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our team



Director, Founder

Rita's passions have considerably revolved around working with young children. Rita is a dedicated and knowledgeable early childhood provider and professional. The vision of Neighborhood Sprouts Preschool was inspired by her 10+ years of child development experience at a broad spectrum of centers as well as private tutoring and childcare for all ages. She studied early childhood development at Boise State University and has had years of quality exposure and frequent training in different educational approaches including a certificate in the Reggio Emilia early learning approach obtained in the founding place of Reggio, Italy. With the continual help of our wonderful teaching team, she has created a space of learning diversity where every Sprout is supported with their individual development. Rita believes that children deserve indoor and outdoor classrooms that facilitate a loving, inviting, respectful and creative environment for them to safely explore their potential. When she's not working on the Sprouts dream, Rita values quality time with loved ones and embracing the outdoors via snow and water skiing, biking, camping, swimming, and gardening. 


Operations Director, Co-Founder


Molly has been in the larger Boise business community, working in marketing and advertising since graduating from BSU in 2015. She brings a strategic wit and can-do attitude to the Neighborhood Sprouts team by leading and managing the organization's business operations. She fills her cup by providing support to Rita and the team by absorbing the obligations of running the business side of Sprouts.

When she's not working full-time with Drake Cooper, she's championing Neighborhood Sprouts. With her pup Bogus in tow, you can find her in the foothills tromping trails, in the mountains chasing first chair or splashing in whatever water is around. 



Lead Educator

Mary is a seasoned educator with degrees in Elementary Education, Special Education, and a Master's in Special Education. Mary has demonstrated a passion for educating children with a career spanning 30+ years. Her skills include teaching children of all ages, children with special needs, educational testing, consulting, and teacher training. She is currently the owner of Appleseeds Educational Consulting LLC. Mary believes in fostering the whole child with love, consistency, and care. She sees each child as a dynamic being with unlimited potential. Each day she is inspired by the world, people around her, her two children, friends, the outdoors, good food, laughter, live music, and travel, all of which feed her soul. 


Assistant Educator

Anna Grace has always been drawn to working with children. She attended Boise State taking courses in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. From there she taught at a local Montessori school here in Boise. She regularly looks for new experiences and gains knowledge through trying new things. Anna Grace's teaching approach aligns with our educational philosophies, especially our outdoor components, as she has a love for the outdoors. She spends her time outside of the classroom hiking, biking, camping, fishing, reading, writing, cooking new recipes, making friends, and creating art. 



Substitute Educator

Liz has over 15 years of childcare experience, including being a private nanny for multiple families. Liz has had a seamless transition into the classroom setting as children are drawn to her nurturing and inviting energy. She has a passion for travel and has been a certified flight attendant for 6 years. In her leisure time she enjoys tending to her plants, reading, and cooking; all things she passionately incorporates into small group lessons with our students! 


Substitute, Fairy Garden Mother

Christy was given the name “Fairy Garden Mother” for three reasons: 1) Fairy; Christy is THE Tooth Fairy. 2) Garden; Christy works in the garden yard at Sprouts. 3) Mother; she is Miss Rita’s mother!
Christy is a retired dental hygienist with a Bachelor’s degree and practiced for 44 years. She worked in clinical practice in 4 different states, was a dental hygiene consultant, a dental hygiene educator, and a tooth fairy for preschools throughout Idaho.
She has retired from her dental hygiene career, but is dedicated to educating children. She has her childcare license, and is on call for Neighborhood Sprouts when needed! Christy is a passionate skier and golfer. She spends part time in Sun Valley, and most time
in Boise with her husband, Kelly. She loves being with the Sprouts!

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