The teachers at ESNS are responsible for developing the daily program, implementing our philosophy, and assisting the board of directors in establishing the school’s policies.

We learn about our natural world with our teachers.We learn about our natural world with our teachers.

Karen Welser has been a member of the East Side Nursery School community since 2001, when the first of her four children began in the Tuesday/Thursday class. She has served on the ESNS Board for eight years, including five as President of the Board. Karen graduated from Swarthmore College in 1992. Children and education have been longstanding passions for Karen: with her own children she has experience in public, private, and home-school education at all levels, from preschool to college. Karen is a certified Human Behavior Consultant, enabling her to work as a Parent and Family Coach. She currently leads an online international adoption support group, and has previously developed, written, and taught an original religious education curriculum for children ages 3-9. She is thrilled to be teaching at East Side Nursery School this year. 

sam_smallSamantha Andersen is the Education Coordinator and Teacher at East Side Nursery School. After earning a master's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at New York University she spent almost a decade running inquiry-based university outreach programs for pre-K-12 students at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Teachers College, Columbia University. Well-versed in progressive education (in theory and practice) for students at all levels, she has helped coordinate United Way of Rhode Island's educational program initiatives and served as an independent consultant for school programs in Providence, Woonsocket, and eastern Connecticut since moving to Rhode Island in 2012. The tenets of ESNS are well-aligned with Sam's philosophies and practices as educator and she was an active member of the ESNS community as a parent and a board member before accepting the roles of Education Coordinator and Teacher. She brings 15+ years experience in schools, a strong understanding of and belief in play-based education, and the ability to connect with and support students where they are to the East Side Nursery School community.