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 member 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 our enrollment from just the two larger classrooms, and Gail Boyle, the former director, asked me if I would be willing to get my 90-Hour certificate in Early Childhood Education.  I was and 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 take the director’s position, which I did.  I have been director since September 1999.  I taught the Twos for ten years and the Threes for eight before teaching the Fours.  This is my fifteenth year teaching the Fours.


By way of background information:  I attended Maryville College in eastern Tennessee my freshman and sophomore years, then transferred to S.U.N.Y. @ Albany, and graduated 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, where I received tenure, 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, the challenge of putting together a well-planned lesson, and I discovered that I also love tempera paint, glue and glitter.  It’s been my very real pleasure and privilege to work with and get to know so many wonderful parent members!  My life has truly been enriched!

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.

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Tracy Niebauer
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 before my daughter was born. Consequently, within a couple of months, 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 enrichment 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 & Play program. By the summer of 2018, both my children had graduated from RPCNS. 

I am thrilled to remain part of this amazing community by continuing to work with the Stay & Play program and, since the fall of 2019, teaching the Threes class.  In addition to my six years co-oping at RPCNS, I bring fifteen years of teaching experience to the community. During those years, I taught middle school science and health, high school biology, and after school science classes for kindergarten and elementary-aged kids.  Furthermore, 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 both the preschool classroom and the informal classroom environment of the Stay & Play program. I am thrilled to put to use my creative juices again, preparing lesson plans, art projects and activities for the kids to enjoy. 

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Amanda Kornfield
Twos Teacher

I’m very excited to be joining the RPCNS Team for the 2020-2121 school year!  


I entered the world of early childhood education seven years ago, after my two children became independent in their own studies.  After receiving my 90 hour Early Childhood Education certification, I served as a Lead Teacher at The Children’s Learning Center in Aspen Hill followed by The Tikvat Israel Early Education Center in Rockville.  I received my B.A. from The University of Maryland at College Park in television and film production – skills I acquired have been beneficial in my ability to engage with my two and three-year-old students, and to capitalized on my ability to be an “out of the box” thinker!


I also have an interest in early intervention and special needs, as both of my children are on the Autism Spectrum, and early intervention was key in their successful development.  As a matter of fact, my initial decision to switch careers and become a teacher was influenced by all of the amazing educators that have been in my own children’s lives, and how much they helped my own family!


As for my personal background, I am a Washington area native.  I grew up in Chevy Chase, MD and even attended a cooperative nursery school - Bannockburn Co-op class of ‘73.  I graduated from B-CC High School in ‘87 and completed my studies at UMCP in ‘92.  After several years working in Los Angeles, CA I moved back to the area in the late 90’s and married my wonderful husband Tom.  We have two great kids, Sam-Henry 17, and Madeline 14, and a super goofy dog named Nathan.


I’m incredibly excited to see what this new year will bring and getting to know all of the families that call RPCNS home!

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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!

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Graceny Jimenz
Support Staff

I was born and raised in The Bronx, New York, and lived my whole life within a 15-mile radius of Yankee stadium until a few years ago.  Full of culture and music my New York neighborhoods were always full of wonder and surprise, but not always in a good way.  In 2015 I gave birth to my first child and right then I knew I wanted to offer him a more suburban life.  My husband and I relocated to North Bethesda in the fall of 2018, just weeks before my son’s 3rd birthday.


When I was 6 months pregnant with my second child, finding a preschool for Gracen became a top priority.  A friend told me about a cooperative school in Rockville where parents work alongside the teachers.  I was intrigued and enrolled Gracen in the Twos class; my Journey with RPCNS had begun.  My time with the teachers and other parents left such a huge mark on me so that when RPCNS’ Spring 2021 session was enrolling, I found a way to volunteer as a Teachers' Assistant.


In New York, I worked in the bustling hospitality industry.  I held 3 jobs and went to school part-time.  While in school I took life-changing courses in psychology, philosophy, and sociology.  My dream is to find a career that allows me to help inner-city kids develop healthy mind and body relationships.  With RPCNS I am taking the first steps toward that goal.  I am very excited to learn from and with our children.  My son Gracen graduated from RPCNS in the spring of 2021 and my daughter Madison is now old enough to be enrolled for the 2021-2022 school year.

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.