About Us

A Brief History

The Williamsburg Parent Cooperative Preschool was founded thirty-eight years ago, by community and college parents who were intrigued by the possibility of being involved with their children’s education. It is a non-profit, non-denominational, non-discriminatory school run by a Parent Board. After brief stays elsewhere, the Co-op found a home at St. Martin’s, where it is regarded as part of the church’s outreach program. The school’s tradition of fostering healthy families and its long-term scholarship program meshed well with the church’s commitment to weekday use of its facilities, and the relationship has continued for twenty-nine years.

Our hallmarks are the unique enrichment of parent involvement, and the liveliness and diversity of our experiential learning environment. Our belief in children’s joy in discovery, and the particular charm added when teachers, children, and parents come together in the classroom, are central to our philosophy.

Our Director: Molly Gareis

I knew from a very young age that my life would be dedicated to teaching and working with children and families. I babysat all through middle school, high school, and college before graduating and earning my Virginia teaching license from Old Dominion University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. I began my career as a classroom teacher in the Williamsburg-James City County Public School System teaching children in grades 8, 6, and 3. After my tenure with WJC Schools, I spent the next eleven years as a stay-at-home Mom with my son and two daughters. As a parent, contributing to the education of children remained a part of who I am. For eight consecutive years I was fortunate enough to be a Co-op parent. I loved working in my own children’s classes and I grew by serving alongside the amazing Co-op teachers. During this time I read constantly about child development and parenting, and, eventually I went back to Old Dominion University and earned my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. My husband, Chris, is currently Associate Dean in the School of Education at the College of William and Mary, but he spent many years as a classroom teacher and as a school principal. We are both dedicated to our own children and to our careers in education. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach at Co-op and be surrounded on a daily basis by such wonderful children, families, and teachers.

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be surrounded on a daily basis by such wonderful children, families, and teachers. Children are my passion, and it is my hope that as the Co-op director and two's teacher, I will be able to give back some of the invaluable gifts that I have received over the years from Co-op.

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church
1333 Jamestown Road 
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Mailing Address:
Williamsburg Parent Cooperative Preschool
Box 422
Williamsburg, VA 23187

Phone Number:


Subpages (1): Why Choose a Co-Op?