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Dr. Bob Ogle, Head of School

Dr. Bob Ogle has played an instrumental role in the growth and development of all aspects of Pacific Ridge School. He joined the founding staff in 2006 at the request of founding Head of School, Dr. Eileen Mullady, who was looking for a partner with whom she and the Board of Trustees could undertake the ambitious task of launching a new school.

Since joining Pacific Ridge, Dr. Ogle has helped craft the vision for the school, developed programs that define and support its mission, admitted the founding classes of students, hired and evaluated faculty, developed global programs, helped oversee the construction of several permanent campus facilities and managed the school’s overall operations. Before becoming Co-Head of School in July of 2011 and then succeeding Dr. Eileen Mullady as Head of School in April of 2013, Dr. Ogle led the founding Admissions effort and served as Academic Dean, Dean of Faculty and Assistant Head of School. He also teaches an English class each year.
 
Firmly committed to the value of an independent school education, Dr. Ogle has been a teacher and administrator at schools in New York, Utah and California, including several years spent teaching English and coaching baseball and basketball at his alma mater, Francis Parker School. His scholarly interests include curricular integration and global education, which he explored while receiving his doctorate at the Klingenstein Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Ogle was drawn to Pacific Ridge’s mission elements of academic excellence, ethical responsibility and global engagement and believes that they play an essential role in preparing young people to lead purposeful lives.
 
In addition to his Ed.D. and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and M.A. in English Education, all from Columbia University, Dr. Ogle holds B.A. degrees in English and Economics from the University of California, Davis. A sixth-generation San Diegan, he has been delighted to contribute to our local educational community through the establishment and growth of Pacific Ridge School. He, his wife and their two children live in Carlsbad.

Tim Betzala, Dean of Faculty

Mr. Betzala came to Pacific Ridge from The Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, where he taught Spanish and Language Exploration. He also taught Spanish at Malvern Preparatory School in Malvern, PA, and at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School in Philadelphia, PA.
 
Mr. Betzala completed a B.A. in Spanish and Philosophy from Fairfield University and an M.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Middlebury College in Madrid, Spain. Mr. Betzala lived and studied in Spain for two years, and has traveled with student service learning trips to Guatemala, Mexico, Spain and Peru.
 
Mr. Betzala likes to travel, cook, read cooking magazines, walk his dog, garden, and connect with family and friends. Most of his large family lives in the Philadelphia area, but he and his partner, John-Paul, have settled here in California with their two dogs.

Allegra Molineaux, Head of Upper School

Ms. Molineaux graduated from Barnard College in New York, where she was invited to join the Phi Beta Kappa society. Ms. Molineaux earned an M.A. in Social Science at the University of Chicago, after which she spent four years teaching history and English at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, NY.
 
Ms. Molineaux’s travel experience includes a junior year abroad at University College London, as well as shorter journeys throughout Europe and North America. She enjoys opera, theater, art history, and film.

Alfie Hobbs, Assistant Upper School Head

Mr. Hobbs joined Pacific Ridge School from Ravenscroft School in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more than fifteen years he worked in the corporate world as a computer programmer, designer and manager at IBM and BB&T. For three years, he taught computer science, coached basketball and soccer and was involved in equity work at Ravenscroft, capping his successful time there by receiving the Qubain Award for Teaching Excellence in 2018. He received his B.S. in Computer Science from Hampton University, an M.B.A. from North Carolina Central University and an Ed.S. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Educational Technology from the University of Florida.

Luke Michel, Head of Middle School

Mr. Michel joined Pacific Ridge from Trevor Day School in NYC, where he spent six years teaching history and, for the last two years, also served as History Department chair. Previously, he taught history and English at Dutchess Day School in upstate New York and at the Hyde Leadership Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
 
Mr. Michel is a native of Woodstock, NY. He received his B.A. in History from George Mason University. He has also spent significant time working as a musician. Upon graduation, he spent six years touring the East Coast and recording several albums as the bass guitar player for a Washington, D.C. based band.  
 
Mr. Michel enjoys spending time with his family, hiking and camping, playing bass guitar, and riding his bike. 

Sarah Peeden, Assistant Middle School Head

Ms. Peeden grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, where she attended the Webb School of Knoxville. She graduated with a B.A. in English and History from the University of Virginia, later returning to earn an M.A. degree in English with a focus in 19th-century American Literature. Before coming to Pacific Ridge School, Ms. Peeden taught 8th-grade English and 11th-grade American Literature at the Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, Georgia. She also served as a member of the school's residential faculty and as the assistant swim coach. A lifelong learner, Ms. Peeden is currently pursuing a Masters of Education in Private School Leadership at Columbia University's Klingenstein Center.

In her free time, Ms. Peeden enjoys reading, swimming, cooking, and traveling with her family.

John Comforto, Dean of Studies and Student Life

Mr. Comforto graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in chemistry and political science. He holds an M.A. from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, where his coursework focused on school leadership, curriculum design, and teacher professional development. His career in education started at The Masters School, a day and boarding school in Westchester, New York, where he served as a teacher, dorm parent, advisor, and dean. His educational philosophy took shape at Masters around the Harkness table, where he came to embrace a student-centered approach to teaching and learning. 

In his free time, he enjoys hiking, gardening, and travel.

Rachel Petrella, Director of College Guidance

Ms. Petrella joined Pacific Ridge in the summer of 2013 and brings nearly two decades of experience in college guidance to her role. She began work in independent schools at La Jolla Country Day, where she eventually returned as a Director of College Guidance, a position she also has held at Brooks School in North Andover, MA, and at The Hewitt School in New York City.
 
Ms. Petrella’s career also includes work in the literary industry, as both an associate publisher with Laurel Glen Publishing and a literary agent. Additionally, she has worked for the (then) San Diego Tribune and in marketing and contracts for athlete agents, first in Boston then in San Diego.  It was her first boss at Country Day who coaxed her back from publishing to independent schools, as Associate Director of College Counseling at the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, where she also taught journalism, advised Peer Leaders and newspaper, and coached field hockey. In the past, Ms. Petrella has served on the faculty for the UCSD College Counseling Certificate program and has run summer workshops in college guidance for the town of Andover, MA, her hometown. She earned a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and an M.A. from New York University.

Susan Woods, Interim Director of Community & Inclusion

Ms. Woods earned a B.S. in Economics from the University of Northern Colorado and a J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. She also has a masters in Educational Leadership from High Tech High's Graduate School of Education. In her work with school-age children prior to Pacific Ridge, Ms. Woods coached a 7th and 8th grade Destination ImagiNation team and was the National Mock Trial program coordinator for the state of Washington for two years.
 
A San Diego resident since the 1970s, Ms. Woods lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. In her free time, she pursues service work, photography, art, beading, and travel. She has journeyed to Europe, Asia, South and Central America, and Africa.

Don Collins, Director of Athletics

Coach Collins was born and raised in San Diego. In high school, he played both varsity football and lacrosse, and went on to play lacrosse at Sonoma State University, where he earned his B.A. in Communications in 2002. During the summer of 2015, he earned a Master’s Degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University. Since joining Pacific Ridge in 2008, he has coached both middle school and high school sports such as flag football, basketball and lacrosse, has participated in the Service Learning program and has served as a student advisor.

Coach Collins is currently the boys varsity lacrosse head coach and was named the CIF boys lacrosse coach of the year in 2015. As an administrator he has held the title of Athletic Coordinator, Athletics Operations, Facilities Administrator, Assistant Director of Athletics and Interim Director of Athletics. Coach Collins lives in Carlsbad with his wife and son. He enjoys a good round of golf, spending time outdoors and relaxing with family and friends.

Steve Dziekonski, Director of Arts Programs

Mr. Dziekonski has taught in several independent and public music school programs. He worked as a Music Department Chair at the Oakwood School in North Hollywood, a Performing Arts Chair at the Windward School in Los Angeles, a music teacher at the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, and a music and drama teacher at the Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh, PA. He began his music education career in the Wellesley, MA public schools. Over the years, he has taught choir, orchestra, AP Music Theory, musical theater, jazz rock ensemble, and drama.
 
Mr. Dziekonski received his B.A. in Music Education and Film Scoring from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, and his M.A. in Music Education from California State University, Northridge. He is currently writing a doctoral dissertation on the application of constructionism theory in the music classroom.
 
Mr. Dziekonski is the founder of two web-based music businesses. When he is not involved in music and teaching, he pursues his passion for helping and rescuing animals.


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