New director and a new look for Beagle School
On Wednesday, the Beagle School celebrated its new director, updated look and announced a popular children’s recording artist is set to perform in concert in the city next year.
The school’s new director is a past president of the Board of Directors at the school. Jessica Todtenhagen is the mom of two Beagle alums and one current Beagle student. She has a master’s degree in education from the University at Buffalo.
Todtenhagen replaces Fran Rauchwerger, who left after five years of service at the Beagle School.
“I am thrilled to be joining these wonderful teachers and this school,” Todtenhagen said. “We are constantly working together to enrich the early education of our children and share the importance of learning through play and discovery. Thanks to the support of Beagle friends and families, we were able to update the inside and outside of our beloved school. The children have enjoyed many aspects of our improvements already, especially the new swing set in the backyard.”
The “little red school house” at 115 Regent St. has a brand new swing set structure and a new play area and toy shed outside.
The school also had the driveway and walkway paved and volunteers and teachers updated its landscaping. It has a new tile display in the cubby area with artwork from students. In 2016, the Regent Street location (where the three and four-yearold programs are run) had a major renovation inside as well. The learning and play areas were updated with new furniture, paint and toys. The school also has an updated kitchen area where healthy snacks from parents are stored and distributed to students during snack time. The Circular Street location was also updated in 2016.
The school also has a new business manager, Colleen Park, who is also a Beagle parent and previous member of the board of directors at the school.
After Todtenhagen cut a paper chain that children created to celebrate the updated facility, fundraising chair Kate Fitzpatrick explained how Laurie Berkner — who People Magazine called “The Queen of Children’s Music” — will perform a concert on Saturday, April 21 at 11 a.m. at Loewenberg Auditorium at Saratoga Springs High School.
“We are so excited to have the opportunity to welcome Laurie Berkner to Saratoga Springs. Laurie’s music ties directly to The Beagle School’s philosophy of learning through play,” said Fitzpatrick. “She is so well loved among children and parents, and we know this will be a fun and memorable experience for our community.”
People attend the event Wednesday.
Jessica Todtenhagen, the newly named director of The Beagle School, cuts a paper chain created by students to celebrate new additions inside and outside the facility.