet Mr. Aaron Rice

5th-8th Grade Music Teacher

Aaron Rice began his first year teaching at TCDS just this year, immediately upon finishing his Master’s study at the University of Arizona, and he is excited to share his love for music. Mr. Rice teaches 5th grade general music, 6th grade band/orchestra/choir, and the 7th/8th band and orchestra. He is committed to giving every student the opportunity not just to play music, but to understand it. We’re making musicians here!

Aaron plays the trombone, primarily, and he has regularly played in bands and chamber groups around Tucson. However, his personal focus in music is to compose, and he hopes to write something for the kids to play this year!


Meet Mr. Tim Hall

Elementary P.E. Teacher and Athletic Director

Mr Tim Hall

Tim Hall has been teaching elementary physical education at Tucson Country Day School since the 2004-2005 school year. He has been the head coach of the middle school girls’ basketball team since its founding in 2006, the head coach of the middle school flag football team since 2009, and the middle school softball coach since its founding in 2009.  Tim has a Bachelor of Arts in Education in History with a minor in Athletic Coaching from the University of Arizona.

Tim is a die-hard Arizona Wildcats fan, attending every home football game since November 2002. He is also a fan of everything Star Wars, the Harry Potter series, Disney and a wide variety of other science fiction and superhero works. Tim also enjoys escaping the heat by going to Mt. Lemmon for hikes.


Meet Ms. Ashleigh Houlton

Middle School Health & P.E. Teacher

Ashleigh Houlton earned her B.S. in Exercise Science as well as a Masters in Education from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. Following her student teaching, she moved to Daejeon, South Korea for the next six years where she taught IB Physical Education for grades K-12 at Taejeon Christian International School. She recently moved to Tucson and is thrilled to be a part of the community at Tucson Country Day School. 

Ashleigh is passionate about the sport of volleyball as she competed at the collegiate level for four years and has had the opportunity to coach at the middle school, high school, club, international and collegiate levels. Currently, Ashleigh coaches men’s and women’s volleyball for Ironwood Ridge High School as well as national travel teams for Club Cactus Juniors. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, DISNEYLAND and being active outdoors!


Meet Senora Elsa Frederickson

Elementary Spanish Teacher

Mrs Elsa Frederickson

This will be Elsa Frederickson’s fourth year teaching elementary Spanish at Tucson Country Day School. She is a native Spanish speaker from Mexico and is really passionate about the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures. Elsa has a Law degree and has been working with children for more than 10 years.

Elsa loves coffee, chocolate and Mexican food, but what she loves most is Tucson sunsets and spending time with her family.


Meet Ms. Judy Schaefer

Elementary Technology Teacher

Ms Judy Schaefer

  • I have two children. Chaz is 23, and Eebee is 18.
  • Best part about working at TCDS: Working with and getting to know the students.
  • Most odd job I have had: I worked in a donut shop.
  • Favorite book: The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Favorite free-time activity as a child: Spending time with my sister because she was my best friend and favorite person.
  • A fun fact most people do not know about me: I have been to Australia.
  • Favorite vacation destination: Disneyland because it’s “the happiest place on Earth”.
  • If I could meet one person from any point in time, I would meet Ben Franklin because he was not only intelligent but also socially aware.
  • A unique fact about me: *When I was a kid, we had goats and chickens and grew our own vegetables. * I love Diet Coke. * I love bargain shopping.
  • My true color for my personality is blue because of my maternal instincts.