The Cornell School was established in Fall 2016 as a partnership venture between David and Oyendrila Kennedy.
Oyendrila Kennedy - Owner/Director
Oyen holds a Bachelors of Arts in English, Journalism and Psychology from Mount Carmel College, followed by a Bachelors degree in Education from St. Xaviers’ College. Oyen earned a Masters in English with a Minor in Child and Adolescent Psychology from Southern Oregon University. Her teaching experience of 24 years ranges from working with children from preschool to 8th grade level in private schools both in India and the U.S. She has taught preschool and kindergarten at Knowledge Beginnings, a flagship school of Knowledge Learning Corporation. She retired as a kindergarten teacher from A Child’s Way Preschool and Kindergarten to start The Cornell School. While In India, Oyen volunteered her time to teach children living in poverty on the streets of Calcutta for many years and also offered her writing services while working closely with international volunteers at The Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa. When not busy running the school, Oyen loves reading, traveling, spending time with her family and friends, watching Netflix and Hulu, listening to music, cooking with spices and crafting with her daughter. Dave Kennedy - Owner/ Chief Playground Architect and Builder
Dave holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Portland State University, a MS in Management in Science and Technology from OHSU, and a certificate in systems dynamics from MIT. Dave has worked at Intel for 20 years in various marketing, product management and business development roles and he currently manages the mobile workstation business. Dave’s interests include traveling, scuba diving, mountain biking, and kayaking. His passions are sports cars and building things. Dave built The Cornell School and the playground which he considers works in process as he continuously works to improve the indoor and outdoor environments.
Vanessa Gaerlan-Wang - Sports Director and Teacher
Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Ethnic Studies from the University of Washington and is a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant with an Associates Degree from Mt. Hood Community College. She has over 11 years of clinical experience specializing in sports rehabilitation. Vanessa has worked as an Athletic Trainer for the Portland Power, a women's professional basketball league team for two seasons. Most recently, she coached and coordinated the athletic conditioning programs for the girls' basketball, soccer and volleyball teams at an International School while living abroad in Taiwan. Vanessa enjoys the many unique personalities of children and helping them discover and develop their strengths to allow them to walk a little outside their comfort zone when possible, both inside the classroom and outside with her sports program. She is a fair weather golfer, follows the sun through her love of travel and plays as much basketball as possible with her young son.
Lauri Brewster - Director Nature Studies, Substitute Teacher Lauri holds a Master of Science in Environmental Studies/Conservation Biology from Antioch University New England and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Spanish from the University of Maine. She is passionate about plants, gardening and inspiring children to connect with the natural world. Lauri has five years of experience working with preschools and elementary schools to help bring nature into the classroom as well as bring students out into nature. Lauri has spent over three years living and researching in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish.
Courtney Blair - Teacher Courtney is pursuing an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education at Portland Community College and have spent the last 14 years working with families and their children as a nanny. She is passionate about helping children develop their social/emotional skills and explore the world around them. When not working, she enjoys hiking in Oregon and Washington with her dog, gardening, beekeeping, and baking all kinds of sweet and healthy treats. Courtney is originally from Southern California but feels the most at home here in the Pacific Northwest.
Monica Carlson - Music Director and Substitute Teacher
Monica has a BS degree in Child Development and Family Science. She has more than 15 years of experience as a private co-op preschool teacher, private piano teacher and volunteer as a children's music/singing time leader at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints Portland. She has also been the 4th/5th grade choir director for Terra Linda Elementary School for 3 years and is a volunteer Early morning Seminary Teacher at Sunset High School. Monica loves being a wife and mother to her 6 awesome kids- 5 sons and 1 daughter, ages 19-6. She enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking/baking, sewing, playing games and cheesy jokes.
Patricia Herzog - Director Math/Science workshop, Teacher mentor and Substitute Teacher Patricia or Pat holds a BA in Child Development from Chico State and a Master of Science from Oregon State in Human Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Speech and Language Development. She completed the Elementary Teaching Credential Program and held a Multiple Subject Credential in CA as well as the Child Development Program Director Permit. She has taught for 30+ years in a variety of settings including: Public school Kindergarten, Junior College teaching and supervising student teachers in a Child Development La Engaged with 24 preschool children and their familie Taught courses in learning environments, math, and parent education Directed a Private Full Day Preschool Child Development Resource teacher for a County Office of Education. Her passion is providing hands on, developmentally appropriate learning experiences for young children. Pat never tires of observing their creativity, enthusiasm and energy! Pat is also mom of two delightful adult children and one brilliant one year old grandson! She loves most sports, gardening, cooking and traveling.
Music & Movement
Language & Literacy
STEM Based Math & Science
Practical Life Skills
Mindfulness & Yoga
The Cornell School was developed from decades of experience working with families and their young children. The need for a higher quality of education and balance for working parents became clear. While working for both educational and corporate institutions and seeking care for our own children, we developed a list of traits characteristic to the ideal school. As educators, we launched this vision into a reality, where families looking for a small, close knit, and loving environment for their children receive the best quality education imaginable. By prioritizing quality over quantity, The Cornell School is a preschool where teachers can connect with their students through multiple layers fostering a deep and authentic relationship together.