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Upper School Faculty & Staff (Grades 7-12)

RockneyScott Rockney
Associate Head of School / Upper School Principal

Scott Rockney joined Providence in 2016 after 10 years with  Oaks Christian School (Westlake Village, CA), where he served most recently as Middle School Principal. At Oaks, he worked very closely with the high school administration to ensure students were prepared for a successful academic experience in high school and college. Mr. Rockney played a major leadership role designing a new academic building at Oaks, researching physical architecture and its impact on student learning and school culture and best practices using space and design to improve student learning. 

Mr. Rockney holds a master’s degree in educational administration from California State University at Northridge and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and culture, also from CSU Northridge. Before going to Oaks Christian, he taught Spanish and served as dean of students in a large public high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Scott and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of three children, all enrolled at Providence. 

meadthRodney Meadth
Dean of Students; High School Engineering Academy; Middle School Engineering

Rodney Meadth holds a degree in aerospace engineering from RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia). An Australian by birth, he came to Providence in 2014 after serving as secondary principal at Quisqueya Christian School in Haiti. While at Quisqueya, he taught physics, calculus, geometry, structural engineering, and aerospace engineering. He and his wife, Brittany, are the parents of four sons, of whom three are Providence Lower School students.

Emilee Hurlbert
Executive Assistant to the Head of School & Head of Upper School

Emilee Hurlbert earned a B.A. degree in music at Westmont College. After graduating, she worked in the Westmont Office of Alumni & Parent Relations and served as coordinator for student and young alumni outreach programs. She brought her administrative strength to her elementary alma mater, Heritage Christian Schools in Bakersfield, California, where she wore various hats, including stints as alumni coordinator, after-school program director, administrative assistant, and director of advancement and marketing. She joined Providence in 2016. Ms. Hurlbert runs the front office and assists the Head of School and the Head of Upper School.


Nate Alker
Middle School Science

Nate Alker graduated with a B.S. degree in business administration from San Diego State University and earned a teaching credential from Chapman University. After teaching middle school classes for a number of years in the Santa Ynez Valley, he joined the former Providence Hall faculty in 2011. In addition to teaching, Mr. Alker coaches varsity boys volleyball and leads the activities of the Science Club. He and his wife, Lindsay, are the parents of two children; the eldest is a Providence Preschooler.

max-headshotMaxwell Beers
High School Foundations of the Christian Faith; Digital Media

Max Beers studied at Bethel Seminary and holds a B.A. degree in religion from Luther College. He joined the Providence faculty in 2015, after previously teaching at Thomas Edison High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he was the technology integration coordinator. 


Sarah Bentley
High School Spanish; Upper School Technology Coordinator

Sarah Bentley earned a B.A. degree in Spanish from Azusa Pacific University and a Teaching Credential from Fresno Pacific University.  She was the on-site director of the Trinity University Semester in Spain program in Seville for two years, before joining the former Providence Hall faculty in 2011. She is completing a masters degree through the University of Salamanca, the oldest university in Europe.

Cord Christensen
Middle School Humanities; Latin

Cord Christensen earned a B.A. in English from the University of Hawaii and a teaching credential and M.A. in education from Chapman University. He joined the Providence faculty in 2017 after teaching middle school Bible and history at Oaks Christian School since 2002. He taught at our own Santa Barbara Christian School (now Providence) from 2001—2002.

 jdalyJames Daly
High School Art

James Daly earned a B.A. in studio art from Westmont College and a teaching credential and M.A. in education from the University of California Santa Barbara. An accomplished visual artist and photographer, he joined the former Providence Hall faculty in 2008. He and his wife, Carrie, are the parents of two children who attend Providence Lower School.

ElwoodChris Elwood
High School Humanities

Chris Elwood earned B.A. degrees in both English and philosophy at Westmont College and a teaching credential at Chapman University. Prior to joining the former Providence Hall faculty in 2009, he was the head tennis coach at Westmont. He and his wife, Tabitha, are the parents of two Providence students.

HodsonRebecca Hodson
Director of Performing Arts; Middle & High School Choral Music

Rebecca Hodson earned a B.A. degree in music at Westmont College, an M.A. degree in music with a specialty in choral conducting at the University of Colorado, and a teaching credential from the California State University Stanislaus. Prior to joining the former Providence Hall faculty, Ms. Hodson taught in local schools, directed the Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus, and served as an adjunct professor on the music faculty at Westmont College. Her two children, Nathaniel and Katie, are Providence high school alums.

Taylor Randle Hurt
High School Science; Upper School Technology Coordinator

Taylor Randle Hurt earned a B.A. degree in chemistry and biochemistry from the University of California Santa Barbara through the College of Creative Studies. In addition, he was the first graduate of that college to complete a minor in science and math education at UCSB. He worked full time for a Christian non-profit organization (Cru, formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) serving one year at UCSB and one year in the Middle East. As a Robert Noyce Scholarship recipient, Mr. Hurt earned a teaching credential and a masters of education degree from UCSB. He joined the Providence faculty in 2013.

Susan Isaac
Director of Spiritual Life; Associate Dean of Students; Bible

Susan Isaac earned an M.A. in American studies from Pepperdine University and a B.A. in English from California State University at Northridge. She joined the Providence faculty in 2017 after teaching high school English at Oaks Christian School for eight years.

Matt LongMatt Long
Academic Dean

Matt Long came to Providence in 2016 from Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, where he led the academic support program for two years. He played an integral role in founding the Valor Tutoring Center, developing new support programs for all students, and overseeing the peer tutoring program. Since 2004, Mr. Long has worked in education in a variety of settings and roles, including public, private, and charter schools. He brings to Providence a passion for helping students develop a well-rounded skill set in order to reach their potential in the classroom, in the athletic arena, and in their future endeavors. He holds a masters degree in sports psychology from John F. Kennedy University and earned a masters degree in education and a bachelors degree in business administration from the University of Oregon. He and his wife, Robin, are the parents of two children; the eldest is a Providence Preschooler.

Scott Mitchell
Physical Education / Outdoor Education

Scott Mitchell holds an M.S. degree in exercise science from the California University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in sociology from UCLA, where he played football for the Bruins. He joined the Providence faculty in 2017. 

Hayley PentonHayley Penton
Director of College Counseling and Student Life

Hayley Penton came to Providence in 2016 from Oaks Christian School, where she served as student activities director for two years. During that time, she worked closely with faculty and administration to build a strong student leadership development program. Prior to working at Oaks Christian, Mrs. Penton volunteered as a Young Life leader for five years in Santa Barbara. She holds a B.A. degree in communication studies from Westmont College and a certificate of college counseling from the University of California San Diego.

 B RottmanBruce Rottman
Humanities Department Chair; High School Humanities and Economics and Government; Libertas Scholars Program Director

Bruce Rottman earned a B.A. degree in history and secondary education teaching credential at Calvin College and an M.A. degree in international relations at San Francisco State University. He has taught in Christian and independent high schools since 1980, including Naples (Naples, FL) Christian Academy, Contra Costa Christian School (Walnut Creek, CA), Lynden Christian School (Lynden, WA), and Brookfield Academy (Brookfield, WI). He joined the former Providence Hall faculty in 2009. Mr. Rottman was the recipient of the NASDAQ Award presented to the top five economic educators in the nation in 2000 and was twice the recipient of awards presented by the Wisconsin Council on Economic Education. He lectures for the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and Young America’s Foundation (YAF).

Mrs. Allison SmelleyAllison Smelley
Middle School Math

Allison Smelley earned a B.A. in sociology from Westmont College and graduated with honors. She also earned a California teaching credential through Westmont. Over the years, Mrs. Smelley has enjoyed three different stints as a teacher at the former Santa Barbara Christian School, most recently rejoining the faculty in 2012. She has also taught piano lessons for more than 25 years.

Luke SunukjianLSunukjian
High School Mathematics

Luke Sunukjian was a familiar face at Providence before joining the Upper School teaching faculty in 2016. He had previously coached JV girls volleyball for the Upper School.

Mr. Sunukjian was raised in Santa Barbara and grew to love playing volleyball while at San Marcos High School. He played on an elite-level club team while studying at Westmont. After completing a bachelor’s degree in business and economics, Sunukjian began his career of teaching math and coaching volleyball, first in southern California and then in Washington, D.C.  After completing a masters degree in mathematics from The George Washington University, Sunukjian and his family (wife Melanie and four children) moved back to Santa Barbara in 2011 and he taught math at San Marcos High School. His eldest daughter is enrolled in the Upper School and looks forward to someday having her dad as her math teacher.

Ms. Carri SvobodaCarri Svoboda
Middle School Humanities

Carri Svoboda earned a B.A. in English with honors from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1992. In 1993, she earned a single subject teaching credential in English from UCSB, where she was named Student Teacher of the Year. She is a Fellow of the South Coast Writing Project and enjoys continuing participation in teacher education and enrichment. Ms. Svoboda taught eighth-grade GATE classes at Santa Barbara Junior High for seven years before joining the former Santa Barbara Christian School faculty in 2000.