"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."
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.
As the new Director of RPCNS, I am excited for the changes ahead for our wonderful school.
I am an avid supporter of cooperative education. My oldest child, Jaymie, 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, Jonah. 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. In 2016, I was hired as the Admission Coordinator.
I worked for many years in non-profit management, 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 oversaw a program with 100+ individuals and 40+ staff members.
I hope to carry on the vision, mission, and culture of RPCNS as set in motion by the previous administration and Board. It is my honor to be given a chance to guide RPCNS through its next chapter.
Hello, I'm Lauren! I love smiling, hugging, being silly, and giving high-fives. Teaching has always been my life's passion. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I coached 8under on a swim team, was a camp counselor, and taught swim lessons. I have a BA in Education and have taught Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade throughout the last 16 years. I have a M.ED in Curriculum and Instruction and I am also a licensed reading/instructional coach. I spent a majority of my focus in grad school researching literacy expectations/outcomes around young boys aged 4-7. I'm passionate about kids being kids and having the opportunity to learn through play. I believe that young children thrive in an environment rich in songs, poems, books, play, nature, art, and free choice. I want all kids to feel successful, happy and loved in my classroom community.
My teaching journey began in Florida where I taught 1st grade. I moved to DC in 2008 and taught Kindergarten for 6 years. My husband Will and I met in 2009 and got married in 2014 before leaving the area for him to attend Dartmouth for his MBA. I taught 2nd grade in NH for a few years before we moved to Boston in 2016. We moved to Rockville in 2022 and love living in Woodley Gardens. I have two beautiful girls, Dylan (1st grade) and Taylor (2's Class).
In my free time, I love to be outdoors. I also enjoy camping, hiking, walking my dog, volunteering for my sorority, and being with friends. I own my own business, MoCoNaturePlay, which are outdoor classes based on the Tinkergarten curriculum, right here in Rockville. Classes run year-round outside in nature and focus on themes such as empathy, communication, and wellness. I look forward to incorporating these lessons into the 4's class as well at times.
I can't wait to meet all the families and be a part of this wonderful community! Please feel free to reach out at any time with questions or just to say hello!
Mon/Wed/Fri Threes Teacher
Stay & Play Coordinator
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.
Tu/Thurs. Threes Teacher
I have been a part of the RPCNS community since 2016. My oldest daughter, Clara, started in the Twos that fall, and I was very pregnant with my younger daughter, Violet. When I co-oped in Clara’s classes, Violet was in the nursery, until she was old enough to be enrolled in the Twos a couple of years later. It has been a wonderful experience to be so closely involved with my daughters’ earliest educational experience.
I am originally from California, and still have family members there. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in history, with a teaching pre credential in social science from California State University, Chico. I have spent most of the last 10 years as a stay-at-home mom with my girls. In doing so I discovered a real joy when doing art projects, cooking projects, and reading books with them, and I also love doing these activities in the classroom.
Outside of RPCNS I love to spend time with my family and friends through various adventures, cooking and baking, spending time in nature, reading and listening to podcasts, and I am also the PTA president at my youngest daughter's school.
While a parent member I held a variety of school jobs including Librarian, Class Representative, Community Services Coordinator, and Co-Chair for three years. During my time as a parent member my family has gained lifelong friendships and a wonderful sense of community! As a new RPCNS teacher I am looking forward to working with you and your children in the coming school year. This time in your child’s young life is invaluable and filled with so many emotions. In choosing RPCNS you will be able to watch your child grow and thrive in their first school years. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to continue sharing this experience! It will be such a special transition to become a teacher at the school my daughters' attended.
Monday/Tues/Wed Twos Teacher
I’m very excited to be returning the RPCNS Team for another school year!
I entered the world of early childhood education in 2014, 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 19, and Madeline 16, a super goofy dog named Nathan, and our all black cat Nigel.
I’m incredibly excited to see what this new school year will bring and getting to know all of the families that call RPCNS home!
Thur/Friday Twos Teacher
I am so excited to be back with the RPCNS community! My family started at RPCNS in 2017 when my oldest, Liam, was in the Twos class and my daughter, Caroline, was in the nursery. I loved it so much I signed on as the Twos teacher the next year. I taught for 2 years at RPCNS before the Army moved our family to Hawaii. I will now be back working as the second Twos teacher and can’t wait!
I grew up in Virginia and went to Virginia Tech (GO HOKIES!) where I earned my masters degree in Elementary Education. I first began teaching as a Kindergarten and Frist grade teacher but as I started to have a family of my own I decided their education would be my priority and I was lucky enough to be able to leave the classroom to raise my kids, this is where I found a love for the co-operative structure of learning at RPCNS.
Our family is made up of myself, my husband Mat, and our 4 kids; Liam (a RPCNS graduate) who is 8, Caroline (also a RPCNS alumni) who is 6, Cora who is 3 and will be in the Threes class this year, Teddy who is 1 and will be in the nursery this year; and our dachshund Zoey. Our family is a military family; we have been stationed in Virginia, Hawaii, Maryland, Hawaii again, and are now returning to Maryland. We love to travel and go on adventures, especially to the beach!
I can’t wait to work with so many of you this year as both a teacher and as a fellow co-oper. It is going to be a great year and we are all going to learn and grow so much together!
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. As you can see from my résumé below I have been involved with young children for a long time.
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 from/at the following:
1996-1997 - Music teacher at Hadley Acres Adventist School, Gaithersburg, MD, kindergarten through 8th grade;
1996-2012 - Music teacher with the Golden School of Music, teaching
"Discovering Music for Infants",
"Discovering Music for Toddlers", and
"Exploring Music and Piano Preparatory" at Montgomery County Department of Recreation.
2007-2008 - Music teacher at Spencerville Adventist Academy, Silver Spring, MD, kindergarten through 2nd grade.
2011-present - Pianist at toddlers’ Sabbath School classes at Spencerville Seventh-day Adventist Church.
2012-2020 - Music Teacher at Temple Beth Amy Nursery School, Rockville, MD., plus their summer camp in 2021 & 2022.
2015- present - Director of Children's Music at Georgetown Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC.
I’m so pleased to bring my music program to the young students at RPCNS!
I joined the RPCNS community in 2017 when my older daughter, Gemma, started in the two’s class. My younger daughter, Margot, was born two months later, and now 5 years later, she has graduated from the four’s class and is off to Kindergarten. As a parent member, I have served as the Scheduler, Community Services Coordinator, and Class Rep. We have all benefited and grown so much from the co-operative experience at RPCNS, and I am thrilled to join the staff here to help share that experience with more families in our community.
I grew up in Silver Spring, MD and graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in English Literature and Government. After college, I lived and worked for a few years in Chile and Argentina. When I came back stateside, I taught for the Close Up Foundation, and then moved to Philadelphia to work for a K-8th grade scholarship organization called CSFP. After getting married, we moved back to MD where I worked in fundraising for an anti-poverty organization called A Wider Circle. After having Gemma, I decided to stay home with her and Margot while they were little. Although as someone who craves social interaction and is a bit restless, finding a community like RPCNS was essential during that “longest shortest” time.
In my spare time, I love to plan adventures near and far for my family, eat out, stay politically engaged, go on lots of hikes, and volunteer as a Girl Scout troop leader.
Melissa Mitchell Jordan
The RPCNS Board of Directors in recognition of her many years of dedicated service bestowed the honorary title of Director Emerita upon her retirement in 2023.