Campus Life
Student Support

Learning Resource Center

Learning Resources Center

The Learning Resource Center (LRC) helps students to strategize and organize their studies and works to develop strengths while supporting weak areas. Professional research confirms that children learn in a variety of ways, and it is important to understand and address these differences so that we can effectively prepare students to become successful, independent learners. Students who learn differently are taught specific skills such as time management, critical thinking, comprehension (reading and language), note-taking, test-taking and higher-order thinking in all subject areas in order to thrive in the rigorous academic environment at La Jolla Country Day School (LJCDS). The program offers one-on-one and small group remediation as well as academic support that is fully integrated with each student’s academic program; it focuses on advocacy and builds a strong relationship between student and specialist.

The LRC serves students from Tiny Torreys to Grade 12 and is fee-based. Our staff includes five educational therapists, three speech/language pathologists and two tutors. Students come to the LRC during their free periods or during specially arranged times.

Contact Micki Mighdoll, director of Learning Resource Center/Student Support Services, at mmighdoll@ljcds.org or 858-453-3440 x136 for more information.

LRC Staff Bios

List of 8 items.

  • Ms. Micki Mighdoll, director of LRC, educational therapist

    Micki Mighdoll has been at Country Day since 1989, first as an English teacher and then as the director of the LRC. Mighdoll consults regularly with other schools and professionals in the community as the LRC has been used as a model for learning centers across the country. She has been an educator for over 30 years and has honed her skills and understanding of children with each experience. Mighdoll endorses a flexible but logical approach to learning and believes that we all achieve success in different ways. She wants each student to accept and understand individual strengths and weaknesses so that each can progress with confidence and an understanding and acceptance of how he/she learns. She is strongly committed to all of the students who work in the LRC and heads a team of dedicated educators who advocate and support their students in a myriad of ways.
  • Ms. Katey Alexander, learning specialist

    Katey Alexander has been working in the Learning Resource Center since 2005, but she has been a member of the Country Day faculty since 1992. Alexander adores working with students of all ages. She uses a flexible, multi-sensory approach to help her youngest students gain comfort with their ability to learn to read and write, while she helps her older students generate a systematic approach or formula they can use to tackle information that is confusing or overwhelming to them. Alexander believes it is essential that all of her students are able to recognize and celebrate their strengths, and she helps them identify and apply those strengths in all situations. She is always impressed by the intelligence, perseverance and kindness of her students.
  • Ms. Sally Scheetz, educational therapist

    Sally Scheetz has been working as an educational therapist in the Learning Resource Center at Country Day since 2002, has been practicing educational therapy since 1990, and has been helping students with a variety of learning differences experience success in school since 1983. Her objective is to create a supportive learning environment that encompasses each student's individual needs and facilitates his or her academic, emotional and social growth. The most exciting and fulfilling moments for Scheetz as a learning specialist are when she knows, without a doubt, that she has finally reached one of her students. It is that unmistakable “knowing” look in a child's eyes, coupled with a proud smile, which helps to remind her that every moment invested was worth it and invaluable to future success.
  • Ms. Gerry Fontanini, educational therapist

    Gerry Fontanini has been an educational therapist in the Learning Resource Center at Country Day since 1997. She began her career in education as a math teacher and now teaches one Upper School math course in addition to her role in the LRC. Fontanini  believes that trust- and confidence-building are an important part of her work. She enjoys helping her students to realize their potential and to find the scholar within. Fontanini feels blessed to be working in such an intellectually-stimulating and challenging environment with colleagues and students whom she feels teach her far more than she teaches them.
  • Ms. Karen Frischwasser, speech and language pathologist

    Karen Frischwasser recently joined the Speech and Language Pathology team in 2015. Her proven clinical expertise is a result of working in public school, clinic and private practice settings as a licensed speech-language pathologist over the past seven years. Frischwasser has experience providing therapy for children with phonological disorders, apraxia, language disorders, stuttering and voice disorders, as well as providing assistance to English-language learners. She speaks Spanish fluently and received bilingual certification for working with bilingual students. Frischwasser values collaborating with the families and children she works with in order to improve communication skills and to help carry-over skills into the home environment.
  • Ms. Kristy King, speech and language pathologist

    Kristy King has been providing speech-language services at Country Day since 2011 and has been a licensed speech-language pathologist since 2002. She has worked extensively with children of all ages, birth through high school age. King's experiences have been in early intervention, private practice, private school, preschool and public school settings. She believes students with specific speech and language needs make the most effective progress in individualized therapy. King designs treatment programs to develop overall speech and language skills. Working with children reminds King of how wonderful childhood can be, and she strives to provide a positive therapy experience to enrich each student's education at Country Day.
  • Ms. Amy Ballaban, LRC teacher

    Amy Ballaban began working in the Learning Resource Center in 2014. She began her career as a special education teacher before entering the independent school world at Brentwood School in Los Angeles. Throughout her years as a classroom teacher, Ballaban found herself constantly pulling from her special education background to reach and teach all of her students. Amy enjoys helping each child understand his or her unique learning style while fostering emotional and academic growth. She is committed to providing a nurturing and safe environment where students feel supported in the LRC. Ballaban is honored to be part of such an exceptional program here at Country Day.
  • Ms. Susie Thorpe, speech and language pathologist

    Susie Thorpe joins La Jolla Country Day School with 10 years of experience working with the pediatric population. She worked for many years at Rady Children’s Hospital before having children and changing directions to work in the school setting. A part-time clinical faculty member at San Diego State University, she enjoys her role as a clinical instructor, guiding graduate students through the clinical process of speech and language therapy. Thorpe has a vast interest in many areas of speech and language therapy including child language acquisition, articulation and phonological remediation, feeding therapy and autism spectrum disorders. She has training in PROMPT, Floortime, Hanen and many diverse approaches. Thorpe loves her work and is passionate about approaching therapy from a whole child perspective including working with the child’s family as a key factor of the child’s success.