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About

Leadership

Welcome From Our Headmaster

On behalf of the school board, faculty, staff, parents, and students, let me welcome you to Pusch Ridge Christian Academy! 

PRCA is a vibrant, comprehensive, DK-12 Christian school. The entire leadership, faculty, and staff are called to equip the next generation so that they can impact their world in the name of Jesus. As such, PRCA strives to be distinctively Christian, instructionally classical, and fully covenantal, seeking to serve the families of faith across the Tucson basin. In the spirit of the ancient classical learning tradition, education at PRCA nurtures the heads, the hearts, and the hands of young men and women so they are prepared for educational and life success while being equipped to lead by engaging the world with a Christ-founded faith, biblical wisdom, compassion, and courage.

C.S. Lewis, Christian author and scholar, warns us, “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man into a clever devil.” I believe a child will have more success by submitting to Jesus, cultivating honor, virtue, and a sense of beauty than seeking entrance to the most prestigious schools. What good is an advanced degree from an ivy league college if the person does not know God, honor his/her marriage vows, or guide his/her offspring towards a genuine walk with Jesus?  As a scholar of literature, it was natural for C.S. Lewis to make the connection between a child’s character and the stories being taught in the home and school. Lewis comments, Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have hearts of bravery and heroic courage.”
Consequently, we care deeply about our school culture and invest with intentionality to ensure it is a place of classical learning in Christian unity that engages in a biblically covenantal environment. From core academic courses to the arts to athletics to student leadership, our passion for students and their growth as learners and Jesus followers is paramount. We believe our committed community of families and staff offers an environment where each student can become who God has created them to be. It is our desire at PRCA to do all that we do to glorify God.  Whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, or on the stage, we want to do everything we do from a biblical perspective and with such quality that the Lord is pleased.

It is my prayer that you will be encouraged and consider joining our community on the journey toward faith, excellence, and virtue.

Jerry Bowen, Interim Headmaster

2022-2023 School Board

List of 3 items.

  • Board Members with Bios

    The 2022-2023 school board is made up of the following men and women: 

    Todd Vanden Branden
    Alison Howlett, PhD
    Lynn Dent
    Tony Borboa, MD
    John Pelander, JD
    Michael Vick
    Tamera Stombaugh
    Chuck Wunder
    Olga Tarro
    Wesley Mehl
    Walter Hoge
    Reverend Rob Pendley
    Read More
  • From our Board President

    Dear Community,

    Welcome back to another year at Pusch Ridge Christian Academy. We are grateful to God to continue pursuing our mission within this covenantal community. PRCA is a special place and we are honored that you have chosen it. We live in turbulent times, and we know that there will be events and issues that challenge us this year. However, PRCA will remain focused on our mission to teach our students to become like Christ through a classical, Christian education within a covenantal community.

    Thank you for your commitment to, and support of, PRCA.

    In His service,

    Todd Vanden Branden
    PRCA Board Chair


  • Role and Make-Up of the Board

    In society and popular culture today, there have been a lot of reports about school boards and their roles. For clarity, here are the guiding aspects of the PRCA school board, its make-up, responsibilities, and reporting structure.

    Role of the PRCA School Board

    The PRCA School Board is a policy governance board. This means we deal with policies, strategy, mission, vision, and ends. The PRCA School Board is responsible for three key areas: 
    1. Mission integrity (specifically, strategic oversight and governance)
    2. Fiscal oversight
    3. Headmaster hiring and support
    The day-to-day practices of PRCA are not the domain of the school board. While occasionally consulted about practices for feedback, the board does not make decisions about the day-to-day operations of the school. These are the domain of the Office of the Headmaster and the Administrative Leadership Team. The board works to equip and support PRCA leadership to lead well and advance our mission.
     
    School board representatives are closely connected to PRCA in many different ways. Many of us have children (or grandchildren) in the school. We wish to be closely connected to this covenantal community through participation in community events, prayer meetings, Bible studies, etc. However we also must be very careful to not step into the area of tactical execution at PRCA. Conflicts, concerns, or grievances should be addressed using the covenantal model provided to us in scripture. PRCA’s process (based on scripture) can be found on pages 28-29 of the parent/student handbook found in Lions Den. If conflicts, concerns, or grievances are not adequately addressed through that process, then escalation to the board chair is the final step of the process. This process exists because we respect our community tremendously and do not wish to complicate relationships by injecting board involvement into places where it is not needed.

    Make-up of the PRCA School Board

    The PRCA school board can have up to 12 members. We are a board that has diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. However, every single one of us is deeply committed to the mission of PRCA and obeying the Lord’s plan for this school. Board terms are three years, and board members can serve up to two consecutive terms before rotating off for at least one year. As PRCA is a ministry of Catalina Foothills Church (CFC), board candidates must be approved by the CFC Session before being invited to serve. Two-thirds of the school board must be CFC members in good standing, and the board chair and vice-chair also must be CFC members in good standing. One member of the board must be a current elder at CFC.

    There is not a specific set of qualifications for board service. Generally, the School Board looks for people who:
    • Love the Lord
    • Are passionate about all parts of PRCA's mission
    • Are wise
    • Are servant leaders with a heart to lead through policy, mission, vision, strategy, and ends
    • Have a connection to the school

Leadership Team

    • Jerry Bowen

      Interim Headmaster

    • Eric Dowdle

      Deputy Headmaster

    • Jordan Raikes

      High School Principal

    • Brian Rafacz

      Middle School Principal

    • Mandy Rhodes

      Grammar School Principal

    • Jonathon Basurto

      South Principal

Administrative Leadership

Jerry Bowen, Interim Headmaster
Eric Dowdle, Deputy Headmaster
Jordan Raikes, High School Principal
Brian Rafacz, Middle School Principal
Mandy Rhodes, Grammar School Principal
Jonathon Basurto, South Campus Principal
Jason Clapero, Dean of Academics
Veronica Lopez, Chief Financial Officer
Judy Davidson, Interim Director of Advancement
Valerie Turner, Director of Admissions
Jason Cann, Director of Operations
Lonnie Tvrdy, HS Director of Athletics
Lisa Bach, HS Dean of Student Life
Amy Garnand, MS Dean of Student Life, MS Director of Athletics
Rachel Hesse, GS Dean of Student Life
Annette Hartman, Director of Hospitality
Andrea Hendrickson, Director of Guidance
Jody Knox, US Director of Administration
Michelle Herzog, GS Office Manager
Judi Poblano, South Director of Administration
The mission of Pusch Ridge Christian Academy is to teach our students to become like Christ through a classical, Christian education within a covenantal community.

Grammar School (grades DK-5)

6450 N Camino Miraval, Tucson AZ 85718
Phone: 520.529.7080
School office hours: 7:45 AM - 3:30 PM

Upper School (grades 6-12)

9500 N Oracle Road, Tucson AZ 85704
Phone: 520.797.0107
School office hours: 7:50 AM - 4:15 PM

South Campus (grades K-1)

5951 S 12th Ave, Tucson AZ 85706
Phone: 520.433.0285
School office hours: 7:00 AM - 4:30 PM