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Teachers & Staff

Our school and staff belong to various professional organizations including the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Parent Cooperative Preschools International (PCPI), and the Potomac Association of Cooperative Teachers (PACT).
We are licensed by Maryland State Department of Education, Office of Child Care in accordance with the state and local regulations for educational standards and teacher qualifications.
All of our teachers and staff have four-year degrees, extensive experience, and many hours of continuing education training every year. They are a collaborative, collegial group, who enjoy working with each other and with parents in the uniquely open, welcoming format of a cooperative preschool.

Rana Oriolo (4s)

ranaMrs. Rana’s positive attitude, kind disposition, and non-stop energy make it so very easy for parents to entrust their most precious possessions to her. Her ability to balance the individual needs of her students, along with her understanding of young children’s development in a group, allow Mrs. Rana to create a warm, nurturing environment where children learn together and thrive as individuals. Her creativity and enthusiasm for the craft of teaching is readily visible anywhere you look in her classroom, from the carefully planned learning centers to the varied art projects and sensory experiences she offers her little charges every day.
Mrs. Rana is in her eighth year of teaching at RCNS. She has taught in the 2-year-old, 3-year old and 4-year old programs.
She is a graduate of The University of North Carolina, Charlotte, with a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development and a Birth-Kindergarten teaching license.
Mrs. Rana knows the parent cooperative model from both sides, as a teacher, and as an RCNS parent for five years. Rana’s older son is a RCNS alumni and her younger son will be in the Monday-Friday 4s this year with Mrs Levy.

Sofya Samoylova (3s)

Ms. Sofya’s love of learning and enthusiasm for children, coupled with her age-appropriate child-centered activities will engage you and your child immediately. Ms. Sofya’s deep affection for the children she teaches, and her desire to provide a rich, varied experience for them, make her classroom an exciting place of learning. Like many of our children, she is bilingual, so she brings a strong understanding to the language development of children who come to us with more than one language at home.
Ms. Sofya is in her seventh year of teaching the RCNS 3-year-old program.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Teaching Russian Language and Literature and an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Montgomery College.
Ms. Sofya has devoted nineteen years to the early childhood field.

Marcia Levy (4s)

levy-001 (1)

Mrs. Levy is a dynamic teacher whose warm and caring spirit permeates the classroom. Parents are thrilled watching their little ones grow and develop in her care. Children are always eager to greet her with a hug and a moment of one-on-one connection, whether they are her current students or one of her many special friends who have long since graduated from our school. Mrs Levy helps children in the 4s make the most of their last year of play-based preschool, while positioning them for a smooth transition into Kindergarten and beyond.
She speaks Portuguese as well as English, and often shares her love of her beautiful native language with her little charges.
Mrs. Levy is in her tenth year of teaching the 4-year-old program at RCNS.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Sao Paulo Apostolo in Brazil and a certificate in Early Childhood Education from the Early Childhood Institute, Inc.

Kimberly Mahoney (Director)

kimMrs. Mahoney’s unassuming, collaborative approach disguises the depth of experience and knowledge she brings to interactions with teachers and parents. We all value her friendly, kind manner with a child who needs a little extra attention outside of the classroom, and the flexible way she works with parents to help us learn our tasks and complete them well. Her vision for our school, from curriculum to physical environment to community, and her consistent, conscientious way of taking care of mundane, but critical, needs of our school, are both indispensable to our school community.
Mrs. Mahoney is in her eighth year of directorship at RCNS and has dedicated sixteen years – as both a director and a teacher – to our school.
She graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and then earned a Nursery through grade 6 teaching certificate from SUNY New Paltz. Prior to joining RCNS, Mrs. Mahoney ran a licensed home day care center for many years in New York State. She has five adult children of her own.

Stephanie Huhn (TTH 2s)

huhn-pictureMs. Stephanie is in her second year as a 2′s teacher at RCNS but has a long history in early childhood development. She is a Pittsburgh native and a graduate of Edinboro University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.
She taught kindergarten in Montgomery County Public Schools and St. Mary’s County Public Schools for six years before taking some time off to raise her young children. While working as a stay at home mother, she also opened up a successful MD state licensed home child care.
She is a mother of a two year old daughter and four year old son so she understands the needs of a two year old child and the strategies it takes to help them succeed.
Mrs. Stephanie’s nurturing disposition and creativity is a great addition to the RCNS family.

kbaldwinKathryn Baldwin (WF 2s and Parent/Child class)

Miss Kate is a second year 2s teacher at RCNS who integrates health and environmentally conscious choices into daily routines, lessons, and conversations.
She graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. She taught kindergarten and first grade in Montgomery County Public Schools for 3 years. Miss Kate then moved to the Hawaiian island Oahu in 2010 and taught special education, kindergarten, and first grade for Hawaii Department of Education for 3 years.
She has a passion for nurturing social emotional development and enjoys the responsibility of shaping young minds and hearts to be a positive and productive member of society.
Miss Kate’s son will be in Ms. Sofya’s 3s this year.

Chip Carvell (Music & Movement)

Chip Carvell brings excellence and FUN in music education to our little ones at RCNS as our supplemental music teacher. As well as being a frequent guest instructor at RCNS, Mr. Chip also teaches a variety of studio classes through Little Hands Music. He is a former Special Education teacher with a masters degree in education and human development from George Washington University. His two son’s are RCNS alumni.
Mr. Chip’s love of music began with folk songs  around the campfire and has taken him through jazz bands, funk bands, Kindermusik, songwriting and more.
See Mr. Chip in action here.