Meet the Teachers

Teachers, Educators, & Staff @ PRCP…

 

 

 

Pam Koen

Pam Koen

Sparrow Preschool Co-Teacher

Nature and animal lover, Pam,  joined our team in 2013. Pam has her degree from North Shore Community College in Child Development. She was down the road at Bright Horizons in Newburyport for several years prior to joining Parker River and has also taught at Little Montessori. Pam is a creative out-of-the-box thinker who brings this gift to her preschool classroom. She enjoys watching children grow at their own natural pace and is a master at staging open ended provocations that make children think harder and do more research on their ideas and theories. She’s always up for an adventure and instills her love of nature in the children and her co-teachers. During her time away from Parker River, she enjoys spending time in nature with her son and husband and whatever little animals she’s taken in at the time! 

Ingrid Cunney

Ingrid Cunney

Sparrow Preschool Teacher & Preschool Team Leader

Ingrid is a calm, nurturing presence at our school. She’s been with us since 2016, but it feels like forever. Our preschoolers and teachers would be lost without her endless patience and leadership. She’s currently grown to be the Team Leader for our Preschool program and helps unite both groups–facilitating team meetings, supporting with child development needs, curriculum planning, and just taking care of us all. Ingrid is a graduate of Salem State with a degree in Psychology. Prior to joining Parker River she was a teacher at a preschool in Essex. When not at school she’s at home on the beach or in front of a cozy fire, enjoying her family including three dogs and three children! 

Sandi Sullivan

Sandi Sullivan

Floating Teacher

Sandi is a jack of all trades at our program. She joined us starting in 2015 for her student teaching experience through North Shore Community College. Previously a baker (although she still is an amazing cook if you need cakes, etc!), Sandi changed fields after raising her two girls in Ipswich. She finished her Early Childhood Education degree and made her home at Parker River. Sandi has taught in all of our classrooms and can often be found being silly or playing as hard as the kids. Her favorite role is Floating Teacher though and we love her ability to switch age groups, teaching styles, and tasks to support everyone on a dime. She makes our days run more smoothly from drop off to laundry to reading with each class group. Outside of school Sandi is an avid baker and cook and enjoys time with her family. 

Sandy Crowley

Sandy Crowley

Assistant Director

Sandy has been with Parker River since 2011. She joined our team as a lead toddler teacher and has since grown into a school wide leadership role of Assistant Director. She is our go-to person and handles anything and everything at Parker River from licensing paperwork to teacher support to unclogging toilets! Sandy is a dedicated hard worker and you can always count on her. She is the caregiver for all of our animals on site as well, from chickens to frogs! Sandy is a strong leader for our team and always there to lend a hand. We could not get by day to day without her! Sandy is a veteran teacher in the field and spent most of her earlier career at Children’s Castle in West Newbury and has her degree in Special Needs Education from James Madison University. When not at school (is she ever not there?!), Sandy can be found exploring on the beach with her granddaughter, Violet, and her cats! 

Amanda Gillis

Amanda Gillis

Lead Transitional Kindergarten Falcons Teacher

Amanda is new to our school and joined our team in May 2020. Amanda is a graduate of Framingham State & Lesley with degrees in Early Childhood Education & Management and prior to coming to Parker River taught at Radcliff Children’s Center and The Children’s Meeting House. Her energy and passion for early childhood education are inspiring and we feel so fortunate to have such a natural leader in our Transitional Kindergarten Program. Her endless project work ideas and provocations for the children keep our oldest friends engaged and curious and at the same time she ties in other readiness skills such as letter sounds and making ten. Outside of school Amanda rarely slows down and enjoys teaching gymnastics and staying fit herself at gymnastics and spin. Amanda is close with her family and recently became an auntie!

Brenda Roy

Brenda Roy

Transitional Kindergarten Falcons Co-Teacher

Brenda just recently joined our team in December 2020! She teaches in the Transitional Kindergarten with Amanda and we’re already so grateful for her wisdom and calm presence. Brenda has a degree in Early Childhood Education from North Shore Community College and previously worked for most of her career, over 12 years, at Gordon Conwell Nursery School. She is a kind soul and master teacher with a gift for tuning into individual children’s needs and interests. When not at Parker River Brenda keeps busy at home with her grown children visiting her and spending time out in nature together. Brenda also volunteers in her community to help out with outreach programs to support families who are hungry or in need of transitional support. 

Kara Connolly

Kara Connolly

Owl Preschool Co-Teacher

Kara is a Lead Preschool teacher in our Owl Classroom. She’s been a part of Parker River’s life for many years, but officially joined our team in May 2020. Kara spent her entire teaching career at Pathways in West Newbury until their closure. We’re so fortunate she made her way from one play-based, respectful preschool program to another. Kara is a master teacher with an uncanny ability to connect authentically with all children. She is a master at planning curriculum provocations to engage and inspire the children and can often be found in the forest on an adventure. Kara has a degree in Elementary Education from Fitchburg State. When not at school she’s at home enjoying time with her family; going on hikes and adventures with her grown children. 

Pam Willette

Pam Willette

Owl Preschool Co-Teacher

Pam joined our team with Kara in 2020. They previously co-taught together for 20 years at Pathways in West Newbury. Pamis certified in Early Childhood Education and is a strong veteran teacher. She has a secret love of glitter and all things art and nature and brings out our creative side! When not at Parker River, Pam can be found at home in NH with her husband, taking care of her house, and gathering around the backyard fire with her family.

Heidi Synder

Heidi Synder

Lead Toddler Chickadee Teacher

Heidi is the Lead Teacher for our Toddler Program and joined our team in 2016. Heidi has a degree in Early Childhood Education and experience in hometown’s public school programs as well as private preschool programs. When she joined Parker River she co-taught in our Transitional Kindergarten while waiting for a teaching position to open with her favorite age group, toddlers! Heidi is an incredible leader for our toddler program making sure to balance curriculum and caregiving for each child. She builds strong classroom routines and traditions and her toddler students and co-teachers thrive in this predictability and consistency. Surprisingly, Heidi and her toddler friends can often be found in the forest on a tea or hot chocolate break! During her free time, Heidi is busy with her three young daughters, camping, hiking, and enjoying all things outdoorsy.

Jen Rita

Jen Rita

Executive Director

Jen is the founder of Parker River and manager of most behind the scenes tasks such as payroll, tuition, enrollment, etc! Jen should be focused on paperwork, but most often can be found adventuring in the forest with one of the classes. She has an Early Childhood Education Degree from UVM and did her grad work at Wheelock. Child Development is her life’s work and she taught for several years before founding Parker River in 2009 with her husband, Anthony. Jen lives in Ipswich with her husband, two children and three pups! When not at PRCP she can be found on adventures with her own crew, reading a good book, or hiking everywhere and anywhere. 

We look forward to meeting you!