Faculty & Staff

“Teachers, they make the world a better place!” 


~ Radcliffe, 4th Grader



Meet the dedicated faculty & staff of the Phoenix Rising School who have made it their mission to get back to basics and teach in a way that children will love to learn. With a common sense approach to learning, children’s natural curiosity is enhanced via theme-based units which provide students with ample opportunities for hands-on learning. Children are taught in developmentally appropriate, multi-age classrooms.


Pre-K class is taught by Carol Shimono and assisted by Jan Ferrari.

K-1 class is taught by Nancy Driscoll

Grades 2-5 are taught by Lauren Lusk

Instructional Coach for all grades Catherine Flick


Specialist classes are taught by:


Science & C.R.E.A.T.E. Sciences – Suzanne Nichols 

C.R.E.A.T.E. Mindfulness  & C.R.E.A.T.E. Sciences – Sonya El Debssi

Outdoor Education – all teachers integrate the Outdoors into the core curriculum

Art – all teachers integrate Art into the core curriculum


In the office you will find:



Jan Vickers

Sonya El Debssi


Administrative Assistant:

Alyssa Wells

Carol Shimono

Pre K Teacher

Born to a family of teachers, Carol has always found her greatest passion in contributing to the well being, joy, and learning of young children seeing them passionately engaged in
learning activities.

Jan Ferrari

Pre K Teacher Assistant

Jan was one of the founding staff members of The Phoenix Rising School. She has worked in Special Education at the Rainier Elementary School for the past 5 years, and is thrilled to return to PRS.

Nancy Driscoll

K-1 Teacher

Nancy is a founding faculty member of The Phoenix Rising School.
She earned her Associate’s Degree in Occupational Therapy at Western New Mexico University in 1995.

Sonya El Debssi

C.R.E.A.T.E. Teacher, Administrator & Multimedia Specialist

Sonya is the founder and facilitator of Phoenix Rising's Focus & Mindfulness program called C.R.E.A.T.E. ™. She is also one of the school’s founding faculty members.

Lauren Lusk

2-5 Teacher

Lauren Lusk comes to Phoenix Rising as a fourth year teacher.
Previously, she has spent time as a public school teacher teaching at both the intermediate and primary level.

Jan Vickers

School Administrator and Accounting Manager

Jan joined Phoenix Rising School in December 2014, bringing with her, over 20 years of finance, business, and leadership experience in private sector and nonprofit organizations

Suzanne Nichols

Science Teacher

Suzanne has worn many proverbial hats in this wonderful journey of life. Since graduating from Brown University with a B.A. in American Civilization...