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Har Shalom Preschool & Kindergarten Staff

Ilene Forsyth - Director

Ilene Forsyth received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education at Salem State University in Massachusetts, earning her a license to teach Preschool through 3rd grade. In Massachusetts, Ilene taught for many years at the Jewish Community Center Preschool and held a professional role as a Resource Teacher for the teaching staff. Ilene moved to Fort Collins with her family in 2006. 

In 2007, she joined Har Shalom Preschool & Kindergarten as one of the "Specials" teachers where she developed a Hebrew program for Kindergarten age children. Shortly thereafter, Ilene became a classroom Teacher and trained in the Montessori philosophy for several years before her Directorship in 2014. 

Ilene is passionate in celebrating all children as individuals and honored to serve the Shalomies during their essential early years of growth and development. 

Anna Buschle - Lead Teacher

My name is Anna Buschle and I am thrilled to be the Lead Preschool and Kindergarten Teacher at Har Shalom Montessori School. I am originally from Michigan where I grew up in a family of educators. 

I have always had a passion for working with children and helping others. This led me to pursue my Bachelors Degree in Child Development and Art and Design at Alma College. I have been teaching Preschool for three years. Throughout my teaching career, I have gained experience working with a variety of ages, languages and special needs.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, and my cat. I am a huge animal lover and I enjoy being outside. Some of my hobbies are painting, hiking, skiing, boating, and playing sports such as soccer and volleyball. 

Kaela Bell - Teacher

My name is Kaela Bell. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, but have always had a desire to live among the mountains. I graduated from Gwynedd Mercy University with a dual degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education.

I have a passion for yoga and healthy living. I look forward to the upcoming school year and am grateful for the opportunity to work with this community. 


Tamara Burnside - Teacher Assistant

Tamara Burnside earned her Bachelor Degree in Human Development from Brigham Young University. She has been one of Har Shalom Preschool & Kindergarten's much-loved substitute teachers and will now be joining HSPK's teaching team as the Teacher Assistant.

Tamara enjoys singing with The Larimer Chorale, skiing, hiking, and reading. She resides in Fort Collins with her husband and four children.


Sarah Moore - Lunch Teacher

My name is Sarah Moore. I am Colorado native! I spent some time living in Florida and returned to my home state where I reside with my husband and son, Lev. I am currently pursuing a BA in psychology specializing in child & adolescent development and will conclude coursework this year.

I love working with young people and have been doing so in one way or another since I was 19.  I am really excited to continue growing and learning, especially here at Har Shalom! I feel very honored to be a part of the family here and to get the chance to laugh and learn with your little ones. 

I love to travel, to read and write, to practice yoga and to dance.  I have taught yoga since 2007 and love showing kids fun ways to relax and strengthen their bodies, minds, and spirits.  I love nature, animals, and love to be out in nature whenever I can.  

Tonya Puttlitz - Lunch Teacher

My name is Tonya Puttlitz. I was born and raised in California, graduated college there, and then worked in San Francisco in the corporate world for several years. After meeting my husband, getting married and having a child, the three of us moved to Fort Collins in 2005 to enjoy all the amazing things Colorado has to offer.

I was a stay-at-home mom for many years, then worked part-time in the Poudre School District as a Job Coach, assisting and mentoring special-needs teens at various internships they held at different businesses throughout Fort Collins. In 2015-16, my family and I spent a sabbatical year living in New Zealand, having all sorts of fun and adventures.

In my spare time, I enjoy camping, hiking, traveling and volunteering. I very much look forward to working with your children at this school and helping them enjoy each of their days here to the fullest!

The Aleph-Bet Club Teachers 2:30-5:30pm


Olivia Quinter

My name is Olivia Quinter, I am in my third year at Colorado State University majoring in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Early Child Development. I have always had a passion for working with children and enjoy witnessing their growth as they are continuously exploring the world around them.

I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and moved to Golden, Colorado with my family about four years ago; as the middle of three kids, I love spending time with my siblings and parents. I love just about anything outdoors, volleyball, traveling, and seeking all the adventure life has to offer. 

Elyse Buffenbarger

A graduate of Kalamazoo College, Elyse Buffenbarger loves working with children and families. Over the past twelve years, she's served as a nanny, tutor, classroom assistant, and even volunteer doula, and she is excited to be returning to the classroom after working in higher education for several years.

She just moved to Ft. Collins with her husband and is so excited to be part of the Har Shalom family!

Fri, December 15 2017 27 Kislev 5778