About RNS Academy

Empowering Young Minds

Our Program

RNS Academy provides a safe, warm, and caring environment for children to learn through play and hands-on exploration.
Our curriculums are thematically based and developed to include subjects such as Science, Social Studies, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.  Activities are presented to children in a learn by doing format where learning feels more like playing and children are encouraged to explore and question the world around them.
Extra curricular classes such as Music, Yoga, Spanish and Pottery make RNS fun while providing the academic stepping stone needed to prepare young minds for life long learning.
A traditionally planned curriculum includes:
  • Academically focused hands-on projects
  • Exposure to all types of literature
  • Thematic based curriculum integrating all subjects areas
  • SMART Board Interactive lessons
  • Enrichment classes such as Music, Yoga, Spanish and Pottery
  • Directed and free play in our spacious indoor gymnasium
  • Age appropriate learning experiences
  • Outdoor physical activity

Our Staff

Our qualified and experienced staff understands child development and is talented, nurturing, and dedicated.

Our teachers:

  • Nurturing and dedicated, their love for teaching is evident in all they do.
  • Are NJ state certified in Early Childhood Education.
  • Have a great many years of experience working with young children.
  • Use games, storytelling, play-acting and other methods/activities to help children develop language and vocabulary, improve social skills, and learn basic science and math concepts.
  • Bring a firm understanding of the entire range of a child’s future academic experience to their love of working with learners at their most formative years.
  • Have the knowledge and experience that lets them guide and encourage children to grow in all areas of development by providing the richest possible educational environment.
  • Staff attend continuing education seminars throughout the year.

RNS’s staff is so welcoming, the teachers, aides, and directors are like family. They are warm and kind, really engage with the children and give everyone individual attention.

Cinthya H.

Meet Our Staff

Mrs. Maria D'Arpa

Program Director/TK Teacher

Welcome to RNS, my name is Ms Maria, and I am the owner/director of RNS Academy.

My career in teaching began over twenty years ago when I started substitute teaching in NYC. Although I applied to college with the intention of pursuing a law degree, teaching has always been my passion.

When I think back to my childhood, playing teacher was always my favorite pastime. After only a few short months of substitute teaching I decided to pursue a Masters in Education and complete the requirements for a NYC teaching certification. Since then I have received my NJ certification and have had the overwhelming pleasure of getting to know so many wonderful young children.

Each year I am honored with the job of caring for and teaching these amazing little people. I can honestly say, my job is my passion and I love every minute of it.

Mrs. Donna Bissell

Assistant Director

I am Ms. Donna and I assist Ms. D’Arpa, our amazing director! A favorite part of my day is welcoming our children to school. Smiling faces greet me every morning… what better way to start the day?

I am here to help our children throughout the day as well as providing support and communication to our parents! I want our parents to always feel at ease, knowing their children are safe, nurtured and cared for in a wonderful learning environment. I encourage parents to reach out to me anytime during the day to check-in on their child or to answer any questions.

My undergraduate degree is in psychology and social work and I have worked in Human Resources for many years. Prior to joining RNS, I worked with children for nine years. I am happy to say that I have completed the CDA (Child Development Association) written requirements.

My home life continues to keep me busy with four boys popping in and out along with our very energetic two-year-old chocolate lab!

Joanne Candela

Young Pre-K

Hi! My name is Joanne Candela and I am the Pre-K teacher here at RNS.

I was born and raised a Jersey girl and wouldn’t have it any other way.

My husband and two adult children help keep life interesting along with the baby of the family, our puppy, Pico.

This will be my first year at RNS but my 19th year of teaching. I love seeing the excitement of new discoveries in each of my students’ faces and I am so eager to get started in our new classroom.

I have a Bachelors Degree in Art and a CDA certification. I love to look at teaching as a chance to learn along with the children, showing them that the tools to learning are in their hands.

Making the classroom fun and filled with imagination is my goal! I look forward to building new learning adventures with your children and creating a fun and positive environment.

Mrs. Helen Vaupotic

Young Pre-K

I’m Helen Vaupotic (Ms. Helen). My husband and I live in Ho-Ho-Kus where we both grew up and raised our son.

I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and have been teaching for 20 plus years.

This will be my fourth year at RNS. Before joining RNS, I was at Pinnacle Learning Center in Mahwah for fifteen years.

During my teaching career I helped to create a program for 2 ½ year olds and have also taught in the 3 ½ – 4 year old program.

I enjoy teaching young children and look forward to seeing them each day.

Mrs. Elisa Marsico

Little Learners

Mrs. Liz Mellish

Little Learners

Mrs. Claudia Neville

Little Learners

My name is Claudia Neville, or Ms Claudia, and I am originally from Colombia. I’ve been teaching for more than 10 years in the USA and it’s my passion.

RNS Academy has been an important part of my life, I enjoy so much teaching these beautiful children.

I love being able to teach our students and make sure they have fun while learning. I especially love teaching my native language, Spanish.

I am thrilled to be a teacher for RNS working with all of our very talented staff at amazing families.

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