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About Our School


Established in 1939, Belvedere Nursery School is the oldest nursery school in Southern Marin. In 1950, the site on Cove Road Place was purchased and in 1953, it changed from a parent co-op to a professionally staffed nursery school.


By 1968, the enrollment had grown, and all the Pre-K children moved to the Hawthorne Campus on Rock Hill Road, giving BHNS the ability to have a full five day a week Pre-K program. 

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Belvedere-Hawthorne Nursery Schools, Inc. (BHNS) is a private non-profit organization owned and operated by the parents who have children attending Belvedere Nursery School and/or Hawthorne Pre-K. The Board of Directors is responsible for policy making. Recommendations from the teaching directors provide important guidance for board decisions. Board members are elected annually by the parent body and serve volunteer terms of one to three years. 


The Board of Directors employs one Executive Director, who oversees the organization as a whole and manages enrollment, and two Program Directors -- one for Belvedere Nursery School and one for Hawthorne Pre-K. Each is responsible for managing daily operations and developing and ensuring the most up-to-date, research-based curriculum at each school, as well as teaching in the classroom on a daily basis. 


Our teachers are highly qualified and trained in early childhood education. We maintain a child/staff ratio of six to one for all programs.


Our program fosters creativity, stimulates the imagination, cultivates an inner sense of trust and autonomy, and supports cognitive, physical and social development. Our teachers lovingly guide children through play and meaningful projects, providing support and scaffolding for newly emerging skills, increasing self-regulation and social-emotional learning. Through immersion in our play-based curriculum, children strengthen emotional and executive functioning for goal-oriented collaborations, imperative for school readiness and learning success. In addition, our school is rooted in an active, supportive community, including in-class parent volunteers, and builds a strong home-school connection, where children build self-esteem and are afforded a highly valuable learning environment for optimal growth and development, gaining skills necessary to become life-long learners. 


We provide hands-on experiences where children engage in problem solving and enhance acquisition of cognitive and linguistic skills within our developmental play-based curriculum. Early childhood education foundational theory is embedded in our play-based curriculum, and substantiated by current research in brain development, creating a highly valuable learning environment for enriched and optimal cognitive growth and development.

Social Development

To develop a sense of independence and gain skills in self-regulation and social-emotional learning. To enhance intrinsic motivation and develop agency with the ability to accept instruction from teachers and to participate with others in a cooperative and satisfying manner. To learn more about him or herself and how to be a friend.

Emotional Development

To nurture in the child an inner sense of trust and autonomy that will allow the development of positive self-esteem and strengthen emotional functioning for goal-oriented collaborations so that the young child experiences good feelings about him or herself within his or her contributions to the world.

Cognitive Development

To provide first-hand experiences that broaden concepts and expand knowledge through play and integrated activities with problem-solving to enhance the acquisition of cognitive, linguistic skills, and executive functioning.

Physical Development

To provide both structured gross motor movement curriculum and open-ended gross motor play, as an integral part of cognitive and physical growth, supporting motor planning and coordination.  To enable vital processing, sensory integration, and self-regulation. 

Meet Our Teachers


Kathleen Parker
Head of School, Belvedere-Hawthorne Nursery Schools


Hrund Gisladottir
Director, Hawthorne Pre-K


Abigail Vare
Executive Director, Belvedere-Hawthorne Nurse
ry Schools


Gretchen Alden

Belvedere Nursery School

Lead BNS Teacher

Coming Soon

Liz Berg

Belvedere Nursery School

MWF Teacher
MWF Afternoon Enrichment Program Director

Coming Soon

Claudia Bressie

Hawthorne Pre-K



Linda Hevern

Belvedere Nursery School

TTh Teacher


Julia Johnson

Belvedere Nursery School

TTh Teacher


Ben Nadler
Belvedere Nursery School

MWF Teacher


Jan Schmidt

Hawthorne Pre-K

Lead Teacher

Art Program Director


Jane Stiteler

Hawthorne Pre-K



Ashley Stranahan, Belvedere Nursery School

TTh Teacher


Gee Trono

Hawthorne Pre-K


Executive Board 

Belvedere-Hawthorne Nursery Schools is a non-profit corporation licensed by the State of California, owned and operated by the parents who have children attending Belvedere Nursery School and/or Hawthorne Pre-Kindergarten. 


The Board of Directors is responsible for policy making. Recommendations from the Board of Directors and the Directors of the Schools provide important guidance for Board decisions. Each year in May the proposed Board of Directors is voted on and approved into office by the parent population of BHNS. The Board is typically comprised of parents that have children currently enrolled at BHNS.

The 2023-2024 Executive Board

President: Myka Keil & Robyn Rutledge

Executive Vice President: Jaime Feliz

Co-Vice Presidents of Fundraising: Vanessa Snyder & Pam Sieck

Vice President of Communications: Lina Godfrey


Treasurer: Kelly Coover

Strategic Planning: Stacy Achuck 


Secretary: Julie Schirm

In the Press 

Belvedere-Hawthorne Nursery Schools is a big part of the local community and some times in the press. 

This is is one of our recent articles.  

Click on the image here to read the full article.

For any other press inquiries please contact: 

Kathleen Parker, Head of School,

Belvedere-Hawthorne Nursery School

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