RCNS: Where play becomes learning
Rhinebeck Community Nursery School was created in 1997 by a group of parents & teachers wanting to provide the community with a developmentally appropriate nursery school. We are a non-profit organization, located on the lower level of the Rhinebeck Reformed Church.
Our mission is to provide a supportive and stimulating environment in which young children may develop positive peer and teacher relationships, while becoming independent, competent, curious and joyful learners.
I am Rebecca Staats, Director & Head Teacher of RCNS. I am a mother of two busy boys (16 & 13 years old) who both attended RCNS. I am also an animal lover. I have 2 guinea pigs, 4 cats and 6 chickens at my home.
Professionally I taught 3 & 4 year-olds at Vassar College at the Wimpfheimer Nursery Lab School for 7 years before joining RCNS. Prior to that I taught at The Bernice M. Write Nursery Lab School at Syracuse University.
I received my Masters in Child Development from Syracuse University where I studied courses in Marriage and Family Therapy, Parenting, Advanced Child Development & Child Psychology because I wanted to better understand children and their families. That has certainly payed off. Many of the children at the school where I taught were non-English speaking, so I can say… “Clean- up time”, “Snack time” and “Mommy will be back soon!”, in several languages. I did my Student Teaching in a Kindergarten class in Lincoln England, so I can do the accent.
Before that adventure, I received my Bachelors in Psychology and Elementary Education N-6 at SUNY Potsdam, with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. For three summers I was a Girl Scout Resident Camp Counselor. This is where I learned many of the songs we sing at RCNS.
I love working with Preschool age children. My number one priority is supporting children in their social interactions. By asking them questions and watching how each child responds to the stories, songs, art projects and field trips, I am better able to guide their growth.
I am Sara Beeler, Assistant Teacher at Rhinebeck Community Nursery School. I am the mother of three children, ages 8, 10 and 13. My family and I have lived in Rhinebeck and been a part of the Rhinebeck Community since 2003. Our three children attended RCNS, between the years of 2004 and 2011. My children had wonderful experiences at RCNS and were well prepared for kindergarten. Prior to starting a family, I taught First Grade in the Gorham School District in Maine.
I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education along with a secondary focus in Elementary Education. I then completed a one year Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) at the University of Southern Maine. This was a full year of graduate level courses and Student Teaching which lead to a K-8 Teacher Certification.
While my children attended RCNS, I was able to volunteer my time at the nursery school, which was wonderful for me. I was able to work with young children again! Now as a teacher, I enjoy setting up the hands on activities in the science center, creating innovative art activities from a variety of children’s literature and supporting the children as they learn and grow.