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Nursery Room

The nursery provides a warm, safe and nurturing environment for infants and young toddlers to develop positive feelings in their first group setting. Our teachers respect each child’s individual needs and therefore follow a flexible schedule that caters to each child. The infants enjoy spending lots of time snuggling with their teachers. The room creates a warm stimulating environment where the children feel secure exploring their surroundings. Daily reports are written sharing all the information relevant to your child’s day.

Nursery Team 

Stephanie Houde (she/ her), Teacher – Stephanie attended Riverside as a child. Some of Stephanie’s former teachers are now her co-workers, including her mom! She began her career here as an assistant teacher in the afternoons and has worked her way up to Teacher in the Nursery. Her love for babies and early childhood education has driven her to complete her degree in Education.

Nicole Censullo (she/her), Teacher – Nicole began her career her at Riverside as an afternoon assistant. Shortly after, she was employed as a Floating Teacher. As she gained experience in each classroom, she realized her passion was truly with the babies. Nicole joined the Nursery in the summer of 2016 and has been a wonderful addition. Nicole has her BA in Psychology from Stonehill College and her MS in School Counseling from Northeastern University.

Amanda Conklin (she/her), Teacher – Amanda has worked in the Nursery classroom since the fall of 2010. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Vermont. Besides taking care of babies all day, Amanda enjoys exercising and traveling. In college, she spent a semester abroad in Sweden and loved it! On the side, Amanda works at a gymnastics gym because she used to be a competitive gymnast. Amanda is originally from Marblehead, MA and has a younger brother.

Leslie Orellana (she/her), Teacher – Leslie is our newest member of the Nursery team! She joined us in January 2023. Bio and picture coming soon!

Rainbow Room

Teachers provide support for parents by helping the children cope with separation and transitions. The room is a cozy, safe place where children are cuddled and encouraged to explore their surroundings. Teachers help the children to become more independent, share, and express themselves as they explore colors, shapes, seasons, family, animals, and many other themes.

Rainbow Team

Kelly Joosten (she/her), Teacher – Kelly began at Riverside in 2010 as a part-time Rainbow Room Teacher’s Assistant. Shortly thereafter, she was promoted to her current position of Rainbow Team Teacher. Kelly is a graduate of Elmira College in New York state where she received a BS in Psychology and Art Education. Prior to joining the Riverside team, Kelly was a graduate student and she had many different jobs. One of Kelly’s favorite things about Riverside is “watching the children learn and grow.”

Susan Sandberg (she/her), Teacher – Susan joined Riverside in 1993. She is a graduate of Wittenberg University where she received a BA in Psychology. Susan has held various positions at Riverside, but has been a Team Teacher in the Rainbow Room since 2010. She enjoys the toddlers because every year she sees how much each child grows, and develops their own personality. Susan loves Riverside because “It truly is a second family, and my ‘home away from home’.” She is a huge animal lover, and likes to bake. Susan grew up in Wellesley, and currently lives in Ayer with her husband, Peter, and their dog, Robyn.

Presemie Mushrush, Assitant teacher- Amie joined us at Riverside fall of 2022. Bio and picture coming soon!

Turtle Room

The Turtle Room teachers provide a warm and caring environment as the children explore the classroom and grow in all areas of development. Structured and small group activities are balanced with periods of free choice. Independence and self-help skills are encouraged, as are cooperation and learning to follow directions. The curriculum includes investigating nature and visiting places in the local community, as well as exposure to various art mediums and sensory play. The teachers work together with parents as they navigate through their child’s developmental milestones.

Turtle Team

Nancy Sullivan (she/her), Teacher – Nancy joined Riverside in 1986. She is a graduate of Mass Bay Community College where she majored in Early Childhood Education. Nancy and her husband, Joe, have a son who is a “graduate” of Riverside. In her spare time, Nancy enjoys attending her son’s hockey and baseball games and spending time with family and friends. The thing Nancy most enjoys about Riverside is “watching the children grow….I love my job.”

Bella Rodrigues (she/her), Teacher- Bella joined Riverside January 2020. Updated bio and picture coming soon!

Levon Tiekka (he/his), Teacher- Updated bio coming soon!








Discovery Room

Teachers encourage the children’s curiosity, enthusiasm, interests, and abilities as the children learn about the world around them. Circle time expands from singing songs and sharing books to include discussing ideas and feelings. The children begin to develop friendships and make choices about the activities that interest them.


Discovery Team

Mary Washburn (she/her), Teacher – Mary is the most senior staff member at Riverside! She began her career here in 1984 as a preschool teacher. In 1987, she transferred to a teaching position in the Turtle Room. In Summer 2022, Mary joined the Discovery team! Mary is a graduate of Mass Bay Community College where she majored in Early Childhood Education. While doing her student teaching at Riverside, Mary also worked at a donut shop. The donut shop closed so Mary asked RCC’s Director if Riverside had any openings, and they did! Mary and her husband, Chip, have two boys, both RCC alumni. One thing Mary loves about Riverside is “the dedicated staff that delivers quality care, including the administration.”


Melodie Newman (she/her), Teacher- Melodie joined us at RCC September 2022. Bio and picture coming soon!


Emma Applbaum (she/her), Teacher- Emma joined us at RCC February 2023. Bio and picture coming soon!


Colin Binswanger (he/him), Assistant Teacher- Bio and picture coming soon











Research Room

Children initiate many of the themes and share their interests and skills with each other. Teachers foster an understanding of a wide variety of topics through books, dramatic play, discussion, art, science and nature activities, and field trips. The children develop strong friendships and enjoy group activities as well as individual projects.

Research Team

Meghan Ellis (she/her), Teacher – Meghan joined Riverside as a Floating Teacher in 2004. Shortly thereafter, she transferred to her current position in the Research Room. Meghan received a BS in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from Bridgewater State College. Prior to joining Riverside, she worked for many years as a School Age Group Leader and a Camp Counselor and Leader. She is very involved with Riverside and has served on the Board of Directors and the Fundraising Committee for a number of years. One thing Meghan loves most about Riverside is “how it feels like an extended family.”

Claire Walsh (she/her), Teacher – Claire has been a teacher in the Research room since summer of 2020. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood education with a focus in Child Development and Special Education at Southern New Hampshire University on-campus. Outside of Riverside, Claire loves skiing, playing the drums, hiking, biking, and just being outside! Her favorite part of Riverside is, “being part of an amazing co-teaching team and witnessing both the small and big victories in the classroom.”

 Laureta Caca (she/her), Teacher- Laureta joined the Research Room in Spetember 2022 and has been working in the education field for many years now and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. Outside of work, she enjoys walking, running, and shopping. Laureta's favorite part of Riverside is witnessing the wonder of learning everyday through play.

Floating Team

 Marina Zalevskaya (she/her), Teacher- Updated bio coming soon!

Lauren Wintersteiner (she/her), Floating Teacher/office team- bio and picture coming soon

Olivia French (she/her), Floating Assistant- bio and picture coming soon

JuliaFrumkin (she/her), Floating Teacher- bio and picture coming soon

           Give us a call!


          (617) 332-8305

            NOW ENROLLING


          Monday – Friday: 7:45 AM – 6:00 PM

                           Open year round



     Our location: 14 Collins RD Waban, MA 02468

                 Conveniently located next to Waban Station

Admission and Tuition

The Riverside Children’s Center is open to all children from 3 months through 5 years old. To apply, every new family must schedule an appointment for a tour with a member of our Administrative Team and complete an application for admission. Riverside Children’s Center does not discriminate in providing service to children and families, or in its employment practices, on the basis of race, religion, cultural heritage, national origin, sexual orientation, political beliefs, gender, sex, age or marital status. Please see tuition table for current tuition prices.


Copyright © 2019 · Riverside Children's Center · 14 Collins Rd
Newton · MA 02468

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