Today, Melanie Rudebeck serves as the school executive director, appointed to this position by the board in 2009. Prior to taking this position, Melanie had worked at The Community School for three years, beginning as a teacher and then serving as co-director. She also has previous experience as a teacher, trainer, and director in preschool and childcare before accepting a position at our school.
Our school was founded in 2000 by the former director, Jennifer Stuart. At that time, the school served only employees of the Highland Park Independent School District and was known as Highland Park Nursery School.
At the close of the 2001-2002 school year, the school district cut the nursery school program from its budget and ceased all funding and support. Knowing that it was a strong and potentially successful program, the decision was made to open the school to the public and rename the center The Community School of the Park Cities. We applied for non-profit status which was granted in December 2002, making us a 501(c)(3) organization.
In the ensuing years our enrollment has grown steadily, from 11 children in June 2002, to nearly 40 in 2004, to about 65 in January 2009. In January 2007, we expanded our classrooms into the downstairs area of our historic building, allowing us to add one more infant room and one more toddler room to our program. We are proud to have achieved the favorable reputation in our community that has allowed this rapid growth.