“A school is only as good as its teachers and the Carden Country School is blessed with amazing teachers. Not only are they capable and effective, they bring a faith and love of life into the classroom that informs everything they do. It is a wonderful feeling to send your child to school knowing that the person they spend the next 7 hours with cares deeply about your child’s academic and personal development–that the goal of your child’s teacher is to help your child become the best person they can be and to achieve the highest possible levels of learning. The result is happy, healthy children who are uniquely positioned for whatever challenges come next."
— Carden Parent
Mr. Christopher Harvey
7th and 8th Grade Teacher and Headmaster
I started my career at the Carden Country School in 1997. My daughter Sarah was entering Mrs. Otte’s Junior Primary class, and I had been asked to serve as Director and Middle School Teacher. I was first involved with the school in 1991 when the Lovely Mrs. Harvey saw an ad in the Bainbridge Island Review for the Bainbridge Carden School. After going to an informational meeting, we knew our children would thrive there.
Sarah’s path to the Carden School was straightforward: she followed her three older siblings through Carden. My path was a little more circuitous. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Willamette University in 1984. I worked as a political operative and a retail banker before earning my MBA from the University of Washington in 1991. I then worked in the corporate business world for several years. While my work was interesting, intellectual and cutting edge, it remained unfulfilling. After an epiphany in 1995, I earned my Washington Teacher Certification from Antioch University in 1997.
While the first part of my adult life was important in leading me to this place, I fully believe that God was training me to spend my life here.
Mrs. Sue Ann Lund
5th and 6th Grade Teacher
I often state that I experience the students at their best; they arrive well-rested, fed, and ready to learn. Part of me even feels a little guilty that I should be so blessed by your children. It is my desire to understand each student individually and to see each one through God’s eyes. This can only be accomplished by relinquishing each day to God through prayer and that is just how the school day begins in my class.
My journey at Carden began in 2000 when I taught the Junior Primary class; it continued as I substituted in several other grades and finally became the 5th-6th grade teacher in 2006. I have a degree in pharmacy and continue to hold a current license as a registered pharmacist, but my heart lies in teaching.
My expectations are extremely high, and it is my goal to help each student realize his/her personal best. If one was listening outside my classroom door, it would not be unusual to hear me say, “I believe in you, I know that you are capable, dream big, strive for excellence, and never ever give up.”
Mrs. Deidre Raben
3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
Mrs. Raben first studied at West Virginia State University after receiving athletic scholarships in softball and basketball and has been involved in youth sports programs ever since. She and Mr. Raben came to Bainbridge in 1999. She is a vital part of Youth Programs at Bainbridge First Baptist Church, leading Junior Church, Summer Vacation Bible Study and Christmas Youth Program Director. Her professional background ranges from computer hardware and software to real estate. The Raben family joined the Carden community in 2011 when Miss Gracy joined Mrs. Rohl’s 3rd grade class and Miss Addie will be in Mrs. Hellriegel’s JP class this fall. Mrs. Raben earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Western Governors University and a K-12 Washington State Teacher Certificate in 2008. She substituted extensively for the Bainbridge School District and the Island School in several grades and subjects before she was hired as a 1st grade co-teacher at the Island School last year. She completed Mrs. Caron’s Carden Teacher Training Program this May and has truly taken our Carden philosophy and curriculum to heart.
Mrs. Susan Otte
1st and 2nd Grade Teacher
Mrs. Otte connected with Carden Country School in 1991 in answer to a prayer. She knew Mrs. Caron and saw her vision to create a school that was a cut-above other schools and an outreach for understanding the Lord.
Mrs. Otte’s students explore the world of butterflies and insects, sea life and beaches, and reading and arithmetic. She incorporates an enthusiasm for God’s creations while honing the academic foundation laid during junior primary. Preparation and confidence are her goal.
Mrs. Otte holds a degree in home education with an emphasis on child development. She loves being with her family, reading, skiing, and meeting life’s adventures.
Mrs. Coleen Turner
Junior Primary Teacher
Mrs. Turner has been affiliated with Carden for over 20 years, since joining us as a first grader back in the last century. She graduated from Carden in 2004, went to Bainbridge High School and Running Start at Olympic College and continued on to Corban University in Salem, Oregon. She completed her Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education in 2011 and her Masters Degree in Education (Reading Specialist) in 2014.
Mrs. Turner does everything with intention and integrity, and she lights up a room with her smile, energy, and enthusiasm. She is a model of professional excellence and she displays love for each of her students. Her classroom has been a safe haven for exploration, learning and growth, not just for her own Junior Primary students, but for older students as well. My middle school students have appreciated her guidance in developing their ability and desire to nurture her shorter charges.
She executes our Carden curriculum beautifully, yet flavors it with her own experience and perspective, suggesting and making positive and constructive changes and additions when necessary and appropriate, with the guidance and counsel of her Master Teacher. Her kindergarten students have excellent social, academic and intellectual skills when they enter first grade, but much more importantly, they are eager for the new grade to begin because they have known safety, joy and love under Mrs. Turner’s care and have already experienced the success that comes from diligent attention and effort in school. She communicates well and frequently with parents, who gain the requisite trust and faith in their child’s teacher, creating a true and effective team. She participates in school wide activities and is respected and loved by her colleagues.
Mrs. Stephanie Rohl
Mrs. Rohl has been involved with the Carden Country School in a variety of capacities since the school’s opening in 1990. During the early years, Mrs. Rohl often assisted in the classroom and worked as a substitute. She served as the Director of the school until 1996, and remained an active member of the Board of Directors for several years after that. Mrs. Rohl taught second and third grade during 1993-1997, and was our third and fourth grade classroom teacher from 2002-2015. She has now transitioned back to the position of Director, managing our office, communications, outreach, marketing and admissions.
Originally from San Diego, California, Mrs. Rohl has lived on Bainbridge Island since 1989. She received her BA in Public Administration from San Diego State University. Mrs. Rohl is married and is the mother of two grown children, both graduates of Carden Country School. She is an active member of her church and serves as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.
Mrs. Ruth Caron
Founder & Master Teacher Emeritus
Mrs. Caron grew up in Newport Beach, California, as the youngest of three children. She graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and later went on to get her teaching credential and take graduate studies in music and English. In 1988 she moved to Bainbridge Island with her husband, Tony, and three children, Kurt, Jamie, and Alex, who are now grown. In 1989 the Lord called her to start a Christian school.
Carden Country School opened in her basement in the fall of 1990 with nine students. It now has over 40 students with 5 full time teachers, and a full auxiliary staff. Mrs. Caron retired from full time teaching in 2006, and finally from all her duties in 2015, but continues as the master teacher emeritus and mentor. She is continually amazed at what God has done here. His grace is sufficient for her.