I am honored to be a director and teacher at CPS. I am actually a graduate myself. CPS is truly the best preschool I have been in. I have been working with kids ever since I turned 18. I have taught preschool and K-3rd special education. I have a masters in Early Intervention and a special education teaching license. Through all my experience I have found preschool to be my favorite age group.


When I'm not teaching I enjoy spending time with my family, I have two sons of my own. We like to hike with our two dogs and be adventurous.


 I'm happy to be a part of a preschool that fosters individual growth, confidence, and creativity. My children have loved CPS and I hope yours will too.

Emma Standish
Director and Teacher


Hello! My name is Liz and I am honored to be a part of the 2’s classroom.  CPS is a magical place where I have watched my own children learn, grow and thrive because of the environment the teachers create.  


Out of college, I worked as a behavior support specialist with kids ranging from ages 5-15.  My work motivated me to learn how to best support all students in feeling valued, successful and to help them access information.  I went to graduate school and then taught as an elementary special education teacher until the birth of my first son. I am thrilled to get back into the classroom. I have a deep passion for creating a safe space for kids to be curious and I believe strongly in CPS’ mission.  Watching CPS teachers connect with and work with my children has truly touched my heart and I can’t wait to do the same.  


Disclaimer: I co-own Jazzercise of Eugene so don’t be surprised if your child comes home with a few new dance moves.

Liz Schneider



Hello families! My name is Rachel and I am very excited to be a part of the team at Congregational Preschool! I started my professional teaching career about 13 years ago with a two year contract with AmeriCorps. It was there that my love of being around children grew into a desire to teach as an occupation. Since then I have had the privilege of teaching in various environments and fine tuning my approach as well as continuing my own learning and growth. I have been lucky enough to work with children at every age, from infancy to age twelve. These experiences truly helped me to connect with each stage of development. I learned so much!

In addition to my role here at CPS, I also work at Willamalane Parks and Recreation. I oversee the middle school programs; including the after school program, teaching classes, creating youth programming and special events.

Outside of teaching I enjoy time at home with my husband Michael, my two step kids and two dogs. I am looking forward to another year at CPS and feel very grateful to be here.

Rachel Hartford


Being at work each day makes me happy – for so many reasons! I’m a mom of three, former preschool director, and I live a few blocks from Congregational. I enjoy getting to walk to work, connect with families in our neighborhood, and spend my mornings providing meaningful play opportunities for our class of four-year-olds. My own children attended CPS and I love being a part of something that was such a sweet part of our family's life for so many years. As a parent alum whose children have all moved on to elementary school and beyond, I love seeing how CPS’s play based philosophy helped nurture them to be eager learners. In addition to teaching, I love to run, volunteer at my own children’s schools, cook and spend time with family and friends.

Jen Thoennes


Hi, my name is Shannon, and I love teaching at CPS.  I'm originally from Washington state and earned my BS in Psychology and M.Ed. from the UW. In 20 years of teaching, I have taught several different grades at the elementary and preschool levels, but the preschool age is my absolute favorite. It's a wonderful challenge to create learning opportunities that children can experience simply as play. It's such a joy and an honor to work with preschoolers and see them blossom as young learners.


When I am not teaching, I love to spend time outdoors with my husband and children and our 2 dogs, Buddy and Alfie. As a family, we love to hike, ski and spend time at the coast.


I feel truly blessed to be part of the CPS community. It is a wonderful and supportive place to teach and learn. I hope you and your children will love it as much as my family has.

Shannon Tom


I’m so grateful to be a part of the CPS community!  I’ve lived most of my life in Saint Paul, Minnesota, obtaining my degree (Elementary and Pre-primary education) from the University of Minnesota, Morris. After graduating, I fluctuated between teaching preschool and nannying whilst traveling; including adventures living in Ireland and Sweden-- now Eugene! Although I can teach up to 6th grade, I know I’ve found my calling in preschool-- I love being able to enrich my students’ lives through song, dance, play and the opportunity to continually move around and choose the activities that interest them. I’ve worked with children since my early teens in a variety of settings (nanny, tutor, teacher and counselor) and nothing fills my heart more than to see children’s eyes light up with wonder, excitement and understanding.


In my spare time, I’m an avid hiker, yogi, reader, farmer and board game/card player. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your children’s lives and this community!

Jessie Armstrong



I am so happy to be part of the team at Congregational Preschool. My own children attended this amazing preschool many years ago. I know that it is a wonderful and caring community and a great place for kids to play and learn and grow together. After earning my Masters in Teaching, I taught 1st grade for a few years in Watsonville, CA. Then, my husband and I moved to Eugene shortly after the birth of our son. I did not return to teaching and stayed home with my son and daughter. In my time home I developed a love for photography and eventually started a family and child photography business, where I have worked for the past 10 years. I love working with children. I have really felt a pull to get back in the classroom. I am thrilled to be teaching once again.


In my spare time I love spending time with my family and dog Clementine, taking hikes, and seeing friends. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to a fun year! 

Amanda Reed


I am happy to be back at CPS for my second year. I've also enjoyed having my son start in the Owl's class. We both feel very welcome by the preschool and the families. I first began working with children over 15 years ago at the River Road rec center here in Eugene . I then went to the University of Oregon for Journalism with an intent to work in high schools as an english teacher, but I have yet to make it out of the elementary school level because I've enjoyed the ages so much. I continued working at various afterschool programs throughout the years, and I am currently working for the YMCA, at Spring Creek Elementary school, twice a week in addition to the preschool. I look forward to this year and working with all the amazing students here at CPS. 

Kira Tchack


I’m delighted to have joined the CPS community. I studied Child Development in college, finding my true passion in education classes, and earning a Masters in Early Childhood Education. I've been teaching for about 10 years, with a break part way through when I stayed home raising my son and daughter (a different kind of education in early childhood development!). I've  taught 1st and 2nd grade and multiple ages in Preschool, in addition to volunteering in my own children's classrooms. My favorite ages to teach have always been these early years, when children's minds and bodies are developing so quickly and they're constantly learning and changing. I deeply value the individuality that each child brings to our classroom community and I love providing interesting activities, interactions, and supports to help them to explore their interests and learn more about themselves and the world around them. I also love being part of a greater school community where I get to collaborate with other teachers, our students, and their families to facilitate and nurture that development. 


When I'm not at school, I love spending time with my family and friends (especially outside!), cooking and baking, reading, singing, and sewing. Thank you so much for welcoming me into your community - I'm excited for a wonderful year!

Amelia Fox