Our Staff

Our Staff

Ellen Garcia, Head Teacher

Ellen has been a member of the UCNS community since 2003, when the first of her three children began preschool. She has a bachelor's degree in microbiology and a master's degree in teaching from Cornell University. She taught middle school science for seven years before taking a break to raise her family. Then, Ellen's interest in teaching shifted to the earlier years. She now holds New York State certification in Early Childhood Education. She looks forward to working with all UCNS families and traveling with your children on their wonder-filled preschool journeys.


Beverly Way, Teacher

Bev's love of UCNS began in 2003 when her daughter started preschool here. Bev loves the cooperative program and fondly remembers her excitement at all she learned during her parent helping days. Bev completed a bachelor's and master's degree at the University of California Berkeley and began her coursework toward her Child Development Associate Credential in the fall of 2011.




Sarah Collins, Educational Director


Like Ellen and Bev, Sarah's children have both attended UCNS. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from New York University and a master's degree in education from Hunter College of Central New York. Before moving to Ithaca, Sarah taught kindergarten for eight years in New York City public schools and also taught at a nursery school in New York City. She is New York State certified to teach grades pre-K through 6.



Jayne Kemp, Educational Consultant

Jayne has taught preschool for more than 40 years. She was born in Canada where she received her education. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a First Class Teaching diploma for Pre-K through grade 6. She has taught in many grades and worked with children with special needs in Head Start. Jayne taught at Cornell University's Early Childhood Center for 12 years. She also served as the program coordinator of the Ithaca Area Early Childhood Mentor Program, a project implemented to support teachers coming into the field.