Director and Teacher
Jen received her MS degree in Care and Education in Early Childhood Settings and Educational Leadership from Wheelock College in 2007. Her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development is from Colby-Sawyer College. She specialized in Early Childhood Education and obtained her NH Teaching Certificate (N-3) in 1999. She gained her Montessori Teaching Certification (ages 3-6) in 2014. She spent two years as a lead primary teacher at The Newport Montessori School in Newport, NH. Prior to that she served in a multifaceted role as an educator in Colby-Sawyer College’s Social Sciences and Education Department. Her twelve years teaching in the college’s lab school, mentoring college students, serving as a TA, collaborating with colleagues, families, college students and children have instilled in her an unwavering dedication to the field of early childhood education and a ceaseless quest to further her understandings of best practices. The Reggio pedagogy and emergent curriculum have been a part of her learning journey since 1996. They have penetrated her actions, interactions and perceptions on early childhood education at every level. Jen joined the Emerson team in 2016 and serves as the executive director of the school and teaches in the MWF-AM class. She brings with her an open mind, a true love of teaching, learning and collaboration, and a dedication to support Emerson’s vision, philosophy, mission, goals and operation.
Jen resides in Newbury with her husband and two children. She loves spending time with her family exploring all the natural beauty New Hampshire has to offer. She is passionate about learning new things, writing, music, drawing, photography and African drumming...and she never passes up an opportunity to dance!
Office Administrator,Registrar and Teacher
Faith Barry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire where her concentration was in Early Childhood Education. She loves to witness children growing in independence and maturing socially and emotionally and encouraging them in these areas. Faith has been teaching young children for 29 years. She has taught the Tuesday and Thursday morning class at Emerson since 1998. We lovingly call Faith our administrative goddess because in addition to her teaching and subbing in the classroom she also maintains the responsibilities of office administrator and registrar. Faith lives in Deerfield at the end of a dirt road with her husband Kevin. They have three grown children, four grandsons and one granddaughter. She enjoys gardening, reading, family time and volunteering at her local food pantry.
After 22 years of teaching in Emerson's TTh class and 30 years in the field of ECE, Faith is retiring from her teaching role at Emerson. We are so fortunate that she will continue in her office administrator and registrar roles. She will also serve on occasion as a substitute teacher. We wish Faith only the best as she embarks on a new chapter in her life and we thank her for her three decades of committed service to the field of early childhood education.
Tabitha Riley received her Bachelor’s degree from Bates College and her Master of Education from Antioch University New England. She holds NH certification in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education. We first welcomed Tabitha as a student teacher in the spring of 2014. This is her fifth year as an educator at Emerson. In her letter of interest she told us that her experience at Emerson solidified her sincere respect for the capacity of young children, her commitment to play-based learning and emergent curriculum, and the essential value of actively engaging families in the school environment. Tabitha teaches in the MWF AM class and the T-TH class. When not at Emerson, Tabitha loves to be in the mountains with her family and her dog. She is interested in learning more about amphibians.
Pam joined Emerson Preschool in the fall of 2018 as a MWF PM class teacher. She fell in love with Emerson’s philosophy of child-initiated, collaborative, emergent curriculum when her two children attended Emerson in the mid-90s. Pam received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire and her Master of Education from Plymouth State University. She has taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades in Concord Public Schools. Research shows that social, emotional and intellectual learning are intertwined and Pam is honored to journey with parents and Emerson teachers as children grow in so many beautiful ways. Pam will continue teaching the MWF PM class and the T-TH class with Tabitha and Katie as well.
Pam’s interests include mindfulness, yoga, reading, discovering fabulous picture books (for people of all ages), gardening and pickleball.
Amelia Sopko joined the Emerson team in the fall of 2019 as a MWF AM and PM class teacher. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her Master of Education from Plymouth State University. Amelia holds NH certification in General Special Education for ages 3-21. Amelia has taught in a variety of unique learning settings, from public schools, ski mountains, ice skating rinks, and private residential schools. Amelia is passionate about social and emotional development in children and how every child deserves an opportunity to explore and be creative within their environment. She is a NH native and enjoys hiking, skiing, and exploring all the beautiful Main Streets in New Hampshire with her husband and three dogs. Amelia is excited to learn and grow with the Emerson community.
Amelia is resigning from her teaching position at the close of the 2019-2020 school year. Her time at Emerson has been a gift to us all. In her resignation letter, Amelia stated, "The Emerson School has changed my life in the best ways possible. I am a more confident teacher, a more compassionate and creative person, and have an elevated outlook on childhood development and the importance of Early Childhood Education." Thank you, Amelia, for bringing your zest for life and view of learning as beautiful to the Emerson community! Your work has been appreciated and impactful. We wish you the best as you begin your new journey.
Katie has an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from New Hampshire Technical Institute. She has worked with children from infants thru kindergarten age. Katie has also worked with children in special needs and behavioral programs in public school settings. What Katie brings to the Emerson teaching team is trust in children, a gentle nature, a genuine openness to the endless possibilities children pose, and a deep understanding of the value of developing trusting relationships with parents/caregivers. Additionally, Katie possesses extensive knowledge of the Emerson School for Preschoolers! Katie is the parent of four Emerson Alumni. She also served in various roles on the Board of Directors including Chair Person and she served as a substitute teacher in our classroom. Having children of her own is where Katie developed a love for the outdoors and all the learning that unfolds when exploring nature with children. Katie is a native of New Hampshire and loves the lessons and beauty that can be experienced in the many landscapes of the state. Katie will teach in all three of our classes in the 2020-2021 school year. She is excited to now experience Emerson as a teacher and explore with the children here. We are thrilled to have Katie as a member of our team!
Kim is the lovely person responsible for maintaining Emerson’s clean and beautiful environment. After 15 years working at a perennial nursery, Kim became the head gardener for Stone Blossom Landscape & Design in 2016 where she continues to create beautiful landscapes. Although Kim has been working in the perennial and gardening business for quite some time, she received her degree in Early Childhood Education from NHTI in 2014. Joining the Emerson team in January of 2018, she was thrilled to be involved in the care of such a beautiful space. Kim's understanding of child development, joy in the work and expressions of children, respect for childhood, respect for the work of the teachers as well as her appreciation of natural beautiy is reflected in the time, effort and love she puts into maintaining the Emerson environment. When she isn't working, Kim enjoys music, creating one-of-a-kind cards, and spending time with her kitty, Mr. Furley.