Our teachers love working at Rainbow as much as our kids love coming here. Rainbow's small size, low student-teacher ratio, and loving environment allow staff members to integrate their own strengths and interests while supporting our established curriculum. Children enjoy the benefit of being assigned to a small group according to age and development, while bonding and interacting with all teachers during daily activities. We are proud that many of our teachers have been with us for years.
Karen brings enthusiasm, creativity, and over two decades of professional child care experience to her role as Rainbow's director. She has been at the Center since 1988, and has served as director since 1997. She loves helping children to develop and discover their world. In addition to serving as director, she is a teacher for the oldest group, and thrives on capturing the kids' interests while working on skills including science, art, and kindergarten readiness.
There are many special things about Rainbow that keep her here, including the space, the abundance of equipment, the freedom to teach based on the group's interest, and the mixed ages format that allows for younger and older kids to learn from each other. Whether leading her group or working with the all the kids on a holiday program or a rainy-day activity, Karen keeps things running smoothly and helps continually evolve a curriculum that has been refined over the past two decades.
When not at Rainbow, Karen enjoys skiing (fast), hiking (everywhere), fishing (endlessly), and canoeing (lazily), all with her family. She also does mosaic glass work, beading, sewing, and volunteer work through her church. Karen has 2 sons, Ezra and Oliver, who are 15 years apart!!
Working with kids has always been Sarah's passion. She started working at Rainbow in 2004. In addition to serving as assistant director, Sarah is currently the teacher for our youngest group of 2 ½ -3 year-olds. Sarah has been working with kids for almost 2 decades, including time spent as a nanny and working at a toddler center. She has also received her director certification. She finds kids inspiring and energizing, and especially enjoys helping them discover their world and themselves. Her favorite activities involve getting creative and messy - whether baking with the kids, leading trips to the park, or working on art projects - and she frequently incorporates crafts and sensory skills into her lesson plans. At Rainbow, Sarah loves the good communication, sense of community among teachers and families, and most of all, the positive, happy energy throughout the Center.
When she's not working with kids or taking classes towards her certification, Sarah enjoys hiking, biking, creative projects, cooking, and reading.
Cheney has been with Rainbow since 1987, taking a six year leave of absence to ranch llamas on the Western front. Lucky for us, he returned in 1999, and has been a fixture at Rainbow ever since. As office manager and fill-in teacher, Cheney brings a special mix of organization and pure silliness to our days. Always creative and artistic, Cheney spent time studying art in college, and now enjoys coming up with inventive and surprising activities such as filling the swimming pool in the middle of winter and going for a dip (of course, the pool is in the art room!). Among his favorite things about Rainbow are the many opportunities to learn from the kids, and the freedom that both teachers and students have to explore their world. First to arrive every morning, Cheney opens the school at seven a.m. and holds court over a "breakfast club" with the early birds. In his spare time, Cheney enjoys working on his small farm and caring for his six horses, two dogs, two goats, three kittens, six ducks, two cockatiels, and a bunny named Trixie. Rainbow's official cowboy, Cheney also loves riding in rodeos!
Natalie has been at Rainbow since May, 2007. Her lesson plans reflect her high energy and thoughtful demeanor. She loves any activity that leads to song and laughter, as well as the excitement in every day spent working with kids. She especially enjoys the community found at Rainbow - the team of teachers and the sense of caring that drives everything we do. She loves biking and exploring - and of course, working with children! Aside from being a teacher, Natalie is an artist and writer, and has written an inspirational book for both children and adults.
Katie joined the Rainbow staff first as a substitute Teacher in 2012 she joined Rainbow as a full-time teacher in June 2014. Katie is originally from the Lexington, Kentucky. She comes to us with her Masters in Art Education, and much child care experience both here in Boulder and at Fayette Country Schools.
Katie loves activities that include painting, puppets and anything outdoors. Her energy and care for the children are right at home in the Rainbow Community.
Not only does Katie enjoy all of the benefits of living in Colorado; Skiing, climbing, hiking, camping,... but also being the artist she is, she spends a great deal of time in her art studio.
Julie is just a kid with a little more experience, so she comes up with fun, interactive, hands-on, get-messy, creative, enriching activities for the kiddos, ranging from the fun sensory experience of mixing shaving cream with snow by hand, to experimenting with classic vinegar and baking soda volcanoes. Julie deeply appreciates how open Rainbow is, and how teachers and kids alike have the freedom to explore and learn all day, every day. She really enjoys the ample space and supplies and the wealth of resources that her fellow staff provide. She is a nature and free play enthusiast and will take kids outside, point out birds, and have fun! She is Rainbow's sanitizor and afternoon/fill-in teacher. On her free time, Julie enjoys traveling and hiking with her boyfriend Evan, watching or listening to documentaries and TED talks, music and various creative hobbies.
Nora joined Rainbow in 2017. She has a background in social work and has been working with kids for the past 3 years. Nora loves that there is never a dull moment with kids and embraces and encourages their inquisitive kids and carefree spirits. Rainbow’s welcoming, nurturing and exciting space always brings a smile to her face as she starts her day.
Nora enjoys working on group activities centered around building positive self-esteem and promoting self-love. Whether it’s an art project, a story, an imaginative activity, or a game, she is drawn to anything that can plant seeds of self-love and instill confidence in the kids.
When she’s not at Rainbow, Nora loves anything active and outdoors! Biking, skiing, hiking, climbing, dancing, camping and sleeping in hammocks are just a few hobbies on a long list!
Emily joined Rainbow in 2016. She grew up near the beaches of South Florida and came to Colorado in 2008 after graduating with her BA in Elementary Education. She brings a passion for healthy living and making small adaptations in our everyday live to protect the environment.
Emily is enthusiastic about finding creative solutions for families to overcome the hiccups of everyday life and encouraging peaceful household interactions (as she did as a nanny). She believes that the importance of play cannot be underestimated, no matter your stage of life and if adults are playful, together we can create happy, healthy kids. Emily has worked with children for over 15 years and is always prepared for anything with her bag of goodies. She loves everything about Rainbow! Especially the freedom, love, creativity and the family feeling you get being a part of Rainbow.
You might find her hiking with her dog Banjo or building Lego creations on rainy days. "Legos are the perfect tool to promote play through imagination." Along with baking Emily loves to find new ways to use recycled materials and using play to create a better world.
Robin joined Rainbow in 2017 as our Office Manager. She has a background in nonprofit program management and fundraising and received her degree in her home state of North Carolina in Marketing. Robin has been volunteering with kids for most of her adult life as a mentor, church youth leader and most recently through a volunteer program in Santiago, Chile working with girls in a group home for one year.
She loves everything about Rainbow and enjoys greeting the kids each morning and seeing what they’re playing with today. Robin spends most of her time in the office and loves when kids come in to show off their artwork, see what she’s up to, or to join in on some “office work” of their own!
Outside of school, Robin loves hiking, biking, yoga and all of the other fun outdoor activities that Boulder offers.