Jen joined CRS in 1996. With nearly three decades of experience teaching, Jen has taught sixth grade, fifth grade, and first and second grades at CRS. Her experience prior to CRS includes teaching preschool at Kent Community Nursery School in Connecticut, Kindergarten at Bright Horizons, and first and sixth grade at Belmont Day School. Jen received her bachelor’s degree in child development from the University of Connecticut, and her master’s in Education for Grades 1-6 from Lesley College. Jen loves to sing and spend time outdoors either at the beach, or hiking.
The interdisciplinary focus at CRS is especially meaningful for students to engage deeply and have agency in their learning.
Before joining the CRS PreK/K classroom in spring 2022, Sarah was a first-grade lead teacher at Schofield Elementary School, where she developed curriculum in math, science, reading, writing, and phonics. She previously worked as the middle school pilot program intern at Open Circle where she conducted research on the SEL needs of middle school students. Outside of CRS, Sarah works as a dance instructor for both kids and adults at Do Dance Ballet & Fitness. She loves to incorporate physical movement and creativity into traditional classroom settings. Sarah earned a BA in Geosciences and a Teacher Certification Program for Elementary Education from Wellesley College. She recently completed the Learning and Teaching Master’s Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education, earning her master’s this May.
There is a sense of community here that is unlike any other school. I find joy in noticing students helping each other both in and out of the classroom. Children of all grades have deep conversations with adults in many different ways – from academic to social. The atmosphere is cheerful and studious and reflective of the school values and mission statement. CRS is committed to honoring the joy in childhood and does it well.
Jamie is an experienced elementary school teacher. Prior to coming to CRS, she worked as a substitute teacher for the Clyde F. Brown Elementary School in Millis, Mass. In that role, she covered for classroom teachers, specialists, and paraprofessionals for PreK through Grade 4. Jamie also was a Grade 5 homeroom teacher at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge. There, she created project-based curriculum and integrated language arts and social studies within units of study.
I love the sense of community and family that is CRS. I feel at home here. CRS is a school in which every member of faculty and staff will have an impact on the development of your child throughout their time here. It takes a village to raise a child, and CRS does it right.
Paul joined Charles River School in 2016, coming to CRS from Shady Hill School in Cambridge where he worked as the Assistant Director of Athletics. Paul has a deep love for athletics and believes that participation helps students develop both socially and academically, and forges character; he also views athletics as a tool for reinforcing school values. Paul earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and physical education and his master’s in education in exercise physiology from the University of Maine, where received the Presidential Academic Achievement Award. He is also a four-time America East Scholar-Athlete.
Rosa Elena Rivera
Rosa Elena combines her love of language and music and brings high energy to her teaching. Over the course of her career, she has taught at many schools and programs, including Joyful Music, Mystic Valley Music Together, Music Together Belmont, River of Song, Music and Movement of Newton, and in the Cambridge and Somerville public school systems. She has used the Canta y Baila Conmigo curriculum for many years and also has extensive experience as a voice instructor, dance and movement teacher, and program director. Rosa Elena is a talented opera singer with a long list of solo recitals, performances, and musical productions to her name.
Karen Belsley Pratt
I love to develop curriculum that integrates literature with STEAM to spark curiosity, foster inquiry, and inspires students to make meaningful connections.
With more than three decades of experience as an educator in public and independent schools, Karen serves as Librarian and Media Services Teacher at CRS. In this role, she develops curriculum that integrates literature with STEAM to spark curiosity, foster inquiry, and inspire students to make meaningful connections. During her time at CRS, she has also taught PreKindergarten and multi-age PreK/K, helped to establish the multi-age PreK-2 program, developed an early childhood maker space, and served as the PreK-2 Curriculum Coordinator. Karen also taught at the Acton Children’s School, at the Wellesley Cooperative Nursery School, and in the Newton and Natick public schools. She earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Haverford College and her master’s degree in early childhood education from Boston College.
Mary Oliveira joined CRS in 1999 as an art educator. Prior to teaching at CRS, Mary taught art at The Canterbury School of Florida, as well as at Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, Massachusetts. She maintains a painting studio in her home and enjoys drawing and painting from life, with people and landscapes being some of her favorite subject matter. Mary earned her bachelor’s degree from Regis College, where she graduated cum laude, and her MFA from Boston University.
I love how we can bring the curriculum to life through engaging activities and simulations where the students ‘become’ what they are learning. I love the sense of community and friendships among the students, families, and staff. Seeing the whole school outside for recess together is so joyful.
Laura joined CRS in 2013, and brings 30 years of teaching experience to fourth grade. She began her career at the Sharon Alternative School teaching third and sixth grades. She also worked as a Response to Intervention Teacher for math at Clyde Brown Elementary School in Millis, Mass., and for language arts at Pine Hill School in Sherborn, Mass. Laura strongly believes in helping children gain independence and become empowered by providing purposeful experiences that challenge all levels of learners. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Laura previously served on the Charles River School Board of Trustees as the faculty representative.
Charles River School is amazing for a music teacher because the arts are valued, and thoroughly integrated into the curriculum. We are all a team teaching the students together, and I have the time, support, resources, and excitement to do incredible projects with all of my classes. I am so lucky to work here!
Mica joined CRS in 2006, and is the Head of Performing Arts. In this role, she teaches general music, electives, and Multi-Arts classes, directs the fourth- through eighth-grade CRS Chorus, and runs the Assemblies program. Prior to CRS, Mica worked as a musical director at Artbarn Community Theater in Brookline for 17 years and taught private piano lessons. She was also a performing singer/songwriter of folk and rock music in and around New England, and produced two CDs before deciding to teach children to be rock stars instead! Mica earned her bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in jazz piano performance.
I can’t imagine teaching anywhere else. Co-teaching is an incredible thing, every day you have someone to bounce ideas off and someone to help you grow as a teacher and a person. The student/teacher relationship at CRS is unique. The relationships you can build with students and parents are ones that can last a lifetime.
Rachel joined CRS in 1999, working in both fifth and sixth grades, transitioning to the fifth-grade co-teacher a few years later. Prior to teaching at CRS, Rachel worked in the Cambridge Public Schools and at Belmont Day School. Rachel has a passion for helping students understand the many ways in which different curricular topics connect, not just to each other but also to the wider world. Fostering curiosity is an important aspect of the fifth-grade experience. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Connecticut College, a graduate diploma from the New England School of Art and Design, and a master’s in education from Lesley University with an emphasis on integrating art into the curriculum.