Our Staff

"RPCNS has been an amazing first school experience for both my child and me. I love getting to watch her learn and grow and know that I am part of that process, too."

I joined RPCNS in the spring of 1994, when my son, Tommy, joined Mrs. Kennedy's Twos class and my daughter, Katherine, was in the Sibling Nursery. Both my children graduated from RPCNS, and I have many fond memories of their time here. As a parent here I held several positions including Educational Services Coordinator, Class Rep., Sibling Nursery Coordinator and my husband was the assistant Treasurer the year Katherine was in the Fours. In the spring of 1996 the Board decided to expand, and Gail Boyle, the former director, asked if I would be willing to get my 90-Hour certificate in Early Childhood Education. I did, through MCCA, and started teaching here in Sept. 1996; Katherine was in the Threes. Three years later, when Gail Boyle resigned, the Board asked me to consider becoming director, I did accept. I have been director since September 1999. I have taught Twos, Threes, and Fours - this year I'm teaching the Fours again!

I attended Maryville College in Tennessee my freshman and sophomore years, then transferred to S.U.N.Y. at Albany, graduating in 1976 with a B.A. in European History. Threes years later I entered Colgate University's M.A.T. program in social studies, completing 90% of the program. I taught 7th grade social studies for Greenwich Connecticut Public Schools for five years before moving to Washington, DC and marrying my husband. Having children and enrolling them in RPCNS opened a whole new world to me. Working here has allowed me to combine my hobbies of music, photography, art and gardening with my professional training as a teacher. I love the children, tempera paint, glue and glitter. It's been a real privilege to work with and get to know so many wonderful parents.

Melissa Jordan
Director and Fours Teacher

The teachers at RPCNS have a passion for cooperative education. Our teachers have four-year degrees, many years of teaching experience, and complete over 12 hours of continuing education every year.

Tracy Niebauer
3 Day Threes Teacher
Stay & Play

As a former teacher and fairly new parent, I was thrilled to find the RPCNS community when my son was ready to start preschool.  He joined the 2s class at RPCNS in 2012, just as my daughter was born; consequently, within one month’s time, I had a son enrolled in the school and a daughter attending the Sibling Nursery.  During my children’s tenure at RPCNS, I was privileged to serve as the science teacher for two years and on the Board as the Community Services Coordinator for four years.  During the 2017-2018 school year, I expanded my role in the community and began working with the Stay-and-Play program.  As of 2018, both of my children have graduated from RPCNS, but I am thrilled to remain part of this amazing community by continuing to work with the Stay-and-Play program.

In addition to my six years cooping at RPCNS, I bring fifteen years of teaching experience to the Stay-and-Play Program.  During these years, I taught middle school science and health, high school biology, and after school science classes for kindergarten and elementary-aged kids.  Further, I ran camp and after school programs for children ages four through seventeen, as well as an outdoor hiking, camping, and backpacking program.   I enjoy interacting with kids of all ages and in all types of environments, including the informal classroom environment present for the Stay-and-Play program.  I am thrilled to put to use my creative juices again, preparing art projects and activities for the kids to enjoy.  Theme days were a particular hit this past school year:  favorites being – among others -  “Sport Day,” “Mermaid Day,” “Train Day,” and “Camping Day.”  I look forward to replicating these and creating other fun days throughout this up-and-coming school year.  Be sure to let me know if you have any theme day suggestions, and I hope to see your child(ren) during Stay-and-Play!

Kate Harrell
Twos Teacher

I am excited to be teaching the two-year-old class this year! This is my second year teaching at RPCNS and my third year as a parent. My son, Liam, started at RPCNS  in the twos class and will be in the fours class this year and my daughter, Caroline, will start in the twos. I graduated from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!) with my masters in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, and then began teaching Kindergarten. I have also worked with children in many different areas; I was a long term nanny in college, I’ve worked in my church’s nursery and taught Sunday School, as well as volunteering at camps and working in Liam’s classroom last year.


My family has come to Rockville by way of Hawaii. I met my husband, Mat, at Virginia Tech and we married a couple of years after I graduated while he was in Medical School. After Medical School we moved to Hawaii for Mat’s Army residency in pediatrics, shortly after arriving we found out Liam was joining our family and I decided to take a short break from teaching to be at home with him. Caroline was born 2 months before we moved to Maryland. My husband is currently in a fellowship at Walter Reed and the kids and I enjoy exploring all that the DMV has to offer. We love to be outdoors and playing at all the parks in the area.


I cannot wait to be a part of your experience at RPCNS and a part of your child’s education.  From the moment our family came to RPCNS it felt like home for us and we have loved being a part of the community and I hope you will feel the same way. I am very excited to be able to wear the teacher, parent, co-oper hats and work with all of you to make it a great year!

Regina Andrade
Music Teacher

Hi!  I just wanted to tell you a little about myself.  I own & operate Music Time for Tots.  I have always had a passion for music and young children, so I thought, why not combine the two and have the best of both worlds.  At an early age I discovered the great pleasure you can get from making music, and since that time music has been a big part of my life.  

I graduated in December 1984 with a technical degree in instrument (piano) from the Adventist Academy of Arts, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Then from 1982-1984 I was a piano accompanist for the "Little Singers of the Hill", a well-known elementary school choir at the Adventist Education Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil.  I followed that in 1984 to 1988 as the conductor of the children's choir "Little Singers of the Hill" also in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  I graduated in December 1986 from the Adventist College of Education, at the Adventist Education Institute, Sao Paulo, Brazil, with a Bachelor degree in Education, with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education, and specialization in Vocational and Guidance Counseling.

Since coming to the US I’ve been successful in advancing my career in music as both a performer and an educator.  From 1991 to the present I have worked as a singer at the Spencerville Adventist Church Choir.  In addition, from 1994 to the present I have been a private piano teacher.  I then added in 1995 to 2015 working as a singer and section leader at the Georgetown Presbyterian Church Choir, in Washington, DC.  I’ve also taught music during at several area schools: Hadley Acres Adventist School, The Golden School of Music, Spencerville Adventist Academy, Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Temple Beth Amy Nursery School. I am also currently the Director of Children's Music at Georgetown Presbyterian Church in DC, Washington, DC.

I’m so pleased to bring my music program to the young students at RPCNS!

Megan Coate, OTR/L
Wee Ones

My first year at RPCNS was in 2009 when my older son began pre-school, and our family has been a part of this community nearly every year since then, with my younger son and my daughter receiving their preschool education at RPCNS.


In my professional life, I have worked as a pediatric occupational therapist in private practice since 2001. I grew up in Washington State and attended the University of Puget Sound, where I received my B.S. in Occupational Therapy.  My areas of focus include sensory processing disorders, social-emotional development, and regulatory disorders in young children.  The best therapy I can provide for a child is one in which parents are active players, and my role is to support each parent in understanding their child's individual needs


I am excited to be teaching a class where parents can learn more about their toddler’s development, feel confident about their interactions with their young children, and get questions answered.  Our young children change so quickly – just when we as parents think we’ve got it figured out, our children challenge us in a new way! I am looking forward to playing with and learning about your Wee Ones this coming school year.

Tracy Saltarelli
Admissions Coordinator

I was born in rural Howard County, Maryland.  I attended the University of Maryland where I studied Psychology and Women’s Studies and received my Bachelor’s degree.  I married my husband, Jim, in 1997 and we have two beautiful boys, James and Jonah.


I worked for many years in non-profit human services, before having children and staying at home with them.  I worked in a psychiatric rehabilitation program in Prince George’s county in a number of capacities: Residential Counselor, Employment Specialist, Development Director, and Asst. Program Director.  I then moved to a non-profit in Washington DC where I served as the Program Manager of a large day program and employment program for adults with Developmental Delays. 


I am an avid supporter of cooperative education.  My oldest son was in a cooperative play school when we lived in DC. When our family moved to Maryland, the first thing I did was find a co-op, RPCNS, for my youngest son. I loved the sense of community and the relationships we formed with other families while he was in RPCNS. While my son attended RPCNS, I held the jobs of Fundraising Chair and school Co-Chair. I am so happy to now work as Admission Coordinator, bringing families to the school and helping to support the exceptional work of this school and its teachers.