We LOVE our teachers!

Desert Dawn teachers have incredibly diverse backgrounds & experience that they all bring to the classroom. One thing they all have in common- they love kids!

Meet the Office

Mr.Couvdos, Owner

Mr. Couvdos PhotoNick and his wife, Jane Couvdos started Desert Dawn Private School in 1987 to provide a safe, loving, educational environment where parents could feel good leaving their children.  Mr. Couvdos is a graduate of Arizona State University where he studied Elementary Education and a former Arizona public school teacher.  He was a U.S. delegate to the first U.S./China Joint Conference on Early Childhood Education held in Beijing, China in 1993.  Mr. Couvdos loves working with young children and believes a quality early childhood educational program is an essential foundation for a lifetime of learning.


Nicole Ellisor, Director

Nicole is the daughter of Desert Dawn owners Nick and Jane Couvdos and has been either helping or working at Desert Dawn since it opened in 1987. She graduated from Arizona State University in 1998 with a degree in Elementary Education and has worked in all areas of the school.  Nicole was recently named Director of Desert Dawn but continues to teach art, as well. Nicole and her husband, Bryan have a daughter named Amara, who attended Desert Dawn, and a Boxer named Fonzie.



Karla Rose, Assistant Director

Karla graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Theatre. She has been working at Desert Dawn since 1999 as a Goat teacher and Bunny Teacher. She now works full time as the Assistant Director taking care of the office administration and admissions. Karla and her husband Terry have two children, Madison and Lincoln, both of whom attended Desert Dawn.



Meet the Bunny Teachers


Miss Sherri, Teacher

Miss Sherri

Miss Sherri started her career at Desert Dawn in 2006.  When she isn’t teaching, Sherri keeps busy with her four children, Brittany Spaniel, two cats, a hamster, a snake and two turtles.





Miss Bree, Teacher

Miss Bree has worked at Desert Dawn since 2011. She feels fortunate to work with the Bunnies and introducing them to learning.



Meet the Goat Teachers

Miss Katie

Miss Katie has worked at Desert Dawn since 1998 and was one of the original Bunny teachers.  She graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BS in Finance.
Katie and her husband Bob have a son, Corey, who attends ASU.  In her spare time, Katie enjoys running, hiking, and reading.






Meet the Pony Teachers

Mrs. Schahn

Miss ShaunMrs. Schahn has been the pre-k and Kindergarten teacher since August of 1989. She has a BS degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. Schahn also attended Ottawa University and the University of Phoenix. She has maintained her teaching certification and was recently awarded an endorsement in Early Childhood Education.



Mrs. Blunier

Miss BMrs. B. worked in the Paradise Valley School District in the Special Education Department, assisting children with special needs, for 15 years before finding her special place here at Desert Dawn. She has been here since 1990. Mrs. B. is married with 2 children and 4 grandchildren.

Meet the Aides



Miss Osiris, Aide

osiris bio pic (300x259)Miss Osiris is currently an student at Paradise Valley Community College.  She is a graduate of Paradise Valley High School and has been at Desert Dawn since 2013.  Miss Osiris works with all age groups.





Miss Yesenia, Aide

Miss Yesenia is a graduate of Paradise Valley High School.  She is currently attending Paradise Valley Community College pursuing a degree in education.  She hopes to become a 6th grade teacher.  Miss Yesenia has been a valuable part of Desert Dawn since 2013 and teaches our Spanish program.

Miss Madison, Aide

madison and osiris

Miss Madison  currently attends North Canyon High School and has been with Desert Dawn since 2013.  However, she was also a student from 2001-2005.  She hopes to pursue a career working with children and enjoys working with all the classes.




Miss Bethany, Aide

Miss Bethany has been with Desert Dawn since 2013 and is a valuable part of our Bunny Room.  She is a graduate of Paradise Valley High School and currently attends Paradise Valley Community College where she is pursuing a degree in psychology.

Miss Moniquea, Aide

Miss Moniquea is a graduate of Chaparral High School and is currently attending Paradise Valley Community College.  Miss Moniquea is the youngest of the Couvdos children and attended Desert Dawn from 1998-2002.  Miss Moniquea has been a valuable asset of Desert Dawn since 2012 and enjoys working with the Bunnies.