About Me

Cara Austin: director and teacher

Ah...the sun.

Cara on Mt. Hood

I have worked in the education and child care field for more than 25 years in a variety of ways. I began as a nanny, and then went on to teach English at a French high school in Paris, and subsequently  taught Social Studies and Math in Middle School. I managed the children’s program in a community in Missouri for 6 years where I raised and educated my own two children, and moved to Portland in 2007. I spent two years as a preschool teacher in an established North Portland child development community. After teaching children of every age, I have chosen to focus on preschool, where every day is filled with magic and excitement, fun and laughter. I opened Rivendell in 2009 and feel a huge sense of accomplishment and reward when I see the community that has arisen around the preschool. Families past and present are still connected, and friendships have been forged that may last a lifetime. I have sought to build a community, rather than just a school, because I believe it is vitally important in this modern fast-paced, technology-based world.

I am a graduate of Stanford University, have a background in early childhood education, and I am First Aid and CPR certified as well as continually taking classes and workshops in the field.

I created Rivendell in my home to be able to teach in a natural nurturing environment, where each child’s intellectual and creative development can flourish. I keep a low teacher: student ratio (1:6) where there are enough children for group activities and building friendships, but not so many that chaos reigns and logistics take over. I am passionate about education and love children. I offer all of my energy and rich experience in providing a warm, loving, stimulating and positive home for preschoolers to grow in. Rivendell has now been thriving for five years.