"IT IS THE SUPREME ART OF THE TEACHER TO AWAKEN JOY
IN CREATIVE EXPRESSION AND KNOWLEDGE."
Meet Our Staff
Courtenay M. Conzelman
SCHOOL FOUNDER & BUSINESS ADMINISTRATOR
Courtenay Conzelman, or Miss Courtenay, is the Founder and Administrator of Pacific Shores Day School. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and Family & Community Services with a Young Child emphasis from Michigan State University. Miss Courtenay has been a school administrator since 2007. She has been an early childhood educator since 2002 and holds a Music Together® music education certification, behavioral therapy certificate, dance instructor certification and has an extensive performing arts background.
Upon gaining experience teaching in both private and public school settings, Miss Courtenay recognized a need in the community - a need for a highly academic yet incredibly fun, motivating and interactive junior kindergarten program that children couldn't wait to attend each day. In 2009, with the support of her incredible husband and business partner, and after months of research, preparation and planning, Pacific Shores Day School was born. There truly is no other program like Pacific Shores Day School's junior kindergarten program!
Professional Development & Certifications:
In addition to her experience as an early childhood educator in Orange County, Miss Courtenay has worked with children and families in high-risk, low income neighborhoods as well as academies in the United Kingdom. She has also served as a volunteer in children’s orphanages in Central America.
Miss Courtenay loves to read, sing, dance and be silly and incorporates music, rhythm activities and physical activity into many facets of the daily curriculum. In her downtime, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband, reading her Kindle, exercising or visiting with her husband's wonderfully large family. She strives to provide families with the best customer service in the industry and is passionate about early childhood education. Miss Courtenay feels so fortunate to have the best career in the world!
Christina Rygiol, M.Ed.
PROGRAM DIRECTOR & LEAD TEACHER
Mrs. Christina Rygiol, or Miss Christina, has been teaching for over twelve years and is ecstatic to have joined the Pacific Shores team in 2018! Born and raised in Southern California, she earned both a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology as well as her Teaching Credential from California State University, Long Beach. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis on Reading.
Her first five years of teaching were spent in Huntington Beach before moving with her family to Maui and teaching kindergarten there. As well as teaching, Miss Christina was one of the founding members of the first MOPS chapter on Maui. Immediately prior to coming to PSDS, Miss Christina spent four years teaching at a private school in San Juan Capistrano. Throughout her years of teaching, her greatest joys have been watching students grow both academically and socially under her guidance. She loves being a part of that “light bulb moment” when students grasp a new concept and their face lights up.
Miss Christina lives in Ladera Ranch with her husband of over fifteen years and their tween daughter. In addition to teaching, she enjoys reading, baking and spending time with her family. As a family they love to hang out at the beach, travel to new places, try new foods, and ride bikes in their neighborhood.
Miss Christina is warm, thoughtful, reliable and dedicated. She goes out of her way to understand each of her students and to learn how she can encourage them to be their very best. She takes the time to ask meaningful questions and patiently foster lifelong learners. She prides herself on communicating effectively not only with the students, but also with the parents. She believes that the most important part of a child’s education is successful teacher/parent communication. She is committed to providing each child a safe, loving, and motivating environment to learn and grow.
Mrs. Jenessa Larson, or Miss Jenessa, joined the PSDS family in 2017 and has been working with children since 2003. During her fourteen years in the field, Miss Jenessa has worked with a variety of age groups including preschoolers, Pre-K students, and second graders.
Miss Jenessa grew up in the South Bay area and attended El Camino College in Torrance. In college, Miss Jenessa set her sights on a career in the field of Early Childhood Education (ECE) and earned a promising number of ECE units before moving to Indianapolis, Indiana. Throughout her 6 years living in Indianapolis, she was able to gain professional experience working with young children while pursuing a Child Development Associate degree (CDA).
Miss Jenessa currently lives in Huntington Beach with her husband and four sons. Together, they love going to theme parks and on outdoor adventures. Their boys are involved in soccer, baseball, water polo and swimming.
Miss Jenessa truly adores every aspect of working with children. She is ecstatic to be working in our Junior Kindergarten classroom and is so grateful to be part of the amazing PSDS team!