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Meet the Team

David Jenkins
Assistant Head of Upper School for Student Life and College Counseling
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“I strive to build trusting relationships with our students. I do this by being accessible, looking for ways to say yes, and encouraging students to take risks and learn from setbacks. I believe our students can be the best versions of themselves by meeting high expectations through hard work, learning to be resilient, and treating others with dignity. This is how I inspire greatness.”

For all parents, the most significant and treasured people in their lives are their children. As a parent of an LJCDS graduate, David Jenkins understands the trust and confidence parents put in the school in which their children are enrolled. He works closely with students to position them for success. He advises juniors and seniors in the selection and enrollment process of their classes during their final two years in the Upper School. He is a leader of the advisory program, advises the student-led Ethics Council and oversees the Peer Leader Program and the college counseling team.

He spent his first 12 years in the Upper School teaching in the math department and continues to teach today. He also coached the girl's varsity soccer team and the girl's varsity lacrosse team and served as the sophomore class dean. In 2014, Mr. Jenkins joined the Upper School administrative team. As a teacher, coach and parent of an alumna, Mr. Jenkins brings a unique and valuable perspective to his position.

Mr. Jenkins’s goal is to provide families with resources and support to help navigate the college admissions process and help reduce their uncertainty and anxiety. He strives to ensure that families feel like they are heard, cared for, valued and treated with dignity when they begin their partnership with the college counseling team.

Coach and Athletic Liaison for College Counseling and Athletic Transportation Coordinator
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“As the head women’s varsity basketball coach at LJCDS since 1997, I strive to inspire greatness for a better world by establishing a culture of excellence within our programs. It is my goal to develop strong leaders in our community and instill qualities of passion, toughness, resiliency, selflessness, interior accountability and unwavering commitment.”

As a coach, ninth-grade adviser, and athletic liaison for college counseling, Terri Bamford has taken on the task of helping to mold our students and student-athletes into future leaders. Coach Bamford is committed to assisting her athletes and advisees in becoming responsible, productive and successful individuals. She provides endless support to LJCDS students and seeks to teach the importance of leadership, teamwork, character and commitment both in the classroom and on the basketball court.  

During her coaching tenure at LJCDS, Coach Bamford’s teams have won 14 league titles, 13 San Diego Section CIF titles, eight Southern Regional Championship titles and four State Championship titles. Coach Bamford was named the CalHi Sports Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2012. Thirty of Coach Bamford’s players have gone on to play Division I basketball.

Prior to her arrival at LJCDS, Coach Bamford served as head coach of San Pasqual High School’s girls basketball team and led Mira Costa College to two undefeated Pacific Coast titles. Prior to Mira Costa College, Coach Bamford led Palomar College to its first Pacific Coast Conference title in 1994.  

Coach Bamford lives in Camino Del Sur, and her son Frankie, class of 2012, is an LJCDS lifer.
Co-Director of College Counseling
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“I inspire greatness for a better world by challenging students to create their own paths in life. Our conversations go beyond simply talking about colleges. To grow in all aspects of their lives, I encourage them to examine their values.”

Piotr Dabrowski joined LJCDS’s Upper School as co-director of college counseling in 2013. Prior to working with LJCDS, he worked at Sage Ridge School as the director of college counseling and registrar. He also served as advisor to the community service club and student government and coached volleyball and track.

Before joining Sage Ridge, Mr. Dabrowski was a college counselor at the Shenzhen College of International Education (SCIE), in China. He also served as a head of house and assistant soccer coach at SCIE. During his time in China, he picked up Mandarin and an insatiable taste for Chinese food.

Mr. Dabrowski earned his Bachelor of Arts in economics from Illinois Wesleyan University and then went to Lehigh University for postgraduate work, earning a certificate in international school counseling.

In his spare time, he enjoys volleyball, driving (not in San Diego traffic), golfing, surfing and traveling. Mr. Dabrowski has been fortunate enough to have traveled to more than 30 countries so far and would love to experience Spain next.
Co-Director of College Counseling
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"I inspire greatness for a better world by helping students recognize their strengths and helping them focus their efforts on using those strengths as a foundation for their future. Our work in college counseling caters to students as individuals and personalizes their college search process. We help students identify their values and hopes for the future and in turn, find colleges that will support them in achieving their goals."

Damien Fatongia joined La Jolla Country Day School in January 2019 after being on the “other side of the desk” for 13 years. Prior to LJCDS, Mr. Fatongia worked as associate director for West Coast Admissions for Trinity College in Hartford, CT and also spent a decade working for Saint Mary’s College of California in San Francisco. As a first-generation college student, Mr. Fatongia’s interest in college admissions was driven by his high school counselor who helped him every step of the way as he was conducting his own college search.

Mr. Fatongia earned his Bachelor of Arts in sociology and anthropology from Saint Mary’s College of California and has done postgraduate work at his alma mater in the School of Education’s counseling program.

Mr. Fatongia and his partner, Tonja have two children: Sloane ’31 and Lily. In his spare time, he enjoys watching his children on the soccer field and spending time at the beach. You can also find him on the rugby field from time to time with his rugby club OMBAC.

Co-Director of College Counseling
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“I feel strongly that through the journey of the college admission process I am able to inspire greatness for a better world. As I tell every student who steps into my office, they are exactly where they need to be with regard to the steps that lead to college. Each student has his or her own educational path, and I am poised to help them get from wherever they might be when they first walk through the door to where they are headed for college.”

Valencia Valentine Hamman joined the LJCDS college counseling staff in 2007 after spending more than 20 years working in the field of college admission. A native of Peoria, IL, Ms. Valentine Hamman began her admission career at Beloit College in Wisconsin, where she worked for four years, then she moved to San Diego, where she was a member of the admission staff at the University of San Diego for more than 12 years. She also worked as a West Coast regional representative for Cornell University for four years, recruiting students from all over the west to attend Cornell. Admission work began for her as a way to give back to her alma mater, but it has become a lifelong passion.

Ms. Valentine Hamman attended Beloit College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in French and psychology. She has lived in San Diego since 1991 with her husband, Peter, a facilities engineer for a start-up biotechnology company. They have two children: Jackson (LJCDS class of 2020) and Isabella, a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. They all love being a part of the LJCDS family.
May Vukotich
College Counseling Administrative Assistant
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“I inspire greatness for a better world by being the support system for families and students to access the tools they need to manage their child’s school activities and events and overall LJCDS experience. I strive to find ways to improve the experience of all our constituents. Through a lending hand and being available for assistance, I want to make sure everyone feels welcome and part of our community.”
May Vukotich graduated from Cal State, Fullerton, with the hopes of becoming an educator, but her career path took her to the corporate sector, working in the home building, food, technology and mortgage industries. When the opportunity to work at La Jolla Country Day School was presented to her in April 2008, Ms. Vukotich said it felt like she was given a second chance to get back to the field she loves.
Ms. Vukotich considers herself an “almost” native of San Diego, as her father was stationed in San Diego with the U.S. Navy when she was a child. With no shortage of San Diego sights, you may see Ms. Vukotich with her family out-and-about town. With her love for technology, Ms. Vukotich is constantly discovering new online programs and apps.
May and her husband, Stefan, are the proud parents of two LJCDS students: Natalia ’20 and Iliana ’25. She shares, “We are excited about the new technologies that allow us to take courses together, learn a new craft together, video-chat with family abroad or even across town.”