Our School: Staff

DIRECTOR - Kristen Cunningham
Kristen Cunningham (Ms. Kristen) is very excited for another great year at Rock Spring Preschool! She has a long history as an educator and an administrator - most recently as an Assistant Principal in Falls Church and as an Administrator at the Madison Center Cooperative Playgroup. She and her husband have three children and a dog who keep them very busy. They have boy/girl twins in middle school and a daughter who is a high school sophomore. They all play sports and are quite adventurous. Ms. Kristen remembers preschool as one of her favorite times with her kids and can't wait to share it with you!

Panda and Polar Bears - Martha Galeano (Ms. Martha)
Martha Galeano (Ms. Martha) returns as the Bear Teacher this year - her seventh with the Panda Bears and her second as the Polar Bear teacher! She will also offer a Spanish Class once a week for those children who are eligible for Lunch Bunch and will be the Pony/Penguin Play Day Teacher. Prior to being the Bear Teacher, Ms. Martha led the Beaver and Bunny Classes at RSCP for eleven years. Ms. Martha received her B.S. in Spanish from SUNY at Brockport. For more than three years, she worked for Head Start in New York State. When she moved to this area, she first worked as a lead teacher of the two-year-olds at the First Baptist Church in Washington. Ms. Martha also worked for Arlington County Social Services as a resource mother, educating teenage mothers in the areas of infant care and self-care during pregnancy. On the days Ms. Martha is not at RSCP, she is working for the Arlington Language Service and Registration Center, interpreting and testing future bilingual students of Arlington County. Ms. Martha brings her love of art to our youngest at the school and hopes that this early exposure will spark their creativity, love of exploration, and excitement for school.

Beaver and Bunny Classes -  Lisa Hurwitz (Mrs. Hurwitz) 
Lisa Hurwitz (Mrs. Hurwitz) is excited to be returning for her eighth year leading the Bunny and Beaver classes at RSCP. Prior to joining the RSCP staff, Ms. Hurwitz spent seven years at Temple Rodef Shalom Nursery School in Falls Church, where she taught two year olds, three year olds, and the Mommy/ Daddy and Me Program. Ms. Hurwitz earned her undergraduate degree in English from Harvard College. Also as an undergraduate, Lisa became certified to teach high school English in the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. Hurwitz brings her joy of life to the classroom in many creative ways, prompting the children to be close observers of the world around them. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to play and learn with the RSCP children and families.

Pony Teacher - Sue Nellor (Ms. Sue)
Sue Nellor (Ms. Nellor) is excited for another year at Rock Spring as the Pony Class Teacher.  Prior to joining RSCP in 2017, Ms. Sue spent seven years at Clarendon Child Care Center, where she was the Assistant Director and lead teacher for 4 and 5 year olds. Before that she taught at Faith Lutheran Preschool in Arlington as well as other preschools globally in Singapore, Tokyo, and Australia.  Ms. Nellor earned her teaching degree in Melbourne, Australia at the State College of Victoria.  She is enjoying the opportunity to play and learn with the Pony class this year!

Penguin Class - Jennifer Wallace (Ms. Jennifer)
Jennifer Wallace (Ms. Jennifer) is looking forward to another year at RSCP as the Penguin teacher this fall. Ms. Jennifer earned a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from the University of South Carolina and a teaching certification for preschool through 4th grade. She taught a mixed age 3-5 year old class at Higher Horizons Head Start in Falls Church for 9 years. In 2002, Ms. Jennifer joined Falls Church McLean Children's Center, teaching a 4 year old pre-kindergarten class; combined, she has more than 20 years teaching experience. Her teaching philosophy aligns with RSCP as she utilizes an interactive, hands-on approach to play-based learning. She is looking forward to collaborating with Penguin parents to create a warm, nurturing, stimulating environment where children feel free to create and explore. Ms. Jennifer is also passionate about  health and nutrition and plans to incorporate her knowledge in these areas into snack time and other group activities.

Dinosaur Teacher – Debbie McCrery (Ms. Debbie)

Ms. Debbie, Debbie McCrery, is looking forward to joining the Rock Spring family as the Dino teacher this year.  Graduating from American University in 1992 with a BA in Elementary Education, Debbie brings over 20 years of experience in the education field.  She taught Kindergarten for 10 years, including 7 years at Arlington Science Focus. She stepped away from classroom teaching to raise her 3 children, however remained involved at her children’s schools volunteering in many ways.  Recently she taught the 5 day, 4 yr old program for 2 years at Westover Baptist Preschool, then substituted in Arlington Public Schools and Westover Baptist Preschool while teaching the Science Seed science enrichment classes throughout Arlington in 8 preschools.  Ms. Debbie’s family includes her husband, Marc, 3 children- two at Yorktown High School, and 1 at Swanson Middle School-a sweet dog named Blue, and 2 snuggly cats, Murphy and Betty. The McCrerys are active in many sports, activities and love to explore different hikes with their dog.  Ms. Debbie Looks forward to a fabulous year exploring and learning with the Dinos.

Dinosaur Class Aide– Rkia Raiq (Ms. Rkia) 
Rkia Raiq (Ms. Rkia) is returning for her sixteenth year as part of the Dinosaur Team. Ms. Rkia has been involved with the RSCP community for over twenty years, first as a nanny for two former RSCP families where she actively participated in the classroom as both a co-oper and substitute teacher. Ms Rkia has also led RSCP's Summer Camp for several years. Her many years of experience with children and her love of all children make her an excellent assistant in the Dino Room.

​Resource Teacher - Saira Smith (Ms. Saira)

Saira is a graduate of Yorktown High School and the Culinary Institute of America. After culinary school she lived and worked in Italy for a summer. After 20 years, she left the industry having worked at one of the top restaurants in the nation to focus on motherhood.  Her son Parker is starting first grade at Discovery, an avid reader, swimmer and sports fan.  In addition to her position as Resource Teacher, she works for her brother-in-law’s remodeling company and is the Outreach lead for Moms Demand Action in Arlington. 

Assistant to the Director - Amy Ruff (Ms. Amy)

Amy Ruff (Ms. Amy) returns to the RSCP staff as the Assistant to the Director. She earned a B.A. in Psychology and a B.A. in Elementary Education in 1999 at Clemson University. Following graduation, she began teaching at Blessed Sacrament School in Washington, D.C., where she taught fifth grade, all core subjects, for six years. While raising her three children, she became a co-oping parent at Dulin Cooperative Preschool, as well as the membership and safety board member and a Virginia Cooperative Preschool Council Delegate. Ms. Amy began serving as the Events Lead for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America in 2013. She will be working in the Director’s office on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week. Ms. Amy looks forward to working with all of the RSCP families.